Spiritual Lighthouse
Friday, 22 August 2014
People are Leaving Denominatioal Churches
Topic: doctrine
 
Being on the other side of the Exodus sucks, don’t it?

I see the panic on your face, Church.
I know the internal terror as you see the statistics and hear the stories and scan the exit polls.
I see you desperately scrambling to do damage control for the fence-sitters, and manufacture passion from the shrinking faithful, and I want to help you.

You may think you know why people are leaving you, but I’m not sure you do.

You think it’s because “the culture” is so lost, so perverse, so beyond help that they are all walking away.
You believe that they’ve turned a deaf ear to the voice of God; chasing money, and sex, and material things.
You think that the gays and the Muslims and the Atheists and the pop stars have so screwed-up the morality of the world, that everyone is abandoning faith in droves.

But those aren’t the reasons people are leaving you.

They aren’t the problem, Church.

You are the problem.

Let me elaborate in 5 ways…


1) Your Sunday productions have worn thin.

The stage, and the lights, and the bands, and the video screens, have all just become white noise to those really seeking to encounter God. They’re ear and eye candy for an hour, but they have so little relevance in people’s daily lives, that more and more of them are taking a pass.

Yeah the songs are cool and the show is great, but ultimately Sunday morning isn’t really making a difference on Tuesday afternoon or Thursday evening, when people are wrestling with the awkward, messy, painful stuff in the trenches of life; the places where rock shows don’t help.

We can be entertained anywhere. Until you can give us something more than a Christian-themed performance piece; something that allows us space and breath and conversation and relationship, many of us are going to sleep-in and stay away.


2) You speak in a foreign tongue.

Church, you talk and talk and talk, but you do so using a dead language. You’re holding on to dusty words that have no resonance in people’s ears, not realizing that just saying those words louder isn’t the answer. All the religious buzzwords that used to work 20 years ago, no longer do.

This spiritualized insider-language may give you some comfort in an outside world that is changing, but that stuff’s just lazy religious shorthand, and it keeps regular people at a distance. They need you to speak in a language that they can understand. There’s a message there worth sharing, but it’s hard to hear above your verbal pyrotechnics.

People don’t need to be dazzled with big, churchy words and about eschatological frameworks and theological systems. Talk to them plainly about love, and joy, and forgiveness, and death, and peace, and God, and they’ll be all ears. Keep up the church-speak, and you’ll be talking to an empty room soon.


3) Your vision can’t see past your building.

The coffee bar, the cushy couches, the high tech lights, the funky Children’s wing and the uber-cool Teen Center are all top-notch… and costly. In fact, most of your time, money, and energy seems to be about luring people to where you are, instead of reaching people where they already are.

Rather than simply stepping out into the neighborhoods around you and partnering with the amazing things already happening, and the beautiful stuff God is already doing, you seem content to franchise out your particular brand of Jesus-stuff, and wait for the sinful world to beat down your door.

Your greatest mission field is just a few miles, (or a few feet) off your campus and you don’t even realize it. You wanna reach the people you’re missing?

Leave the building.

4) You choose lousy battles.

We know you like to fight, Church. That’s obvious.

When you want to, you can go to war with the best of them. The problem is, your battles are too darn small. Fast food protests, hobby store outrage, and duck-calling Reality TV show campaigns may manufacture some urgency and Twitter activity on the inside for the already-convinced, but they’re paper tigers to people out here with bloody boots on the ground.

Every day we see a world suffocated by poverty, and racism, and violence, and bigotry, and hunger; and in the face of that stuff, you get awfully, frighteningly quiet. We wish you were as courageous in those fights, because then we’d feel like coming alongside you; then we’d feel like going to war with you.

Church, we need you to stop being warmongers with the trivial, and pacifists in the face of the terrible.


5) Your love doesn’t look like love.

Love seems to be a pretty big deal to you, but we’re not getting that when the rubber meets the road. In fact, more and more, your brand of love seems incredibly selective and decidedly narrow; filtering out all the spiritual riff-raff, which sadly includes far too many of us.

It feels like a big bait-and-switch, sucker-deal; advertising a “Come As You Are” party, but letting us know once we’re in the door that we can’t really come as we are. We see a Jesus in the Bible, who hung out with lowlifes and prostitutes and outcasts, and loved them right there, but that doesn’t seem to be your cup of tea.

Church, can you love us if we don’t check all the doctrinal boxes and don’t have our theology all figured out? It doesn’t seem so.
Can you love us if we cuss and drink and get tattoos, and God forbid, vote Democrat? We’re doubtful.
Can you love us if we’re not sure how we define love, and marriage, and Heaven, and Hell? It sure doesn’t feel that way.

From what we know about Jesus, we think he looks like love. The unfortunate thing is, you don’t look much like him.


That’s part of the reason people are leaving you, Church.

These words may get you really, really angry, and you may want to jump in a knee-jerk move to defend yourself or attack these positions line-by-line, but we hope that you won’t.

We hope that you’ll just sit in stillness with these words for a while, because whether you believe they’re right or wrong, they’re real to us, and that’s the whole point.

We’re the ones walking away.
We want to matter to you.
We want you to hear us before you debate us.

Show us that your love and your God are real.

Church, give us a reason to stay.

It’s not you, it’s me.

That’s what you seem to be saying, Church.

I tried to share my heart with you; the heart of me and thousands and thousands of people like me who are walking away, to let you know of the damage you’re doing and the painful legacy you’re leaving, and apparently; you’re not the problem.

(Which of course, is still a problem).

I’ve relayed my frustration with your insider, religious rhetoric, and you responded by cut-and-pasting random Scripture soundbytes about the “Bride of Christ” and the “blood of the Lamb”, insisting that the real issue is simply my “Biblical ignorance”, and suggesting that I just need to repent and get a good Concordance (whatever that is).

I let you know how judged and ridiculed I feel when I’m with you, how much like a hopeless, failing outsider I feel on the periphery of your often inward, judgmental communities, and you proceeded to tell me how “lost” I am, how hopelessly “in love with my sin” I must be to leave you, reminding me that I never really belonged with you anyway.

In the face of every complaint and every grievance, you’ve made it clear that the real issue, is that I’m either sinful, heretical, immoral, foolish, unenlightened, selfish, consumerist, or ignorant.

Heck, many days I’m not even sure I disagree with you.

Maybe you’re right, Church.

Maybe I am the problem.

Maybe it is me, but me is all I’m capable of being right now, and that’s where I was really hoping you would meet me.

It’s here, in my flawed, screwed-up, wounded, shell-shocked, doubting, disillusioned me-ness, that I’ve been waiting for you to step-in with this whole supposedly relentless, audacious “love of Jesus” thing I hear so much about, and make it real.

Church, I know how much you despise the word Tolerance, but right now, I really need you to tolerate me; to tolerate those of us, who for all sorts of reasons you may feel aren’t justified, are struggling to stay.

We’re so weary of feeling like nothing more than a religious agenda; an argument to win, a point to make, a cause to defend, a soul to save.

We want to be more than a notch on your Salvation belt; another number to pad your Twitter posts and end-of-year stat sheets.

We need to be more than altar call props, who are applauded and high-fived down the aisle, and then forgotten once the song ends.

We’ve been praying for you to stop evangelizing us, and preaching at us, and fighting us, and judging us, and sin-diagnosing us, long enough to simply hear us…

… even if we are the problem.

Even if we are the woman in adultery, or the doubting follower, or the rebellious prodigal, or the demon-riddled young man, we can’t be anything else right now in this moment; and in this moment, we need a Church big enough, and tough enough, and loving enough; not just for us as we might one day be then, but for us as we are, now.

We still believe that God is big enough, and tough enough, and loving enough, even if you won’t be, and that’s why even if we do walk away, it doesn’t mean we’re walking away from faith; it’s just that faith right now seems more reachable elsewhere.

I know you’ll argue that you’re doing all these things and saying all these things because you love and care for us, but from the shoes we’re standing in, you need to know that it feels less like love and care, and more like space and silence:

If someone is frustrated, telling them that they’re wrong to be frustrated is, well, pretty freakin’ frustrating.

It only breeds distance.

If someone shares that their heart is hurting, they don’t want to hear that they’re not right to be hurt.

It’s a conversation-stopper.

If someone tells you they are starving for compassion, and relationship, and authenticity, the last thing they need is to be corrected for that hunger.

It’s a kick in the rear on the way out the door.

 

So yes, Church, even if you’re right, even if we’re totally wrong; even if we’re all petty, and self-centered, and hypocritical, and critical, and (I’ll say it), “sinful”, we’re still the ones searching for a place where we can be known and belong; a place where it feels like God lives, and you’re the ones who can show it to us.

Even if the problem is me, it’s me who you’re supposed to be reaching, Church.

So, for the love of God; reach already.

Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 1:59 AM EDT
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Friday, 27 June 2014
How Did Jesus Become White
Topic: Ancient History

Ancient Man and His First Civilizations 

How did Jesus and the Hebrews become WHITE?

 

 

How did the Hebrews turn White? Of course they didn't really; just in the imaginations, and then the histories of White people. Who for probably practical reasons, decided that Hebrews, and also the Blacks who originally lived in the Country's that they took over, should all become White for posterity's sake.

Seeing as how it only takes three generations to turn a Black person into a White person (and visa versa). No doubt there came a time when as Europe's formerly bi-racial populations, became more homogeneously White, White people decided that they could no longer acknowledge that all that they knew and had, was derived from the minds and labors of Black people - even down to their religious beliefs. The logic no doubt being that Whites could not progress to their full potential, if they were always looking up to Blacks, as the personification of knowledge and wisdom. So a change had to be made, and at some point, by somebody, that change began.

Of course, we have no way of knowing when this process of Whitinizing Blacks began, or who did it, or where it was first done. But we do have some materials by which we can track the process, somewhat.

But first, let us go back to see what Hebrews REALLY looked like. The earliest authentic pictures of real Hebrews that we have, date back to before Christ. They are Assyrian relief's showing Hebrews, and others that they conquered, in pictorial scenes detailing the battles fought, with associated text. These relief's decorated Assyrian palaces, and were no doubt used to gloat over their conquest of the Hebrews and others. Here we are using pictures of: Assyrian King Shalmaneser IIIs "Black Obelisk" (858 B.C.). Assyrian king Tiglath-pilesar III’s relief's of his conquest of a city near the Sea of Galilee (730 B.C.). Assyrian King Sennacherib’s relief's of the conquest of the Judean City of Lachish (701 B.C.). The four pictures below, are from those Assyrian relief's. (These relief's are stored in the British Museum, London England).

 

 

 

 

It is worth mentioning, that the Hebrews were just as literate, and just as artistic as the other Black civilizations around them. The reason that we have to depend on outside sources for pictures of them, is because Whites destroyed all that the Hebrews ever created. Even down to the very religious writings that they claim to worship by. That fact is that ALL Hebrew writings, even the SEPTUAGINT {the original Bible}, which was only roughly Hebrew (it was made for the Greek King of Egypt, Ptolemy II (Philadelphus) in 282-246 B.C.), has been destroyed. Everything except for the "Dead Sea Scrolls" which were found in 1947, in Qumran, a village situated about twenty miles east of Jerusalem. The Scrolls are under the joint custody of the Catholic Church and the Israelis. The translated contents of those Scrolls has never been made public, and probably never will be - no doubt the differences in teachings and facts would be irreconcilable.  (A few inconsequential snippets have been made public - the entire Scrolls is a huge work, which contains the entire old Testament plus many other works).

Why wasn't the material in these pages destroyed? Because after it's fall, Assyria came under the control of the Persian Empire, which was itself a Black Empire. It then came under the control of Greeks, who were at that time, seeking to merge with the Black Persians, not in denying that they were Black people. Then Assyria again came under Persian control, and then finally under the control of the original Black Arabs. So at the time when Whites were destroying vestiges of Black history, they had no access to the Assyrian artifacts.

But at those times when Whites did have control of an area, they seem to have been very through in destroying all vestiges of the former Black inhabitants; there is nothing left to suggest that Carthage was a Black city, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley civilizations are some of the oldest known, yet very little is left - next to nothing in the Indus valley. Ancient Anatolia (Turkey), was home to many great and famous civilizations, but very little has been found there. The Egyptian artifacts, of which there are many, were mostly recovered in modern times, when Whites rather than simply destroy, instead modify artifacts; sometimes just by breaking the noses off, in order to make them look like White people, and then proudly display them as proof of the White mans greatness.

The Khazars, a Turkish tribe who had established a Kingdom in the Caucasus region, and converted to Judaism in the 8th century A.D. Must have seen the doings of the Romans and Greeks, and seen it as an opportunity for them to take over the Hebrew identity, and thus control of the orthodox branch of the Hebrew religion - which indeed they did. They logically thinking that if Jesus can be White, why not then, the entire Hebrew nation - which was by then a diaspora anyway. The Islamist side-stepped the entire issue by forbidding imagery of any kind.

 

Color struck: America's White Jesus is a global export and false product

By Wesley Muhammad, PhD.

 

What color was Jesus? Most American Christians—Black and White—would dismiss this question as both irrelevant and unanswerable as the Gospels fail to give us a physical description. The irony is that most of these same Americans in their heart of hearts are pretty confident any way that they know what color Jesus was. They attend churches with images of a tall, long haired, full bearded White man depicted in stained glass windows or painted on walls, and they return home to the same depictions framed in their living room or illustrating their family Bibles.

Further compounding the irony is the fact that America actually has an obsession with the (presumed) color of Christ and has exported her White Americanized Savior around the world, as recently documented by Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey in their book, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America (2012).

In fact, the world’s most popular and recognizable image of Christ is a distinctly 19th-20th century American creation. It is true that versions of the “White Christ” appear in European art as early as the 4th century of the Christian era, but these images coexisted with other, nonwhite representations throughout European history. The popularity of the cult of the Black Madonna and Black Christ throughout Europe is evidence of the fact that the European ‘White Christs’ never acquired the authority and authenticity that the White Christ now has globally. This Christ and his authority are American phenomena. As a predominantly Protestant nation Early America rejected the imaging of Christ that characterized European Catholicism.

By the mid-19th century, however, in response to American expansion, splintering during the Civil War and subsequent reconstructing, “Whiteness” took on a new significance and a newly- empowered “White Jesus” rose to prominence as the sanctifying symbol of a new national unity and power. As Blum and Harvey observe:

“By wrapping itself with the alleged form of Jesus, whiteness gave itself a holy face … With Jesus as white, Americans could feel that sacred whiteness stretched back in time thousands of years and forward in sacred space to heaven and the second coming … The white Jesus promised a white past, a white present, and a future of white glory.”

As America rose to superpower status in the 20th century she became the world’s leading producer and global exporter of White Jesus imagery through film, art, American business, and Christian missions, and has thereby defined the world’s view of the Son of God. This globally recognizable Jesus is a totally American product. Indeed, he is an American. Warner Sallman’s iconic image of Jesus called Head of Christ (1941) became the most widely reproduced piece of artwork in world history and its depiction the most recognizable face of Jesus in the world. By the 1990s it had been printed over 500 million times and achieved global iconic status. With smooth white skin, long, flowing blondish-brown hair, long beard and blue eyes, this Nordic Christ consciously disguised any hint of Jesus’s Semitic, oriental origin—and departed from the older European depictions. It both shaped and was shaped by emerging American ideas of whiteness. The beloved White Jesus of today’s world was Made in America.

What, then, did Jesus actually look like? Despite the absence of a detailed description of Jesus’s physical appearance in the Gospels (though John the Revelator saw the risen Christ apparently with wooly hair and black feet, Rev. 1:14-15), there are non-biblical evidences that actually allow us to visualize the Son of God from Nazareth.

Revelation 1:14-15 - King James Version (KJV)

14) His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15) And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

The first century Jewish writer Josephus (37-100 AD) penned the earliest non-biblical testimony of Jesus. He reportedly had access to official Roman records on which he based his information and in his work Halosis or the “Capture (of Jerusalem),” written around 72 A.D., Josephus discussed “the human form of Jesus and his wonderful works.” Unfortunately his texts have passed through Christian hands which altered them, removing offensive material. Fortunately, however, Biblical scholar Robert Eisler in a classic 1931 study of Josephus’ Testimony was able to reconstruct the unaltered testimony based on a newly-discovered Old Russian translation that preserved the original Greek text. According to Eisler’s reconstruction, the oldest non-Biblical description of Jesus read as follows:

“At that time also there appeared a certain man of magic power … if it be meet to call him a man, [whose name is Jesus], whom [certain] Greeks call a son of [a] God, but his disciples [call] the true prophet … he was a man of simple appearance, mature age, black-skinned (melagchrous), short growth, three cubits tall, hunchbacked, prognathous (lit. ‘with a long face’ [macroprosopos]), a long nose, eyebrows meeting above the nose … with scanty [curly] hair, but having a line in the middle of the head after the fashion of the Nazaraeans, with an undeveloped beard.”

This short, black-skinned, mature, hunchbacked Jesus with a unibrow, short curly hair and undeveloped beard bears no resemblance to the Jesus Christ taken for granted today by most of the Christian world: the tall, long haired, long bearded, white-skinned and blue eyed Son of God. Yet, this earliest textual record matches well the earliest iconographic evidence.

The earliest visual depiction of Jesus is a painting found in 1921 on a wall of the baptismal chamber of the house-church at Dura Europos, Syria and dated around 235 A.D. The Jesus that is “Healing the Paralytic Man” (Mark 2:1-12) is short and dark-skinned with a small curly afro - see below.

This description has now been supported by the new science of forensic anthropology. In 2002 British forensic scientists and Israeli archaeologists reconstructed what they believe is the most accurate image of Jesus based off of data obtained from the multi-disciplinary approach. In December 2002 Popular Science Magazine published a cover story on the findings which confirm that Jesus would have been short, around 5”1’, hair “short with tight curls,” a weather-beaten face “which would have made him appear older,” dark eyes and complexion: “he probably looked a great deal more like a dark-skinned Semite than Westerners are used to seeing,” they concluded. The textual, visual, and scientific evidence agrees, then: Jesus likely was a short, dark-skinned Semite with short curly hair and dark eyes.

Colossians 1:15 describes Christ as the “image of the unseen God” and in the Gospel of John (12:45; 14:9) Jesus declares that whoever sees him has seen God. What Jesus “looks like” then is not irrelevant as it is in some way a pointer to God Himself.

 

 

Let us proceed then, with our pictorial essay of how Jesus, and thus, the Hebrews TURNED WHITE!

Thanks to Religion Facts.com (Link)

 

The Alexamanos Graffito, dating from c.200 AD or earlier, is an interesting early parody of Christianity. This early graffito (wall-scratching; singular of graffiti) was discovered in 1857 in a guardroom on Palatine Hill near the Circus Maximus in Rome, and is now in the Palatine Antiquarian Museum.

The drawing shows a man with an ass's head being crucified, to which a youth is raising his hand as if in prayer. The text in Greek reads: ALE, XAMENOS, SEBETE, THEON. which means, "Alexamenos worships his god." Before Christianity, the Hebrews had already been charged with worshipping an ass; this was probably the basis of this accusation being directed at Christianity. 

 

 

This wall painting, depicting the Healing of the Paralytic, is the earliest known representation of Jesus, dating from about 235 AD. The painting was found in 1921 on the left-hand wall of the baptismal chamber of the house-church at Dura-Europos on the Euphrates River in modern Syria. It is now part of the Dura Europos collection at the Yale University Gallery of Fine Arts. 

 

 

 

This fresco of the Good Shepherd was found on the ceiling of the Vault of Lucina in the Catacomb of Callixtus in Rome. The construction of the vault itself has been dated to the second half of the 2nd century, but the use of the red and green lines to divide the space (similar to the chambers under San Sebastiano) has suggested the first half or middle of the 3rd century for this fresco.

The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd was an especially popular motif in the early Christian centuries. It was based on several biblical passages, including the 23rd Psalm and sayings of Jesus, and is also an adaptation of a popular pagan image.

 

 

 

This fresco of the Good Shepherd was found on the ceiling of the Vault of Lucina in the Catacomb of Callixtus in Rome. The construction of the vault itself has been dated to the second half of the 2nd century, but the use of the red and green lines to divide the space (similar to the chambers under San Sebastiano) has suggested the first half or middle of the 3rd century for this fresco.

The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd was an especially popular motif in the early Christian centuries. It was based in several biblical passages, including the 23rd Psalm and sayings of Jesus, and is also an adaptation of a popular pagan image. 

 

 

This fresco of Christ Among the Apostles is in an arcosolium of the Crypt of Ampliatus in the Catacombs of St. Domitilla in Rome. The Catacombs of Domitilla date from the 2nd through 4th centuries. According to W.F. Volbach, "The extent to which the type of the apostolic group as been developed suggests a 4th-century origin" for this particular fresco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dura-Europos

 

The city of Dura-Europos was founded in 303 B.C. by the Seleucids on the intersection of an east-west trade route and the trade route along the Euphrates. The new city controlled the river crossing on the route between his newly founded cities of Antioch and Seleucia on the Tigris. It is located near the village of Salhiyé, in today's Syria. The city is extremely important for archaeological reasons, as it was abandoned after its conquest in 257, and nothing was built over it and no later building programs obscured the architectonic features of the ancient city. Its location on the edge of contending empires made for a co-mingling of cultural traditions, much of which was preserved under the city's ruins. Some remarkable finds have been brought to light, including numerous temples, wall decorations, inscriptions, military equipment, tombs, and even dramatic evidence of the Sassanian siege during the Imperial Roman period which led to the site's abandonment.


The Jewish synagogue, located by the western wall between towers 18 and 19, the last phase of which was dated by an Aramaic inscription to 244. It is the best preserved of the many ancient synagogues of that era that have been uncovered by archaeologists. It was preserved, ironically, when it had to be infilled with earth to strengthen the city's fortifications against a Sassanian assault in 256. It was uncovered in 1932 by Clark Hopkins, who found that it contains a forecourt and house of assembly with frescoed walls depicting people and animals, and a Torah shrine in the western wall facing Jerusalem. At first, it was mistaken for a Greek temple. The synagogue paintings, the earliest continuous surviving biblical narrative cycle, are conserved at Damascus Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Byzantine Emperor Justinian II

Justinian II (669 – 711) was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian Dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711. Justinian II generated enormous opposition to his reign, and it resulted in his deposition in 695 in a popular uprising, and he only returned to the throne in 705 with the help of a Bulgar and Slav army. His second reign was even more despotic than the first, and it too saw his eventual overthrow in 711, abandoned by his army who turned on him before killing him.

 

Roman Coins of Emperor Justinian II depicting Jesus Christ as a Black Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The David Gareja monastery

 

The modern country of Georgia in the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union (The place where European Albinos tell themselves and the world that they are from - they call themselves Caucasians): is the location of one of the oldest Black kingdoms in Europe - Colchis.

According to Greek mythology, Colchis was a fabulously wealthy land situated on the mysterious periphery of the heroic world. Here in the sacred grove of the war god Ares, King Aeëtes hung the Golden Fleece until it was seized by Jason and the Argonauts. Colchis was also the land where the mythological Prometheus was punished by being chained to a mountain while an eagle ate at his liver, for revealing to humanity the secret of fire. The Amazons also were said to be from Colchis. The main mythical characters from Colchis are Aeëtes, Medea, Absyrtus, Chalciope, Circe, Eidyia, Pasiphaë.

In about 730 B.C, Colchis was overrun by the White Kurgan tribes called Cimmerians and Scythians. But they appear to have done little permanent damage. In about 600 B.C, the advanced economy of Colchis soon attracted the attention of the Milesian (White) Greeks in Anatolia (Turkey), who colonized the Colchian coast and established trading posts at Phasis, Gyenos, and Sukhumi. In about 580 B.C, the kingdom came under the control of (probably by the dating); King Astyages of the Median Empire. Which would soon become part of the first Persian Empire under Cyrus II, the Great. (The Sassanian was the second Persian Empire).

 

Herodotus on Colchis: (circa 440 B.C.)

 

[2.104] There can be no doubt that the Colchians are an Egyptian race. Before I heard any mention of the fact from others, I had remarked it myself. After the thought had struck me, I made inquiries on the subject both in Colchis and in Egypt, and I found that the Colchians had a more distinct recollection of the Egyptians, than the Egyptians had of them. Still the Egyptians said that they believed the Colchians to be descended from the army of Sesostris. My own conjectures were founded, first, on the fact that they are black-skinned and have woolly hair, which certainly amounts to but little, since several other nations are so too; but further and more especially, on the circumstance that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians (Nubians), are the only nations who have practised circumcision from the earliest times.

Sometime around the year 2 B.C. both Pontus and Colchis were incorporated into the Roman province of Galatia. Soon the lowlands and coastal area of Colchis, began to suffer raids by White tribes from the surrounding mountains; the Soanes and Heniochi being the most powerful of them. After swearing allegence to Rome, the White tribes were allowed to create their own kingdoms in Colchis; which enjoyed significant independence from Rome. Christianity began to spread in the early 1st century A.D. Traditional accounts relate the event with Saint Andrew, Saint Simon the Zealot, and Saint Matata. However the previous religious beliefs, like the Hellenistic, the local pagan and the Mithraic beliefs, would still be widespread until the 4th century A.D. By about the 130s A.D. the new kingdoms of Machelons, Heniochi, Egrisi, Apsilia, Abasgia, and Sanigia, had sprung up from south to north. The Goths, dwelling in the Crimea and looking for new homes, raided Colchis in 253 A.D, but they were repulsed with the help of the Roman garrison of Pitsunda. By the 3rd-4th centuries A.D, most of the local kingdoms and principalities had been subjugated by the (Turkic) Lazic kings, and thereafter the country was generally referred to as Lazica. In the late 8th century A.D, Colchis was attached to Abasgia, which in turn was incorporated into Russian Georgia. Blacks however, are said to have survived in the area until the early 20th century.

 

The David Gareja monastery - Georgia

 

The David Gareja monastery is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located in the Kakheti region of Eastern Georgia, on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja, some 60–70 km southeast of Georgia's capital Tbilisi. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face. Part of the complex is located in the Agstafa rayon of Azerbaijan and has become subject to a border dispute between Georgia and Azerbaijan. The area is home to evidence of some of the oldest human habitations in the region.

 

 

 

The monastery complex was founded in the 6th century by David (St. David Garejeli), one of the thirteen Assyrian monks who arrived in the country at the same time. His disciples Dodo and Luciane expanded the original lavra and founded two other monasteries known as Dodo's Rka (literally, "the horn of Dodo") and Natlismtsemeli ("the Baptist"). The monastery saw further development under the guidance of the 9th-century Georgian saint Ilarion. The convent was particularly patronized by the Georgian royal and noble families. The 12th-century Georgian king Demetre I, the author of the famous Georgian hymn Thou Art a Vineyard, even chose David Gareja as a place of his confinement after he abdicated the throne.

With the downfall of the Georgian monarchy, the monastery suffered a lengthy period of decline and devastation by the Mongol army (1265), but was later restored by the Georgian kings. It survived the Safavid attack of 1615, when the monks were massacred and the monastery's unique manuscripts and important works of Georgian art destroyed, to be resurrected under Onopre Machutadze, who was appointed Father Superior of David Gareja in 1690.

After the violent Bolshevik takeover of Georgia in 1921, the monastery was closed down and remained uninhabited. In the years of the Soviet War in Afghanistan, the monastery's territory was used as a training ground for the Soviet military that inflicted damage to the unique cycle of murals in the monastery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christ at the Second Coming, In the center of the apse mosaic is Christ standing on red clouds (representing the dawn), dressed in golden robes labeled with the monogram I. He holds the scroll of the Law in his left hand.

The basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano is one of the ancient churches of Rome called tituli, of which cardinals are patrons as deacons: the Cardinal Deacon of the Titulus Ss. Cosmae et Damiani is Giovanni Cheli. The basilica, devoted to the two Greek brothers, doctors, martyrs and saints Cosmas and Damian, is located in the Forum of Vespasian, also known as the Forum of Peace. The Temple of Romulus was dedicated by Emperor Maxentius to his son Valerius Romulus, who died in 309 and was rendered divine honours. It is possible that the temple was in origin the temple of "Iovis Stator" or the one dedicated to Penates, and that Maxentius restored it before the re-dedication.

The ancient Roman fabric was Christianized and dedicated to Sancti Cosma et Damiano in 527, when Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, and his daughter Amalasuntha donated the library of the Forum of Peace (Bibliotheca Pacis) and a portion of the Temple of Romulus to Pope Felix IV. The pope united the two buildings to create a basilica devoted to two Greek brothers and saints, Cosmas and Damian, in contrast with the ancient pagan cult of the two brothers Castor and Pollux, who had been worshipped in the nearby Temple of Castor and Pollux. The apse was decorated with a Roman-Byzantine mosaic, representing a parousia, the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time. The bodies of Saints Mark and Marcellian were translated, perhaps in the ninth century, to this church, where they were rediscovered in 1583 during the reign of Pope Gregory XIII.

In 1632, Pope Urban VIII ordered the restoration of the basilica. The works, projected by Orazio Torriani and directed by Luigi Arrigucci, raised the floor level seven metres, bringing it equal with the Campo Vaccino, thus avoiding the infiltration of water. Also, a cloister was added. The old floor of the basilica is still visible in the lower church, which is actually the lower part of the first church. In 1947, the restorations of the Imperial Forums gave a new structure to the church. The old entrance, through the Temple of Romulus, was closed, and the temple restored to its original forms; with the Pantheon, the Temple of Romulus is the best preserved pagan temple in Rome. A new entrance was opened on the opposite side (on via dei Fori Imperiali), whose arch gives access to the cloister, and through this to the side of the basilica.

 

 

Jesus' appearance from behind locked doors, by Duccio-di-Buoninsegna - 1308 A.D.

 

 

The Duccio-di-Buoninsegna above, which still has a "somewhat" Black looking Jesus, and some likewise "Black looking" Apostles, seems to mark the end of Black Jesus, and the beginnings of the total lie. No non-White depiction of Jesus is known to have been made after this time - by White people.

 

 

The last judgment by Pietro Cavallini - 1293 A.D. St Cecilia Trastevere, Rome.

 

 

Another fresco of Christ Among the Apostles is in an arcosolium of the Crypt of Ampliatus in the Catacombs of St. Domitilla in Rome. Probably from a later time than the first fresco.  Is this the beginning of the Whitinization of Black People?

It may be that later artists felt that since this fresco didn't cause the artist to immediately burn in Hell, it might be okay to paint Jesus as White.

 

 

Santa Costanza mosiac - Santa Costanza is a church in Rome, built under Emperor Constantine I and place of burial (mausoleum) of his daughters Constantina and Helena. Later, Constantina was venerated as saint, with the Italian name of Costanza, and the church was dedicated to her. The church was built under Constantine, probably by Constantinia, next to the cemetery of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura, where Saint Agnes, who allegedly had healed Constantina, was buried.

After their deaths, Constantine's daughters Constantina and Helena were buried here. Since Consantina was venerated as saint, the mausoleum was consecrated as a church in 1254 by Pope Alexander IV. After the church was restored in 1620 by Cardinal Fabrizio Veralli, Constantina's magnificent porphyry sarcophagus was moved to the Vatican Museums. The Church was originally a mausoleum.

 

 

 

Dead Christ - Giovanni Bellini, 1460 A.D. Museum Poldi Pezzoli, Milan

 

 

The Modern Jesus

 

 

The Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-118 A.D.) had these thoughts on the origins and customs of the Hebrews, as the Romans prepared to destroy Jerusalem.

This is in the context of Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea.

 

Tacitus: History Book 5

1. EARLY in this year Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea, and who had gained distinction as a soldier while both were still subjects, began to rise in power and reputation, as armies and provinces emulated each other in their attachment to him. The young man himself, anxious to be thought superior to his station, was ever displaying his gracefulness and his energy in war. By his courtesy and affability he called forth a willing obedience, and he often mixed with the common soldiers, while working or marching, without impairing his dignity as general. He found in Judaea three legions, the 5th, the 10th, and the 15th, all old troops of Vespasian's. To these he added the 12th from Syria, and some men belonging to the 18th and 3rd, whom he had withdrawn from Alexandria. This force was accompanied by twenty cohorts of allied troops and eight squadrons of cavalry, by the two kings Agrippa and Sohemus, by the auxiliary forces of king Antiochus, by a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with the usual hatred of neighbours, and, lastly, by many persons brought from the capital and from Italy by private hopes of securing the yet unengaged affections of the Prince. With this force Titus entered the enemy's territory, preserving strict order on his march, reconnoitring every spot, and always ready to give battle. At last he encamped near Jerusalem.

2. As I am about to relate the last days of a famous city, it seems appropriate to throw some light on its origin. Some say that the Jews were fugitives from the island of Crete, who settled on the nearest coast of Africa about the time when Saturn was driven from his throne by the power of Jupiter. Evidence of this is sought in the name. There is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida; the neighbouring tribe, the Idaei, came to be called Judaei by a barbarous lengthening of the national name. Others assert that in the reign of Isis the overflowing population of Egypt, led by Hierosolymus and Judas, discharged itself into the neighbouring countries. Many, again, say that they were a race of Ethiopian origin, who in the time of king Cepheus were driven by fear and hatred of their neighbours to seek a new dwelling-place. Others describe them as an Assyrian horde who, not having sufficient territory, took possession of part of Egypt, and founded cities of their own in what is called the Hebrew country, lying on the borders of Syria. Others, again, assign a very distinguished origin to the Jews, alleging that they were the Solymi, a nation celebrated in the poems of Homer, who called the city which they founded Hierosolyma after their own name.

3. Most writers, however, agree in stating that once a disease, which horribly disfigured the body, broke out over Egypt; that king Bocchoris, seeking a remedy, consulted the oracle of Hammon, and was bidden to cleanse his realm, and to convey into some foreign land this race detested by the gods. The people, who had been collected after diligent search, finding themselves left in a desert, sat for the most part in a stupor of grief, till one of the exiles, Moyses by name, warned them not to look for any relief from God or man, forsaken as they were of both, but to trust to themselves, taking for their heaven-sent leader that man who should first help them to be quit of their present misery. They agreed, and in utter ignorance began to advance at random. Nothing, however, distressed them so much as the scarcity of water, and they had sunk ready to perish in all directions over the plain, when a herd of wild asses was seen to retire from their pasture to a rock shaded by trees. Moyses followed them, and, guided by the appearance of a grassy spot, discovered an abundant spring of water. This furnished relief. After a continuous journey for six days, on the seventh they possessed themselves of a country, from which they expelled the inhabitants, and in which they founded a city and a temple.

4. Moyses, wishing to secure for the future his authority over the nation, gave them a novel form of worship, opposed to all that is practised by other men. Things sacred with us, with them have no sanctity, while they allow what with us is forbidden. In their holy place they have consecrated an image of the animal by whose guidance they found deliverance from their long and thirsty wanderings. They slay the ram, seemingly in derision of Hammon, and they sacrifice the ox, because the Egyptians worship it as Apis. They abstain from swine's flesh, in consideration of what they suffered when they were infected by the leprosy to which this animal is liable. By their frequent fasts they still bear witness to the long hunger of former days, and the Jewish bread, made without leaven, is retained as a memorial of their hurried seizure of corn. We are told that the rest of the seventh day was adopted, because this day brought with it a termination of their toils; after a while the charm of indolence beguilded them into giving up the seventh year also to inaction. But others say that it is an observance in honour of Saturn, either from the primitive elements of their faith having been transmitted from the Idaei, who are said to have shared the flight of that God, and to have founded the race, or from the circumstance that of the seven stars which rule the destinies of men Saturn moves in the highest orbit and with the mightiest power, and that many of the heavenly bodies complete their revolutions and courses in multiples of seven.

5. This worship, however introduced, is upheld by its antiquity; all their other customs, which are at once perverse and disgusting, owe their strength to their very badness. The most degraded out of other races, scorning their national beliefs, brought to them their contributions and presents. This augmented the wealth of the Jews, as also did the fact, that among themselves they are inflexibly honest and ever ready to shew compassion, though they regard the rest of mankind with all the hatred of enemies. They sit apart at meals, they sleep apart, and though, as a nation, they are singularly prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; among themselves nothing is unlawful. Circumcision was adopted by them as a mark of difference from other men. Those who come over to their religion adopt the practice, and have this lesson first instilled into them, to despise all gods, to disown their country, and set at nought parents, children, and brethren. Still they provide for the increase of their numbers. It is a crime among them to kill any newly-born infant. They hold that the souls of all who perish in battle or by the hands of the executioner are immortal. Hence a passion for propagating their race and a contempt for death. They are wont to bury rather than to burn their dead, following in this the Egyptian custom; they bestow the same care on the dead, and they hold the same belief about the lower world. Quite different is their faith about things divine. The Egyptians worship many animals and images of monstrous form; the Jews have purely mental conceptions of Deity, as one in essence. They call those profane who make representations of God in human shape out of perishable materials. They believe that Being to be supreme and eternal, neither capable of representation, nor of decay. They therefore do not allow any images to stand in their cities, much less in their temples. This flattery is not paid to their kings, nor this honour to our Emperors. From the fact, however, that their priests used to chant to the music of flutes and cymbals, and to wear garlands of ivy, and that a golden vine was found in the temple, some have thought that they worshipped father Liber, the conqueror of the East, though their institutions do not by any means harmonize with the theory; for Liber established a festive and cheerful worship, while the Jewish religion is tasteless and mean.

 

 

But before the modern era of pathetic White racism, with it's White fright of all things Black, and Black identity theft. Where Khazar Turks are the new Hebrews, and Osman Turks are the new Berbers, Egyptians, Arabs, and Middle-Easterners. Before every ancient Black figure encountered in a museum or book was explained away as a Nubian-Ethiopian, a Slave, or a servant: All people knew Hebrews to be Black people, and depicted them as Black people.

 

 

The Black Madonna's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for big blow-up of picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Black Popes

According to the Albinos and their pronouncements from the Liber Pontificalis, three popes-Pope St Victor I (c. 186-198), Pope St Miltiades (311-14), and Pope St Gelasius (492-496)-were Africans. The Liber Pontificalis is composed of a series of biographical entries, which record the dates and important facts for each pope. It is the oldest and most detailed chronicle dating from the Early Church. The Liber Pontificalis is dated from the sixth century. The record of names begins with St Peter. As the work progressed the entries became longer and more detailed. The Liber Pontificalis continued to be written until 1431. So then, is the Liber Pontificalis deception by word play, differentiating between African and Black? Which is actually okay, if people know what you are doing. But somehow I doubt the criminals in the Vatican would let on to that.

 

It is likely that all Popes prior to the fall of the Black Holy Roman Empire (circa 1658) were Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for Big Blow-up of picture >>>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For histories and images of some of the first Christians: Click Here >>>

 

 

 

 

Selected historical quotes regarding the Hebrews

 

Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus (155 A.D. to circa after 229), was a Roman consul and a noted historian writing in Greek.

Cassius Dio
Roman History 
Book XXXVII 

14 - 3: After the death of Mithridates all portions of his dominion except a few were subjugated. A few garrisons which at that time were still holding forts outside of Bosporus, did not immediately come to terms, not so much because they were minded to resist Pompey as because they were afraid that others might seize the money which they were guarding and lay the blame upon them; hence they waited, wishing to show everything to Pompey himself. When, then, the regions in that quarter had been subdued, and Phraates remained quiet, while Syria and Phoenicia had become tranquil, Pompey turned against Aretas. The latter was king of the Arabians, now subjects of the Romans, as far as the Red Sea. Previously he had done the greatest injury to Syria and had on this account become involved in a battle with the Romans who were defending it; he was defeated by them, but nevertheless continued the war at that time. Pompey accordingly marched against him and his neighbours, and, overcoming them without effort, left them in charge of a garrison.

Thence he proceeded against Syria Palaestina, because its inhabitants had ravaged Phoenicia. Their rulers were two brothers, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, who were quarrelling themselves, as it chanced, and were creating factions in the cities on account of the priesthood (for so they called their kingdom) of their god, whoever he is. Pompey immediately won over Hyrcanus without a battle, since the latter had no force worthy of note; and by shutting up Aristobulus in a certain place he compelled him to come to terms, and when he would surrender neither the money nor the garrison, he threw him into chains. After this he more easily overcame the rest, but had trouble in besieging Jerusalem. 16 Most of the city, to be sure, he took without any trouble, as he was received by the party of Hyrcanus; but the temple itself, which the other party had occupied, he captured only with difficulty. For it was on high ground and was fortified by a wall of its own, and if they had continued defending it on all days alike, he could not have got possession of it. As it was, they made an excavation of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall. The latter, on learning of this superstitious awe of theirs, made no serious attempts the rest of the time, but on those days, when they came round in succession, assaulted most vigorously. Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defence, and all the wealth was plundered. The kingdom was given to Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was carried away.

This was the course of events at that time in Palestine; for this is the name that has been given from of old to the whole country extending from Phoenicia to Egypt along the inner sea. They have also another name that they have acquired: the country has been named Judaea, and the people themselves Jews. I do not know how this title came to be given to them, but it applies also to all the rest of mankind, although of alien race, who affect their customs. This class exists even among the Romans, and though often repressed has increased to a very great extent and has won its way to the right of freedom in its observances. They are distinguished from the rest of mankind in practically every detail of life, and especially by the fact that they do not honour any of the usual gods, but show extreme reverence for one particular divinity. They never had any statue of him even in Jerusalem itself, but believing him to be unnamable and invisible, they worship him in the most extravagant fashion on earth. They built to him a temple that was extremely large and beautiful, except in so far as it was open and roofless, and likewise dedicated to him the day called the day of Saturn, on which, among many other most peculiar observances, they undertake no serious occupation.

Now as for him, who he is and why he has been so honoured, and how they got their superstitious awe of him, accounts have been given by many, and moreover these matters have naught to do with this history. The custom, however, of referring the days to the seven stars called planets was instituted by the Egyptians, but is now found among all mankind, though its adoption has been comparatively recent; at any rate the ancient Greeks never understood it, so far as I am aware. But since it is now quite the fashion with mankind generally and even with the Romans themselves, I wish to write briefly of it, telling how and in what way it has been so arranged. I have heard two explanations, which are not difficult of comprehension, it is true, though they involve certain theories. For if you apply the so-called "principle of the tetrachord" (which is believed to constitute the basis of music) to these stars, by which the whole universe of heaven is divided into regular intervals, in the order in which each of them revolves, and beginning at the outer orbit assigned to Saturn, then omitting the next two name the lord of the fourth, and after this passing over two others reach the seventh, and you then go back and repeat the process with the orbits and their presiding divinities in this same manner, assigning them to the several days, you will find all the days to be in a kind of musical connection with the arrangement of the heavens. This is one of the explanations given; the other is as follows. If you begin at the first hour to count the hours of the day and of the night, assigning the first to Saturn, the next to Jupiter, the third to Mars, the fourth to the Sun, the fifth to Venus, the sixth to Mercury, and the seventh to the Moon, according to the order of the cycles which the Egyptians observe, and if you repeat the process, you will find that the first hour of the following day comes to the Sun. And if you carry on the operation throughout the next twenty-four hours in the same manner as with the others, you will dedicate the first hour of the third day to the Moon, and if you proceed similarly through the rest, each day will receive its appropriate god. This, then, is the tradition. 

 

The Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-118 A.D.) had these thoughts on the origins and customs of the Hebrews, as the Romans prepared to destroy Jerusalem.

This is in the context of Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea.

Tacitus: History Book 5 [1]

1. EARLY in this year Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea, and who had gained distinction as a soldier while both were still subjects, began to rise in power and reputation, as armies and provinces emulated each other in their attachment to him. The young man himself, anxious to be thought superior to his station, was ever displaying his gracefulness and his energy in war. By his courtesy and affability he called forth a willing obedience, and he often mixed with the common soldiers, while working or marching, without impairing his dignity as general. He found in Judaea three legions, the 5th, the 10th, and the 15th, all old troops of Vespasian's. To these he added the 12th from Syria, and some men belonging to the 18th and 3rd, whom he had withdrawn from Alexandria. This force was accompanied by twenty cohorts of allied troops and eight squadrons of cavalry, by the two kings Agrippa and Sohemus, by the auxiliary forces of king Antiochus, by a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with the usual hatred of neighbours, and, lastly, by many persons brought from the capital and from Italy by private hopes of securing the yet unengaged affections of the Prince. With this force Titus entered the enemy's territory, preserving strict order on his march, reconnoitring every spot, and always ready to give battle. At last he encamped near Jerusalem.

2. As I am about to relate the last days of a famous city, it seems appropriate to throw some light on its origin. Some say that the Jews were fugitives from the island of Crete, who settled on the nearest coast of Africa about the time when Saturn was driven from his throne by the power of Jupiter. Evidence of this is sought in the name. There is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida; the neighbouring tribe, the Idaei, came to be called Judaei by a barbarous lengthening of the national name. Others assert that in the reign of Isis the overflowing population of Egypt, led by Hierosolymus and Judas, discharged itself into the neighbouring countries. Many, again, say that they were a race of Ethiopian origin, who in the time of king Cepheus were driven by fear and hatred of their neighbours to seek a new dwelling-place. Others describe them as an Assyrian horde who, not having sufficient territory, took possession of part of Egypt, and founded cities of their own in what is called the Hebrew country, lying on the borders of Syria. Others, again, assign a very distinguished origin to the Jews, alleging that they were the Solymi, a nation celebrated in the poems of Homer, who called the city which they founded Hierosolyma after their own name.

3. Most writers, however, agree in stating that once a disease, which horribly disfigured the body, broke out over Egypt; that king Bocchoris, seeking a remedy, consulted the oracle of Hammon, and was bidden to cleanse his realm, and to convey into some foreign land this race detested by the gods. The people, who had been collected after diligent search, finding themselves left in a desert, sat for the most part in a stupor of grief, till one of the exiles, Moyses by name, warned them not to look for any relief from God or man, forsaken as they were of both, but to trust to themselves, taking for their heaven-sent leader that man who should first help them to be quit of their present misery. They agreed, and in utter ignorance began to advance at random. Nothing, however, distressed them so much as the scarcity of water, and they had sunk ready to perish in all directions over the plain, when a herd of wild asses was seen to retire from their pasture to a rock shaded by trees. Moyses followed them, and, guided by the appearance of a grassy spot, discovered an abundant spring of water. This furnished relief. After a continuous journey for six days, on the seventh they possessed themselves of a country, from which they expelled the inhabitants, and in which they founded a city and a temple.

4. Moyses, wishing to secure for the future his authority over the nation, gave them a novel form of worship, opposed to all that is practised by other men. Things sacred with us, with them have no sanctity, while they allow what with us is forbidden. In their holy place they have consecrated an image of the animal by whose guidance they found deliverance from their long and thirsty wanderings. They slay the ram, seemingly in derision of Hammon, and they sacrifice the ox, because the Egyptians worship it as Apis. They abstain from swine's flesh, in consideration of what they suffered when they were infected by the leprosy to which this animal is liable. By their frequent fasts they still bear witness to the long hunger of former days, and the Jewish bread, made without leaven, is retained as a memorial of their hurried seizure of corn. We are told that the rest of the seventh day was adopted, because this day brought with it a termination of their toils; after a while the charm of indolence beguilded them into giving up the seventh year also to inaction. But others say that it is an observance in honour of Saturn, either from the primitive elements of their faith having been transmitted from the Idaei, who are said to have shared the flight of that God, and to have founded the race, or from the circumstance that of the seven stars which rule the destinies of men Saturn moves in the highest orbit and with the mightiest power, and that many of the heavenly bodies complete their revolutions and courses in multiples of seven.

5. This worship, however introduced, is upheld by its antiquity; all their other customs, which are at once perverse and disgusting, owe their strength to their very badness. The most degraded out of other races, scorning their national beliefs, brought to them their contributions and presents. This augmented the wealth of the Jews, as also did the fact, that among themselves they are inflexibly honest and ever ready to shew compassion, though they regard the rest of mankind with all the hatred of enemies. They sit apart at meals, they sleep apart, and though, as a nation, they are singularly prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; among themselves nothing is unlawful. Circumcision was adopted by them as a mark of difference from other men. Those who come over to their religion adopt the practice, and have this lesson first instilled into them, to despise all gods, to disown their country, and set at nought parents, children, and brethren. Still they provide for the increase of their numbers. It is a crime among them to kill any newly-born infant. They hold that the souls of all who perish in battle or by the hands of the executioner are immortal. Hence a passion for propagating their race and a contempt for death. They are wont to bury rather than to burn their dead, following in this the Egyptian custom; they bestow the same care on the dead, and they hold the same belief about the lower world. Quite different is their faith about things divine. The Egyptians worship many animals and images of monstrous form; the Jews have purely mental conceptions of Deity, as one in essence. They call those profane who make representations of God in human shape out of perishable materials. They believe that Being to be supreme and eternal, neither capable of representation, nor of decay. They therefore do not allow any images to stand in their cities, much less in their temples. This flattery is not paid to their kings, nor this honour to our Emperors. From the fact, however, that their priests used to chant to the music of flutes and cymbals, and to wear garlands of ivy, and that a golden vine was found in the temple, some have thought that they worshipped father Liber, the conqueror of the East, though their institutions do not by any means harmonize with the theory; for Liber established a festive and cheerful worship, while the Jewish religion is tasteless and mean.

 

Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer

Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer is an aggadic-midrashic work on Genesis, part of Exodus, and a few sentences of Numbers, ascribed to R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus (80-118 C.E.), a disciple of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai and teacher of Rabbi Akiva. It comprises fifty four chapters. Some parts appear to be written as late as the 8th century CE, although there are older elements. Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer comprises ethical guidelines, legends and folklore, as well as astronomical discussions related to the story of the Creation. Many ancient customs that are not found in other sources are described in this work.

The Pirke appears, according to Zunz, to be incomplete, and to be merely a fragment of a larger work. S. Sachs, on the other hand, thinks that it was compiled from two previous works by the same author, the relation of the two productions to each other being that of text and commentary, the text giving merely the story of the Bible, which was interrupted by the commentary in the form of the Aggadah, and the commentary being intended for reading during the ten days of penitence. Meir ha-Levi Horwitz thinks that the author developed those Bible stories which bore relation to the entire nation, dealing lightly with those that concerned only individuals.

Jost was the first to point out that in the 30th chapter, in which at the end the author distinctly alludes to the three stages of the Muslim conquest, that of Arabia, of Spain, and of Rome (830 C.E.), the names of Fatima and Ayesha occur beside that of Ishmael, leading to the conclusion that the book originated in a time when Islam was predominant in Asia Minor. As in ch. xxxvi. two brothers reigning simultaneously are mentioned, after whose reign the Messiah shall come, the work might be ascribed to the beginning of the 9th century, for about that time the two sons of Harun al-Rashid, El-Amin and El-Mamun, were ruling over the Islamic realm. If a statement in ch. xxviii. did not point to an even earlier date, approximately the same date might be inferred from the enumeration of the four powerful kingdoms and the substitution of Ishmael for one of the four which are enumerated in the Talmud and the Mekilta.

The author seems to have been a rabbi of the Land of Israel; this appears not only from the fact that some of the customs to which he refers (in ch. xiii. and xx.) are known only as customs of the Land of Israel, but also from the fact that nearly all the authorities he quotes are from the Land of Israel, the exceptions being Rav Mesharshia and Rav Shemaiah, who are from Babylonia. The work is ascribed to R. Eliezer (80-118 C.E.), although he was a tanna, while the book itself the Pirḳe Abot is quoted. Late Talmudic authorities belonging to the 3rd century C.E., like Shemaiah (ch. xxiii.), Ze'era (ch. xxi., xxix.), and Shila (ch. xlii., xliv.), are also quoted, indicating that the work was edited or additions were made to it after the time of R. Eliezar.

The work is divided into 54 chapters, which may be divided into seven groups.

Supposedly a 10th century Palestinian Jewish author gives
the word of Roman era Ribbi Eli`ezer Hyrkanus that
"[God] blessed Shem and his sons, black and beautiful,
giving them the habitable earth.", his Pirqe, daf 28a.
This blackness was not as dark as Ham's raven similied
black skin.


Amos 9: (King James Version)
7: Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

Isaiah 43: (King James Version)
3: For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 

2 Kings 5 (King James Version)

1Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.

2And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.

3And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

4And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.

5And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

6And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.

7And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.

8And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.

9So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.

10And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

11But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

12Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

13And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

14Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

15And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.

16But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.

17And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.

18In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.

19And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

20But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.

21So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?

22And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.

23And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him.

24And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.

25But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.

26And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?

27The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

On differentiating between White people and Lepers.

 

Leviticus 13 (King James Version)

1And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying,

2When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:

3And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.

4If the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days:

5And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; then the priest shall shut him up seven days more:

6And the priest shall look on him again the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague be somewhat dark, and the plague spread not in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean.

7But if the scab spread much abroad in the skin, after that he hath been seen of the priest for his cleansing, he shall be seen of the priest again.

8And if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy.

9When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought unto the priest;

10And the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the rising be white in the skin, and it have turned the hair white, and there be quick raw flesh in the rising;

11It is an old leprosy in the skin of his flesh, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean, and shall not shut him up: for he is unclean.

12And if a leprosy break out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from his head even to his foot, wheresoever the priest looketh;

13Then the priest shall consider: and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean.

14But when raw flesh appeareth in him, he shall be unclean.

15And the priest shall see the raw flesh, and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh is unclean: it is a leprosy.

16Or if the raw flesh turn again, and be changed unto white, he shall come unto the priest;

17And the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the plague be turned into white; then the priest shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: he is clean.

18The flesh also, in which, even in the skin thereof, was a boil, and is healed,

19And in the place of the boil there be a white rising, or a bright spot, white, and somewhat reddish, and it be shewed to the priest;

20And if, when the priest seeth it, behold, it be in sight lower than the skin, and the hair thereof be turned white; the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague of leprosy broken out of the boil.

21But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hairs therein, and if it be not lower than the skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days:

22And if it spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague.

23But if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not, it is a burning boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

24Or if there be any flesh, in the skin whereof there is a hot burning, and the quick flesh that burneth have a white bright spot, somewhat reddish, or white;

25Then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the hair in the bright spot be turned white, and it be in sight deeper than the skin; it is a leprosy broken out of the burning: wherefore the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy.

26But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hair in the bright spot, and it be no lower than the other skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days:

27And the priest shall look upon him the seventh day: and if it be spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy.

28And if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not in the skin, but it be somewhat dark; it is a rising of the burning, and the priest shall pronounce him clean: for it is an inflammation of the burning.

29If a man or woman have a plague upon the head or the beard;

30Then the priest shall see the plague: and, behold, if it be in sight deeper than the skin; and there be in it a yellow thin hair; then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a dry scall, even a leprosy upon the head or beard.

31And if the priest look on the plague of the scall, and, behold, it be not in sight deeper than the skin, and that there is no black hair in it; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague of the scall seven days:

32And in the seventh day the priest shall look on the plague: and, behold, if the scall spread not, and there be in it no yellow hair, and the scall be not in sight deeper than the skin;

33He shall be shaven, but the scall shall he not shave; and the priest shall shut up him that hath the scall seven days more:

34And in the seventh day the priest shall look on the scall: and, behold, if the scall be not spread in the skin, nor be in sight deeper than the skin; then the priest shall pronounce him clean: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean.

35But if the scall spread much in the skin after his cleansing;

36Then the priest shall look on him: and, behold, if the scall be spread in the skin, the priest shall not seek for yellow hair; he is unclean.

37But if the scall be in his sight at a stay, and that there is black hair grown up therein; the scall is healed, he is clean: and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

38If a man also or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots, even white bright spots;

39Then the priest shall look: and, behold, if the bright spots in the skin of their flesh be darkish white; it is a freckled spot that groweth in the skin; he is clean.

40And the man whose hair is fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean.

41And he that hath his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet is he clean.

42And if there be in the bald head, or bald forehead, a white reddish sore; it is a leprosy sprung up in his bald head, or his bald forehead.

43Then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the rising of the sore be white reddish in his bald head, or in his bald forehead, as the leprosy appeareth in the skin of the flesh;

44He is a leprous man, he is unclean: the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head.

45And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean.

46All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

47The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it be a woollen garment, or a linen garment;

48Whether it be in the warp, or woof; of linen, or of woollen; whether in a skin, or in any thing made of skin;

49And if the plague be greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a plague of leprosy, and shall be shewed unto the priest:

50And the priest shall look upon the plague, and shut up it that hath the plague seven days:

51And he shall look on the plague on the seventh day: if the plague be spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in a skin, or in any work that is made of skin; the plague is a fretting leprosy; it is unclean.

52He shall therefore burn that garment, whether warp or woof, in woollen or in linen, or any thing of skin, wherein the plague is: for it is a fretting leprosy; it shall be burnt in the fire.

53And if the priest shall look, and, behold, the plague be not spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin;

54Then the priest shall command that they wash the thing wherein the plague is, and he shall shut it up seven days more:

55And the priest shall look on the plague, after that it is washed: and, behold, if the plague have not changed his colour, and the plague be not spread; it is unclean; thou shalt burn it in the fire; it is fret inward, whether it be bare within or without.

56And if the priest look, and, behold, the plague be somewhat dark after the washing of it; then he shall rend it out of the garment, or out of the skin, or out of the warp, or out of the woof:

57And if it appear still in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a spreading plague: thou shalt burn that wherein the plague is with fire.

58And the garment, either warp, or woof, or whatsoever thing of skin it be, which thou shalt wash, if the plague be departed from them, then it shall be washed the second time, and shall be clean.

59This is the law of the plague of leprosy in a garment of woollen or linen, either in the warp, or woof, or any thing of skins, to pronounce it clean, or to pronounce it unclean.

 


Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 1:47 PM EDT
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Sunday, 15 June 2014
Understanding the Early Church 1
Topic: Ancient History
The oldest thought of ancient history had its roots in Satan’s first story to Adam and Eve—that they could be as God and that they would never die. From the moment the first man and woman partook of the forbidden fruit, Satan’s word to them grew, and sin increased. By the time of Noah, man had become so thoroughly corrupt and intermingled with the demonic realm that God sent the Flood.

After the Flood, it took only a few generations before man had again embraced the occult. This was evidenced by the building of the Tower of Babel, which is believed to have been the first ziggurat, an occult worship tower with a shrine at the top. Throughout the cradle of civilization, the occult mysteries flourished.

All of the ancient mystery religions during the Bible era were pantheistic. Pantheism originated in the city of Babylon in Mesopotamia and from there spread rapidly in all directions to cover the face of the earth. Hinduism is one of the offshoots of the original Babylonian pantheism (via the Aryans of ancient Persia). And Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism. All of the Eastern religions of today are ultimately traceable to ancient Babylon, where the post-Flood rebellion against God began.

These occult forces completely surrounded Israel. To the west were the Egyptian Mysteries (also known as the Mysteries of Osiris). To the south were the Arabian Mysteries; the chief god of this pantheon was called Allah. To the east were the Babylonian and Persian Mysteries (respectively known as the Mysteries of Semiramis and the Mithraic Mysteries, or Zoroastrianism). To the north were the Assyrian and Phoenician Mysteries (including Baal worship) and later on, the Mysteries of Greece and Rome (referred to as the Mysteries of Eleusis, Dionysus, Bacchus, etc.). All of these pantheistic religions—at their base—were the same.

Although God had scattered the people from Babylon during the building of the Tower of Babel, this did not put an end to occultism; it only slowed its progress. As new civilizations arose in Egypt, Persia, India, etc., the occult practices of old were revived. The people had merely taken their beliefs and practices with them.

Although some changes and modifications had taken place in these “new” mysteries to suit the developing cultures of the various language groups, the basic tenets and practices remained the same. All of the ancient mysteries, for example, had a priesthood that ruled the country or empire in association with the appointed priest-king. In order to enter the priesthood, one had to go through a series of secret occult rituals and initiations. When an initiate reached the highest level (or inner circle) of the priesthood, the secret doctrine was revealed. It always included the worship of YHWH, more frequently referred to in the mysteries as the God of Hosts, or the God of the Universe, and usually symbolized by the fish or lamb. This should have sent a clear message to the people of the day that their religions were secertly inspired. By the time of Abraham and Lot, the human state had degenerated to the point where God once again intervened. Those were the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, when perversion and immorality reached new heights.

Although Abraham was himself not perfect, he was a man who sought to do right before God. Because he and his family were the only ones left who were willing to acknowledge God, God honored Abraham’s faith by choosing to create a nation from his seed. God would work through Abraham and his descendents, the Israelites, to keep His truth and the way of righteousness alive in the midst of a spiritually darkened world. After a few hundred years, when Abraham’s seed had sufficiently multiplied, there were enough Israelites to constitute a physical nation. At that time, God led His people out of Egypt through His servant Moses.

The history of Israel would be one of victory and defeat. When the Israelites were obedient to God they prospered, and none of their wicked neighbors could stand against them. However, when the Israelites began to fall for the spiritual lies of the surrounding nations, these same powers oppressed them. God sent a steady stream of holy prophets to teach Israel His ways and to warn them of what would happen if they did not obey. Much like the relationship between a loving father and his child, while longing for his child (Israel) to be obedient, there were times when that child was rebellious and needed to be disciplined before something much worse happened.

The Israelites, through Moses, were instructed to bring regular animal offerings or sacrifices before God. These sacrifices symbolized the payment for their sins, reminding them that the result of sin is death. These offerings were also symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, whose death would pay the penalty for the sins of the entire world at the appointed time.

After the proper groundwork had been laid, God sent His Son. The message of forgiveness and the promise of eternal life to those who believe in Christ would be sent forth from Israel to all nations. Although the gospel (the good news) spread in all directions, it was not accepted by all peoples and met with more resistance in some places than in others. Those missionaries who carried the message into Babylon, Persia, and India were violently rejected; only a small number of people believed and received the truth there. The hold of Truth on these countries was so complete that, to this day, only a small percent of the Orient believes in Christ. For example, Hinduism (the oldest surviving pantheistic religion) is still being practiced by a majority of India’s inhabitants.

The story would be different in the Mediterranean where the gospel was accepted by large numbers of people in spite of fierce persecution against those who believed in Christ. Within a few generations there were so many Christians in this region that the high priests of the Mysteries of Greece, Rome, and Egypt began to lose their control. The teachings of Christ went head-to-head against the pantheistic beliefs and occult practices of the priests, exposing them for what they were. Finally, the occult priests were forced to go underground in order to keep their secret knowledge and traditions alive.

These occult teachings have been handed down from generation to generation. They were preserved in the Western world by the secret societies of Europe, which were a continuation of the ancient occult priesthoods. Satan’s plan was to keep his priesthood and secret doctrines alive until, being sufficient in number and power, the priesthood could once again seize control over his lost territories.

Gnosticism, the most effective and widely accepted form of pantheism, was more clever than the others, developing the occult’s only major counter-explanation to the person and message of Christ. The Gnostics were the chief docrine of the Apostle Paul and the early Church, relentlessly pursuing Christians wherever they went, long before the mystery religions began to thrive.

According to Masonic historian Albert Pike, Gnosticism was an offshoot of Kabalism—an oral occult tradition which was adhered to by a minority of the Jews. At some point, which remains uncertain, these occult teachings were reduced to writing, and the Kabalah was born. On page 626 of Morals and Dogma—the most esteemed work of Freemasonry—Pike states, “The Kabalah is the key of the occult sciences; and the Gnostics were born of the Kabalists.”

Kabalism was merely a unique version of the ancient mysteries specifically designed to teach God’s chosen people. Unlike other mystery religions, its teachings dealt specifically with Israel, offering occult explanations to the revelations of the prophets—complete with a mystical interpretation of Israel’s history. Moses, for example, was presented in their teaching as an occult figure whose purpose was to initiate the Israelites into the “enlightened,” more advanced teachings of Egypt.

If Kabalism could be viewed as the occult counter-explanation of the Old Testament, Gnosticism—existing as a further development of Kabalism and addressing Satan’s “new problem” posed by the risen Christ—would serve as the main occult attack against the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, Kabalism and Gnosticism together, composed a type of occult parallel to the Old and New Testaments.

Gnosticism initially attracted a strong Jewish element. However, it rapidly gained Gentile followers until it soon became a predominantly Gentile movement. Gnosticism gained favor among the ancient priesthoods, becoming a magnet for many occult adepts. Branches of Gnosticism were the first significant secret societies in the centuries following Christ, with various degrees or levels of initiation, and the inner circle of initiates worshipping Satan.

As the followers of Christ increased throughout the Roman Empire, so did the persecution. Believers were relentlessly pursued by various Jewish sects and the  Roman system. In spite of this, and partly because of it, Christianity multiplied and spread.

By the time of Constantine (around 300 AD), Christianity’s potential as a political force was recognized. The Roman Empire utilized the integration of Christianity to consolidate its authority. To achieve this consolidation, the pagan Emperor Constantine—in an unprecedented move—lifted the ban against Christianity and placed believers in various offices throughout the empire. Constantine’s plan of unification worked, and a politically “Christianized Rome” was born. Without realizing the full implications, Christianity had been wed with a christian and pagan mixed system. Meanwhile, antagonism continued toward true Christians, although to a lesser extent.

From the time of Constantine’s conception of a “universal” Church, its ceremonies, beliefs, and practices reflected the strong pantheistic influence of its pagan roots. For example, the concept of monks and monasteries existed for hundreds of years within Buddhism, long before “Roman Christianity” was born. It is interesting to note that the pope’s two-pointed headdress, the Mitre, is virtually identical to that worn by ancient Babylonian priests. The veneration of Mary is similar to the goddess worship of the ancient mystery religions (Semiramis in Babylon, Isis in Egypt, Diana in Greece, Cybele in Rome, etc.). And purgatory, while not identical to reincarnation, is a big step in that direction—promoting the idea of being able to work out one’s salvation after death.

Even some of the medieval Church’s symbols were borrowed from the ancient mystery religions. The all-seeing eye of Lucifer exists in many churches and shrines in Europe— often located above the altar. The ancient obelisk in Saint Peter’s Square (Rome) was transported from Egypt, where it was formerly used in fertility worship and represented male sexuality. These examples show how the medieval Church blended the ancient mysteries with certain Christian concepts to form a type of “Christianized” paganism.

In the 1100s and 1200s, a gradual renewal of the true gospel in Europe prompted persecution from the “official” Roman Catholic Church. This led to one of the bloodiest periods in known history. For the next few hundred years, the Vatican’s pursuit of “ whom they felt was heretics” was relentless. The Roman church was able to maintain and enhance its political strength by torturing and executing Christians who opposed them. Truly Christian groups such as the Gnostics and Cathers, who would not bow to Rome’s authority, were hunted down and put to death.  

This was also the time of the Crusades and medieval religious orders. The Order of the Knights of the Temple—also known as Knights Templars—came into existence in 1118. The Knights Templars, under the blessing and protection of the papacy, grew in stature and power.

As a military order the Knights Templars played a leading role in a series of Crusades aimed at defeating the Muslims and conquering Jerusalem. These Crusades resulted in unspeakable atrocities against Jews, Arabs, and Christians throughout Europe and the Middle East. During the following two centuries, the Knights Templars—entrusted with great wealth by European nobility—became the world’s most influential bankers.

While they were perceived by many as a genuine, devout Christian order, it was later discovered that they were a secret Luciferic society operating under the guise of Christianity. Surprised and outraged, most Europeans felt betrayed. Although Pope Clement V initially protected the order, public opinion modified his position. To avoid further embarrassment the Pope reluctantly agreed to their punishment. After a bitter and prolonged trial overseen by King Philip IV of France, several of the order’s top leaders—including Grand Master Jacques de Molay—were sentenced to death for their crimes. Those Templars who escaped punishment went underground and would later resurface under a different name, to carry on their religious agenda.

As a result of the Templar scandal, the disaster of the Crusades, Rome’s continued abuse of power and wealth, and the ever-increasing persecution of true Christians—fear, anger, and distrust grew among Europeans. After centuries of bondage to Rome, an increasing number of people began to openly seek religious freedom. In 1517, a Catholic priest who had witnessed the excessive opulence, corruption, and apostasy of the Church, took a stand. In defiance of Rome, Martin Luther nailed his 95-point thesis to the door of the castle church in Wittenburg, publicly denouncing the errors of Catholicism. The Protestant Reformation had begun.

In spite of the severe persecution of Protestant Reformation leaders, the “heretical” movement grew. The “Church’s” influence became threatened. To counter the Reformation, the Papacy launched a new round of Inquisitions against all who rejected her authority. A new order called the Society of Jesus was created to attack the powerful new movement as millions began to search the Scriptures for God’s truth.

This “secret” order of Catholicism—also known as the Jesuits—was founded in 1534 by Ignatius Loyola, and would become the “eyes and ears” of the Vatican. Its supreme aim would be the destruction of Protestantism which was based on the doctrine of “Sola Scripture” (only Scripture), and declared that the only authority for Christians must be Jesus Christ himself, according to the Bible. To accomplish this feat the Society would work through education, political blackmail, and brute force. From their inception, the Jesuits would be used as the main weapon against uprisings.

The medieval order of the Knights Templars, on the other hand, would re-emerge in 1717 as the order of Freemasonry.* The Masonic Lodge represented the beginning of an occult revival in Western society. Although rooted in Catholicism, Freemasonry was publicly cast as the arch-rival of Rome. This perception would allow the order to penetrate Protestant circles—the ultimate goal being to bring the “lost sheep” back under Vatican authority.

Various organizations were established to accomplish the order’s objectives. The most infamous Masonic offshoot of the 18th century was the Illuminati, founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt. Weishaupt, a Bavarian, had been both a high-level Freemason and a Jesuit. His society, like that of the Knights Templars, consisted of initiates who had been “illumined” by the secret teachings of Lucifer—hence the name “Illuminati.” Even though the Illuminati would only exist for a decade before being exposed, its impact during that short time was significant. It had infiltrated some of the highest political and financial circles of Europe and the United States. The “brotherhood’s” purpose was to create a Luciferic world order. After the Illuminati was exposed, its initiates continued to operate within the Masonic hierarchy.

During the century that followed, a wide variety of occult societies were established. These groups include the Theosophical Society, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ordo Templi Orientis and a host of other “illuminized” orders and fraternities—all founded by high-level Freemasons. It was largely through these Masonically-inspired organizations that the New Age movement was born.

Since the beginning of this movement in the late 1800s, the one-world agenda has gained steady momentum. Today, both the Jesuits and Freemasons are working through their network to achieve unity under a new religious and political order. The revived Roman empire foretold in Scripture (Daniel 7-8) is taking shape; and the age-old religious conspiracy, master-minded by Satan, is nearing completion (Rev. 13-14). Thankfully, Satan’s reign will last only for a short time. The battle between God and Satan over man’s eternal destiny—which began with Adam and Eve—will finally end when Jesus Christ returns.

Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 11:46 PM EDT
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Thursday, 1 May 2014
A Slave to the Matrix
Today’s world is a strange place. We are inundated with signals from early on in life, encouraging each of us to walk a particular path, establishing blinders on us along the way to discourage us from looking for alternatives to what the herd is doing or thinking. Life is so complex that overtime, if we are paying attention, we realize that there are an infinite number of possibilities to what the human experience could be, and we come see that the world is on fire because individuals all too infrequently question why things are the way they are, failing to notice that their mindset or behavior needs adjustment in favor of more intelligent, common sensical, or sustainable patterns of existence.
Not meant to be overtly critical of anyone’s lifestyle choices or personal situation, the following 16 signs that you’re a slave to the matrix are meant purely as an observational approach to helping you identify the areas of your life where you may be missing an opportunity to liberate yourself from someone else’s self-destructive design for your life.
Read on, and please take a moment to comment below with anything you’d like to add to the list or object to.
You pay taxes to people you’d like to see locked up in jail. This is perhaps the biggest indicator that we are slaves to the matrix. The traditional notion of slavery conjures up images of people in shackles forced to work on plantations to support rich plantation owners. The modern day version of this is forced taxation, where our incomes are automatically docked before we ever see the money, regardless of whether or not we approve of how the money is spent.
You go to the doctor, but you’re still sick. Modern medical care, for all of it’s scientific progress, has sadly become sick care, where we are rarely advised to eat well and tend to our mental and physical health, but instead are routinely advised to consume expensive medications and procedures that are pushed by the for-profit healthcare matrix. 
You’ve picked Team Democrat or Team Republican and argue with your friends, family and co-workers about politics. This is what the control strategy of divide and conquer looks like in our society. Both of the major parties are corrupt through and through, and independent candidates are not even allowed to participate in public debates. By believing in one of these parties and burning your personal energy on arguing with other ordinary people you are turning over your soul the matrix, and doing your share in making sure that ‘we the people’ will never be united against corruption.
You work hard doing something you hate to earn fiat dollars. Work is important and money does pay the bills, however, so many people lose the best years of their lives doing things they hate, just for money. The truth about money today is that we do not have money, but instead, inflationary fiat currency that is privately owned and manipulated. Since it is still necessary to get by in this world, it is best that you get more value for your time by doing something you enjoy or by working with people you do not despise. It is easier than you may think to live on less money than we believe we need, we just have to be willing to go against the grain realize this.
You’re willing to accrue personal debt to fund the acquisition of a consumer oriented lifestyle. Each time a credit card is swiped it creates digits on the balance sheets of the banks that are most involved with the financial looting of the world today. These digits are then multiplied electronically by the fractional reserve system, which exponentially increases the power of these institutions. To participate in this, and by agreeing to pay this fake money back with interest, in order to maintain a certain lifestyle, is a strong indication that you are bound by one of the main tenets of the matrix – consumerism.
You converse with real people about the ongoing happenings of TV shows. TV is the most potent tool used for mind control, and the ‘programming’ that is available, while certainly cool, fun, or entertaining is geared to reinforce certain behaviors amongst the masses. Dramatizing the ego’s importance, over sexualizing everything, glorifying violence, and teaching submissiveness to phony authority are the main features of modern TV. By taking what is happening onscreen and making it a part of your real life, you are doing your job of supporting the matrix’s desire to confuse us about the nature of reality, proving that something doesn’t have to actually happen in order for it to feel real to people.
You don’t have anything to hide from total surveillance. If it does not bother you that someone, somewhere, working for somebody is watching you, listening to your conversations, and monitoring your movements, then, you are a good slave to the matrix. Invisible surveillance is an insidious form of thought control, and by using the logic of, ‘I have nothing to hide, therefore, it will do me no harm to be surveilled,’ then you are mindlessly admitting that you have an earthly master and are not of sovereign mind and body.
You think the world would be safer if only governments had guns. This is a violent world, and criminals engage in criminality against honest people at every level of society, including from within the government. Sure, in a perfect world, weapons wouldn’t be necessary for anyone but, sadly, our world is anything but perfect, and firearms are indeed a very effective form of protection against common criminals and abusive governments alike. The willingness to forego your right to self-defenseis a sign that you’ve relegated personal responsibility to someone else. Having the masses abdicate personal responsibility is one of the most important aspects of controlling them. Welcome to thematrix.
You knowingly drink fluoridated water. Of all the health debates taking place today, the topic of fluoridated water is the easiest to understand, for it is a toxic by-product of an industrial process… poison. Water is supposedly fluoridated to aid in dental health, which is debatable in itself, but if this were so, then the involuntary fluoridation of public water is a medication without your consent… a form of slavery. Knowing this and continuing to drink fluoridated water is a sign that you’re content with your slavery to the matrix. Here are 18 scientifically validated reasons to end public water fluoridation.
You knowingly consume toxic poisons like MSG and Aspartame. These two chemicals are widely known to be toxic to the human body. Knowing this and continuing to poison yourself with tasty, but chemical-laden processed foods is a sign that the matrix has programmed you to place less value on your health and future than on your immediate gratification.
You depend on the pharmaceutical industrial complex for the management of your own mental health. The use of psychotropic medicines is rising rapidly in our society because people have been convinced that mental and emotional states can be classified as diseases, while the truth about natural mental health has been obfuscated by corporate media and a for-profit medical establishment. If you’re taking psychotropic medications, then you are under one of the most potent forms of mind control available. Part of this control is to convince you that you have no authority over your own mind. This is perhaps the matrix’s most terrible lie, and by willingly taking thesepsychotropic medications you are conforming to the worst kind of slavery, and inhibiting your natural mental and emotional responses to the life stressors that are signaling to you that you need to change your behavior and habits.
You haven’t yet stopped watching your local and national news programming. The mainstream news media is a tool of control and manipulation, and by continuing to support their ideas and world views by giving them your attention you are volunteering to be a slave to this not-so-subtle form of mental programming. Even the local news is scripted at the national level by agents of the handful of corporations tasked with shaping our opinions of events.
You’re more concerned with televised sports or other mindless distractions than you are with the quality of your natural environment. The Deepwater Horizon, Alberta Tar Sands, the rise of Fracking, the sacrifice of the Amazon, and Fukushima are all life-changing events that will severely impact our future on planet earth. To be unconcerned with all of this while tuning into a never-ending stream of sports trivia and distraction-based living is a sign that your sense of self-preservation has been stolen and replaced with an impulsive tendency for triviality and escapism.
You’re skeptical of any area of life that hasn’t been ‘proven’ or validated by modern science.The very essence of science is the inquiry into the unknown, implying that until science can grasp something, it is unexplainable. By discrediting or ridiculing experiences that other people have, which yet evade scientific understanding, like near-death experiences, acupuncture, or the life changing effects of Ayahuasca, then you are slavishly reducing your understanding of the world to a narrow range of possibilities. The matrix is made possible by the efforts of volunteer gatekeepers who are unwilling to think outside of the box.
You’ve never questioned the popularized version of ancient history and the origins of our civilization. There are many unanswered questions about the origins of the human race that point to a different version of human history than what is taught in school. Read 2o history questions they refuse to answer in school to discover some of the many ways in which our history has been hijacked. By never questioning what we’ve been told about our origin we are acquiescing to many of the imposed belief systems and narrow-banded views of human potential that the matrix promotes.
You haven’t yet realized that you are a spiritual being living a human experience. 
If you can relate to any of the items on this list, then the matrix has you, and it is now your duty to engage more deeply in your liberation.

Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 11:17 AM EDT
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Saturday, 26 April 2014
A Catechism of The Universal Pentecostal Church (1)
Topic: doctrine
Chapter 1- The Universal Pentecostal Church is based on Gnosis, the knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of interior, intuitive means. Although the UPCIM rests on personal religious experience, it is a mistake to assume all such experience results in Gnostic recognitions. It is nearer the truth to say that UPCIM expresses a specific religious experience, an experience that does not lend itself to the language of theology or philosophy, but which is instead closely affinitized to, and expresses itself through, the medium of myth. Indeed, one finds that most scriptures take the forms of myths. The term “myth” should not here be taken to mean “stories that are not true”, but rather, that the truths embodied in these myths are of a different order from the dogmas of theology or the statements of philosophy.
 
The Cosmos

1- All religious traditions acknowledge that the world is imperfect. Where they differ is in the explanations which they offer to account for this imperfection and in what they suggest might be done about it. The UPCIM have their own -- perhaps quite startling -- view of these matters: they hold that the world is flawed because it was created in a flawed manner.

2- Like Buddhism, UPCIM begins with the fundamental recognition that earthly life is filled with suffering. In order to nourish themselves, all forms of life consume each other, thereby visiting pain, fear, and death upon one another (even herbivorous animals live by destroying the life of plants). In addition, so-called natural catastrophes -- earthquakes, floods, fires, drought, volcanic eruptions -- bring further suffering and death in their wake. Human beings, with their complex physiology and psychology, are aware not only of these painful features of earthly existence. They also suffer from the frequent recognition that they are strangers living in a world that is flawed and absurd.

3- Many religions advocate that humans are to be blamed for the imperfections of the world. Supporting this view, they interpret the Genesis myth as declaring that transgressions committed by the first human pair brought about a “fall” of creation resulting in the present corrupt state of the world. Gnostics respond that this interpretation of the myth is false. The blame for the world’s failings lies not with humans, but with the creator. Since -- especially in the monotheistic religions -- the creator is God, this Gnostic position appears blasphemous, and is often viewed with dismay even by non-believers.

4- Ways of evading the recognition of the flawed creation and its flawed creator have been devised over and over, but none of these arguments have impressed Gnostics. The ancient Greeks, especially the Platonists, advised people to look to the harmony of the universe, so that by venerating its grandeur they might forget their immediate afflictions. But since this harmony still contains the cruel flaws, forlornness and alienation of existence, this advice is considered of little value by Gnostics. Nor is the Eastern idea of Karma regarded by Gnostics as an adequate explanation of creation’s imperfection and suffering. Karma at best can only explain how the chain of suffering and imperfection works. It does not inform us in the first place why such a sorrowful and malign system should exist.

5- Once the initial shock of the “unusual” or “blasphemous” nature of the Gnostic explanation for suffering and imperfection of the world wears off, one may begin to recognize that it is in fact the most sensible of all explanations. To appreciate it fully, however, a familiarity with the Gnostic conception of the Godhead is required, both in its original essence as the True God and in its debased manifestation as the false or creator God.

Deity

6- The Gnostic God concept is more subtle than that of most religions. In its way, it unites and reconciles the recognitions of Monotheism and Polytheism, as well as of Theism, Deism and Pantheism.

7- There is a true, ultimate and transcendent God, who is beyond all created universes and who never created anything in the sense in which the word “create” is ordinarily understood. While this True God did not fashion or create anything, He (or, It) “emanated” or brought forth from within Himself the substance of all there is in all the worlds, visible and invisible. In a certain sense, it may therefore be true to say that all is God, for all consists of the substance of God. By the same token, it must also be recognized that many portions of the original divine essence have been projected so far from their source that they underwent unwholesome changes in the process. To worship the cosmos, or nature, or embodied creatures is thus tantamount to worshipping alienated and corrupt portions of the emanated divine essence.

8- The basic Gnostic myth has many variations, but all of these refer to Aeons, intermediate deific beings who exist between the ultimate, True God and ourselves. They, together with the True God, comprise the realm of Fullness (Pleroma) wherein the potency of divinity operates fully. The Fullness stands in contrast to our existential state, which in comparison may be called emptiness.

9- One of the aeonial beings who bears the name Sophia (“Wisdom”) is of great importance to the Gnostic world view. In the course of her journeyings, Sophia came to emanate from her own being a flawed consciousness, a being who became the creator of the material and psychic cosmos, all of which he created in the image of his own flaw. This being, unaware of his origins, imagined himself to be the ultimate and absolute God. Since he took the already existing divine essence and fashioned it into various forms, he is also called the Demiurgos or “half-maker” There is an authentic half, a true deific component within creation, but it is not recognized by the half-maker and by his cosmic minions, the Archons or “rulers”. 
 
The Human Being

10- Human nature mirrors the duality found in the world: in part it was made by the false creator God and in part it consists of the light of the True God. Humankind contains a perishable physical and psychic component, as well as a spiritual component which is a fragment of the divine essence. This latter part is often symbolically referred to as the “divine spark”. The recognition of this dual nature of the world and of the human being has earned the Gnostic tradition the epithet of “dualist”.

11- Humans are generally ignorant of the divine spark resident within them. This ignorance is fostered in human nature by the influence of the false creator and his Archons, who together are intent upon keeping men and women ignorant of their true nature and destiny. Anything that causes us to remain attached to earthly things serves to keep us in enslavement to these lower cosmic rulers. Death releases the divine spark from its lowly prison, but if there has not been a substantial work of Gnosis undertaken by the soul prior to death, it becomes likely that the divine spark will be hurled back into, and then re-embodied within, the pangs and slavery of the physical world.

12- Not all humans are spiritual (pneumatics) and thus ready for Gnosis and liberation. Some are earthbound and materialistic beings (hyletics), who recognize only the physical reality. Others live largely in their psyche (psychics). Such people usually mistake the Demiurge for the True God and have little or no awareness of the spiritual world beyond matter and mind.

13- In the course of history, humans progress from materialistic sensate slavery, by way of ethical religiosity, to spiritual freedom and liberating Gnosis. As the scholar G. Quispel wrote: “The world-spirit in exile must go through the Inferno of matter and the Purgatory of morals to arrive at the spiritual Paradise.” This kind of evolution of consciousness was envisioned by the Gnostics, long before the concept of evolution was known. 
Salvation

14- Evolutionary forces alone are insufficient, however, to bring about spiritual freedom. Humans are caught in a predicament consisting of physical existence combined with ignorance of their true origins, their essential nature and their ultimate destiny. To be liberated from this predicament, human beings require help, although they must also contribute their own efforts.

15- From earliest times Messengers of the Light have come forth from the True God in order to assist humans in their quest for Gnosis. Only a few of these salvific figures are mentioned in Gnostic scripture; some of the most important are Seth (the third Son of Adam),  Krishna, Buddha,  Jesus, and the Prophet Muhammad. The majority of Gnostics always looked to Jesus as the principal savior figure (the Soter).

16- Gnostics do not look to salvation from sin (original or other), but rather from the ignorance of which sin is a consequence. Ignorance -- whereby is meant ignorance of spiritual realities -- is dispelled only by Gnosis, and the decisive revelation of Gnosis is brought by the Messengers of Light, especially by Christ, the Logos of the True God. It is not by His suffering and death but by His life of teaching and His establishing of mysteries that Christ has performed His work of salvation.

17- The Gnostic concept of salvation, like other Gnostic concepts, is a subtle one. On the one hand, Gnostic salvation may easily be mistaken for an unmediated individual experience, a sort of spiritual do-it-yourself project. Gnostics hold that the potential for Gnosis, and thus, of salvation is present in every man and woman, and that salvation is not vicarious but individual. At the same time, they also acknowledge that Gnosis and salvation can be, indeed must be, stimulated and facilitated in order to effectively arise within consciousness. This stimulation is supplied by Messengers of Light who, in addition to their teachings, establish salvific mysteries (sacraments) which can be administered by apostles of the Messengers and their successors.

18- One needs also remember that knowledge of our true nature -- as well as other associated realizations -- are withheld from us by our very condition of earthly existence. The True God of transcendence is unknown in this world, in fact He is often called the Unknown Father. It is thus obvious that revelation from on High is needed to bring about salvation. The indwelling spark must be awakened from its terrestrial slumber by the saving knowledge that comes “from without”. 
Conduct

19- If the words “ethics” or “morality” are taken to mean a system of rules, then Gnosticism is opposed to them both. Such systems usually originate with the Demiurge and are covertly designed to serve his purposes. If, on the other hand, morality is said to consist of an inner integrity arising from the illumination of the indwelling spark, then the Gnostic will embrace this spiritually informed existential ethic as ideal.

20- To the Gnostic, commandments and rules are not salvific; they are not substantially conducive to salvation. Rules of conduct may serve numerous ends, including the structuring of an ordered and peaceful society, and the maintenance of harmonious relations within social groups. Rules, however, are not relevant to salvation; that is brought about only by Gnosis. Morality therefore needs to be viewed primarily in temporal and secular terms; it is ever subject to changes and modifications in accordance with the spiritual development of the individual.

21- As noted in the discussion above, “hyletic materialists” usually have little interest in morality, while “psychic disciplinarians” often grant to it a great importance. In contrast, “Pneumatic spiritual” persons are generally more concerned with other, higher matters. Different historical periods also require variant attitudes regarding human conduct. Thus both the Manichaean and Cathar Gnostic movements, which functioned in times where purity of conduct was regarded as an issue of high import, responded in kind. The present period of Western culture perhaps resembles in more ways that of second and third century Alexandria. It seems therefore appropriate that Gnostics in our age adopt the attitudes of classical Alexandrian Gnosticism, wherein matters of conduct were largely left to the insight of the individual.

22- The UPCIM embraces numerous general attitudes toward life: it encourages non-attachment and non-conformity to the world, a “being in the world, but not of the world”; a lack of egotism; and a respect for the freedom and dignity of other beings. Nonetheless, it appertains to the intuition and wisdom of every individual “Gnostic” to distill from these principles individual guidelines for their personal application. 
Destiny

23- When Confucius was asked about death, he replied: “Why do you ask me about death when you do not know how to live?” This answer might easily have been given by a Gnostic. To a similar question posed in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus answered that human beings must come by Gnosis to know the ineffable, divine reality from whence they have originated, and whither they will return. This transcendental knowledge must come to them while they are still embodied on earth.

24- Death does not automatically bring about liberation from bondage in the realms of the Demiurge. Those who have not attained to a liberating Gnosis while they were in embodiment may become trapped in existence once more. It is quite likely that this might occur by way of the cycle of rebirths. Gnosticism does not emphasize the doctrine of reincarnation prominently, but it is implicitly understood in most Gnostic teachings that those who have not made effective contact with their transcendental origins while they were in embodiment would have to return into the sorrowful condition of earthly life.

25- In regard to salvation, or the fate of the spirit and soul after death, one needs to be aware that help is available. Valentinus, the greatest of Gnostic teachers, taught that Christ and Sophia await the spiritual man -- the pneumatic Gnostic -- at the entrance of the Pleroma, and help him to enter the bridechamber of final reunion. Ptolemaeus, disciple of Valentinus, taught that even those not of pneumatic status, the psychics, could be redeemed and live in a heavenworld at the entrance of the Pleroma. In the fullness of time, every spiritual being will receive Gnosis and will be united with its higher Self -- the angelic Twin -- thus becoming qualified to enter the Pleroma. None of this is possible, however, without earnest striving for Gnosis. 
 
Gnosis and Psyche: The Depth Psychological Connection

26- Throughout the twentieth Century the new scientific discipline of depth psychology has gained much prominence. Among the depth psychologists who have shown a pronounced and informed interest in Gnosticism, a place of signal distinction belongs to C. G. Jung. Jung was instrumental in calling attention to the Nag Hammadi library of Gnostic writings in the 1950's because he perceived the outstanding psychological relevance of Gnostic insights.

27- Carl Gustav Jung, 1875 - 1961---The noted scholar of Gnosticism, G. Filoramo, wrote: "Jung's reflections had long been immersed in the thought of the ancient Gnostics to such an extent that he considered them the virtual discoverers of 'depth psychology' . . . ancient Gnosis, albeit in its form of universal religion, in a certain sense prefigured, and at the same time helped to clarify, the nature of Jungian spiritual therapy." In the light of such recognitions one may ask: "Is Gnosticism a religion or a psychology?" The answer is that it may very-well be both. Most mythologems found in Gnostic scriptures possess psychological relevance and applicability. For instance the blind and arrogant creator-demiurge bears a close resemblance to the alienated human ego that has lost contact with the ontological Self. Also, the myth of Sophia resembles closely the story of the human psyche that loses its connection with the collective unconscious and needs to be rescued by the Self. Analogies of this sort exist in great profusion.

28- Many esoteric teachings have proclaimed, "As it is above, so it is below." Our psychological nature (the microcosm) mirrors metaphysical nature (the macrocosm), thus Gnosticism may possess both a psychological and a religious authenticity. Gnostic psychology and Gnostic religion need not be exclusive of one another but may complement each other within an implicit order of wholeness. Gnostics have always held that divinity is immanent within the human spirit, although it is not limited to it. The convergence of Gnostic religious teaching with psychological insight is thus quite understandable in terms of time-honored Gnostic principles. For this reason, in languages other than English, the word Gnosis is often used to denote both the experience and the world view (die Gnosis in German, la Gnose in French).

29- For the experience of Gnosis inevitably calls forth a world view wherein it finds its place. The Gnostic world view is experiential, it is based on a certain kind of spiritual experience of Gnosis. Therefore, it will not do to omit, or to dilute, various parts of the Gnostic world view, for were one to do this, the world view would no longer conform to experience.

30- Theology has been called an intellectual wrapping around the spiritual kernel of a religion. If this is true, then it is also true that most religions are being strangled and stifled by their wrappings. Gnosticism does not run this danger, because its world view is stated in myth rather than in theology. Myths, including the Gnostic myths, may be interpreted in diverse ways. Transcendence, numinosity, as well as psychological archetypes along with other elements, play a role in such interpretation. Still, such mythic statements tell of profound truths that will not be denied.

31- We can can bring us such truths with a high authority, for it speaks with the voice of the highest part of the human -- the spirit. Of this spirit, it has been said, “it bloweth where it listeth”. This then is the reason why the Gnostic world view could not be extirpated in spite of many centuries of persecution.

32- The Gnostic world view has always been timely, for it always responded best to the “knowledge of the heart” that is true Gnosis. Yet today, its timeliness is increasing, for the end of the second millennium has seen the radical deterioration of many ideologies which evaded the great questions and answers addressed by Gnosticism. The clarity, frankness, and authenticity of the Gnostic answer to the questions of the human predicament cannot fail to impress and (in time) to convince. If your reactions to this summary have been of a similarly positive order, then perhaps you are a Gnostic yourself!

Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 8:31 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 23 April 2014
The Darkness Has Passed
Topic: Teachings

 

Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. In the narrative of the Exodus, the bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting plagues and death upon the Egyptians.The worst of these arguably was the slaughter of the first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb, and upon seeing this, the Spirit of the Lord passed over these homes. 

In Christian Tradition, Easter begins on Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper. 

Jesus is eating the Passover meal with his friends, and knows that one of those friends will betray him. Later in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is deeply saddened at his impending death, which although not yet stated, is known to him. 'Abba,' he says to HaShem, 'everything is possible for You. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." Of course, as we know, it would seem to be that it was HaShem's will that Jesus die.

Now the historical authenticity of all this is debatable, and really does not matter as much as the symbolism behind it. 

Prior to the stories of Jesus written within the past 1800-1900 years, we have stories of Osiris, Baal, Persephone/Kore, Ishtar, Innana and others that tell of a descent into darkness and an emergence.

The Darkness, although seen as Death is also the womb of life, for from it all things come. Death of matter serves as compost for many things - compost grows new life, including growth of the spirit.

In the Autumn, the fruit fell. It rotted in the soil and the seed sank down into that darkness. The waters came, filled the pores within the dense soil, the snows blanketed it, and eventually as the wheel turned, life returned.

The story of Jesus, although taken literally by many is in fact quite mystical when read as one may read the stories of the other fallen God/desses mentioned above.

For the Gnostics, Resurrection was something that happened in THIS life time. One's body did not die to resurrect. One was awakened during this life time. Death of the outer shell. Like the decomposing fruit. Awakened to the mystery. Awakened to knowing the True Self and it's connection to Deity. Awakened to Gnosis.

It is said in the Gnostic scripture Gospel of Philip ~ "Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world will not receive truth in any other way."

This Truth is everywhere around us, in the Sacred Dance. 

Some of us find deep understandings in Church, Temple or Synagogue, listening to the stories of a particular tradition, but some of us can look at the world around us, the death of the foliage in autumn and the rebirth in the spring after the dormancy of winter, and are able to see it for what it is. A mirror into Self.

A dying away of a layer no longer needed, in order for our seed of Self to root, take hold and flourish. We smell the cherry blossoms, and we hear the returned birds, and we feel the vibrational hum of the Great Mother all around us...we feel the renewal, we feel hopeful with the returning light, we feel the spiritual pull of the Great Father, encouraging us to Hasten, to Hurry.. it is time to get things done again.Wake up.

Without Earth and Her physical realm, Spirit has nowhere to manifest. No chalice to hold the Wine. No Vessel in which to fill.

She holds Him and together they Dance. With Us They Dance. Within Us They Dance.

As the leaves unfold, absorbing the light,allow yourself to shake off the darkness, and embrace your true Self. Allow the light to awaken even those shadows, which may become disturbed feeling separated, until reunited within the Light of self reflection. 

Make Two into One.


Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 1:57 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Catechism of a Gnostic Christian
Topic: doctrine

PRAYERS AND CREEDS

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

The Gnostic's Prayer

Almighty God, whose footstool is the highest firmament: Great Ruler of Heaven and all the powers therein: Hear the prayers of Thy servants who put their trust in Thee. We pray Thee, supply our needs from day to day: Command Thy heavenly host to comfort and succor us: That it may be to Thy glory and unto the good of man. Forgive us our transgressions as we forgive our brothers and sisters: Be present with us: strengthen and sustain us: For we are but instruments in Thy hands. Let us not fall into temptation: Defend us from all danger and evil: Let Thy mighty power ever guard and protect us, Thou great Fount of knowledge and wisdom: Instruct Thy servants by Thy holy presence: Guide and support us, now and forever. Amen.

 

The Hail Sophia

Hail Sophia, filled with light, the Christ is with Thee, blessed art Thou among the Aeons, and blessed is the Liberator of Thy light, Jesus. Holy Sophia, Mother of all gods, pray to the light for us Thy children, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

 

Glory Be to the Father

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. (or "throughout the Aeons of Aeons") Amen.

 

An Act of Gnosis

We know Thee
Thou eternal thought
immovable, unchangeable, unlimited and unconditioned
remaining unchanged in essential essence
while forever thinking the mystery of the universe
manifesting three extensions of cosmic power
creation, preservation and destruction -
Thou, Lord of all.

We know Thee
Father
Thou secret, supreme and ineffable Maker
unchanging in essence
yet ever-changing in appearance and manifestation
visualizing as an act of consciousness the mystery of creation
and by an act of will absorbed into life -
Creator.

We know Thee
Son
Thou Word, Thou Logos
divine manifestation of the Lord
alone-begotten of the great stillness
begotten by an act of consciousness alone
coming to the flesh to destroy incarnate error-
Sustainer.

We know Thee
Holy Spirit
Thou giver of life and goodness
principle of love, beauty and compassion
remaining here on earth to guide and care for us
Thou, with the Father and the Son
art the wholeness upon which the manifested universe is erected -
and Destroyed.

We know you 
Messengers
custodians of the essential wisdom of the race
Preachers of the great Law
containing within yourselves spiritual insight and courage
living and laboring unselfishly
mediating between the supreme source and its creation
dedicated to the advancement of all.

We look to the union of the self
with the Fullness
and thus liberation
from the infinite chain of attainment.

Amen.

 

A Brief Credo

We acknowledge one great invisible God, the Unknown Father, the Aeon of Aeons, who brought forth with His providence: the Father, the Mother and the Son.

We acknowledge the Christos, the self-begotten Son, born from the virginal and ineffable Mother in the high Aeons: who in the Logos of God came down from above to annul the emptiness of this age and restore the fullness of the Aeon.

We acknowledge the Holy Spirit, our celestial Mother and consoler, who proceeded from Herself, a gift of Herself out of the silence of the unknown God.

We seek the gathering of the sparks of light from the sea of forgetfulness and we look to the glories of eternal life in the Fullness. Amen.

 

A Prayer to the Supernal Parents

All-powerful Lord, Our Father;
All-wise Lady, Our Mother;
Supernal parents of all that was, and is, and is to come;
Sustain us, your children this day.

Give us the wisdom to see your path,
And the strength to prevail in the darkest hour.

We thank you for the joys we have,
And for your grace bestowed on us
This day and every day.

May we thrive and grow in knowledge, wisdom and 
understanding. Now and forevermore. Amen.

 

An Act of Contrition

(Especially important when in danger of death)

Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my faults which I have committed, not because of punishment which I may receive but chiefly because with my faults I have turned away from Thee, my God, who art all-good, and who art wholly deserving of my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more, and I ask to be forgiven even as I forgive those who have offended against me. Amen.

 

A Morning Prayer

On waking, Heavenly Father, I sing Thy praises and I dare say to Thee again with confidence the prayer that the divine Master taught us:

Our Father who art in the depths of the Aeons, may Thy Holy Logos and Christ be understood and adored in the Universe; may the kingdom of Thy Holy Spirit come to us, may Thy will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our spiritual nourishment, the strength and courage to earn the bread for our body. Forgive us for our digressions from Thy laws, as our assembly forgives those who repent of their sins. Support us in our state of weakness so that we may not be carried away by our passions and deliver us from the deceptive mirages of the Archons. For we have no other ruler than Thy beloved Son, Christ our Savior whose is the kingdom, the triumph and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Lord, our divine Propator, hear my prayer, listen to my supplication; let me hear the voice of Thy mercy from the morning, for it is in Thy hands that I place myself. I adore Thee, I praise Thee, I give Thee thanks from the morning.

I thank Thee for having protected me during the night from all the dangers and all the evils which could have harmed me and from which Thou hast covered me with Thy protection. During this day, remain my support, my strength, my refuge, my salvation and my consolation.

Oh my Father, I thank Thee for all the good things that I have received from Thee so far. It is also by an effect of Thy goodness that I have come to see this day; I want to use it to serve Thee. I devote to Thee all my thoughts, words, deeds and sorrows. Bless them, oh my God, so that there will be none which are not activated by Thy love and which do not tend to glorify Thee. (From the usage of the French Gnostic Church)

 

An Evening Prayer

(With examination of conscience)

Night has spread its veils over us, everything invites us to meditate. I raise my thoughts to Thee, oh divine Propator, and I come into Thy presence to examine my conduct this day.

Did I not hide my religious thoughts when, on the contrary, I should have expressed them clearly? Have I not mixed the name of God with words of impatience, anger, untruth or thoughtlessness? Have I at all times had a firm will, and have I always subjected it to the light of Gnosis? Have I always preserved my spiritual dignity? Have I always been moderate in prosperity and patient in adversity? Have I been angry? Have I been proud, vain and ambitious? Have I always treated my neighbor like a brother or sister and with love? Have I acted out of hatred or vengeance? Have I abstained from gossip, from slander and from rash judgments? Have I put right the wrong caused to my fellowman? Have I always told the truth? Have I always kept my word when it has been given? Finally, have I spent my day well?

These, oh my Father, are my faults; I admit them before Thee, and even though Thou hast no need of my confession, and Thou seest into the depths of my heart, I confess them to Thee nevertheless and I admit them to heaven and to earth because I have sinned in words, in thoughts, in deeds and omissions, and this is my fault, my grievous fault. Oh my God and my Father, I have missed the mark Thou has set for me; break the hardness of my heart and by Thy infinite strength and goodness, bring forth from it tears of penitence. Forgive me, oh my God, for all the wrong that I have done and caused to be done; forgive me for all the good I have not done, and which I should have done, or that I have done badly; forgive me for all the transgressions which I know and also for those which I do not know; I feel sincere repentance for them and I wish to make an effort to put them right.

Lord, oh divine Propator, who art the Father of the Lights and the Protector of all those who trust in Thee, deign to take me in Thy holy protection during this night and keep me from all earthly dangers and spiritual perils. During the sleep of my body make my soul watch in Thee. Subdue in me all wrong desires; make my conscience enjoy a holy tranquillity; take far from me all evil thoughts and all the dangerous illusions of the Archons. Grant Thy powerful protection to all whom I love; my parents, my friends and to all those who make up the household of the Gnosis and to all human spirits still wandering in this place of exile whether they be in the body or out of the body.

Father of the Lights, as I fall asleep, I place my trust in Thee and in the double and shining star of the Pleroma. Amen. (From the usage of the French Gnostic Church, slightly modified)

 

LESSON I

OF GOD AND THE UNIVERSE

1. What is God?

The infinite and eternal Reality behind all phenomena, known to the Gnostic under several names, such as the True God, the Unknown Father, the King of Light and many more.

2. What are some further characteristics of God?

Although being infinite, God is in a sense beyond all qualities; one may nevertheless affirm that God is the highest, perfect transcendental Existence in Whom everything originated and by Whom everything is sustained.

3. What is God essentially?

Essentially, God is potential Being, for in Him all potentialities are present.

4. What is God secondarily?

In a secondary sense God is Being in activity; He is Being in actuality.

5. How does the potentiality of God make its to actuality?

The word whereby we express the passage from potential Being to actualized Being is the term "to emanate". It is by such emanation (pouring forth) that the multitude of spiritual and material worlds and their fashioners emerge from the original potentiality of God.

6. Can there be more than one God?

If under "God" we understand the ultimate and true Reality then the answer is no.

If the lesser emanated deities should be called "Gods" then the answer would be yes. It is also possible to envision the ultimate God as the first God, and the Demiurge, the lesser god of this world, as the second god.

7. Is God a Holy Trinity?

Yes. The Gnostic tradition has always affirmed the existence of God as the Holy Trinity consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

8. What are the properties of the three persons of the Holy Trinity?

The Father is characterized by activity, the creation of beings and their attraction; the Son by articulated intelligence (LOGOS) and the will to redeem; and the Holy Spirit by inspiration, fortification and vivification. In short: The Father is creator, the Son redeemer and the Holy Spirit sanctifier.

9. God being called "He" and Father and Son being masculine names, do we need to assume that the godhead is of the male gender?

No. God is totally beyond the limiting characteristics of gender. The ineffable qualities of the Divine, when receiving names in human language, have come to receive the common articles of "he", "she" and "it". It is not uncommon to find terms for God in Gnostic scriptures which are androgynous such as "Mother-Father" (METROPATOR), and the third person of the Holy Trinity (the Holy Spirit) is regarded by Gnostics as feminine.

10. Why is it that Gnostics do not apply "gender neutral" terms to God?

Traditional names such as "God the Father" or "God the Son" are instrumentalities whereby qualities and keynotes of profound mystical subtlety have been expressed within the limitations of human language. To substitute for them arbitrary products of human thought would almost certainly lead to the loss of these qualities and keynotes.

11. Is this the only reason?

No. Gnostics know that ancient Divine Names are Words of Power, which, when uttered, bring forth from the Aeonial regions specific responses of grace. (A good example is to be found in the scripture Thunder, the Perfect Mind, where a Divine Being says: "I am the utterance of my name".) The effectiveness of such sacred theurgy should not be jeopardized by a change of names.

12. How did this universe come into existence?

Like all other things and beings, this universe was emanated by God.

13. Does this mean that the universe is God, or part of God?

The universe is not God in the exclusive sense, for God is by no means confined to this or any other universe. The universe, however, consists of the substance of God. It came forth from Him and to Him it shall return.

14. Is the universe good?

Since God is good and the universe was emanated by Him, it would be reasonable to assume that the universe is good. Yet we find that the universe contains some qualities that are good, others that are evil, and yet others that are indifferent.

15. Where do these qualities originate?

In contrast with the good qualities, the evil and the indifferent ones originate not in the goodness and wisdom of God, whose substance underlies the universe, but in the blindness and willfulness of certain spiritual entities who fashioned this substance into a universe. These half-makers (Demiurges), or false rulers (Archons), are the cause of the ambivalent nature of the worlds of matter and mind.

16. Is God present in the universe?

Yes. God is present because He is everywhere. He is present as the source and end of all; He is present because ultimately all things are under His dominion; and He is also present because nothing is hidden from Him. This presence is known as omnipresence, which, however, does not denote omnipotence, since effective control of our universe is not exercised by God, but by the Demiurge and Archons.

17. Is this the only way in which God is present in the universe?

No. God is not only omnipresent but also immanent in the universe, for the underlying essence of all things is none other than God. Once again, this underlying essence does not imply effective control over the forms within which the essence is embodied.

18. Is God present within the human being?

God is present in the human being in a very special way, for the spirit in man contains God's effective presence. This is also at times called the Christ in us, described by St. Paul as our "hope of glory".

19.  What will happen to the universe at the end of time?

When the present Aeon comes to an end, the seeds of light (redeemable spiritual portions) in the universe will be lifted up into the fullness of God (PLEROMA) while the darkness present in the universe will be left behind.

20. What is to be the fate of the unredeemed darkness of the universe?

Gnostic revelation is not unanimous on this question. There are indications that at least some portion of the darkness of the universe will go into a state of purificatory suspension to be redeemed in some future cycle. Other indications intimate that much of such darkness, particularly the material (HYLIC) world will be dissolved so that its existence will only have been an accident in limitless time.

LESSON II

OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLDS AND THE DEMIURGE

21. What is a spirit?

A spirit is a being that has a measure of consciousness and free will, but no material body, and thus will never die.

22. Are there many spirits?

Their number is immeasurable and they form both within and beyond the universe a vast, luminous realm which is called heaven by many traditions. Not all spirits are in this beneficent, luminous realm, however.

23. What are the spirits and their habitations called by Gnostics?

Both the spirits and their habitations are frequently called Aeons. (In a derivative sense, an age is sometimes also called an Aeon.)

24. How many categories are the spirits divided into?

The categories and hierarchies of spirits are very numerous and only a few are explicitly known. They range all the way from the highest deific Aeonial beings who dwell in perfect harmony, balance and bliss in the Fullness (PLEROMA), to the various kinds of angels, down to elementals and spirit-denizens of nature.

25. What are angels?

Angels are spirits, upon whom great power, wisdom and holiness have been bestowed by God.

26. What does the word "angel" mean?

It means "messenger", for the most frequent role of angels is that of messengers and mediators between the PLEROMA and the world of humans.

27. Which angelic hierarchies and individual angels are known to us?

There are nine orders or "choirs" of angels: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions (or Dominations), Virtues, Powers, Principalities (Kingdoms), Archangels and Angels. The canonical scriptures mention three angels by name: the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The Gnostic church adds to these a fourth: Uriel. Gnostic scriptures mention most of these angels and add numerous others such as the rescuer of Gnostics, Eleleth, and many others.

28. How do angels help humans?

Angels help humans by praying for them, by acting as messengers between the PLEROMA and our earthly dwelling place, and by serving as our guardian angels.

29. In what special ways do our guardian angels help us?

Guardian angels pray for us, protect us from spiritual harm (or at times also from physical harm), and inspire us to aspire to Gnosis.

30. Does each individual human have a guardian angel?

It has been commonly held by tradition that each person has a special guardian angel. Experience both Gnostic and otherwise bears this out. By the same token it must be recalled that the concept of the guardian angel has been influenced by a yet more profound mystery, i.e. that of the Divine Twin, or Twin Angel.

31. What is the Divine Twin or Twin Angel?

There are reports in Gnostic scripture and tradition about a celestial twin spirit who overshadows the human and at certain special times manifests to him. In Pistis Sophia such a twin comes to Jesus early in his life and unites with Him. The Holy Prophet Mani experienced several manifestations of his twin who finally united with him and took him to heaven.

32. Can spirits including angels be seen?

Not ordinarily. However, under special circumstances, angels have visibly manifested to humans. The visitation of the Holy Virgin Mary by the Archangel Gabriel and the revelation of the Koran to Mohammed by the same Archangel are two examples.

33. Are there spirits involved in our lives who are not good?

Yes. There are spiritual beings who have become estranged from God and from the PLEROMA and who are thus at best unwise and at worst evil.

34. Where are these estranged spiritual beings to be found?

They are found primarily in connection with the material universe and its mental and emotional aspects, for they are primarily responsible for the creation and management of these realms and for the suffering and sorrow that abide therein.

35. Are these estranged spiritual beings the same as the fallen angels that some Christians believe in?

There can be little doubt that the myth of the war in heaven and of the fall of Lucifer are but a form of the Gnostic statements about the estrangement of the Demiurge and his Archons from the PLEROMA.

36. What is the Demiurge?

He is called Demiurge or "half-maker" because he had taken the divine substance and fashioned out of it a world. He is the spiritual being who had become forgetful of his origins, even of God. He thinks that he is God and there is no other God before him.

37. By what names is the Demiurge known?

In Gnostic scriptures he is called YALDABAOTH (child of chaos), SACLAS (fool) and SAMAEL (blind one). In later Gnosticizing lore he was at times identified with LUCIFER or SATAN, the prince of the powers of air.

38. Is the Demiurge evil?

He is classically regarded as flawed and foolish but not utterly evil. In medieval Gnostic traditions he became increasingly identified with evil.

39. Does the Demiurge have associates?

Yes, they are the Archons (rulers), and their desire is to rule over humans and other beings.

40. What is the relationship of the Demiurge to YAHWEH, the God of the Old Testament?

Not all the images of God in the Old Testament come from the same source. A good many are descriptions of the Demiurge. Some, such as those in the Wisdom Literature and in some Psalms, are of a much more exalted nature. Some Gnostic teachers held that the teachings of the Old Testament were a mixture attributable to three sources: the Demiurge, the elders of Israel and the True God.

41. If the Demiurge and his Archons are power-hungry and arrogant but not truly evil, are there, in addition, truly evil demons?

Yes. There exist monstrosities of evil which populate hellish regions in association with earth. Their origins are unknown. The name of one demon mentioned in Gnostic scriptures is YACHTANABAS, although there are others.

42. Can the Demiurge and his Archons be redeemed?

This possibility is alluded to in some Gnostic writings. At least one such being, the brother of the Demiurge, has turned to the good and been redeemed. His name is SABAOTH and also ABRAXAS. Cognate theories of universal redemption, even of demons and of the Demiurge, were articulated in early times by Origen (APOKATASTASIS PANTHON) and in our days by C. G. Jung (in Answer to Job).

LESSON III

OF THE HUMAN BEING

43. What is the human being?

The human being is a spirit (PNEUMA) endowed with reason and with free will combined with a soul and an animal body.

44. What is an animal?

It is a certain kind of soul (ANIMA, PSYCHE) combined with a body (SOMA).

45. In what way does the human differ from the animal?

The human being differs from the animal in that the human is connected with his true nature which is spirit.

46. Where does the spirit of the human being come from?

The spirit of the human being originates in the Divine Fullness (PLEROMA), from whence it descended into the soul and body.

47. How may the spirit (PNEUMA) of the human being be described?

The human spirit is a spark of God's light, an effective part of God, separated from God in outer manifestation, but retaining a living connection with its ultimate source.

48. How may the soul (PSYCHE) of the human being be described?

The soul consists of several components which at the present stage of human development are largely dominated by the thinking principle and to some extent by the feeling principle.

49. How may the body (SOMA) of the human being be described?

The body of the human being is composed of flesh (SARX) which is a form of matter (HYLE) albeit endowed temporarily with biological life.

50. Where do the soul and the body of the human being come from?

The soul is composed of immaterial substance brought about by the prolonged interaction of spirit and body (or bodies). The body is the product of biological evolution that has taken place on earth; a process influenced by the Archons.

51. For what reason did the spirits of human beings come to embody themselves on earth?

The classical scriptures of the Gnosis are not explicit on this subject. Other scriptures (The Hymn of the Pearl; the revelations of The Holy Prophet Mani) indicate that human beings come into souls and bodies in order to rescue earlier emanations of the divine light by refining and purifying the darkness.

52. Was the aim achieved which was set for the human spirits when they came down to earth?

Only in a very few instances. Almost all those which came down failed. Tempted by the deceptive mirages here below, they yielded to the impulses of the soul and body instead of retaining spiritual mastery over them. Thus the first or heavenly man became the man of earth.

53. How do some kindred traditions describe this calamitous event?

The Hermetic Gnosis states that charmed by the universe the human being yielded to the attractions of physical matter and identified himself with it, and so was trapped in the body. The Jewish and Christian traditions call it the Fall.

54. How can the human being recover his original condition?

By Gnosis, which is the knowledge of his true nature and original condition, a portion of which is ANAMNESIS, the remembering of true things forgotten.

55. What stands in the way of humanity's recovery of its original condition?

The obstacle is ignorance (A-GNOSIS) manifesting in the forgetting of the real (AMNESIS).

56. Is there an original sin?

Yes and no. Being trapped in the body and deceived by the Archonic part of the soul, all humans suffer from a deficiency which they share with all of creation. This deficiency, however, is not the result of any particular sinful act on the part of human ancestors (Adam and Eve). Rather than being a sin (moral failing), it is an unfortunate existential condition.

57. What are the results of this existential condition?

As the result of this condition, humans are born as slaves of the earthly Demiurge and his Archons.

58. What sufferings do these Archonic powers make us undergo?

The afflictions attendant upon life in the realm of the Archons are very numerous. Some of these are: gravity (being earthbound), heat, cold, natural disasters, diseases, pain, death and the torment of re-embodiment in successive lives.

LESSON IV

OF GNOSIS AND SALVATION

59. What is Gnosis?

Gnosis is the revelatory and salvific knowledge of who we were, of what we have become, of where we were, of wherein we have been thrown, of whereto we are hastening, of what we are being freed, of what birth really is, and of what rebirth really is. This is an ancient definition which is still accurate.

60. Is there more than one kind of Gnosis?

The experience of Gnosis comes to human beings in individual manifestations, yet it always has common features and a common keynote.

61. Is Gnosis an experience or a doctrine?

It is both. The experience of Gnosis is mystical knowledge that liberates. This is both accompanied and preceded by a kindred kind of Gnosis that informs. These were called (by Clement of Alexandria) the Divine Gnosis and Human Gnosis respectively. The human or doctrinal part of Gnosis consists of a certain kind of knowledge of the spiritual, psychic and material worlds and their relationships.

62. How is Human Gnosis acquired?

Primarily by way of the study and assimilation of the teachings of the Messengers of Light and of the seers and sages of the Gnostic tradition and by way of the amplification of these by individual insight.

63. How does one come to Divine Gnosis?

By divine grace combined with sincere and informed human aspiration.

64. What specific help is there available to us in order to receive both Divine and Human Gnosis?

Such help comes to us from Messengers of Light and other enlightened teachers of Gnosis.

65. Was there a time when humans were without Gnosis?

From the beginning of the human race, some people were in possession of Gnosis. These early Gnostics were at times symbolically called the "Great Race of Seth", after Seth, the third son of Adam, who was recognized as the prototype of all Gnostics.

66. Who was the latest great revealer of Gnosis?

It was the Lord Jesus Christ, who acted both as the rectifier of the existing tradition of Gnosis and as the revealer of new elements of Gnosis.

67. Can Gnosis be given by another?

A Messenger of Light comes to enlighten humans by his teachings and to transform their spiritual lives by the mysteries he bestows on them. But only those in whom the true spiritual intuition ("the Light Mind") is awakened will welcome the message and benefit from the mysteries.

68. What are we to be saved from?

We are to be saved first from ignorance which prevents us from knowing our true source, our real nature, our condition and our destiny. At last we shall also be saved from the burden of earthly existence with its attendant conditions of suffering and exile from our true home.

69. What brings about salvation?

Salvation is brought about neither by faith (belief in God, or Christ) nor by works (the performance of good deeds), but by Gnosis.

70. Why is this so?

Because faith and works do not result in a radical change in the being of one's consciousness, but Gnosis does.

71. What does the radical change of consciousness brought about by Gnosis accomplish?

It establishes a renewed link of the soul with the spirit and of both with God. This breaks the bonds that have shackled our true being to the forces of earth. Ultimately it brings liberation from all earthly things.

72. What are the further benefits of salvation by Gnosis?

A turning away of the soul from the attachments of life, a constant straining upwards to the pure Divine Spirit, wherein is our true home. Also, God's friendship in this life, a good death, and after that a swift passage through cleansing regions to God's presence in the Fullness (PLEROMA) of divine glory, goodness and love.

LESSON V

OF THE LORD CHRIST

73. Who is the Lord Christ?

He is one of the High Aeons of the Fullness (PLEROMA); being the articulated thought (LOGOS) of God and the expression of God's redemptive power (SOTERIA), for which latter reason He is also called the Savior (SOTER).

74. Are the Lord Christ and Jesus one and the same person?

Jesus is the earthly manifestation of Christ, the celestial Aeon.

75. Did the celestial Aeon Christ manifest fully and equally during the earthly existence of Jesus?

No. The celestial Aeon Christ came to fully manifest in Jesus beginning with the baptism of the latter in the river Jordan at the hands of Saint John, the Baptizer. Yet, Christ was present in some measure and manner in Jesus before His baptism also.

76. Did the celestial Aeon Christ ever depart from Jesus?

It appears He did withdraw, at least to some degree, at the time of the crucifixion and death of Jesus, as indicated by the exclamation of Jesus; "Aeon, Aeon, why have you departed from me" (ELI, ELI, LAMA SABAKTANI).

77. Did the celestial Aeon Christ return to Jesus after Jesus' crucifixion and death?

Yes, He fully returned at the time of the resurrection when Jesus became "the Living One" (REDIVIVUS).

78. Did Jesus save humankind by His physical death on the Cross?

No. His physical death was merely a tragic incident in the sublime drama of His life.

79. Why have so many Christians come to assume that it was by His physical death that Jesus saved humankind?

Because many of them possess a consciousness that appreciates only physical reality and ignores the greater realities which are spiritual.

80. What is the spiritual reality of the suffering and death of Jesus?

The true sacrifice of the Aeon Christ and of His manifestation, Jesus, was not His physical death and the torments He endured prior to the same. His true sacrifice was His willing entry into the horrendous limitations of earthly embodiment. All spirits suffer grievously when entering into earthly embodiment; the sufferings endured by a high celestial Aeon of Christ's stature are incomprehensibly great.

81. It is true then that Christ sacrificed Himself for us?

It is most certainly true, but His sacrifice was a spiritual one.

82. What was the mission of Christ the Savior (SOTER) on earth?

It was threefold: (1) to deliver us from the slavery of the Demiurge and the Archons and to re-join us to our original state; (2) to contribute to the enlivening of the spiritual influences on earth (this has been at times interpreted as the restoration of God's kingdom on earth); and (3) to bring us back to the spiritual Fullness (PLEROMA), our homeland.

83. What were the means whereby Christ the Savior (SOTER) fulfilled His mission on earth?

The means were two: (1) He taught His teachings of liberation through the law of love, and (2) He bestowed illuminating and liberating mysteries on His qualified disciples. Both teachings and mysteries were to be handed down to God's people throughout the ages.

84. What do we learn from the sufferings of Christ?

From the sufferings of Christ we learn of the great love of God and of all the great Aeonial beings for humanity, who have sent the Savior (SOTER) to us. We also learn that earthly life is suffering for all spiritual beings, including Christ and ourselves.

85. What do we learn from the life of Christ?

From His life we may learn the pattern of the great drama of the life of spirit in material confinement; its vicissitudes and triumphs. This is what has been called the imitation of Christ (IMITATIO CHRISTI).

86. Is it true that Christ descended into hell?

In addition to descending into this hell we call the world, He also descended after the crucifixion into a state where the spirits and souls of many disembodied humans dwelt and waited for Him. The instructions He gave to and the mysteries He conferred upon these beings liberated many of them from the underworld (HADES, SHOEL) where they were. This journey of Christ is sometimes known as "the Harrowing of Hell".

87. Did Christ rise from the dead?

All the scriptures affirm that He came back to earthly life after His death and burial. The historic creeds say that He rose "according to the scriptures" (SECUNDUM SCRIPTURAS).

88. Why is Christ's resurrection of importance to us?

Because it serves as our example for our own resurrection.

89. How and when is our resurrection to take place?

It takes place by Gnosis while we are still in earthly life.

90. Did Christ remain on earth for some time after His resurrection?

At that time Christ remained on earth in order to impart the Gnosis to certain disciples. It is traditionally held that this time lasted for forty days, but longer time periods are mentioned in Gnostic scriptures.

91. How did Christ depart the earth?

After the time He spent on earth after the resurrection, He ascended in glory into the Fullness (PLEROMA).

92. Did Christ occupy a fleshly body like ours?

It is most unlikely that He occupied a body quite like ours. He walked on water, passed through walls, made His body shine like the sun; none of these can be done by way of a body of flesh. Valentinus stated that Jesus did not have a digestive system like other humans. Therefore Jesus' body has been called an appearance (DOKESIS).

93. Does this deny the incarnation (becoming flesh) of Christ, the Logos?

No, for there can be many kinds of different substances He may have used for His embodiment and they all would have served as His "flesh".

LESSON VI

OF OUR LADY SOPHIA

94. Who is our Lady Sophia?

She is a high Aeon of the Fullness (PLEROMA), whose name means Wisdom and who is of a feminine character.

95. Is Sophia only known to Gnostics?

Although She is known to Gnostics in a special way, Sophia was known to certain Biblical authors who wrote the Wisdom literature (Book of the Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus and Proverbs, and also the Song of Songs), to ancient philosophers such as Philo, and to certain theologians known as Sophiologists.

96. How is Sophia related to Christ?

She is His close associate (Sister Aeon or Twin Aeon) in the Fullness (PLEROMA).

97. Is Sophia "the Goddess" as some modern opinions imply?

No. Sophia is not a female counterpart to God, but rather She is a great and holy emanated aspect (HYPOSTASIS) of God.

98. Is Sophia then a goddess?

If by "a goddess" is meant a deity, or one among numerous deific beings then She may be called one.

99. Has Sophia ever been incarnate in human form?

None of the scriptures have intimated that She has.

100. Is there a narrative concerning the events in the story of Sophia after the fashion of the gospel narratives concerning Christ?

Yes. It is the book "Faithful Sophia" (PISTIS SOPHIA), although elements of Her story appear in other scriptures also.

101. What is the beginning of the story of Sophia?

Sophia's tale begins with Her going forth from Her Aeonial habitat in search of the Light. This going forth results in Her catastrophic fall from on high and into the torment of the lower Chaos.

102. How does the story of Sophia continue?

In Her state of anguish and affliction, Sophia gives birth to a hybrid being who becomes the Demiurge. She also exudes the elements from which the Demiurge subsequently fashions the world.

103. What does Sophia do after that?

She continues to call out to the Light for help in Her affliction. The Light hears Her and sends forth the Aeon Christ to console Her and to rescue Her. After many efforts, the work of rescue is accomplished and Sophia is restored to Her original dwelling place.

104. Has Sophia then totally departed from the manifest realm?

No. Her involvement in creation, especially of humans, and Her other deeds, indicate Her continuing care for Her children who are trapped in the world and in the bodies created by the Demiurge.

105. What are some of Her actions which indicate Her involvement with creation and with humanity?

There are many. One is Her rebuking of the Demiurge when he declares that he is the only God and there are no other gods before him. Another is Her gift of the spirit of the higher life to Adam, who was created as a witless cripple by the Demiurge. She also inspired Eve and the serpent in order to facilitate the exit of the first human pair from the fool's paradise where they were confined.

106. Has Sophia continued to aid humanity?

Yes. Scripture declares that She "enters holy souls and makes them friends of God". There is much evidence of Her helpful presence among us to this very day.

107. Is Sophia identical with the Virgin Mary?

No. Mary "the mother of the Lord according to matter" is an honored figure of the Gnosis, but she is a human woman, while Sophia is celestial.

108. Has Sophia overshadowed any human beings?

There are indications that such may have been the case. One example may be Helen in the story of Simon Magus, and another, Mary Magdalene, the chief disciple of Jesus.

109. Does Sophia appear to and communicate with humans?

Yes. She has done so to the Russian philosopher Solovyev (late 19th Century) and Her manifestations are not unknown today.

110. Do the contemporary teachings about the Virgin Mary (Mariology) have a relation to Sophia?

Yes. Such teachings as those about Mary's Assumption, and her role as joint redeemer (CO-REDEMPTRIX) and mediator between God and humans (MEDIATRIX) can easily be applied to Sophia.

111. Why are the actions and roles of Sophia seemingly confounded with those of the Virgin Mary?

Because the Western exoteric church has suppressed and forgotten the figure of Sophia and was left thus with the lone figure of Mary to whom all feminine holiness and mysteries are now ascribed.

112. What is the duty of Gnostics toward Sophia today?

To render Her due reverence in prayer, liturgy, meditation, study, thought and action, and also to guard Her true identity in the confusion of tongues wherein She is confused with goddesses, earth mothers, Madonnas black and otherwise, and the politically motivated mythologizing of our era.

LESSON VII

OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND GRACE

113. What is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is God and the third aspect (Person) of the threefold Godhead, or the Holy Trinity.

114. By what other names is the Holy Spirit called?

The Holy Spirit is also called the Comforter (PARACLETE), the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God, the Creator Spirit, the Holy Mother Spirit, also by the Greek name PNEUMA HAGION, and the older English name Holy Ghost.

115. What polarity or spiritual gender is ascribed to the Holy Spirit?

In Gnostic usage the Holy Spirit is referred to as feminine.

116. What does the Holy Spirit do for creation and for humanity?

The Holy Spirit permeates and beneficently alters the archonic structures of the universe. (For this reason it is said that the Holy Spirit "renews the face of the earth".) The Holy Spirit also dwells in the Church as the source of her spiritual life and sanctifies souls through the gift of grace.

117. What are some of the special signs of the sanctification of souls by the gift of the grace of the Holy Spirit?

Some of these are: The fortifying of the soul, and the bringing of insight, wisdom and prophecy by way of Gnosis.

118. Does prophecy consist of foreseeing the future?

No. Prophecy is a special disclosure of Divine things to a human by way of Gnosis and only incidentally and occasionally involves glimpses of the future.

119. Is there an expected Age (AEON) of the Holy Spirit in human history?

Very probably. The medieval prophet Joaquin of Flora declared that the Age of the Father is past, the Age of the Son is passing and the Age of the Holy Spirit is approaching. The detailed interpretation of this teaching is a matter of opinion.

120. What is grace?

Grace is the effective manifestation of the supernal Life of God, appearing to us as a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through Gnosis and also other means.

121. Is grace necessary for salvation?

Yes. Human beings cannot attain the eternal life and freedom of the Fullness (PLEROMA) by powers that are purely natural. Were this possible all humans would already be redeemed and have returned to their home. Therefore we need to be elevated to a transcendental plane through grace and we constantly need spiritual stimuli which come to us by grace.

122. How many kinds of grace are there?

Two kinds of grace are distinguished by tradition. They are: sanctifying grace and actual grace. There is also special grace which is a variety of actual grace.

123. What is sanctifying grace?

Sanctifying grace (also called habitual grace) is the grace that flows from the spark of God within our own spiritual natures. It is a permanent quality that is stimulated by God through His gifts and can be lost only through a lasting turning away of the soul from the spirit.

124. What is actual grace?

Actual grace is transcendental (supernatural) help coming from God that enables us to experience states of consciousness and perform acts that are beyond our natural powers. Souls in a state of relative separation from their spirits need the help of actual grace to gain access to sanctifying grace.

125. In what manner does actual grace come to us?

Primarily by way of the Messengers of Light and the liberating teachings and salvific mysteries they bring to us.

126. Can we resist the grace of God?

Because of the weaknesses implanted into our souls by the Archons we often resist the grace of God. We can do this because grace does not impose itself upon us by force but descends upon us gently in response to our free cooperation.

127. What are the principal ways of obtaining grace?

The principal ways of obtaining grace are three: (1) by the diligent study of the teachings of the Messengers of Light and of their agents; (2) by prayer, and (3) by the sacraments, particularly the Holy Eucharist.

LESSON VIII

OF THE CHURCH AND THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS

128. What is the Church?

The Church is the assembly of persons who follow the same tradition, and practice the same sacraments; in short, of those who follow the same religion.

129. What is the meaning of "religion"?

The word "religion" is derived from the Latin RE-LIGERE, meaning to re-join or to join-back. Religion is the effort to effectively join the human soul to the human spirit and to join both of these to God.

130. Of what religion is the Gnostic Church?

The Gnostic Church is of the Christian religion (although it is also true that she is of the eternal religion of Gnosis that was always in the world).

131. Is this not a sign of limitation or of sectarian exclusiveness?

No. One can respect and study many religions, but one can effectively practice only one.

132. Is the Gnostic Church Christian in the same sense in which other churches call themselves Christian?

No. The Gnostic Church is Christian by her own definition, based on Gnosis.

133. Does this place the Gnostic Church outside of the fellowship (EKUMENE) of Universal Christendom?

No, because the criteria of what constitutes a Christian vary greatly among Christian people. The variations introduced by Gnostics are one set among many.

134. Who founded the Church?

The Lord Jesus Christ founded the Church. He did this when just before His ascension, He commissioned His apostles to make disciples of all nations. Earlier in His public ministry He instituted sacraments, chose the twelve apostles, and conferred sacred powers on them.

135. Why did Jesus Christ found the Church?

Jesus Christ founded the Church as a vehicle to bring human beings to redemption from the shackles that confine them to the realm of the Archons and to open to them the freedom and the glory of the Fullness (PLEROMA).

136. Have there been or are there other such vehicles besides the Church founded by Christ?

Since Messengers, Saints and Prophets have been sent by God from age to age to instruct and to assist human beings regarding salvation, it is understandable that there should be other vehicles of a kindred nature.

137. Why do Gnostics then belong to the Church founded by Christ in preference to any other such vehicle?

Because Christ is the latest of the supernal Messengers Whom in our age and place we recognize as our Redeemer (SOTER).

138. How is the Church enabled to lead souls to salvation?

The Church is enabled to lead souls to salvation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who gives the Church life. This was first visibly manifested at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of tongues of fire.

139. Does the Holy Spirit still indwell in the Church as a whole?

Yes, but only in a general sense. The degree to which the Holy Spirit is effectively present in the various branches of the Church varies considerably.

140. What determines the degree to which various branches of the Church are enlivened and guided by the Holy Spirit?

There are two determinants: (1) the amount of Gnosis present, and (2) the purity and holiness of the leaders and members.

141. How does this pertain to the existence of the Gnostic Church?

Ever since the leaders of the exoteric (or mainstream) church cast out the Gnostics from their midst, they progressively excluded the guidance of the Holy Spirit from their assemblies. The need for a Gnostic Church thus became ever greater.

142. How did the Gnostic Church function throughout history?

At times in secrecy as a covert effort concealed within the body of the exoteric church, at other times as a fully separate and distinct body such as the Manichaean and the Cathar churches, and many others.

143. What traditionally are the chief marks of the Church?

There are four such chief marks of the Church: (1) that the Church is one; (2) that she is holy; (3) that she is universal (catholic); and (4) that she is apostolic.

144. How are these marks present in the Gnostic Church?

The Gnostic Church is one because all her members aspire to the same Gnosis and have the same sacraments; the Gnostic Church is holy because her members aspire to a wholeness and integrity of life; she is also universal, or catholic, because she teaches and practices the faith of Gnosis which is not bound to time or to place; finally, she is apostolic because her authority proceeds from the apostles and their successors.

145. Is the visible Church connected with other invisible assemblies?

Yes. The earthly Church is the Church Militant, because she struggles against the evil of the Archons in the world; joined to her we find the Church Triumphant consisting of the liberated spirits in the Fullness (PLEROMA) and the Church Suffering, which consists of the souls and spirits of those who are neither in earthly embodiment, nor in the freedom of the Fullness (PLEROMA) but in the purgatorial immaterial realms. This is also known as the Communion of Saints.

146. What are the results of the Communion of Saints?

The results of the Communion of Saints are that the members of the one visible and the two invisible Churches are able to actively help each other.

147. How do the members of the Communion of Saints help each other?

The liberated spirits in the Fullness (PLEROMA) pray for and assist both their incarnate and discarnate brothers and sisters, while the incarnate faithful can also by their prayers and good thoughts relieve the suffering and assist the purgatorial journey of those who have laid aside their vestures of flesh.

148. Where do the members of the three Churches dwell?

The members of the Church Triumphant dwell in eternal life in the blissful Land of Light (the PLEROMA) with God, His Aeons and Angels and happy souls. We of the Church Militant experience the suffering and conflict attendant upon earthly life, while the discarnate souls are torn between their desire for the Land of Light and their attraction to the realm of darkness.

149. Does the Gnosis hold to the teaching of reincarnation?

Many Gnostic scriptures are silent on the subject. Others state that reincarnation exists as a hell, or as a purgatorial suffering involved in being attached to the fleshly body and to the turbulent mind or soul.

150. Does reincarnation merit the enthusiasm often lavished on it?

By no means. This teaching was long unknown to Western cultures and when rediscovered from Eastern sources, its value came to be exaggerated. Gnostic teachings have always regarded reincarnation as a calamity to be overcome by liberation.

151. What is death?

Death can be one of two things: (1) It can be the temporary release of the spirit from its material-psychic prison to be followed by return to some form of embodied wretchedness; (2) If the Light spark is purified and resurrected by Gnosis, death will be its entry into eternal bliss and glory in God's Kingdom of Light, there to join the highest order of the Communion of Saints.

LESSON IX

OF THE SACRAMENTS OR MYSTERIES

152. What is a sacrament?

A sacrament is a sacred rite; the visible and outward sign of an invisible, inward grace of God. Anciently, a sacrament was called a mystery.

153. Is a sacrament always effective?

Yes, a sacrament is always effective and produces the result which it is designed to accomplish. The effectiveness of a sacrament can be reduced, however, when its recipient puts obstacles in the path of the workings of the sacrament, or when its ministering agents are insincere.

154. Are there preparations necessary for the reception of the sacraments?

Yes. Preparations are always necessary. To receive a sacrament in an unprepared state is a sacrilege, a profanation of a sacred thing.

155. Does the efficacy of the sacraments depend on the character or merit of the person who administers them?

No. The person administering a sacrament is only an instrument, or ministering agent. It is certainly desirable that such an agent should be in a holy state of consciousness but the effectiveness of the sacrament is not taken away by such matters, although it might be diminished.

156. What is necessary for the administration of a sacrament?

A sacrament first requires an outward sign, that is some external thing or action (such as the sign of the cross, or the anointing with oil). This is called the matter of the sacrament. Second, it requires a set formula or words, which is known as the form of the sacrament. To these is added the intention of the ministering agent which must be that of doing what the Church intends. These three are required for the workings of grace.

157. How many sacraments are there?

There are five initiatory sacraments to which are added two sustaining sacraments, thus adding up to seven. There are also two secondary or substitutional sacraments.

158. Which are the five initiatory sacraments?

The five initiatory sacraments (as explicitly stated in the Gospel of Philip) are: Baptism, Chrism (Confirmation), Holy Eucharist, Redemption and Bride-Chamber.

159. Which are the two sustaining sacraments?

They are the sacrament of Holy Orders and the sacrament of Extreme Unction and Healing.

160. Are there any other sacraments?

There are two other sacraments which may be called secondary or substitutional. These are the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Matrimony.

161. Why are these sacraments called secondary or substitutional?

Because Penance has been substituted for the sacrament of the Redemption, while Matrimony has been substituted for the sacrament of the Bride-Chamber.

162. How many sacraments do the exoteric churches administer?

The Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican exoteric churches administer seven sacraments, to wit: Baptism, Confirmation (Chrismation), Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders and Matrimony. Many Protestant bodies have reduced the number of sacraments further. All of the exoteric churches have suppressed and forgotten the two greater sacraments of the Redemption and the Bride-Chamber.

163. Who has instituted the sacraments?

In a general sense the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the sacraments. The institution of only some can be found in sacred scripture; however, in some form most of them existed since the beginning of creation.

164. Do the sacraments confer grace?

Yes. They confer sanctifying grace and a special grace called sacramental grace.

165. From whom do the sacraments receive their power to give grace?

The sacraments receive their power to confer grace from God through the agency of the LOGOS of God, who is Jesus Christ.

166. Why are Baptism and Penance often called sacraments of the dead?

Because they are administered to souls who either have not come to life by way of the spirit (Baptism) or have become spiritually dead through grave sin which needs to be absolved (Penance).

167. Why are all the other sacraments often called sacraments of the living?

Because their chief purpose is to give more grace to souls and spirits already spiritually alive through sanctifying grace.

168. Which are the sacraments that usually can be received only once?

They are Baptism, Chrism (Confirmation) and Holy Orders because they imprint upon the soul an indelible spiritual mark, called a character. (Exceptions to this rule are when there is reason to believe that any of these sacraments have been administered in a deficient manner, such as Baptism or Confirmation without the sacred oils, or ordinations performed in an incomplete manner.)

169. What is the general effect of all sacraments?

The grace of God is the life of God. Christ said that He came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. He also said that He loved us and longed to give us life. The means whereby He gives us this divine life are the sacraments. It has also been said that just as an artist, using his brush as an instrument, paints a beautiful picture, so God through the sacraments draws His own image on the soul of man. Such is the sublime effect of the sacraments.

LESSON X

OF THE SACRAMENTS, CONSIDERED SINGLY:

PART I

170. Which is the first initiatory sacrament?

It is the sacrament of Baptism, also known as the Baptism of Water because it employs water.

171. At what age should one receive the sacrament of Baptism?

Preferably when one has reached the age of reason, but infant Baptisms, using a simpler formula, are permissible.

172. What are the effects of the sacrament of Baptism?

Baptism liberates the body (SOMA) and soul (PSYCHE) from the dominion of the Archons, under which they fell at physical birth. (This perilous condition is called "original sin" by the exoteric church.) Baptism also washes away actual faults which the person may have committed prior to baptism. Baptism also joins an angel to the baptized soul, and facilitates the entry and exit of the soul from the body. It is this sacrament that affords us entry into the stream of Gnosis.

173. Who can administer Baptism?

A priest or deacon is the usual minister of Baptism, but in an emergency anyone may and should baptize.

174. What is a person to do after receiving the sacrament of Baptism?

A baptized person should participate diligently in sacred practices, particularly the Holy Eucharist. Such a person should also continue to study the sacred literature of the Gnosis.

175. What is the sacrament of Chrism or Confirmation?

Chrism or Confirmation is the sacrament through which the Holy Spirit comes to us and strengthens us in our determination to persist in the Gnostic life.

176. At what age should one receive the sacrament of Chrism or Confirmation?

Not before the time of adolescence.

177. Who is the usual minister at Confirmation?

It is the bishop.

178. What does the bishop do when he gives Confirmation?

He lays his hand on the head of each person and anoints his forehead with holy chrism.

179. What is holy chrism?

Holy chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balm, blessed by the bishop on Maundy Thursday. Unlike the element of baptism which is water, the chrism is combustible and thus symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit. Therefore this sacrament is sometimes called the Baptism of Fire.

180. What is the Holy Eucharist?

In the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ and are then received into the human organism. This sacrament unites us in a very special way with Christ the Savior and through Him with the Fullness (PLEROMA).

181. Is it the physical body and blood of Christ that we partake of in the Holy Eucharist?

No. It is His spiritual (PNEUMATIC) body and blood that we partake of under the appearance of the bread and wine.

182. How can the spiritual (PNEUMATIC) body and blood of Christ take on the appearance of the bread and wine?

Through the sacred phenomenon of Transubstantiation or Transelementation , which is brought about by the Holy Spirit.

183. Who instituted the Holy Eucharist?

Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the night of Maundy Thursday. When He said, "This is My Body", the entire substance of the bread changed into His spiritual (PNEUMATIC) body, and when He said "This is My Blood", the entire substance of the wine was changed into His spiritual (PNEUMATIC) blood.

184. How is the Holy Eucharist of Christ perpetuated?

Christ said: "Do this in remembrance of me" and therefore His representative, the duly ordained priest, repeats Christ's Eucharistic sacrifice within the context

of the ritual of the Mass.

185. Is the Mass called the Holy Eucharist?

Yes, both the ritual of the Mass and the sacred substance of the consecrated bread and wine are usually referred to as the Holy Eucharist.

186. What did the Gnostic Church at times call the Holy Eucharist?

It was called the Ineffable Mystery.

187. Should we be frequent participants in the Ineffable Mystery of the Holy Eucharist?

Yes, for not to take advantage of this great gift would be to scorn the words of Christ the Savior (SOTER): "If you do not eat of my flesh and if you do not drink of my blood, you will have no true life in you".

188. How is one to prepare oneself for the reception of the Holy Eucharist?

By prayer and sincere contrition that purifies one of the stain of faults and unworthiness. Otherwise, in the words of St. Paul, we eat and drink our own judgment and condemnation.

189. What is the sacrament of the Redemption?

The sacrament of the Redemption is one of the two greater or esoteric sacraments practiced by Gnostics and mentioned in the Gospel of Philip. It has been repressed by the exoteric church. It is the first of the greater or esoteric sacraments.

190. What other names are used to describe the sacrament of the Redemption?

APOLYTROSIS, the CONSOLAMENTUM, the Renunciation, the Baptism of Air.

191. What is the effect of the sacrament of the Redemption?

The intention of the sacrament of the Redemption is to deliver a person from the shackles of the Demiurge and the Archons. The effects traditionally held are: (1) It remits all of one's faults and gives one the strength not to commit grave offenses; (2) It perfects in one the change produced by the Baptism of Water; (3) It makes one the temple of the Holy Spirit; (4) By its effects we become complete Christians (PERFECTI); (5) It renews the link between one's soul and the Twin Angel or Deific Double from whom one has been separated at one's descent into the Archonic realm; 
(6) Finally, it assures one of one's liberation from the cycle of birth and death and thus frees one of the necessity of future embodiments on earth.

192. Who is eligible for the sacrament of the Redemption?

Adults over twenty years of age who have been baptized and confirmed and who are diligent practitioners of the Gnosis. (However, it is generally preferable to confer the sacrament on persons at or past mid-life.) Candidates should also demonstrate an unalterable conviction of not wishing to be re-embodied in the world.

193. What is the sacrament of the Bride-Chamber?

It is the second of the greater or esoteric sacraments, and is the final and the greatest of the initiatory sacraments. Like the Redemption, it also has been repressed by the exoteric church.

194. By what other names is the sacrament of the Bride-Chamber known?

The Bridal Chamber, the Sacred Wedding (HIEROS GAMOS) and the Mystery of the Syzygies.

195. What is the effect of the sacrament of the Bride-Chamber?

It completes all the effects of the sacrament of the Redemption and seals them for all eternity. Particularly it unites the soul in a final union with the Twin Angel or Deific Double and similarly also unites the soul with God in the Fullness (PLEROMA).

196. Who is eligible for the sacrament of the Bride-Chamber?

One who has received the sacrament of the Redemption (CONSOLAMENTUM).

197. How is the sacrament of the Bride-Chamber conferred?

At this time in history, the sacrament of the Bride-Chamber is not conferred in earthly form, but is received by the soul in its own realm, usually after bodily death. It is not impossible, however, that the Bride-Chamber may return in earthly manifestation when God so decrees.

LESSON XI

OF THE SACRAMENTS, CONSIDERED SINGLY:

PART II

198. Why are the sacraments of Holy Orders and Extreme Unction and Healing called sustaining sacraments?

Because by Holy Orders the administering of grace in the Church is sustained, while Unction sustains the dying and the sick.

199. What is Holy Orders?

Holy Orders is the sacrament through which human beings receive the power and grace to perform the sacred duties of the clergy of the Church.

200. By what other term has the Gnostic Church sometimes referred to Holy Orders?

As the Mystery of the Great Name.

201. How many grades or offices of Holy Orders are there?

Nine, to wit: cleric, doorkeeper, reader, exorcist, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon, priest and bishop.

202. Which among the grades is qualified to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, and thus change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ?

The grades of priest and bishop.

203. What duties is a deacon qualified to perform?

A deacon may perform many duties, such as read the gospel, preach, and serve Holy Communion with the reserved

sacrament, but may not celebrate the Holy Eucharist.

204. What are the duties of the lesser grades or orders?

They assist the bishop, the priests and deacons in various ways.

205. What are the effects of the sacrament of Holy Orders?

The effects of ordination to the holy orders are: (1) an increase in sanctifying grace; (2) the gift of sacramental grace, through which one in holy orders receives divine help in the performance of the ministry; (3) an indelible imprint that impresses itself forever on the soul; (4) the authority to perform certain sacred actions appropriate to the office concerned.

206. What are some of the requirements, that a person may receive Holy Orders worthily?

To receive holy orders worthily it is necessary: (1) that one be of good character and in a state of grace; (2) that one be informed in the Mythos of the Gnosis; (3) that one have the intention of devoting one's life to the sacred ministry; (4) that one be determined to teach and serve the Gnosis according to the teachings and practice of the Gnostic Church; and (5) that one should have the inward call from one's spirit and the outward call from one's bishop.

207. Who confers the sacrament of Holy Orders?

The bishop in his capacity as successor of the apostles, is the one who confers the sacrament of Holy Orders.

208. What is the apostolic succession?

The apostolic succession is the mechanism whereby the Holy Orders instituted and administered by Christ are transmitted to His sacramental servants throughout the ages. The Gospel of Philip says: "The Son anointed the apostles and the apostles anointed us".

209. What is the sacrament of Extreme Unction and Healing?

This sacrament is one, where, through the anointing with blessed oil by the minister and through certain special prayers, strength of soul and body are increased in ill or dying persons.

210. What has the sacrament of Extreme Unction and Healing been also sometimes called in the Gnostic Church?

It has been called the Mystery of the Pneumatic Unctions.

211. What are the effects of the sacrament of Extreme Unction and Healing?

The effects are: (1) an increase in sanctifying grace; (2) the gift of comfort and serenity in sickness; (3) preparation for entry into the higher worlds, and (4) healing of the body when expedient for the soul and spirit.

212. Who can administer the sacrament of Extreme Unction and Healing?

Only those in major orders (deacons, priests and bishops) can administer this sacrament.

213. What is a public healing service?

A public healing service consists of the administering of the unction and prayers to persons not necessarily in danger of death.

214. Should sacramental healing be used so as to take the place of medical help?

No. Spiritual means of healing exist to work along with and not to replace physical medicine.

215. What are the substitutional or secondary sacraments?

They are Penance and Matrimony.

216. Why are they called substitutional?

Because Penance came to substitute for Redemption and Matrimony for the Bride-Chamber, and also because their forms of administration underwent many vicissitudes and were subject to doubt and argument.

217. Have the two substitutional sacraments always been considered true sacraments?

No. But there always existed formulae of absolution (Penance), and nuptial blessings for couples.

218. Why do we consider them sacraments today?

Because the higher esoteric sacraments are not generally available, and these two sacraments symbolically represent and foreshadow them.

219. What is the sacrament of Penance?

Penance (absolution) is the sacrament whereby one is cleansed of faults which bind one to the realm of the Archons. (This is known popularly as the remission of sins.)

220. What is the effect of the sacrament of Penance?

Its effect is the experience of divine forgiveness.

221. What must one do to receive this sacrament fully and worthily?

One must: (1) examine one's conscience; (2) be contrite (sorry) for one's offenses; (3) have the firm purpose of not committing offenses again. (Verbal confession is not necessary, although it is sometimes desirable.)

222. What does the Gnostic regard as an offense (sin)?

Gnostics are concerned chiefly with offenses against the supreme commandment given to us by Christ Himself, namely to love God with the totality of our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is the commandment that has replaced all others, therefore to offend against it is the only true sin.

223. What is guilt?

Guilt is the condition of the mind of the unforgiven. Gnostic Christians have no need of guilt, only of contrition whereby they gain forgiveness.

224. What is the outward sign of divine forgiveness?

It is the sacrament of Penance, or more correctly of absolution.

225. What is the sacrament of Matrimony?

Matrimony is the sacrament whereby two persons enter into a condition of marriage and thereby foreshadow under an earthly semblance the mystery of the Bride-Chamber.

226. What are the effects of the sacrament of Matrimony?

The effects of this sacrament are the presence of sanctifying grace and divine help for the married state.

227. Who administers the sacrament of Matrimony?

The two marital partners administer the sacrament to each other, with the priest acting as a solemnizing agent.

APPENDIX A

PRAYER

a.) What is prayer?

Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God.

b.) How many forms of prayer are there?

There are two forms of prayer: vocal prayer and mental prayer.

c.) How many categories of prayer are there?

There are three principal kinds of prayer: (1) prayers of petition and intercession; (2) prayers of adoration and praise; (3) prayers of contemplation. The former two are vocal, the latter one is mental. Prayers of intercession are addressed to Aeonial beings, saints and angels; all other prayers are addressed to God.

d.) What do we need to keep in mind when uttering prayers of petition?

We have to keep in mind that God alone knows what is truly useful to the welfare of our spirits and that thus our petitions are contingent upon the will and wisdom of God. (Witness the prayer of Jesus in the garden: "however, not my will, but Thine be done.")

e.) What is mental prayer?

Mental prayer is that prayer wherein we inwardly unite our hearts with God. Sometimes it is called meditation.

f.) Are vocal and mental prayer both necessary?

Both are necessary facilitators of grace and Gnosis.

APPENDIX B

THE GNOSTIC IN THE WORLD

g.) Do Gnostics strive to improve the world?

Yes, by improving themselves through Gnosis.

h.) Why is this so?

The world is in large part the domain of the Archons. As such it is not perfectible. Still it can be somewhat improved and its inherent deficiency diminishes every time a human spirit attains to liberating Gnosis.

i.) Are Gnostics inclined to any particular system of worldly government?

Individual Gnostics may support any worldly cause or none. The Gnostic world view, however, advises caution concerning all such involvements.

j.) Does the Gnostic world view uphold or rebel against worldly "establishments"?

It does neither, for its attitude is well stated in one of its scriptures: "Do not put your trust in the potentates, rulers, and the rebels of this world, for their authority passes away and comes to an end and their works are as naught."

k.) What is the chief requirement of the Gnostic in worldly society?

The chief requirement of the Gnostic in worldly society is an optimum degree of freedom, for without freedom the pursuit of Gnosis becomes very difficult. Since the freedom of Gnostics cannot be separated from the freedoms of all others, the freer all human beings are, the better this is for Gnosis and for Gnostics.

Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 6:27 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2014 2:07 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
Topic: doctrine

Evangelical churches today are increasingly dominated by the spirit of this age rather than by the Spirit of Christ. As evangelicals, we call ourselves to repent of this sin and to recover the historic Christian faith.

In the course of history words change. In our day this has happened to the word "evangelical." In the past it served as a bond of unity between Christians from a wide diversity of church traditions. Historic evangelicalism was confessional. It embraced the essential truths of Christianity as those were defined by the great ecumenical councils of the church. In addition, evangelicals also shared a common heritage in the "solas" of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation.

Today the light of the Reformation has been significantly dimmed. The consequence is that the word "evangelical" has become so inclusive as to have lost its meaning. We face the peril of losing the unity it has taken centuries to achieve. Because of this crisis and because of our love of Christ, his gospel and his church, we endeavor to assert anew our commitment to the central truths of the Reformation and of historic evangelicalism. These truths we affirm not because of their role in our traditions, but because we believe that they are central to the Bible.

Sola Scriptura: The Erosion Of Authority

Scripture alone is the inerrant rule of the church's life, but the evangelical church today has separated Scripture from its authoritative function. In practice, the church is guided, far too often, by the culture. Therapeutic technique, marketing strategies, and the beat of the entertainment world often have far more to say about what the church wants, how it functions and what it offers, than does the Word of God. Pastors have neglected their rightful oversight of worship, including the doctrinal content of the music. As biblical authority has been abandoned in practice, as its truths have faded from Christian consciousness, and as its doctrines have lost their saliency, the church has been increasingly emptied of its integrity, moral authority and direction.

Rather than adapting Christian faith to satisfy the felt needs of consumers, we must proclaim the law as the only measure of true righteousness and the gospel as the only announcement of saving truth. Biblical truth is indispensable to the church's understanding, nurture and discipline.

Scripture must take us beyond our perceived needs to our real needs and liberate us from seeing ourselves through the seductive images, cliche's, promises. and priorities of mass culture. It is only in the light of God's truth that we understand ourselves aright and see God's provision for our need. The Bible, therefore, must be taught and preached in the church. Sermons must be expositions of the Bible and its teachings, not expressions of the preachers opinions or the ideas of the age. We must settle for nothing less than what God has given.

The work of the Holy Spirit in personal experience cannot be disengaged from Scripture. The Spirit does not speak in ways that are independent of Scripture. Apart from Scripture we would never have known of God's grace in Christ. The biblical Word, rather than spiritual experience, is the test of truth.

Thesis One: Sola Scriptura

We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured. We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian's conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.

Solus Christus: The Erosion Of Christ-Centered Faith

As evangelical faith becomes secularized, its interests have been blurred with those of the culture. The result is a loss of absolute values, permissive individualism, and a substitution of wholeness for holiness, recovery for repentance, intuition for truth, feeling for belief, chance for providence, and immediate gratification for enduring hope. Christ and his cross have moved from the center of our vision.

Thesis Two: Solus Christus

We reaffirm that our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father.

We deny that the gospel is preached if Christ's substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited.

Sola Gratia: The Erosion Of The Gospel

Unwarranted confidence in human ability is a product of fallen human nature. This false confidence now fills the evangelical world; from the self-esteem gospel, to the health and wealth gospel, from those who have transformed the gospel into a product to be sold and sinners into consumers who want to buy, to others who treat Christian faith as being true simply because it works. This silences the doctrine of justification regardless of the official commitments of our churches.

God's grace in Christ is not merely necessary but is the sole efficient cause of salvation. We confess that human beings are born spiritually dead and are incapable even of cooperating with regenerating grace.

Thesis Three: Sola Gratia

We reaffirm that in salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.

We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.

Sola Fide: The Erosion Of The Chief Article

Justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. This is the article by which the church stands or falls. Today this article is often ignored, distorted or sometimes even denied by leaders, scholars and pastors who claim to be evangelical. Although fallen human nature has always recoiled from recognizing its need for Christ's imputed righteousness, modernity greatly fuels the fires of this discontent with the biblical Gospel. We have allowed this discontent to dictate the nature of our ministry and what it is we are preaching.

Many in the church growth movement believe that sociological understanding of those in the pew is as important to the success of the gospel as is the biblical truth which is proclaimed. As a result, theological convictions are frequently divorced from the work of the ministry. The marketing orientation in many churches takes this even further, erasing the distinction between the biblical Word and the world, robbing Christ's cross of its offense, and reducing Christian faith to the principles and methods which bring success to secular corporations.

While the theology of the cross may be believed, these movements are actually emptying it of its meaning. There is no gospel except that of Christ's substitution in our place whereby God imputed to him our sin and imputed to us his righteousness. Because he bore our judgment, we now walk in his grace as those who are forever pardoned, accepted and adopted as God's children. There is no basis for our acceptance before God except in Christ's saving work, not in our patriotism, churchly devotion or moral decency. The gospel declares what God has done for us in Christ. It is not about what we can do to reach him.

Thesis Four: Sola Fide

We reaffirm that justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. In justification Christ's righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God's perfect justice.

We deny that justification rests on any merit to be found in us, or upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ's righteousness in us, or that an institution claiming to be a church that denies or condemns sola fide can be recognized as a legitimate church.

Soli Deo Gloria: The Erosion Of God-Centered Worship

Wherever in the church biblical authority has been lost, Christ has been displaced, the gospel has been distorted, or faith has been perverted, it has always been for one reason: our interests have displaced God's and we are doing his work in our way. The loss of God's centrality in the life of today's church is common and lamentable. It is this loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, believing into technique, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful. As a result, God, Christ and the Bible have come to mean too little to us and rest too inconsequentially upon us.

God does not exist to satisfy human ambitions, cravings, the appetite for consumption, or our own private spiritual interests. We must focus on God in our worship, rather than the satisfaction of our personal needs. God is sovereign in worship; we are not. Our concern must be for God's kingdom, not our own empires, popularity or success.

Thesis Five: Soli Deo Gloria

We reaffirm that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God's glory and that we must glorify him always. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for his glory alone. We deny that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self- fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel.

Call To Repentance And Reformation

The faithfulness of the evangelical church in the past contrasts sharply with its unfaithfulness in the present. Earlier in this century, evangelical churches sustained a remarkable missionary endeavor, and built many religious institutions to serve the cause of biblical truth and Christ's kingdom. That was a time when Christian behavior and expectations were markedly different from those in the culture. Today they often are not. The evangelical world today is losing its biblical fidelity, moral compass and missionary zeal.

We repent of our worldliness. We have been influenced by the "gospels" of our secular culture, which are no gospels. We have weakened the church by our own lack of serious repentance, our blindness to the sins in ourselves which we see so clearly in others, and our inexcusable failure adequately to tell others about God's saving work in Jesus Christ.

We also earnestly call back erring professing evangelicals who have deviated from God's Word in the matters discussed in this Declaration. This includes those who declare that there is hope of eternal life apart from explicit faith in Jesus Christ, who claim that those who reject Christ in this life will be annihilated rather than endure the just judgment of God through eternal suffering, or who claim that evangelicals and Roman Catholics are one in Jesus Christ even where the biblical doctrine of justification is not believed.

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals asks all Christians to give consideration to implementing this Declaration in the church's worship, ministry, policies, life and evangelism. For Christ's sake. Amen.


Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 11:08 AM EDT
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A Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith
Topic: doctrine

1. I believe that God, since the creation of His world, has plainly revealed through the things He has made His eternal power and divine nature, and the requirements of His law, so that there is no excuse for unbelief or disobedience on the part of any man; yet however glorious this revelation, it is not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary for salvation.

2. I believe that my one aim in life and death should be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever; and that God teaches me how to glorify and enjoy Him in His inerrant Word, that is, the Bible, which He has given by the infallible inspiration of His Holy Spirit in order that I may certainly know what I am to believe concerning Him and what duty He requires of me.

3. I believe that the whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture; unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by alleged new revelations of the Spirit or by traditions of men.

4. I believe that God authenticated His prophets and apostles as agents of revelation by mighty acts of His power employed by Him as signs whereby all men should confess, concerning those who are gifted with such power, "We know you are a teacher sent from God, for no one could do the things you do lest God were with Him"; and I believe that the great outpouring of such miracles displayed in the ministry of Christ and His Apostles signified the breaking into history of God's promised kingdom, which kingdom, when established in its fullness, will issue in the miraculous renewal of all creation; and that until such time, God is at work bringing men and women into that kingdom through the supernatural work of regeneration.

5. I believe that because God has completed His revelation in Jesus Christ, the former ways of revealing His will are now ceased; and because the final and manifest establishment of His kingdom is yet to come, God does not now choose to publicly display His miraculous power. Nevertheless I believe that God is directly upholding and governing His creation, moment by moment; that God faithfully supplies the needs of His people through His constant providential care; and that He often blesses them with special providences wherein He strengthens their faith and displays His special love for them to the world.

6. I believe that God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth; incomparable in all that He is; one God but three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, my Creator, my Redeemer, and my Sanctifier; in whose power, wisdom, righteousness, goodness, and truth I may safely put my trust.

7. I believe that God has all life, glory, goodness, and blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of me, or deriving any glory from me, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon me in Christ Jesus; and that He has most sovereign dominion over me, to do by me, for me, or upon me whatsoever He pleases.

8. I believe that God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence done to the will of the creature; and trusting in the decree of God, I who am called according to His purpose, I may be assured that all things will work together for my good.

9. I believe that the heavens and the earth, and all that in them is, are the works of God's hands; and that all that He has made He directs and governs in all their actions, so that they fulfill the end for which they were created, and I who trust in Him shall not be put to shame, but may rest securely in the protection of His almighty love.

10.I believe that God created man after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and that all men owe their Creator thanksgiving and worship; yet God condescended, making a covenant with man, that men might know God, not just as Creator, but as their blessedness and reward. And I believe that while the requirement of this covenant, originating under Adam, was obedience, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit him to disobey, having purposed to order it to His own glory; so that it was by willfully sinning against God that I, in Adam, lost the rewards of a covenant keeper, and suffer the curses due a covenant breaker. Therefore my only hope of salvation is that Christ the second Adam, has kept the covenant, securing its rewards for the elect, among whom by grace I am numbered.

11. I believe that, being fallen in Adam, my first father, I am by nature a child of wrath, under the condemnation of God and corrupted in body and soul, prone to evil and liable to eternal death; from which dreadful state I cannot be delivered save through the unmerited grace of God my Savior.

12. I believe that God has not left the world to perish in its sin, but out of the great love wherewith He has loved it, has from all eternity graciously chosen unto Himself a multitude which no man can number, to deliver them out of their sin and misery, and of them to build up again in the world His kingdom of righteousness; in which kingdom I may be assured I have my part, if I hold fast to Christ the Lord.

13. I believe that God has redeemed His people unto HimseIf through Jesus Christ our Lord; who, though He was and ever continues to be the eternal Son of God, yet was born of a woman, born under the law, that He might redeem them that are under the law; I believe that He bore the penalty due to my sins in His own body on the tree, and fulfilled in His own person the obedience I owe to the righteousness of God, and now presents me to His Father as His purchased possession, to the praise of the glory of His grace forever; wherefore renouncing all merit of my own, put all my trust only in the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ my redeemer.

14. I believe that Jesus Christ my redeemer, who died for my offenses was raised again for my justification, and ascended into the heavens, where He sits at he right hand of the Father Almighty continually making intercession for his people, and governing the whole world as head over all things for His Church; so that I need fear no evil and may surely know that nothing can snatch me out of His hands and nothing can separate me from His love.

15. I believe that the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ is effectualy applied to all His people by the Holy Spirit, who works faith in me and thereby unites me to Christ, renews me in the whole man after the image of God, and enables me more and more to die unto sin and to live unto righteousness; until His gracious work having been completed in me, I shall be received into glory; in which great hope abiding, I must ever strive to perfect holiness in the fear of God.

16. I believe that God requires of me, under the gospel, first of all, that, out of a true sense of my sin and misery and apprehension of His mercy in Christ, I should turn with grief and hatred away from sin and receive and rest upon Jesus Christ alone for salvation; that, so being united to Him, I may receive pardon for my sins and be accepted as righteous in God's sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to me and received by faith alone; thus, and thus only, do I believe I may be received into the number and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.

17. I believe that, having been pardoned and accepted for Christ's sake, it is further required of me that I walk in the Spirit whom He has purchased for me, and by whom love is shed abroad in my heart; fulfilling the obedience I owe to Christ my King; faithfully performing all the duties laid upon me by the holy law of God my heavenly Father; and ever reflecting in my life and conduct the perfect example that has been set me by Christ Jesus my leader, who has died for me and granted to me His Holy Spirit that I may do the good works which God has afore prepared that I should walk in them.

18. I believe that God has established His Church in the world, one and the same in all ages, and now, under the Gospel, has endowed it with the ministry of the Word and the holy ordinances of Baptism, the Lord's Supper and prayer; in order that through these means, the riches of His grace in the gospel may be known to the world, and by the blessing of Christ and the working of His Spirit in them that by faith receive them, the benefits of redemption may be communicated to His people; wherefore also it is required of me that I attend on these means of grace with diligence, preparation, and prayer, so that through them I may be instructed and strengthened in faith, and in holiness of life and in love; and that I use by best endeavors to carry this gospel and convey these means of grace to the whole world.

19. I believe that the visible Church consists of all those who are united to Christ, the Head of the Church, by profession of their faith, together with their children; and that the visible unity of the body of Christ, though obscured, is not destroyed by its division into different denominations of professing Christians. Therefore I believe that all of these which maintain the Word and Sacraments in their fundamental integrity are to be recognized as true branches of the Church of Jesus Christ.

20. I believe that God alone is Lord of the conscience and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in any respect contrary to His Word, or beside it in matters of faith or worship. I believe therefore, that the rights of private judgment in all matters that respect religion are universal and inalienable and that no religious constitution should be supported by the civil power, further than may be necessary for protection and security equal and common to all others.

21. I believe that the Church is God's spiritual minister for the purpose of redemption and the state is God's providential minister for the purpose of thisworldly order. The power of the Church is exclusively spiritual; that of the State includes the exercise of force. The constitution of the Church derives exclusively from divine revelation; the constitution of the State must be determined by human reason and the course of providential events. I believe therefore that the Church has no right to construct or modify a government for the State, and the State has no right to frame a creed or polity for the Church.

22. I believe that disciples of Jesus Christ are called to be His witnesses in the world, proclaiming the justice and mercy of God to all men, and making evident His wise and righteous rule over every aspect of human culture. Therefore it is my obligation to search the Scriptures with all the skills God has allotted me, and to seek, within the bounds of my calling, to apply my understanding of His Word to the entire created order, and to all the outworkings of His most wise providence. And I believe that it is my privilege and duty to pursue a vocation in this world that employs my gifts to the glory of God, and for the good of my family, my congregation, my community, and, as God brings opportunity, to any who may be in need.

23. I believe that as Jesus Christ has once come in grace, so also is He to come a second time in glory, to judge the world in righteousness and assign to each his eternal reward; the wicked shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them, wherein their consciences shall fully concur, and they shall be cast into hell, to be punished with unspeakable torments, both in body and soul, with the devil and his angels for ever. The righteous in Christ shall be caught up with Christ and there openly acknowledged and acquitted; shall be received into heaven, where they shall fully and forever be freed from all sin and misery; filled with inconceivable joys, made perfectly holy and happy in both body and soul, in the great company of all God's saints and holy angels, but especially in the immediate vision of God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all eternity.

24. I believe that if I die in Christ, my soul shall be at death made perfect in holiness and go home to the Lord, and when He shall return in His majesty I shall be raised in glory and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity; encouraged by which blessed hope, it is required of me willingly to take my part in suffering hardships here as a good soldier of Christ Jesus, being assured that if I die with Him I shall also live with Him, if I endure, I shall also reign with Him.

And to Him, my Redeemer,
with the Father,
and the Holy Spirit,
Three Persons, one God,
be glory forever, world without end,
Amen, and Amen.


Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 10:55 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 22 February 2012
The Westminster Confession of Faith
Topic: Teachings
Table of Contents

Chapter I - Of the Holy Scripture 
Chapter II - Of God, and of the Holy Trinity 
Chapter III - Of God's Eternal Decree 
Chapter IV - Of Creation 
Chapter V - Of Providence 
Chapter VI - Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof 
Chapter VII - Of God's Covenant with Man 
Chapter VIII - Of Christ the Mediator 
Chapter IX - Of Free Will 
Chapter X - Of Effectual Calling 
Chapter XI - Of Justification 
Chapter XII - Of Adoption 
Chapter XIII - Of Sanctification 
Chapter XIV - Of Saving Faith 
Chapter XV - Of Repentance unto Life 
Chapter XVI - Of Good Works 
Chapter XVII - Of the Perseverance of the Saints 
Chapter XVIII - Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation 
Chapter XIX - Of the Law of God 
Chapter XX - Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience 
Chapter XXI - Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day 
Chapter XXII - Of Lawful Oaths and Vows 
Chapter XXIII - Of the Civil Magistrate 
Chapter XXIV - Of Marriage and Divorce 
Chapter XXV - Of the Church 
Chapter XXVI - Of the Communion of Saints 
Chapter XXVII - Of the Sacraments 
Chapter XXVIII - Of Baptism 
Chapter XXIX - Of the Lord's Supper 
Chapter XXX - Of Church Censures 
Chapter XXXI - Of Synods and Councils 
Chapter XXXII - Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead 
Chapter XXXIII - Of the Last Judgment
The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter I 
Of the Holy Scripture

I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable;[1] yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation.[2] Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church;[3] and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing:[4] which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;[5] those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.[6]

1. Rom. 1:19-20; 1:32-2:1; 2:14-15; Psa. 19:1-4 
2. John 17:3; I Cor. 1:21; 2:13-14 
3. Heb. 1:1-2 
4. Luke 1:3-4; Rom. 15:4; Matt. 4:4, 7, 10; Isa. 8:20 
5. II Tim. 3:15; II Peter 1:19 
6. John 20:31; I Cor. 10:11; 14:37; I John 5:13; Heb. 1:1-2; 2:2-4

II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:

All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.[7]

7. Luke 16:29, 31; 24:27, 44; II Tim. 3:15-16; John 5:46-47

III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.[8]

8. Rev. 22:18-19; Rom. 3:2; II Peter 1:21

IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.[9]

9. II Peter 1:19-20; II Tim. 3:16; I John 5:9; I Thess. 2:13; Rev. 1:1-2

V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.[10] And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.[11]

10. I Tim 3:15 
11. I Cor. 2:4-5, 9-10; Heb. 4:12; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11, 59:21; Rom. 11:36: Psa. 19:7-11; II Tim. 3:15; I Thess. 1:5; I John 2:20, 27

VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.[12] Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word:[13] and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.[14]

12. II Tim. 3:16-17; Gal. 1:8-9; II Thess. 2:2 
13. John 6:45; I Cor. 2:12, 14-15; Eph. 1:18; II Cor. 4:6 
14. I Cor. 11:13-14; 14:26, 40

VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:[15] yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.[16]

15. II Peter 3:16 
16. Psa. 119:105, 130; Deut. 29:29; 30:10-14; Acts 17:11

VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by his singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical;[17] so as, in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal unto them.[18] But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them,[19] therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,[20] that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner;[21] and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.[22]

17. Matt. 5:18; Psa. 119;89 
18. Isa. 8:20; Matt. 15:3, 6; Acts 15:15; Luke 16:31 
19. John 5:39; Acts 17:11; Rev. 1:3; II Tim. 3:14,15 
20. Matt. 28:19-20; I Cor. 14:6; Mark 15:34 
21. Col. 3:16; Exod. 20:4-6; Matt. 15:7-9 
22. Rom. 15:4

IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.[23]

23. Acts 15:15; John 5:46; II Peter 1:20-21

X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.[24]

24. Matt. 22:29,31; Acts 28:25; I John 4:1-6

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter II 
Of God, and of the Holy Trinity

I. There is but one only,[1] living, and true God,[2] who is infinite in being and perfection,[3] a most pure spirit,[4] invisible,[5] without body, parts,[6] or passions;[7] immutable,[8] immense,[9] eternal,[10] incomprehensible,[11] almighty,[12] most wise,[13] most holy,[14] most free,[15] most absolute;[16] working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will,[17] for his own glory;[18] most loving,[19] gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;[20] the rewarder of them that diligently seek him;[21] and withal, most just, and terrible in his judgments,[22] hating all sin,[23] and who will by no means clear the guilty.[24]

1. Deut. 6:4; I Cor. 8:4, 6; Gal. 3:20

2. I Thess. 1:9; Jer. 10:10 
3. Job 11:7-9; Job 26:14; Psa. 139:6 
4. John 4:24 
5. I Tim. 1:17; John 1:18 
6. Deut. 4:15-16; John 4:24 with Luke 24:39 
7. Acts 14:11, 15 
8. James 1:17; Mal. 3:6 
9. I Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:23-24 
10. Psa. 90:2; I Tim. 1:17 
11. Psa. 145:3; Rom. 11:34 
12. Gen. 17:1; Rev. 4:8 
13. Rom. 16:27 
14. Isa. 6:3: Rev. 4:8 
15. Psa. 115:3; Isa. 14:24 
16. Isa. 45:5,6; Exod. 3:14 
17. Eph. 1:11 
18. Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36; Rev. 4:11 
19. I John 4:8, 16; John 3:16 
20. Exod. 34:6-7 
21. Heb. 11:6 
22. Neh. 9:32-33; Heb. 10:28-31 
23. Rom. 1:18; Psa. 5:5-6; 11:5 
24. Exod. 34:7a; Nah. 1:2-3, 6

II. God hath all life,[25] glory,[26] goodness,[27] blessedness,[28] in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made,[29] nor deriving any glory from them,[30] but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things;[31] and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever himself pleaseth.[32] In his sight all things are open and manifest,[33] his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature,[34] so as nothing is to him contingent, or uncertain.[35] He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands.[36] To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience he is pleased to require of them.[37]

25. Jer. 10:10; see John 5:26 
26. Acts 7:2 
27. Psa. 119:68 
28. I Tim. 6:15; see Rom. 9:5 
29. Acts 17:24-25 
30. Luke 17:10 
31. Rom. 11:36 
32. Rev. 4:11; Dan. 4:25, 35; see I Tim. 6:15 
33. Heb. 4:13 
34. Rom. 11:33-34; Psa. 147:5 
35. Acts 15:18; Ezek. 11:5 
36. Psa. 145:17; Rom. 7:12 
37. Rev. 5:12-14

III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost:[38] the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father;[39] the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.[40]

38. Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; see Eph. 2:18 39. John 1:14, 18; see Heb. 1:2-3; Col. 1:15

40. John 15:26; Gal. 4:6

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III 
Of God's Eternal Decree

I. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:[1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]

1. Psa. 33:11: Eph. 1:11: Heb. 6:17 
2. Psa. 5:4; James 1:13-14; I John 1:5; see Hab. 1:13 
3. Acts 2:23; 4:27-28: Matt. 17:12; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33

II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,[4] yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[5]

4. I Sam. 23:11-12; Matt. 11:21-23 
5. Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18

III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels[6] are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[7]

6. I Tim 5:21; Jude 1:6; Matt. 25:31, 41 
7. Eph. 1:5-6; Rom. 9:22-23; Prov. 16:4

IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[8]

8. John 10:14-16, 27-28; 13:18; 17:2, 6, 9-12; II Tim. 2:19

V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,[9] out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto;[10] and all to the praise of his glorious grace.[12]

9. Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:28-30; II Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:9 
10. Rom. 9:11, 13, 15-16; see Eph. 1:5, 9, 11; 2:8-9 
11. Eph. 1:6, 12

VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto.[12] Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[13] are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,[14] and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation.[15] Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[16]

12. I Peter 1:2; Eph. 2:10; II Thess. 2:13 
13. I Thess. 5:9-10; Titus 2:14 
14. Rom. 8:30; see Eph. 1:5; II Thess. 2:13 
15. I Peter 1:5 
16. John 4:47, 6:64-65, 10:14-15 & 26, 17:9; Rom. 8:28-39; I John 2:19

VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.[17]

17. Matt. 11:25-26; Rom. 9:17-18, 21-22; Jude 1:4; I Peter 2:8; II Tim. 2:19-20

VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,[18] that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.[19] So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God;[20] and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.[21]

18. Rom. 9:20; 11:33; Deut. 29:29 
19. II Peter 1:10; I Thess. 1:4-5 
20. Eph. 1:6; see Rom. 11:33 
21. Rom. 8:33; 11:5-6, 20; Luke 10:20; see II Peter 1:10

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter IV 
Of Creation

I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,[1] for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness,[2] in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.[3]

1. Rom 11:36; I Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2; John 1:2-3; Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4 
2. Rom 1:20; Jer. 10:12; Psa. 33:5; 104:24 
3. Gen 1:1-31; Psa. 33:6; Heb. 11:3; Col. 1:16; Acts 17:24; Exod. 20:11

II. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female,[4] with reasonable and immortal souls,[5] endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image;[6] having the law of God written in their hearts,[7] and power to fulfill it:[8] and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change.[9] Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God,[10] and had dominion over the creatures.[11]

4. Gen 1:27 
5. Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; Luke 23:43; Matt. 10:28 
6. Gen. 1:26; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24 
7. Rom. 2:14-15 
8. Gen. 2:17; Eccl. 7:29 
9. Gen. 3:6, 17 
10. Gen. 2:17; 2:15-3:24 
11. Gen. 1:28-30; Psa. 8:6-8

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter V 
Of Providence

I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[1] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[2] from the greatest even to the least,[3] by his most wise and holy providence,[4] according to his infallible foreknowledge,[5] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[6] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[7]

1. Neh. 9:6; Psa. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3 
2. Dan. 4:34-35; Psa. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 34:1-41:34 
3. Matt. 6:26-32; 10:29-31 
4. Prov. 15:3; I Chr. 16:9; Psa. 104:24; 145;17 
5. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5 
6. Eph. 1:11; Psa. 33:10-11 
7. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 917; Gen. 45:7; Psa. 145:7

II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;[8] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[9]

8. Acts 2:23; see Isa. 14:24, 27 
9. Gen 8:22; Jer. 31:35; Isa. 10:6,7; see Exod. 21:13 and Deut. 19:5; I Kings 22:28-34

III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,[10] yet is free to work without,[11] above,[12] and against them, at his pleasure.[13]

10. Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11 
11. Hosea 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20 
12. Rom. 4:19-21 
13. II Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27

IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;[14] and that not by a bare permission,[15] but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[16] and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;[17] yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[18]

14. Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; see II Sam. 24:1 and I Chr. 21:1; I Kings 22:22-23; I Chr. 10:4, 13-14 
15. John 12:40; II Thess. 2:11 
16. Psa. 76:10; II Kings 19:28 
17. Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:6-7,12-15 (particularly v.12) 
18. James 1:13-14, 17; I John 2:16; Psa. 50:21

V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;[19] and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.[20]

19. II Chr. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam. 24:1, 25 
20. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Psa. 73:1-28; 77:1-12; Mark 14: 66-72; John 21:15-19

VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,[21] from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;[22] but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[23] and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin;[24] and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,[25] whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.[26]

21. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28; 11:7-8 
22. Deut. 29:4; Mark 4:11-12 
23. Matt. 13:12; 25:29; see Acts 13:10-11 
24. Gen. 4:4; II Kings 8:12-13; see Matt. 26:14-16 
25. Psa. 109:6; Luke 22:3; II Thess. 2:10-12 
26. Exod. 7:3, 8:15, 32; II Cor. 2:15-16; Isa. 6:9-10, 8:14; I Pet 2:7-8; Acts 28:26-27

VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.[27]

27. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 4:28; Isa. 43:3-5, 14

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter VI 
Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof

I. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtlety and temptation of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit.[1] This their sin, God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.[2]

1. Gen. 3:13; II Cor. 11:3 
2. See Chapter V, Section IV

II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God,[3] and so became dead in sin,[4] and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body.[5]

3. Gen. 3:6-8; Rom. 3:23 
4. Gen. 2:17; Eph. 2:1-3; see Rom. 5:12 
5. Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Titus 1:15; Rom. 3:10-19

III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed;[6] and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.[7]

6. Acts. 17:26; Rom. 5:12, 15-19; I Cor. 15:21-22, 49 
7. Psa. 51:5; John 3:6; Gen. 5:3; Job 15:14

IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good,[8] and wholly inclined to all evil,[9] do proceed all actual transgressions.[10]

8. Rom. 5:6; 7:18; 8:7; Col. 1:21 
9. Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Rom. 3:10-12 
10. Matt. 15:19; James 1:14-15; Eph. 2:2-3

V. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated;[11] and although it be, through Christ, pardoned, and mortified; yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.[12]

11. Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20; Rom. 7:14, 17-18, 21-23; I John 1:8, 10

12. Rom. 7:7-8, 25; Gal. 5:17

VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto,[13] doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner,[14] whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God,[15] and curse of the law,[16] and so made subject to death,[17] with all miseries spiritual,[18] temporal,[19] and eternal.[20]

13. I John 3:4 
14. Rom. 2:15; 3:9, 19 
15. Eph. 2:3 
16. Gal. 3:10 
17. Rom. 6:23 
18. Eph. 4:18 
19. Rom. 8:20; Lam. 3:39 
20. Matt. 25:41; II Thess. 1:9

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter VII 
Of God's Covenant with Man

I. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.[1]

1. Isa. 40:13-17; Job 9:32-33; 22:2-3; 35:7-8; Psa. 113:5-6; Luke 17:10; Acts 17:24-25

II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works,[2] wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity,[3] upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.[4]

2. Gen. 2:16-17; Hosea 6:7; Gal. 3:12 
3. Gen. 3:22: Rom. 5:12-20; 10:5 
4. Gen 2:17; Gal. 3:10

III. Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second,[5] commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved,[6] and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.[7]

5. Gal. 3:21; Rom. 3:20-21; 8:3; Gen. 3:15; see Isa. 42:6 
6. John 3:16; Rom. 10:6, 9; Rev. 22:17 
7. Acts 13:48; Ezek. 36:26-27; John 6:37, 44-45; I Cor. 12:3

IV. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in Scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.[8]

8. Heb. 9:15-17

V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel:[9] under the law, it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come;[10] which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah,[11] by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the old testament.[12]

9. II Cor. 3:6-9 
10. Heb. 8-10; Rom. 4:11; Col. 2:11-12; I Cor. 5:7 
11. I Cor. 10:1-4; Heb. 11:13; John 8:56 
12. Gal. 3:7-9, 14; Psa. 32:1-2, 5

VI. Under the gospel, when Christ, the substance,[13] was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper:[14] which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence and spiritual efficacy,[15] to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles;[16] and is called the new testament.[17] There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.[18]

13. Col 2:17

14. I Cor. 1:21; 11:23-25; Matt. 28:19-20 
15. Heb. 12:22-24; II Cor. 3:9-11; Jer. 31:33-34 
16. Luke 2:32; Acts 10:34; Eph. 2:15-19 
17. Luke 22:20 
18. Gal. 3:8-9, 14, 16; Rom. 3:21-22, 30; 4:3, 6-8, 16-17, 23-24; 10:6-10; Heb. 4:2; Gen. 15:6; Psa. 32:1-2; I Cor. 10:3-4

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter VIII 
Of Christ the Mediator

I. It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man,[1] the Prophet,[2] Priest,[3] and King,[4] the Head and Savior of his church,[5] the Heir of all things,[6] and Judge of the world:[7] unto whom he did from all eternity give a people, to be his seed,[8] and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.[9]

1. Isa. 42:1; I Peter 1:19-20; John 3:16; I Tim. 2:5 
2. Acts 3:20, 22; see Deut. 18:15 
3. Heb. 5:5-6 
4. Psa. 2:6; Luke 1:33; see Isa. 9:5-6; Acts 2:29-36; Col. 1:13 
5. Eph. 5:23 
6. Heb. 1:2 
7. Acts 17:31 
8. John 17:6; Psa. 22:30; Isa. 53:10; Eph. 1:4 
9. I Tim. 2:6; Isa. 55:4-5; I Cor. 1:30; Rom 8:30

II. The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man's nature,[10] with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin;[11] being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance.[12] So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion.[13] Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.[14]

10. John 1:1, 14; I John 5:20; Phil. 2:6; Gal. 4:4 
11. Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:14, 16-17; 4:15 
12. Luke 1:27, 31, 35; Gal. 4:4; see Matt. 1:18, 20-21 
13. Matt. 16:16; Col. 2:9; Rom. 9:5; I Tim. 3:16 
14. Rom. 1:3-4; I Tim. 2:5

III. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure,[15] having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;[16] in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell;[17] to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth,[18] he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a mediator, and surety.[19] Which office he took not unto himself, but was thereunto called by his Father,[20] who put all power and judgment into his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same.[21]

15. Psa. 45:7; John 3:34; see Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18; Heb. 1:8-9 
16. Col 2:3 
17. Col 1:19 
18. Heb. 7:26; John 1:14 
19. Acts 10:38; Heb. 7:22; 12:24 
20. Heb. 5:4-5 
21. John 5:22, 27; Matt. 28:18; Acts 2:36

IV. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake;[22] which that he might discharge, he was made under the law,[23] and did perfectly fulfill it;[24] endured most grievous torments immediately in his soul,[25] and most painful sufferings in his body;[26] was crucified, and died,[27] was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption.[28] On the third day he arose from the dead,[29] with the same body in which he suffered,[30] with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father,[31] making intercession,[32] and shall return, to judge men and angels, at the end of the world.[33]

22. Psa. 40:7-8; see Heb. 10:5-10; John 4:34; 10:18; Phil. 2:8 
23. Gal. 4:4 
24. Matt. 3:15; 5:17; Heb. 5:8-9 
25. Matt. 26:37-38; 27:46; Luke 22:44 
26. Matt. 26:67-68; 27:27-50 
27. Mark 15:24, 37; Phil. 2:8 
28. Matt. 27:60; Acts 2:24, 27; 13:29, 37; Rom. 6:9 
29. I Cor. 16:3-4 
30. Luke 24:39; John 20:25, 27 
31. Luke 24:50-51; I Peter 3:22 
32. Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; see Heb. 9:24 
33. Acts 1:11, 10:42; John 5:28-29; Rom. 14:10b; Matt. 13:40-42; Jude 1:6: see II Peter 2:4

V. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience, and sacrifice of himself, which he, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of his Father;[34] and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto him.[35]

34. Rom. 3:25-26; 5:19; Heb. 9:14; 10:14; Eph. 5:2 
35. Dan. 9:24; II Cor. 5:18; Col. 1:20; Eph. 1:11, 14; Heb. 9:12, 15; John 17:2

VI. Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof were communicated unto the elect, in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed of the woman which should bruise the serpent's head; and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world; being yesterday and today the same, and forever.[36]

36. Gal. 4:4-5; Gen. 3:15; I Cor. 10:4; Rev. 13:8; Heb. 9:15; 13:8; see Rom. 3:25

VII. Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself;[37] yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.[38]

37. John 10:17-18; I Peter 3:18; Heb. 1:3; 9:14 
38. Acts 20 28; Luke 1:43; see Rom. 9:5

VIII. To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same;[39] making intercession for them,[40] and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation;[41] effectually persuading them by his Spirit to believe and obey, and governing their hearts by his Word and Spirit;[42] overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, in such manner, and ways, as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation.[43]

39. John 6:37, 39; 10:15-16, 27-28 
40. I John 2:1; Rom. 4:34 
41. John 15:15; 17:6; Eph. 1:9 
42. John 14:26; 17:17: II Cor. 4:13; Rom. 8:9, 14; 15:18-19 
43. Psa. 110:1; I Cor. 15:25-26; Col. 2:15; Luke 10:19

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter IX 
Of Free Will

I. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined to good, or evil.[1]

1. James 1:13-14; 4:7; Deut. 30:19; Isa. 7:11-12; Matt. 17:12; John 5:40

II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God;[2] but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it.[3]

2. Eccl. 7:29; Gen. 1:26, 31; Col. 3:10 
3. Gen. 2:16-17; 3:6, 17

III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation:[4] so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good,[5] and dead in sin,[6] is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.[7]

4. Rom. 5:5; 8:7-8; John 6:44, 65; 15:5 
5. Rom. 3:9-10, 12, 23 
6. Eph. 2:1, 5; Col 2:13 
7. John 3:3, 5-6; 6:44, 65; I Cor. 2:14; Titus 3:3-5

IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin;[8] and, by his grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;[9] yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.[10]

8. Col. 1:13; John 8:34, 36; Rom. 6:6-7 
9. Phil. 2:13; Rom. 6:14, 17-19, 22 
10. Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:14-25; I John 1:8, 10

V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone, in the state of glory only.[11]

11. Heb. 12:23; I John 3:2; Jude 1:24; Rev. 21:27

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter X 
Of Effectual Calling

I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call,[1] by his Word and Spirit,[2] out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ;[3] enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God,[4] taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh;[5] renewing their wills, and, by his almighty power, determining them to that which is good,[6] and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ:[7] yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.[8]

1. Acts 13:48; Rom. 4:28, 30; 11:7; Eph. 1:5, 11; II Tim. 1:9-10 
2. II Thess. 2:13-14; James 1:18; II Cor. 3:3, 6; I Cor. 2:12 
3. II Tim. 1:9-10; I Peter 2:9; Rom 8:2; Eph. 2:1-10

4. Acts 26:18; I Cor. 2:10, 12; Eph. 1:17-18; II Cor. 4:6 
5. Ezek. 36:26 
6. Ezek. 11:19; 36:27; Deut. 30:6; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; I Peter 1:23 
7. John 6:44-45; Acts 16:14 
8. Psa. 110:3; John 6:37; Matt. 11:28; Rev. 22:17; Rom. 6:16-18; Eph. 2:8; Phil 1:29

II. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man,[9] who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit,[10] he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.[11]

9. II Tim. 1:9; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 9:11 
10. I Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:7-9; Titus 3:4-5 
11. John 6:37; Ezek. 36:27; I John 3:9; 5:1

III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.[14]

12. Gen. 17:7; Luke 1:15; 18:15-16; Acts 2:39; John 3:3, 5; I John 5:12 
13. John 3:8 
14. John 16:7-8; I John 5:12; Acts 4:12

IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word,[15] and may have some common operations of the Spirit,[16] yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved:[17] much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever,[17] be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the laws of that religion they do profess.[18] And, to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.[19]

15. Matt. 13:14-15; 22:14; Acts 13:48; 28:24 
16. Matt. 7:22; 13:20, 21; Heb. 6:4-5 
17. John 6:37, 64-66; 8:44; 13:18; cf. 17:12 
18. Acts 4:12; I John 4:2-3; II John 1:9; John 4:22; 14:6; 17:3; Eph. 2:12-13; Rom. 10:13-17 
19. II John 1:9-12; I Cor. 16:22; Gal. 1:6-8

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XI 
Of Justification

I. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth:[1] not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them,[2] they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.[3]

1. Rom. 3:24; 5:15-16; 8:30 
2. Rom. 3:22-28; 4:5-8; 5:17-19; II Cor. 5:19, 21; Titus 3:5, 7; Eph. 1:7; Jer. 23:6; I Cor. 1:30-31 
3. John 1:12; 6:44-45, 65; Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; Phil. 1:29; 3:9; Eph. 2:7-8

II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification:[4] yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.[5]

4. John 3:18, 36; Rom. 3:28; 5:1 
5. James 2:17, 22, 26; Gal. 5:6

III. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in their behalf.[6] Yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them;[7] and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead;[8] and both, freely, not for anything in them; their justification is only of free grace;[9] that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.[10]

6. Mark 10:45; Rom. 5:8-10, 18-19; Gal. 3:13; I Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 1:3; 10:10, 14; Dan. 9:24, 26; see Isa. 52:13-53:12

7. Rom. 8:32; John 3:16 
8. II Cor. 5:21; Eph. 5:2; Phil. 2:6-9; Isa. 53:10-11 
9. Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7 
10. Rom. 3:26; Eph. 2:7; Zech. 9:9; Isa. 45:21

IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,[11] and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:[12] nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.[13]

11. Rom. 8:29, 30; Gal. 3:8; I Pet. 1:2; 19-20 
12. Gal. 4:4; I Tim. 2:6; Rom. 4:25 
13. Eph. 2:3; Titus 3:3-7; Gal. 2:16; cf. Col. 1:21-22

V. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified;[14] and, although they can never fall from the state of justification,[15] yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.[16]

14. Matt. 6:12; I John 1:7, 9; 2:1-2 
15. Rom. 5:1-5, 8:30-39; Heb. 10:14; cf. Luke 22:32; John 10:28 
16. Psa. 32:5; ch. 51; 89:30-33; Matt. 26:75; Luke 1:20; I Cor. 11:30, 32

VI. The justification of believers under the old testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the new testament.[17]

17. Gal. 3:9, 13-14; Rom. 4:6-8, 22-24; 10:6-13; Heb. 13:8

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XII 
Of Adoption

I. All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption,[1] by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God,[2] have his name put upon them,[3] receive the Spirit of adoption,[4] have access to the throne of grace with boldness,[5] are enabled to cry, Abba, Father,[6] are pitied,[7] protected,[8] provided for,[9] and chastened by him, as by a father:]j] yet never cast off,[11] but sealed to the day of redemption;[12] and inherit the promises,[13] as heirs of everlasting salvation.[14]

1. Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:4-5 
2. Rom. 8:17; John 1:12 
3. Num. 6:24-26; Jer. 14:9; Amos 9:12; Acts 15:17; II Cor. 6:18; Rev. 3:12 
4. Rom. 8:15 
5. Eph. 3:12; Heb. 4:16 
6. Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:6 
7. Psa. 103:13 
8. Prov. 14:26 
9. Matt. 6:30, 32; I Peter 5:7 
10. Heb. 12:6 
11. Lam. 3:31-32; Psa. 89:30-35 
12. Eph. 4:30 
13. Heb. 6:12 
14. I Peter 1:3-4; Heb. 1:14

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XIII 
Of Sanctification

I. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection,[1] by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them:[2] the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed,[3] and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified;[4] and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces,[5] to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.[6]

1. I Thess. 5:23-24; II Thess. 2:13-14; Ezek. 36:22-28; Titus 3:5; Acts 20:32; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6 
2. John 17:17, 19; Eph. 5:26; Rom. 8:13-14; II Thess. 2:13 
3. Rom. 6:6, 14 
4. Gal. 5:24; Rom. 8:13 
6. II Cor. 7:1; Col. 1:28, 4:12; Heb. 12:14

II. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man;[7] yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part;[8] whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.[9]

7. I Thess. 5:12; Rom. 12:1-2 
8. I John 1:8-10; Rom. 7:14-25; Phil. 3:12 
9. Gal. 5:17

III. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail;[10] yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome;[11] and so, the saints grow in grace,[12] perfecting holiness in the fear of God.[13]

10. Rom. 7:23 
11. Rom. 6:14; I John 5:4; Eph. 4:15-16; see Rom. 8:2 
12. II Peter 3:18; II Cor. 3:18

13. II Cor. 7:1

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XIV 
Of Saving Faith

I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls,[1] is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,[2] and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word,[3] by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.[4]

1. Titus 1:1; Heb. 10:39 
2. I Cor. 12:3; John 3:5; 6:44-45, 65; Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; II Peter 1:1; see I Peter 1:2 
3. Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 10:14, 17; I Cor. 1:21 
4. I Peter 2:2; Acts 20:32; Rom. 1:16-17; Matt. 28:19; see Acts 2:38; I Cor. 10:16; 11:23-29; Luke 17:5; Phil. 4:6-7

II. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein;[5] and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands,[6] trembling at the threatenings,[7] and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come.[8] But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.[9]

5. II Peter 1:20-21; John 4:42; I Thess. 2:13; I John 5:9-10; Acts 24:14 
6. Psa. 119:10-11, 48, 97-98, 167-168; John 14:15 
7. Ezra 9:4; Isa. 66:2; Heb. 4:1 
8. Heb. 11:13; I Tim. 4:8 
9. John 1:12; Acts 15:11, 16:31; Gal. 2:20; II Tim. 1:9-10

III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong;[10] may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory:[11] growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ,[12] who is both the author and finisher of our faith.[13]

10. Heb. 5:13-14; Rom. 4:19-20; 14:1-2; Matt. 6:30; 8:10 
11. Luke 22:31-32; Eph. 6:16; I John 5:4-5 
12. Heb. 6:11-12; 10:22; Col. 2:2

13. Heb. 12:2

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XV 
Of Repentance unto Life

I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace,[1] the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.[2]

1. Acts 11:18; II Cor. 7:10; Zech. 12:10 
2. Luke 24:47; Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21

II. By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature, and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,[3] purposing and endeavoring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.[4]

3. Ezek. 18:30-31; 36:31; Isa. 30:22; Psa. 51:4; Jer. 31:18-19; Joel 2:12-13; Amos 5:15; Psa. 119:128; II Cor. 7:11; I Thess. 1:9 
4. Psa. 119:6, 59, 106; II Kings 23:25; see Luke 1:6

III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof,[5] which is the act of God's free grace in Christ;[6] yet it is of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.[7]

5. Ezek. 16:61-63; 36:31-32; Isa. 43:25 
6. Hosea 14:2, 4; Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7 
7. Luke 13:3, 5; Mark 1:4; Acts 17:30-31

IV. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation;[8] so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.[9]

8. Rom. 6:23; Gal. 3:10; Matt. 12:36 
9. Isa. 1:16-18; 55:7; Rom. 8:1

V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man's duty to endeavor to repent of his particular sins, particularly.[10]

10. Psa. 19:13; Matt. 26:75; Luke 19:8; I Tim. 1:13, 15

VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof;[11] upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy;[12] so, he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession, and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended,[13] who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.[14]

11. Psa. 32:5-6; Psa. 51:1-14 
12. Prov. 28:13; Isa. 55:7; I John 1:9 
13. James 5:16; Luke 17:3-4; Josh. 7:19; see Matt. 18:15-18 
14. II Cor. 2:7-8; see Gal. 6:1-2

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XVI 
Of Good Works

I. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy Word,[1] and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretense of good intention.[2]

1. Micah 6:8; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 13:21 
2. Matt. 15:9; Isa. 29:13; I Peter 1:18; John 16:2; Rom. 10:2; I Sam. 15:21-23; Deut. 10:12-13; Col. 2:16-17, 20-23

II. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith:[3] and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,[4] strengthen their assurance,[5] edify their brethren,[6] adorn the profession of the gospel,[7] stop the mouths of the adversaries,[8] and glorify God,[9] whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto,[10] that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.[11]

3. James 2:18, 22 
4. Psa. 116:12-14; Col. 3:15-17; I Peter 2:9 
5. I John 2:3, 5; II Peter 1:5-10 
6. II Cor. 9:2; Matt. 5:16; I Tim. 4:12 
7. Titus 2:5, 9-12; I Tim. 6:1 
8. I Peter 2:15 
9. I Peter 2:12; Phil. 1:11; John 15:8 
10. Eph. 2:10 
11. Rom. 6:22

III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ.[12] And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of his good pleasure:[13] yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.[14]

12. John 15:4-6; Rom. 8:4-14; Ezek. 36:26-27 
13. Phil. 2:13; 4:13; II Cor. 3:5; Eph. 3:16 
14. Phil. 2:12; Heb. 6:11-12; II Peter 1:3, 5, 10-11; Isa. 64:7; II Tim. 1:6; Acts 26:6-7; Jude 1:20-21

IV. They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.[15]

15. Luke 17:10; Neh. 13:22; Rom. 8:21-25; Gal. 5:17

V. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins,[16] but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants:[17] and because, as they are good, they proceed from his Spirit;[18] and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God's judgment.[19]

16. Rom. 3:20; 4:2, 4, 6; 8:18, 22-24; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; Psa. 16:2; Job 22:2-3, 35:7-8 
17. Luke 17:10 
18. Rom. 8:13-14; Gal. 5:22-23 
19. Isa. 64:6; Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:15, 18; Psa. 130:3; 143:2

VI. Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him;[20] not as though they were in this life wholly unblamable and unreprovable in God's sight;[21] but that he, looking upon them in his Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.[22]

20. Eph. 1:6; I Peter 2:5; see Exod. 28:38; Gen. 4:4; Heb. 11:4 
21. Job 9:20; Psa. 143:2; I John 1:8 
22. Heb. 6:10; 13:20-21; II Cor. 8:12; Matt. 25:21, 23; I Cor. 3:14; 4:5

VII. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others:[23] yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith;[24] nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word;[25] nor to a right end, the glory of God,[26] they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God:[1] and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.[2]

23. II Kings 10:30-31; I Kings 21:27, 29; Luke 6:32-34; 18:2-7; see Rom. 13:4 
24. Heb. 11:4, 6; see Gen. 4:3-5 
25. I Cor. 13:3; Isa. 1:12 
26. Matt. 6:2, 5, 16; I Cor. 10:31 
27. Prov. 21:27; Hag. 2:14; Titus 1:15; Amos 5:21-22; Mark 7:6-7; Hosea 1:4; Rom. 9:16; Titus 3:5 
28. Isa. 14:4; 36:3; Matt. 23:23; 25:41-45; see Rom. 1:21-32

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XVII 
Of the Perseverance of the Saints

I. They, whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.[1]

1. Phil. 1:6; II Peter 1:10; Rom. 8:28-30; John 10:28-29; I John 3:9; 5:18; I Peter 1:5, 9

II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father;[2] upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ,[3] the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them,[4] and the nature of the covenant of grace:[5] from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.[6]

2. Psa. 89:3-4, 28-33; II Tim. 2:18-19; Jer. 31:3 
3. Heb. 7:25; 9:12-15; 10:10, 14; 13:20-21; 17:11, 24; Rom. 8:33-39; Luke 22:32 
4. John 14:16-17; I John 2:27; 3:9 
5. Jer. 32:40; Psa. 89:34-37; see Jer. 31:31-34 
6. John 6:38-40; 10:28; II Thess. 3:3; I John 2:19

III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins;[7] and, for a time, continue therein:[8] whereby they incur God's displeasure,[9] and grieve his Holy Spirit,[10] come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts,[11] have their hearts hardened,[12] and their consciences wounded;[13] hurt and scandalize others,[14] and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.[15]

7. Exod. 32:21; Jonah 1:3, 10; Psa. 51:14; Matt. 26:70, 72, 74 
8. II Sam. 12:9, 13; Gal. 2:11-14 
9. Num. 20:12; II Sam. 11:27; Isa. 64:7, 9 
10. Eph. 4:30 
11. Psa. 51:8, 10, 12; Rev. 2:4; Matt. 26:75 
12. Isa. 63:17 
13. Psa. 32:3-4; 51:8 
14. Gen. 12:10-20; II Sam. 12:14; Gal. 2:13 
15. Psa. 89:31-32; I Cor. 11:32

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XVIII 
Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

I. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God, and estate of salvation[1] (which hope of theirs shall perish):[2] yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavoring to walk in all good conscience before him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace,[3] and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.[4]

1. Micah 3:11; Deut. 29:19; John 8:41 
2. Amos 9:10; Matt. 7:22-23 
3. I John 2:3; 3:14, 18-19, 21, 24; 5:13 
4. Rom. 5:2, 5

II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope;[5] but an infallible assurance of faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation,[6] the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made,[7] the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God,[8] which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.[9]

5. Heb. 6:11, 19 
6. Heb. 6:17-18 
7. II Peter 1:4-11; I John 2:3; 3:14; II Cor. 1:12 
8. Rom. 8:15-16 
9. Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; II Cor. 1:21-22

III. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it:[10] yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto.[11] And therefore it is the duty of everyone to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure,[12] that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance;[13] so far is it from inclining men to looseness.[14]

10. I John 5:13 
11. I Cor. 2:12; I John 4:13; Heb. 6:11-12; Eph. 3:17-19 
12. II Peter 1:10 
13. Rom. 5:1-2, 5; 14:17; 15:13; Eph. 1:3-4; Psa. 4:6-7; 119:32 
14. I John 1:6-7; 2:1-2; 3:2-3; Rom. 6:1-2; 8:1, 12; Titus 2:11-12, 14; II Cor. 7:1; Psa. 130:4

IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light:[15] yet are they never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived;[16] and by the which, in the meantime, they are supported from utter despair.[17]

15. Psa. 31:22; 51:8, 12, 14; 77:1-10; Eph. 4:30-31; Matt. 26:69-72 and Luke 22:31-44 
16. I John 3:9; Luke 22:32; Psa. 51:8, 12; 73:15 
17. Micah 7:7-9; Jer. 32:40; Isa. 54:7-14; II Cor. 4:8-10

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XIX 
Of the Law of God

I. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.[1]

1. Gen. 1:26-27; 2:17; Eph. 4:24; Rom. 2:14-15; 5:12, 19; 10:5; Gal. 3:10, 12; Eccl. 7:29

II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables:[2] the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.[3]

2. James 1:25; 2:8, 10-12; Rom. 3:19; 13:8-9; Deut. 5:32; 10:4; Exod. 34:1 
3. Exod. 30:3-17; Matt. 22:37-40

III. Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;[4] and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.[5] All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the new testament.[6]

4. Heb. 10:1; Gal. 4:1-3; Col. 2:17; Heb. 9:1-28 
5. Lev. 19:9-10, 19, 23, 27; Deut. 24:19-21; see I Cor. 5:7; II Cor. 6:17; Jude 1:23 
6. Col. 2:14, 16-17; Dan. 9:27; Eph. 2:15-16; Heb. 9:10; Acts 10:9-16; 11:2-10

IV. To them also, as a body politic, he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require.[7]

7. Exod. 21:1-23:19; Gen. 49:10 with I Peter 2:13-14; I Cor. 9:8-10

V. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;[8] and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it.[9] Neither doth Christ, in the gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.[10]

8. Rom. 3:31; 7:25; 13:8-10; I Cor. 9:21; Gal. 5:14; Eph. 6:2-3; I John 2:3-4, 7; Rom. 3:20; 7:7-8 and I John 3:4 with Rom. 6:15 
9. Deut. 6:4-5; Exod. 20:11; Rom. 3:19; James 2:8, 10-11; Matt. 19:4-6; Gen. 17:1 
10. Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31; I Cor. 9:21; Luke 16:17-18

VI. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned;[11] yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly;[12] discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives;[13] so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin,[14] together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience.[15] It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin:[16] and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law.[17] The promises of it, in like manner, show them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof:[18] although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works.[19] So as, a man's doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law; and, not under grace.[20]

11. Rom. 6:14; 7:4; 8:1, 33; Gal. 2:16; 3:13; 4:4-5; Acts 13:38-39 
12. Rom. 7:12, 22, 25; Psa. 119:1-6; I Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:14-23 
13. Rom. 3:20; 7:7, 13 
14. James 1:23-25; Rom. 7:9, 14, 24 
15. Gal. 3:24; Rom. 7:24-25; 8:3-4 
16. James 2:11-12; Psa. 119:101, 104, 128 
17. Ezra 9:13-14; Psa. 89:30-34; Gal. 3:13 
18. Exod. 19:5-6; Deut. 5:33; Lev. 18:5; 26:1-13; Matt. 5:5; 19:17; II Cor. 6:16; Eph. 6:2-3; Psa. 19:11; 37:11 
19. Gal. 2:16; Luke 17:10 
20. Rom. 6:12-15; cf. I Peter 3:8-12 with Psa. 34:12-16; Heb. 12:28-29

VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it;[21] the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.[22]

21. Rom. 3:31; Gal. 3:21; Titus 2:11-14 
22. Ezek. 36:27; Heb. 8:10 with Jer. 31:33; Psa. 119:35, 47; Rom. 7:22

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XX 
Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience

I. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law;[1] and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin;[2] from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation;[3] as also, in their free access to God,[4] and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a childlike love and willing mind.[5] All which were common also to believers under the law.[6] But, under the new testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected;[7] and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace,[8] and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.[9]

1. Titus 2:14; I Thess. 1:10; Gal. 3:13 
2. Gal. 1:4; Col. 1:13; Acts 26:18; Rom. 6:14 
3. Rom. 8:28; Psa. 119:71; II Cor. 4:15-18; I Cor. 15:54-57; Rom. 5:9; 8:1; I Thess. 1:10 
4. Rom. 5:1-2 
5. Rom. 8:14-15; Gal. 4:6; I John 4:18 
6. Gal. 3:8-9, 14; Rom. 4:6-8; I Cor. 10:3-4; Heb. 11:1-40 
7. Gal. 4:1-7; 5:1; Acts 15:10-11 
8. Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-22 
9. John 7:38-39; Acts 2:17-18; II Cor. 3:8, 13, 17-18; Jer. 31:31-34

II. God alone is Lord of the conscience,[10] and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship.[11] So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience:[12] and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.[13]

10. James 4:12; Rom. 14:4, 10; I Cor. 10:29 
11. Acts 4:19, 5:29; I Cor. 7:22-23; Matt. 15:1-6, 9; 23:8-10; II Cor. 1:24 
12. Col. 2:20-23; Gal. 1:10; 2:4-5; 4:9-10; 5:1 
13. Rom. 10:17; Isa. 8:20; Acts 17:11; John 4:22; Rev. 13:12, 16-17; Jer. 8:9; I Peter 3:15

III. They who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, do practice any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.[14]

14. Gal. 5:13; I Peter 2:16; II Peter 2:19; Rom. 6:15; John 8:34; Luke 1:74-75

IV. And because the powers which God hath ordained, and the liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, they who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God.[15] And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation), or to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against, by the censures of the church.[16] [and by the power of the civil magistrate.]

15. I Peter 2:13-14, 16; Rom. 13:1-8; Heb. 13:17; I Thess. 5:12-13 
16. Rom. 1:32; 16:17; I Cor. 5:1, 5, 11-13; II John 1:10-11; II Thess. 3:6, 14; I Tim. 1:19-20; 6:3-4; Titus 1:10-11, 13-14; 3:10; Matt. 18:15-17; Rev. 2:2, 14-15, 20

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXI 
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

I. The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might.[1] But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.[2]

1. Rom. 1:20; Psa. 19:1-4a; 50:6; 86:8-10; 89:5-7; 95:1-6; 97:6; 104:1-35; 145:9-12; Acts 14:17; Deut. 6:4-5 
2. Deut. 4:15-20; 12:32; Matt. 4:9-10; 15:9; Acts 17:23-25; Exod. 20:4-6, John 4:23-24; Col. 2:18-23

II. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to him alone; [3] not to angels, saints, or any other creature:[4] and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone.[5]

3. John 5:23; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; Eph. 3:14; Rev. 5:11-14; Acts 10:25-26 
4. Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10; Rom. 1:25 
5. John 14:6; I Tim. 2:5; Eph. 2:18; Col. 3:17

III. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship,[6] is by God required of all men:[7] and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son,[8] by the help of his Spirit,[9] according to his will,[10] with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance;[11] and, if vocal, in a known tongue.[12]

6. Phil. 4:6; I Tim. 2:1; Col. 4:2 
7. Psa. 65:2; 67:3; 96:7-8; 148:11-13; Isa. 55:6-7 
8. John 14:13-14; I Peter 2:5 
9. Rom. 8:26; Eph. 6:18 
10. I John 5:14 
11. Psa. 47:7; Eccl. 5:1-2; Heb. 12:28; Gen. 18:27; James 1:6-7; 5:16; Mark 11:24; Matt. 6:12, 14-15; Col. 4:2; Eph. 6:18 
12. I Cor. 14:14

IV. Prayer is to be made for things lawful;[13] and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter:[14] but not for the dead,[15] nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.[16]

13. I John 5:14, 16; John 15:7 
14. I Tim. 2:1-2; John 17:20; II Sam. 7:29; II Chr. 6:14-42 
15. Luke 16:25-26; Isa. 57:1-2; Psa. 73:24; II Cor. 5:8, 10; Phil 1:21-24; Rev. 14:13

16. I John 5:16

V. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear,[17] the sound preaching [18] and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence,[19] singing of psalms with grace in the heart;[20] as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God:[21] beside religious oaths,[22] vows,[23] solemn fastings,[24] and thanksgivings upon special occasions,[25] which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.[26]

17. Luke 4:16-17; Acts 15:21; Col. 4:16; I Thess. 5:27; Rev. 1:3 
18. II Tim. 4:2; Acts 5:42 
19. James 1:22; Acts 10:33; Matt. 13:19; Heb. 4:2; Isa. 66:2 
20. Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; James 5:13; I Cor. 14:15 
21. Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 11:23-29; Acts 2:42 
22. Deut. 6:13; Neh. 10:29; II Cor. 1:23 
23. Psa. 116:14; Isa. 19:21; Eccl. 5:4-5 
24. Joel 2:12; Est. 4:16; Matt. 9:15; Acts 14:23 
25. Exod. 15:1-21; Psa. 107:1-43; Neh. 12:27-43; Est. 9:20-22 
26. Heb. 12:28.

VI. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is now, under the gospel, either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed:[27] but God is to be worshiped everywhere,[28] in spirit and truth;[29] as, in private families [30] daily,[31] and in secret, each one by himself;[32] so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or willfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by his Word or providence, calleth thereunto.[33]

27. John 4:21 
28. Mal. 1:11; I Tim. 2:8 
29. John 4:23-24 
30. Jer. 10:25; Deut. 6:6-7; Job 1:5; II Sam. 6:18, 20 
31. Matt. 6:11; see Job 1:5 
32. Matt. 6:6; 16-18; Neh. 1:4-11; Dan. 9:3-4a 
33. Isa. 56:6-7; Heb. 10:25; Psa. 84:1-12; 100:4; 122:1, Luke 4:16; Acts 2:42; 13:42, 44

VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him:[34] which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week,[35] and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord's day,[36] and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.[37]

34. Exod. 20:8-11; Isa. 56:2- 7 
35. Gen. 2:2-3; I Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 20:7 
36. Rev. 1:10 
37. Matt. 5:17-18; Mark 2:27-28; Rom. 13:8-10; James 2:8-12

VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations,[38] but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.[39]

38. Exod. 16:23, 25-26, 29-30; 20:8; 31:15-17; Isa. 58:13-14; Neh. 13:15-22 
39. Isa. 58:13-14; Luke 4:16; Matt. 12:1-13; Mark 3:1-5

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXII 
Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

I. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship,[1] wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth, or promiseth, and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he sweareth.[2]

1. Deut. 10:20; Isa. 45:23; Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10-11 
2. Exod. 20:7; Lev. 19:12; Rom. 1:9; II Cor. 1:23; 11:31; Gal. 1:20; II Chr. 6:22-23

II. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence.[3] Therefore, to swear vainly, or rashly, by that glorious and dreadful Name; or, to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred.[4] Yet, as in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the Word of God, under the new testament as well as under the old;[5] so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken.[6]

3. Deut. 6:12; Josh. 23:7 
4. Exod. 20:7; Jer. 5:7; Matt. 5:33-37; James 5:12 
5. Heb. 6:16; II Cor. 1:23; Isa. 65:16 
6. I Kings 8:31; Neh. 13:25; Ezra 10:5

III. Whosoever taketh an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth:[7] neither may any man bind himself by oath to anything but what is good and just, and what he believeth so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform.[8] [Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority.]

7. Exod. 20:7; Lev. 19:12; Jer. 4:2; Hosea 10:4 
8. Gen. 24:2-9; Neh 5:12-13; Eccl. 5:2, 5

IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation, or mental reservation.[9] It cannot oblige to sin; but in anything not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own hurt.[10] Nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics, or infidels.[11]

9. Jer. 4:2; Psa. 24:4 
10. I Sam. 25:22, 32-34; Psa. 15:4 
11. Ezek. 17:16-19; Josh. 9:18-19; II Sam. 21:1

V. A vow is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness.[12]

12. Num. 30:2; Isa. 19:21; Eccl. 5:4-6; Psa. 61:8; 66:13-14

VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone:[13] and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith, and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the obtaining of what we want, whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties; or, to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto.[14]

13. Psa. 50:14; 76:11; 116:14 
14. Deut. 23:21-23; Gen. 28:20-22; I Sam. 1:11; Psa. 66:13-14; 132:2-5

VII. No man may vow to do anything forbidden in the Word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance whereof he hath no promise of ability from God.[15] In which respects, popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.[16]

15. Acts 23:12-14; Mark 6:26; Num. 30:5, 8, 12-13 
16. Matt. 10:11-12; I Cor. 7:2, 9; Heb. 13:4; Eph. 4:28; I Thess. 4:11-12; I Cor. 7:23

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXIII 
Of the Civil Magistrate

I. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates, to be, under him, over the people, for his own glory, and the public good: and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evildoers.[1]

1. Rom. 13:1-4; I Peter 2:13-14

II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto:[2] in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth;[3] so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the new testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion.[4]

2. Gen. 41:39-43; Neh. 12:26; 13:15-31; Dan. 2:48-49; Prov. 8:15-16; Rom. 13:1-4 
3. Psa. 2:10-12; 82:3-4; I Tim. 2:2; II Sam. 23:3; I Peter 2:13 
4. Luke 3:14; Rom. 13:4; Matt. 8:9-10; Acts 10:1-2

{III. Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven;[5] or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith.[6] Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger.[7] And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief.[8] It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.[9]}

5. II Chr. 26:18; Matt. 16:19; 18:17; I Cor. 4:1, 12; 12:28-29; Eph. 4:11-12; Rom. 10:15; Heb. 5:4 
6. John 18:36; Acts 5:29; Eph. 4:11-12 
7. Isa. 49:23; Rom. 13:1-6 
8. Psa. 105:15 
9. Rom. 13:4; I Tim. 2:2

[III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he has authority, and it is his duty, to take order that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administrated, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God]

IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates [10], to honor their persons,[11] to pay them tribute or other dues,[12] to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience' sake.[13] Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrates' just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to them :[14] from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted,[15] much less hath the pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretense whatsoever.[16]

10. I Tim. 2:1-3 
11. I Peter 2:17 
12. Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:6-7 
13. Rom. 13:5 Titus 3:1 
14. I Peter 2:13-16 
15. Rom. 13:1; Acts 25:9-11; II Peter 2:1, 10-11; Jude 1:8-11 
16. Mark 10:42-44; Matt. 23:8-12; II Tim. 2:24; I Peter 5:3

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXIV 
Of Marriage and Divorce

I. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.[1]

1. Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6; Rom. 7:3; Prov. 2:17

II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,[2] for the increase of mankind with legitimate issue, and of the church with an holy seed;[3] and for preventing of uncleanness.[4]

2. Gen. 2:18; Eph. 5:28; I Peter 3:7 
3. Gen. 1:28; 9:1; Mal. 2:15 
4. I Cor. 7:2, 9

III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent. [5] Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord.[6] And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.[7]

5. Heb. 13:4; I Tim. 4:3; I Cor. 7:36-38; Gen. 24:57, 88 
6. I Cor. 7:39 
7. Gen. 34:14; Exod. 34:16; see II Cor. 6:14; Deut. 7:3-4; I Kings 11:4; Neh. 13:25-27; Mal. 2:11-12

IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word.[8] Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.[9] [The man may not marry any of his wife's kindred, nearer in blood then he may of his own: nor the woman of her husband's kindred, nearer in blood than of her own.]

8. Lev. 18:6-17; 24-30; Lev. 20:19; I Cor. 5:1; Amos 2:7 
9. Mark 6:18; Lev. 18:24-28

V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract.[10] In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce:[11] and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.[12]

10. Matt. 1:18-20; see Deut. 22:23-24 
11. Matt. 5:31-32 
12. Matt. 19:9; Rom. 7:2-3

VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage:[13] wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.[14]

13. Matt. 19:8-9; I Cor. 7:15; Matt. 19:6 
14. Deut. 24:1-4

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXV 
Of the Church

I. The catholic or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.[1]

1. Eph. 1:10, 22-23; 5:23, 27, 32; Col. 1:18

II. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[2] and of their children:[3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[4] the house and family of God,[5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[6]

2. I Cor. 1:2; 12:12-13; Psa. 2:8; Rev. 7:9; Rom. 15:9-12 
3. I Cor. 7:14; Acts 2:39; Gen. 17:7-12; Ezek. 16:20-21; Rom. 11:16; see Gal. 3:7, 9, 14; Rom. 4:12, 16, 24 
4. Matt. 13:47; Isa. 9:7; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 2:30-36; Col. 1:13 
5. Eph. 2:19; 3:15 
6. Acts 2:47

III. Unto this catholic visible church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and doth, by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto. [7]

7. I Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11-13; Matt. 28:19-20; Isa. 59:12

IV. This catholic church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible.[8] And particular churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.[9]

8. Rom. 11:3-5; Acts 2:41, 47; 9:31; 18:8-10 
9. Acts 2:41-42; I Cor. 5:6-7; Rev. ch. 2-3

V. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error;[10] and some have so degenerated, as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan.[11] Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth, to worship God according to his will.[12]

10. I Cor. 13:12; Rev. ch. 2-3; Matt. 13:24-30, 47 
11. Matt. 23:37-39; Rom. 11:18-22 
12. Matt. 16:18; Psa. 45:16-7; 72:17; Matt. 28:19-20; I Cor. 15:51-52; I Thess. 4:17

VI. There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ.[13] Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.[14] [but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.]

13. Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22 
14. Matt. 23:8-10; I Peter 5:2-4

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXVI 
Of the Communion of Saints

I. All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their Head, by his Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with him in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory:[1] and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other's gifts and graces,[2] and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.[3]

1. I John 1:3; Eph. 2:5-6; 3:16-18; John 1:16; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6; 8:17; II Tim. 2:12 
2. Eph. 4:15-16; I Cor. 3:21-23; 12:7, 12; Col. 2:19 
3. I Thess. 5:11, 14; Rom. 1:11-12, 14; I John 3:16-18; Gal. 6:10

II. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification;[4] as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.[5]

4. Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 2:42, 46; Isa. 2:3; I Cor. 11:20 
5. I John 3:17; II Cor. ch. 8-9; Acts 2:44-45; 11:29-30

III. This communion which the saints have with Christ, doth not make them in any wise partakers of the substance of his Godhead; or to be equal with Christ in any respect: either of which to affirm is impious and blasphemous.[6] Nor doth their communion one with another, as saints, take away, or infringe the title or propriety which each man hath in his goods and possessions.[7]

6. Col. 1:18-19; I Cor. 8:6; Psa. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:6-9; John 1:14; 20:17 
7. Exod. 20:15; Eph. 4:28; Acts 5:4

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXVII 
Of the Sacraments

I. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace,[1] immediately instituted by God,[2] to represent Christ, and his benefits; and to confirm our interest in him:[3] as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the church, and the rest of the world;[4] and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his Word.[5]

1. Rom. 4:11; Gen. 17:7, 10, 11 
2. Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 11:23 
3. Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12; I Cor. 10:16; 11:25-26; Gal. 3:27 
4. Exod. 12:48; Gen. 34:14; I Cor. 10:21 
5. Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27; I Peter 3:21; I Cor. 5:7-8; 10:16

II. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.[6]

6. Gen. 17:10; Matt. 26:27-28; I Cor. 10:16-18

III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it:[7] but upon the work of the Spirit,[8] and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.[9]

7. Rom. 2:28-29; I Peter 3:21 
8. I Cor. 12:13 
9. Matt. 26:26-28; 28:19-20; Luke 22:19-20; I Cor. 11:26

IV. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.[10]

10. Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 4:1; 11:20, 23; Eph. 4:11-12

V. The sacraments of the old testament, in regard of the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the new.[11]

11. I Cor. 10:1-4; Rom. 4:11; Col. 2:11-12

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXVIII 
Of Baptism

I. Baptism is a sacrament of the new testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[1] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible church;[2] but also, to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[3] of his ingrafting into Christ,[4] of regeneration,[5] of remission of sins,[6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life.[7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in his church until the end of the world.[8]

1. Matt. 28:19 
2. I Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27-28 
3. Rom. 4:11; Col. 2:11-12 
4. Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:5 
5. John 3:5; Titus 3:5 
6. Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38; 22:16 
7. Rom. 6:3-4 
8. Matt. 28:19-20

II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the gospel, lawfully called thereunto.[9]

9. Acts 8:36, 38; 10:47; Matt. 28:19

III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.[10]

10. Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21; Mark 7:2-4; Luke 11:38

IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[11] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[12]

11. Acts 2:41; 8:12-13; 16:14-15 
12. Gen. 17:7-14; Gal. 3:9, 14; Col. 2:11-12; Acts 2:38-39; Rom. 4:11-12; Matt. 19:13; 28:19; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17; I Cor. 7:14

V. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[13] yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it;[14] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[15]

13. Gen. 17:14; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; see Luke 7:30 
14. Rom. 4:11; Acts 10:2, 4, 22, 31, 45, 47 
15. Acts 8:13, 23

VI. The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[16] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in his appointed time.[17]

16. John 3:5, 8 
17. Rom. 6:3-6; Gal. 3:27; I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38, 41

VII. The sacrament of baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.[18]

18. Rom. 6:3-11

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXIX 
Of the Lord's Supper

I. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord's Supper, to be observed in his church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.[1]

1. I Cor. 10:16-17, 21; 11:23-26; 12:13

II. In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to his Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead;[2] but only a commemoration of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God, for the same:[3] so that the popish sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ's one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of his elect.[4]

2. Heb. 9:22, 25-26, 28; 10:10-14 
3. I Cor. 11:24-26; Matt. 26:26-27; Luke 22:19-20 
4. Heb. 7:23-24, 27; 10:11-12, 14, 18

III. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people; to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants;[5] but to none who are not then present in the congregation.[6]

5. Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; I Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-27 
6. Acts 20:7; I Cor. 11:20

IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other, alone;[7] as likewise, the denial of the cup to the people,[8] worshiping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about, for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.[9]

7. I Cor. 10:16 
8. Matt. 26:27-28; Mark 14:23; I Cor. 11:25-29 
9. Matt. 15:9

V. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that, truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ;[10] albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before. [11]

10. Matt. 26:26-28 
11. I Cor. 11:26-28; Matt. 26:29

VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense, and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions; yea, of gross idolatries.[12]

12. Acts 3:21; I Cor. 11:24-26; Luke 24:6, 39

VII. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements, in this sacrament,[13] do then also, inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally but spiritually, receive, and feed upon, Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then, not corporally or carnally, in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.[14]

13. I Cor. 11:28 
14. I Cor. 10:16; see I Cor. 10:3-4

VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament; yet, they receive not the thing signified thereby; but, by their unworthy coming thereunto, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore, all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with him, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table; and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries,[15] or be admitted thereunto.[16]

15. I Cor. 10:21; 11:27-29; II Cor. 6:14-16 
16. I Cor. 5:6-7, 13; II Thess. 3:6, 14-15; Matt. 7:6

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXX 
Of Church Censures

I. The Lord Jesus, as King and Head of his church, hath therein appointed a government, in the hand of church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate.[1]

1. Isa. 9:6-7; Col. 1:18; I Tim. 5:17; I Thess. 5:12; Acts 20:17, 28; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24; Eph. 4:11-12; I Cor. 12:28; Matt. 28:18-20; John 18:36

II. To these officers the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed; by virtue whereof, they have power, respectively, to retain, and remit sins; to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the Word, and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the gospel; and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require.[2]

2. Matt. 16:19; 18:17-18; John 20:21-23; II Cor. 2:6-8

III. Church censures are necessary, for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren, for deterring of others from the like offenses, for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honor of Christ, and the holy profession of the gospel, and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the church, if they should suffer his covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.[3]

3. I Cor. 5:1-13; 11:27-34; I Tim. 1:20; 5:20; Matt. 7:6; Jude 1:23

IV. For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the church are to proceed by admonition; suspension from the sacrament of the Lord's Supper for a season; and by excommunication from the church; according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the person.[4]

4. I Thess. 5:12; II Thess. 3:6, 14-15; I Cor. 5:4-5, 13; Matt. 18:17; Titus 3:10

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXXI 
Of Synods and Councils

I. For the better government, and further edification of the church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils:[1] {and it belongeth to the overseers and other rulers of the particular churches, by virtue of their office, and the power which Christ hath given them for edification and not for destruction, to appoint such assemblies;[2] and to convene together in them, as often as they shall judge it expedient for the good of the church. [3]}

1. Acts 15:2, 4, 6 
2. Acts 15:1-35 
3. Acts 15:1-35; 20:17

[II. As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers, and other fit persons, to consult and advise with, about matters of religion; so, if magistrates be open enemies to the Church, the ministers of Christ, of themselves, by virtue of their office, or they, with other fit persons upon delegation from their Churches, may meet together in such assemblies.]

II. It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in his Word.[4]

4. Acts 15:15, 19, 24, 27-31; 16:4; Matt. 18:17-20

III. All synods or councils, since the Apostles' times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.[5]

5. Eph. 2:20; Acts 17:11; I Cor. 2:5; II Cor. 1:24; cf. Isa. 8:19-20; Matt. 15:9

IV. Synods and councils are to handle, or conclude nothing, but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition in cases extraordinary; or, by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.[6]

6. Luke 12:13-14; John 18:36; Matt. 22:21

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXXII 
Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

I. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption:[1] but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them: [2] the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies.[3] And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day.[4] Besides these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.

1. Gen. 3:19; Acts 13:36 
2. Luke 23:43; Eccl. 12:7 
3. Heb. 12:23; II Cor. 5:1, 6, 8; Phil. 1:23; Acts 3:21; Eph. 4:10; Rom. 8:23 
4. Luke 16:23-24; Acts 1:25; Jude 1:6-7; I Peter 3:19

II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed:[5] and all the dead shall be raised up, with the selfsame bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever.[6]

5. I Thess. 4:17; I Cor. 15: 51-52 
6. John 5:25-29; Acts 24:15; Job 19:26-27; Dan. 12:2; I Cor. 15:42-44

III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonor: the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honor; and be made conformable to his own glorious body.[g.

7. Acts 24:15; John 5:25-29; I Cor. 15:43; Phil. 3:21

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXXIII 
Of the Last Judgment

I. God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world, in righteousness, by Jesus Christ [1], to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father.[2] In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged.[3] but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.[4]

1. Acts 17:31 
2. John 5:22, 27 
3. Jude 1:6; II Peter 2:4 
4. II Cor. 5:10; Eccl. 12:14; Rom. 2:16; 14:10, 12; Matt. 12:36-37

II. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of his justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.[5]

5. Matt. 25:21, 31-46; Rom. 2:5-6; 9:22-23; Acts 3:19; II Thess. 1:7-10; Mark 9:48

III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin; and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity:[6] so will he have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly, Amen.[7]

6. II Peter 3:11, 14; II Cor. 5:10-11; II Thess. 1:5-7; Luke 21:27-28; Rom. 8:22-25 
7. Matt. 24:36, 42-44; Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12:35-36; Rev. 22:20

Finis.


Posted by Ahayah Elohim at 3:04 PM EST
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