ADAM AND EVE
If the biblical account of the creation is literal then the earth is only 6,000 years old and clearly that's absurd.
If Darwin's theory of evolution is wholly correct then all religion is compromised.
Needless to say, the biblical account of the creation is a parable, and is not and was never intended to be a historically and chronologically accurate account of the advent of Adamic man.
Man is spirit in a physical body. The physical body is a vehicle for the spirit and nothing more. The physical body has evolved through the species as Darwin suggested, but the spirit within - man's true self - has come from the Divine and to the Divine, ultimately, it shall return.
THE RISE OF CHURCHIANITY
It is a historical fact that in the aftermath of the Council of Nicaea, in AD 325, the original MSS of the New Testament underwent numerous alterations and adulterations. Certain scholars, called Correctors, were appointed by the ecclesiastical authorities and commissioned to 'correct' scripture in the interests of orthodoxy.
The Roman Emperor, Constantine, hit upon the idea of introducing a new super-religion to unify all the peoples of the Empire, and end the ceaseless religious bickering and in-fighting that was threatening to destroy the Empire from within. (The Empire was already under considerable external pressure and the security of its borders was looking increasingly fragile.)
As a result of his 'fiery cross' vision, Constantine decided that Christianity fitted the bill, but because many of the beautiful teachings of true Christianity, as originally taught by Jesus - i.e. boundless love, reverence for all creation, veganism, teetotalism, anti-hunting, the honouring of women etc. - were obnoxious to the degenerate Constantine, and would have been similarly so to the meat-eating, alcohol-drinking, hunt-loving, chauvinistic, pagan masses of the day, they were corrupted.
Not only that, but various of the festivals (Dec. 25th, Eastra, Black Friday etc.) and legends of Mithraism/Paganism were adopted, craftily interwoven into the Christian story and fraudulently passed off as Christian truth.
This corrupted gospel was later 'married' to the teachings of Paul, and thus Churchianity/Roman Catholicism was born.
From the very beginning, Roman Catholicism was accorded equal status with Mithraism - the major religion of Rome at the time - and with considerable State sponsored positive discrimination, took root and flourished.
(Half a century later, in the reign of the Emperor Theodosius, Roman Catholicism was declared to be the only religion allowed.)
In the aftermath of the events at Nicaea - in an attempt to hide the crime from history - Constantine despatched his henchmen to confiscate all copies of the original gospels, and to use whatever means necessary to get them. Mercifully, they didn't get them all. Numerous texts and gospels were hidden, or taken abroad for safe-keeping until such time as the Truth could once again be made known.
Constantine had a hatred of vegetarianism that bordered on the psychopathic. It is recorded that when his henchmen came across anyone who was an adherent of vegetarianism, they would be dragged before the throne of Constantine, who would demand that they ate meat in his presence. If they refused, they suffered savage torture, by having red hot irons rammed down their throat or, a particular favourite punishment of Constantine, having molten lead poured down their throat.
Constantine was indeed a cruel and ruthless man. During his military campaigns in Gaul (AD 306-312) he had thousands of defenceless prisoners of war 'thrown to the beasts' to be torn limb from limb.
In the times following the Council of Nicaea, seized by paranoia, Constantine ordered the murder of his son and his step-mother, and many others, including personal friends, who he deemed as posing a threat to him.
Paul was guilty of leading a meat-eating schism against True Christianity. Though in a classic case of the biter being bit, Paul's teachings themselves were to suffer spurious interpolation. Indeed, numerous of the Pauline Epistles attributed to him, weren't even written by Paul. This is confirmed by no less an authority than the Catholic Encyclopaedia, the Roman Catholic Church's own official recorded history, which states that the original scriptures underwent "years of revision" and that "even the genuine epistles were greatly interpolated."
In any case, it is not what Paul taught that Christians should be concerning themselves with, but rather with what Christ taught.
"After my departure there will arise the ignorant and the crafty, and many things will they ascribe unto Me that I never spake, and many things which I did speak will they withhold, but the day will come when the clouds shall be rolled away, and the Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth with healing in his wings."
"The sign is the Truth - the pure in heart they shall see it."
THE VEGETARIAN ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY
God commanded man to follow a purely vegan diet:
And God said," Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." - Genesis chapter 1, verse 29.
(In ancient terminology 'meat' referred to food in general.)
Up until the cataclysmic flood, from Adam and Eve to Noah, they were all vegetarian. As the vegetarian St. Jerome, in his confutation of Jovinian, confirms:
"As to his argument that in God's Second Blessing permission was given to eat flesh - a permission not given in the First Blessing - let him know that just as permission to put away a wife was, according to the words of the Saviour, not given from the beginning, but was granted to the human race by Moses because of the hardness of our hearts, so also in like manner the eating of flesh was unknown until the Flood, just as quails were given to the people when they murmured in the desert, so have sinews and the offensiveness of flesh been given to our teeth. The Apostle, writing to the Ephesians, teaches us that God had purposed that in the fullness of time he would restore all things, and would draw to their beginning, even to Christ Jesus, all things that are in Heaven or that are on earth. Whence also, the Saviour Himself, in the Apocalypse of John, says," I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end." From the beginning of human nature, we neither fed upon flesh, nor did we put away our wives, nor were our foreskins taken away from us for a sign. We kept on this course until we arrived at the Flood. But after the Flood, together with the giving of the Law, which no man could fulfil, the eating of flesh was brought in; and the putting away of wives was conceded to hardness of heart; and the knife of circumcision is brought into use, as if the hand of God had created in us more than is necessary. But now that Christ has come in the end of time, and has turned back Omega to Alpha, and drawn back the end to the beginning, neither is it permitted to us to put away our wives, nor are we circumcised, nor do we eat flesh; hence the Apostolic saying, 'It is a good thing not to drink wine and not to eat flesh.' For wine also, together with flesh, began to be used after the Flood."
In support of this, the Talmud tells us that, 'Adam and many generations that followed were strict flesh-abstainers; flesh-foods were rejected as repulsive for human consumption.'
The later permission to eat flesh was issued solely as a concession to the barbarity of the day; even then it was only intended to be temporary, and was issued with a curse, albeit a self-inflicted one, "the blood of your lives shall I require."
(It is striking to note how the lifespan of vegetarian Noah's meat-eating descendants plummeted.)
As for the Mosaic era, in the Gospel of Peace, which chronicles the very earliest days of Jesus's teachings, we read:
And Jesus continued," God commanded your forefathers,'Thou shalt not kill', but their heart was hardened and they killed. Then Moses desired that at least they should not kill men, and he suffered them to kill beasts. And then the heart of your forefathers was hardened yet more, and they killed men and beasts likewise..."
In Professor Szekely's classic translation, 'The Gospel of the Essenes', which features the Essene Book of Moses, we find that the precursor of the sixth commandment was:
"Thou shalt not take the life away from any living thing; life comes only from God, who giveth it and taketh it away."
During the Exodus, many of the Israelites rejected the vegetarian 'manna from heaven' and lusted for, and ate, flesh (quails) instead. Subsequently, they were consumed by plague and were buried in what the Torah refers to as the 'graves of lust'.
In the first century 'Gospel of the Holy Twelve', the main gospel used by the early Christians, Jesus said, concerning the above:
"Not as your ancestors, who craved for flesh, and God gave them flesh in His wrath, and they ate of corruption till it stank in their nostrils, and their carcasses fell by the thousand in the wilderness by reason of the plague."
Moses, reluctantly, permitted the eating of flesh and animal sacrifice, solely as a concession to hardness of heart, to keep the degenerate Israelites on board, so to speak. After his death the Mosaic teachings concerning these matters were corrupted, spurious interpolations were made and all was fraudulently attributed as being the will of God! To the ignorant, the implication from the Pentateuch is that God must be some sort of bloodthirsty monster!, but the wise man knows that God is a loving God, and that the only sacrifice God has ever required is the sacrifice of self in loving service.
A truer picture of the compassionate nature of the Divine may be found in the Book of Isaiah:
"Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts, and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats....
When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand to tread my courts?
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil." (Isaiah chapter 1, verses 10 - 11 and 15-16)
And Isaiah's prophecy of the New Kingdom, the promise on which the whole of Christianity (and Judaism) is based, clearly states that in the said New Kingdom there will be no more killing or bloodshed, and all creation, man and beast alike, will live in peace and harmony.
As for the New Testament era, in the Gospel of the Holy Twelve we read:
"For of the fruits of the trees and the seeds of the herbs alone do I partake." - Jesus
(The term 'seeds of the herbs' refers to cereals - wheat, corn etc.)
Now Joseph and Mary, his parents, went up to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover and they observed the feast after the manner of their brethren (the Essenes), who abstained from bloodshed and the eating of flesh, and from strong drink.
John had his raiment of camel's hair and a girdle of the same about his loins, and his meat was the fruit of the locust tree and wild honey.
(The term 'fruit of the locust tree' refers to carob.)
The earliest Christian writer, Hegesippus, says of James, brother of Jesus and first ruler of the Christian church in Jerusalem, that he:
"...drank no wine, nor strong drink, nor ate he any living thing; even his clothes were free from any taint of death, for he wore no woollen, but linen garments only."
St. Augustine says that "Jacobus (James) , brother of Jesus, lived of seeds and vegetables and did not accept meat or wine."
Clement of Alexandria records that:
"The Apostle Matthew partook of seeds and nuts and vegetables, abstaining from flesh"
The Clementine Homilies quote the Apostle Peter as saying:
"I live on olives and bread, to which I rarely only add vegetables."
(Bear in mind that the one and only rule of discipleship is that the disciple is, in all things, as the master.)
St. John Chrysotom says that:
"Flesh-meats and wine serve as materials for sensuality, and are a source of danger, sorrow and disease."
Whereas the Clementine Homilies make this damning indictment of meat-eating:
"The unnatural eating of flesh-meats is as polluting as the heathen worship of devils, with its sacrifices and its impure feasts, through participation in which a man becomes a dining companion with devils."
They also say, " And the things which are well-pleasing to God are these: to pray to Him, to ask from Him, recognising that He is the giver of all things, and gives with discriminating law; to abstain from the table of devils, not to taste dead flesh, not to touch blood, to be washed from all pollution..."
Even the corrupted Bible , in both the Old Testament (Genesis chapter 9, verse 4; Leviticus chapter 3, verse 17 and chapter 17, verse 10) and the New Testament ( Acts chapter 15, verse 20 and Acts chapter 15, verses 28-29, where, apparently, even the Holy Ghost chips in with a 'no blood' admonition) expressly forbids the partaking of blood.
None of the meat on sale in the local butchers/supermarket is permissible for Bible followers to eat, as it is still with the blood i.e. not kosher. Therefore, meat eating 'believers' are doubly in the wrong.
A purely vegan diet was, is and always will be, a fundamental requisite of true Christianity.
Postscript: Re the Last Supper. It was the custom in those days that the head of the family/group performed the sacrifice, so if they had eaten the Passover lamb, as the Church has always claimed, then it would have been Jesus who slit the lamb's throat...Animal sacrifice? (Do not devil worshippers do the same?) Killing a beautiful, defenceless lamb? Needless to say Jesus did not kill the lamb, rather, in a profoundly symbolic act which surely needs no further explanation, he gave himself - the Lamb of God - as the sacrifice.
Re John chapter 21. Regardless of any spurious interpolation in the first twenty chapters, Bible scholars mostly agree that chapter 21 of the New Testment Gospel of John is a later addition. The Catholic Encyclopedia states "The sole conclusion that can be deduced from all this is that the 21st chapter was afterwards added and is therefore to be regarded as an appendix."
Interestingly, the ancient philosopher Porphry records that the great sage and mystic Pythagoras performed a very similar feat.
Porphry says, 'Meeting with some fishermen who were drawing in their nets heavily laden with fishes from the deep, he predicted the exact number of fish they had caught. The fishermen said that if his estimate was accurate they would do whatever he recommended. They counted them accurately, and found the number correct, he then bade them to return the fish alive into the sea; and, what is more wonderful, not one of them died, although they had been out of the water a considerable time.'
Porphry fails to mention the number of fish caught - unlike the Bible version which states a precise 153.
The Pythagoreans, who were famed for their knowledge and mastery of mathematics, held 153 to be a sacred number. It forms part of a mathematical ratio, which produces the sacred symbol known as 'vesica piscis', more commonly known as the 'sign of the fish'. It comprises of two intersected circles - symbolic of matter and spirit - which, when the circumference of one touches the centre of the other, produces a fish-like shape. This sacred Pythagorean symbol was adopted by the early Christians and used to represent their faith.
Now the birth of Jesu-Maria the Christ was in this wise. It came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all the people of Syria went to be taxed, everyone into his own city, and it was midwinter.
And Joseph with Mary also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because they were of the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, who was great with child.
And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn child in a cave, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, which was in the cave; because there was no room for them in the inn. And behold it was filled with many lights, bright as the sun in his glory.
And there were in the same cave, an ox and a horse, and an ass and a sheep, and beneath the manger was a cat with her little ones, and there were doves also, overhead, and each had its mate after its kind, the male with the female.
Thus it came to pass that he was born in the midst of the animals which, through the redemption of man from ignorance and selfishness, he came to redeem from their sufferings, by the manifestation of the sons and the daughters of God.
And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And when they came, lo, the angel of God came upon them, and the glory of the highest shone around them, and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them,"Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ, the Holy One of God. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a mulitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace toward men of goodwill."
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, " Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which our God hath made known unto us."
And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph in the cave, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen these things, they made known abroad the saying which was told unto them concerning the child.
And all they that heard it, wondered at those things told them by the shepherds; but Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea, in the days of Herod the king, there came certain Magi from the East to Jerusalem, who had purified themselves and tasted not of flesh nor of strong drink, that they might find the Christ whom they sought. And they said,"Where is he that is born King of the Jews?, for we in the East have seen his Star, and are come to worship him."
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where the Christ should be born.
And they said unto him,"In Bethlehem of Judaea; for thus it is written by the prophet. 'And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judaea, art not the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come forth a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.' "
Then Herod, when he had privily called the Magi, enquired of them diligently what time the Star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said,"Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also."
When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the Star which the Magi of the East saw, and the angel of the Star, went before them, till it came and shone over the place where the young child was, and the Star had the appearance of six rays.
And as they went on their way with their camels and asses laden with gifts, and were intent on the heavens seeking the child by the Star, they forgot for a little, their weary beasts who had borne the burden and heat of the day, and were thirsty and fainting, and the Star was hidden from their sight.
In vain they stood and gazed, and looked upon the other in their trouble. Then they bethought them of their camels and asses, and hastened to undo their burdens that they might have rest.
Now there was near Bethlehem a well by the way. And as they stooped down to draw water for their beasts, lo, the Star which they had lost appeared to them, being reflected in the stillness of the water. And when they saw it they rejoiced with exceeding joy. And they praised God who had shown His mercy unto them even as they had showed mercy unto their thirsty beasts.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And they kindled a fire according to their custom and worshipped God in the flame.
And when they were departed, behold the angel of God appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying," Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and there remain until I bring thee word, for Herod will seek to destroy him." And when he arose he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and was there for about seven years until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of God by the prophet, saying," Out of Egypt have I called my son."
And on a certain day the child Jesus came to a place where a snare was set for birds, and there were some boys there. And Jesus said unto them," Who hath set this snare for the innocent creatures of God? Behold in a snare shall they in like manner be caught." And he beheld twelve sparrows as it were dead.
And he moved his hands over them and said to them," Go, fly away, and while ye live remember me." And they arose and flew away making a noise. And the Jews, seeing this, were astonished and told it unto the priests.
And the beasts of the field had respect unto him and the birds of the air were in no fear of him, for he made them not afraid; yea, even the wild beasts of the desert perceived the love of God in him, and did him service bearing him from place to place. For the spirit of Divine Humanity filling him, filled all things around him, and made all things subject unto him, and thus shall yet be fulfilled the words of the prophets,' The lion shall lie down with the calf, and the leopard with the kid, and the wolf with the lamb, and the bear with the ass, and the owl with the dove. And a child shall lead them.'
And on a certain day as he was passing by a mountain side nigh unto the desert, there met him a lion and many men were pursuing him with stones and javelins to slay him. But Jesus rebuked them, saying," Why hunt ye these creatures of God, which are more noble that you? By the cruelties of many generations they were made the enemies of man who should have been his friends. If the power of God is shown in them, so also is shown his long suffering and compassion. Cease ye to persecute this creature who desireth not to harm you, see ye not how he fleeth from you, and is terrified by your violence?"
And the lion came and lay at the feet of Jesus, and showed love to him; and the people were astonished, and said," Lo, this man loveth all creatures and has to power to command even these beasts from the desert, and they obey him."
"Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see. For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
"Blessed are ye of the inner circle, who hear my words and to whom the mysteries are revealed, who give to no innocent creature the pain of prison or of death, but seek the good of all, for to such is everlasting life.
"Blessed are ye who abstain from all things gotten by bloodshed and death, and fulfil all righteousness. Blessed are ye, for ye shall attain to Beatitude."
And one asked him saying," Master, wilt thou that infants be received into the congregation in like manner as Moses commanded by circumcision?" And Jesus answered," For those who are in Christ there is no cutting of the flesh, nor shedding of blood. Let the infant of eight days be presented unto the Father-Mother, who is in Heaven, with prayer and thanksgiving, and let a name be given to it by its parents and let the presbyter sprinkle pure water upon it, according to that which is written in the prophets, and let its parents see to it that it is brought up in the ways of righteousness, neither eating flesh, nor drinking strong drink, nor hurting the creatures which God hath given into the hands of man to protect."
Again, one said to him," Master, how wilt thou when they grow up?" And Jesus said," After seven years, or when they begin to know the evil from the good, and learn to choose the good, let them come unto me and receive the blessing at the hands of the presbyter or the angel of the church with prayer and thanksgiving, and let them be admonished to keep from flesh-eating and strong drink, and from hunting the innocent creatures of God, for shall they be lower than the horse or the sheep to whom these things are against nature?"
And again he said," If there come to us any that eat flesh and drink strong drink, shall we receive them?" And Jesus , said unto him," Let such abide in the outer court till they cleanse themselves from these grosser evils; for till they perceive and repent of these, they are not fit to receive the higher mysteries."
And some of his disciples came and told him of a certain Egyptian, a son of Belial, who taught that it was lawful to torment animals, if their sufferings brought any profit to men. And Jesus said unto them," Verily I say unto you, they who partake of benefits which are gotten by wronging one of God's creatures, cannot be righteous; nor can they touch holy things, or teach the mysteries of the Kingdom, whose hands are stained with blood, or whose mouths are defiled with flesh. God giveth the grains and fruits of the earth for food, and for righteous man truly there is no other lawful sustenance for the body.
"The robber who breaketh into the house made by man is guilty, but they who break into the house made by God, even the least of these are the greater sinners. Wherefore I say unto all who desire to be my disciples, keep your hands from bloodshed and let no flesh meat enter your mouths, for God is just and bountiful, who ordaineth that man shall live by the fruits and seeds of the earth alone."
"And whatsoever ye do unto the least of these my children, ye do it unto me. For I am in them and they are in me. Yea, I am in all creatures and all creatures are in me. In all their joys I rejoice, in all their afflictions I am afflicted. Wherefore I say unto you: Be ye kind one to another, and to all the creatures of God."
And as Jesus was going to Jericho there met him a man with a cage full of birds, which he had caught, and some young doves. And he saw how they were in misery having lost their liberty, and moreover being tormented with hunger and thirst. And he said unto the man," What doest thou with these?" And the man answered," I go to make my living by selling these birds which I have taken."
And Jesus said," What thinkest thou, if another, stronger than thou or with greater craft, were to catch thee and bind thee, or thy wife or thy children, and cast thee into a prison, in order to sell thee into captivity for his own profit, and to make a living? Are not these thy fellow creatures, only weaker than thou? And doth not the same God, our Father-Mother, care for them as for thee? Let these thy little brethren and sisters go forth into freedom, and see that thou do this thing no more, but provide honestly for thy living."
And the man marvelled at these words and at his authority, and he let the birds go free. So when the birds came forth they flew unto Jesus and stood on his shoulder and sang unto him. And the man enquired further of his doctrine, and he went his way, and learnt the craft of making baskets, and by this craft he earned his bread, and afterwards he broke his cages and his traps, and became a disciple of Jesus.
"Be ye therefore considerate, be tender, be ye pitiful, be ye kind, not to your own kind alone, but to every creature which is within your care, for ye are to them as gods, to whom they look in their need."
And it came to pass that the Lord departed from the city and went over the mountains with his disciples. And they came to a mountain whose ways were steep and there they found a man with a beast of burden. But the horse had fallen down, for it was overladen, and he struck it till the blood flowed. And Jesus went to him and said," Son of cruelty, why strikest thou thy beast? Seest thou not that it is too weak for its burden, and knowest thou not that it suffereth?"
But the man answered and said," What hast thou to do therewith? I may strike it as much as it pleaseth me, for it is mine own, and I bought it with a goodly sum of money. Ask them who are with thee, for they are of mine acquaintance and know thereof."
And some of the disciples answered and said," Yea, Lord, it is as he saith, we have seen when he bought it." And the Lord said again," See ye not then how it bleedeth, and hear ye not how it waileth and lamenteth?" But they answered and said, " Nay, Lord, we hear not that it waileth and lamenteth." And the Lord was sorrowful, and said," Woe unto you because of the dullness of your hearts, ye hear not how it lamenteth and crieth unto the Heavenly Creator for mercy, but thrice woe unto him against whom it crieth and waileth in its pain."
And he went forward and touched it, and the horse stood up, and its wounds were healed. But to the man he said," Go now thy way and strike it henceforth no more, if thou also desireth to find mercy."
(Mercy killings) "It hath been written 'Thou shalt not kill', but I say unto you, if any hate and desire to slay, they are guilty of the law; yea, if they cause hurt or torture to any innocent creature they are guilty. But if they kill to put an end to suffering which cannot be healed, they are not guilty, if they do it quickly and in love."
"And again I say unto you, if any desire and seek to possess the body of any creature for food, or for pleasure, or for profit, they defile themselves thereby."
And the 'Feast of the Passover' drew nigh, and the Apostles and their fellows gathered themselves together unto Jesus and told him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And he said unto them," Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest a while," for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and out went them and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came forth, saw much people and was moved with compassion towards them, because they were as sheep having not a shepherd.
And the day was far spent, and his disciples came unto him and said," This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed. Send them away, that they may go into the country round about into the villages, and buy themselves bread, for they have nothing to eat."
He answered and said unto them," Give ye them to eat." and they said unto him," Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?" He saith unto them," How many loaves have ye? Go and see." And when they knew, they said," Six loaves and seven clusters of grapes." And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies of fifty upon the grass. And they sat down in ranks by hundreds and by fifties. And when he had taken the six loaves and the seven clusters of grapes, he looked up to Heaven, and blessed and brake the loaves, and the grapes also, and gave them unto his disciples to set before them, and they divided them among them all.
And they did all eat and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that were left. And they that did eat of the loaves and of the fruit were about five thousand men, woman and children, and he taught them many things.
And when the people had seen and heard, they were filled with gladness and said," Truly this is that prophet that should come into the world." And when he perceived that they would take him by force to make him a king, he straightaway constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and go to the other side before him unto Bethsaida, while he sent the people away.
(N.B. 6 and 7 are the mystical numbers of man and God, matter and spirit. Whilst the bread and juice of the grapes symbolised the body and blood of Christ. The sublime spiritual symbolism here speaks for itself.)
And Jesus was travelling to Jerusalem, and there came a camel heavy laden with wood, and the camel could not drag it up the hill whither he went for the weight thereof, and the driver beat him and cruelly ill-treated him, but he could make him go no further. And Jesus seeing this, said unto him," Wherefore beatest thou thy brother?" And the man answered," I wot not that he is my brother, is he not a beast of burden and made to serve me?"
And Jesus said, " Hath not the same God made, of the same substance, the camel and thy children who serve thee? And have ye not one breath of life which ye have received from God?" And the man marvelled much at this saying, and he ceased from beating the camel and took off some of the burden, and the camel walked up the hill as Jesus went before him, and it stopped no more till he ended his journey. And the camel knew Jesus, having felt of the love of God in him.
And the man inquired further of the doctrine, and Jesus taught him gladly, and the man became his disciple.
And as Jesus was going with some of his disciples he met with a certain man who trained dogs to hunt other creatures. And he said to the man," Why doest thou thus?" and the man said," By this I live, and what profit is there to any in these creatures? These creatures are weak, but the dogs they are strong." And Jesus said," Thou lackest wisdom and love. Lo, every creature which God hath made hath its end and purpose, and who can say what good there is in it, or what profit to thyself, or mankind? And for thy living , behold the fields yielding their increase, and the fruit bearing trees, and the herbs; what needest thou more than these which honest work of thy hands will not give to thee? Woe to the strong who misuse their strength. Woe to the crafty who hurt the creatures of God. Woe to the hunters for they shall be hunted."
It came to pass one day as Jesus had finished his discourse, in a place near Tiberias, where there are seven wells, a certain young man brought live rabbits and pigeons, that he might have to eat with his disciples.
And Jesus looked on the young man with love and said to him," Thou hast a good heart and God shall give thee light, but knowest thou not that God in the beginning gave to man the fruits of the earth for food, and did not make him lower than the ape, or the ox, or the horse, or the sheep, that he should kill and eat the flesh and blood of his fellow creatures. Ye believe that Moses indeed commanded such creatures to be slain and offered in sacrifice and eaten, and so do ye in the temple, but behold a greater than Moses is here, and he cometh to put away the bloody sacrifices of the law, and the feasts on them, and to restore to you the pure oblation and unbloody sacrifices as in the beginning, even the grains and fruits of the earth. Of that which ye offer unto God in purity shall ye eat, but of that kind which ye offer not in purity shall ye not eat, for the hour cometh when your sacrifices and feasts of blood shall cease, and ye shall worship God with a holy worship and a pure oblation.
"Let these creatures therefore go free, that they may rejoice in God and bring no guilt to man." And the young man set them free, and Jesus broke their cages and their bonds. But lo, they feared lest they should again be taken captive, and they went not away from him, but he spake unto them and dismissed them, and they obeyed his word and departed in gladness.
And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up again from Bethany into Jerusalem. And he found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting.
And when he had made a scourge of seven cords, he drove them all out of the temple and loosed the sheep and the oxen and the doves, and poured out the changer's money, and overthrew the tables.
And said unto them," Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise. Is it not written,'My house is a house of prayer, for all nations'? but ye have made it a den of thieves, and filled it with all manner of abominations."
And he would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel of blood through the temple, or that any animals should be slain. And the disciples remembered that it was written," Zeal for thine house hath eaten me up.'
Then answered the Jews, and said unto him," What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?" Jesus answered, and said unto them," Again I say unto you, destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."
Then said the Jews, " Forty and six years was this temple in the building and wilt thou rear it up in three days?" But he spake of the temple of his body.
When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them, and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
But the scribes and the priests saw and heard, and were astonished and sought how they might destroy him, for they feared him, seeing that all the people were attentive to his doctrines.
And at evening the Master cometh into the house, and there are gathered with him the Twelve and their fellows; Peter and Jacob and Thomas and John and Simon and Matthew and Andrew and Nathanael and James and Thaddeus and Jude and Philip, and their companions (and there was also Judas Iscariot, who by men was numbered with the twelve, till the time when he should be manifested.)
And they were all clad in garments of white linen, pure and clean, for linen is the righteousness of the saints, and each had the colour of his tribe. But the Master was clad in his pure white robe, over all, without seam or spot.
And there arose contention among them as to which of them should be esteemed the greatest, wherefore he said unto them, " He that is greatest among you let him be as he that doth serve."
And Jesus said," With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, and to institute the memorial of my oblation for the service and salvation of all. For behold the hour cometh when the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners."
And one of the twelve said unto him," Lord, is it I?" And he answered," He to whom I give the sop, the same is he."
And Iscariot said, unto him," Master, behold the unleaven bread, the mingled wine and the oil and the herbs, but where is the lamb that Moses commanded?" (for Judas had bought the lamb, but Jesus had forbidden that it should be killed)
And John spake in the Spirit, saying," Behold the Lamb of God, the Good Shepherd which giveth his life for the sheep." And Judas was troubled at these words for he knew that he should betray him. But again Judas said," Master, is it not written that a lamb must be slain for the Passover within the gates?"
And Jesus answered," If I am lifted up on the cross, then indeed shall the lamb be slain; but woe unto him by whom it is delivered into the hands of the slayers; it were better for him had he not been born."
"Verily I say unto you, for this end I have come into the world, that I may put away all blood offerings and the eating of the flesh of the beasts and the birds that are slain by men."
"In the beginning, God gave to all the fruits of the trees and the seeds of the herbs for food, but those who loved themselves more than God, or their fellows, corrupted their ways, and brought diseases into their bodies, and filled the earth with lust and violence."
"Not by shedding innocent blood therefore, but by living a righteous life shall ye find the peace of God. Ye call me the Christ of God, and ye say well, for I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."
" Walk ye in the Way and ye shall find God. Seek ye the Truth and the Truth shall make you free. Live in the Life and ye shall see no death. All things are alive in God and the Spirit of God filleth all things."
"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another and all the creatures of God. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Love is of God, and God is love. Whoso loveth not, knoweth not God.
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you, by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another, and shew mercy and love to all creatures of God, especially to those that are weak and oppressed and suffer wrong. For the whole earth is filled with dark places of cruelty, with pain and sorrow, by the selfishness and ignorance of man.
"I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you and give them light for their darkness, and let the spirit of love dwell within your hearts and abound unto all. And again I say unto you, love one another and all the creation of God."
And it came to pass as he sat at supper with his disciples one of them said unto him," Master, how sayest thou that thou wilt give thy flesh to eat and thy blood to drink, for it is a hard saying unto many?"
And Jesus answered and said," The words which I speak unto you are Spirit and they are Life. To the ignorant and the carnally-minded they savour of bloodshed and death, but blessed are they who understand.
"Behold the corn which groweth up into ripeness and is cut down, and ground in the mill, and baked with fire into bread! of this bread is my body made, which ye see; and lo the grapes which grow on the vine into ripeness, and are plucked and crushed in the winepress and yield the fruit of the vine! of this fruit of the vine and of water is made my blood.
"For of the fruits of the trees and the seeds of the herbs alone do I partake, and these are changed by the Spirit into my flesh and my blood. Of these alone and their like shall ye eat who believe in me, and are my disciples, for of these, in the Spirit, come life and health and healing unto man.
"Verily shall my presence be with you in the substance and life of God, manifested in this body, and this blood; and of these shall ye eat and drink who believe in me.
"For in all places I shall be lifted up for the life of the world, as it is written in the prophets, 'From the rising up of the sun unto the going down of the same, in every place a pure oblation with incense shall be offered unto My name.'
"As in the natural so in the spiritual. My doctrine and my life shall be meat and drink unto you - the 'Bread of Life' and the 'Wine of Salvation.'
"As the corn and the grapes are transmuted into flesh and blood, so must your natural minds be changed into spiritual. Seek ye the Transmutation of the natural into the spiritual.
"Verily I say unto you, in the beginning , all creatures of God did find their sustenance in the herbs and the fruits of the earth alone, till the ignorance and the selfishness of man turned many of them from the use which God had given them, to that which was contrary to their original use, but even these shall yet return to their natural food, as it is written in the prophets, and their words shall not fail.
"Verily God ever giveth of the eternal life and substance to renew the forms of the universe. It is therefore of the flesh and blood, even the substance and life of the Eternal, that ye are partakers unto life, and my words are spirit and they are life.
"And if ye keep my commandments and live the life of the righteous, happy shall ye be in this life, and in that which is to come. Marvel not therefore that I said unto you,'Except ye eat of the flesh and drink of the blood of God, ye have no life in you.'"
And the disciples answered saying, "Lord, evermore give us to eat of this bread, and to drink of this cup, for thy words are meat and drink indeed. By thy Life and by thy Substance may we live for ever."
(Extracts from the 'Gospel of the Holy Twelve.' The 'Gospel of the Holy Twelve' may be viewed in full at
THE TWELVE COMMANDMENTS
(As given by Jesus at the Transfiguration)
And Jesus said unto them," Behold, a new law I give unto you, which is not new but old. Even as Moses gave the Ten Commandments to Israel after the flesh, so also I give unto you the Twelve for the Kingdom of Israel after the Spirit.
"For who are the Israel of God? Even they of every nation and tribe who work righteousness, love mercy and keep my commandments, these are the true Israel of God. And standing on his feet, Jesus spake, saying:
"Hear O Israel, Jova, thy God is One; many are My seers and My prophets. In Me all live and move, and have subsistence.
"Ye shall not take away the life of any creature for your pleasure, nor for your profit, nor yet torment it.
"Ye shall not steal the goods of any, nor gather lands and riches to yourselves, beyond your need or use.
"Ye shall not eat the flesh, nor drink the blood of any slaughtered creature, nor yet anything which bringeth disorder to your health or senses.
"Ye shall not make impure marriages, where love and health are not, nor yet corrupt yourselves, or any creature made pure by the Holy.
"Ye shall not bear false witness against any, nor wilfully deceive any by a lie to hurt them.
"Ye shall not do unto others, as ye would not that others should do unto you.
"Ye shall worship One Eternal, the Father-Mother in Heaven, of whom are all things, and reverence the Holy Name.
"Ye shall revere your fathers and your mothers on earth, whose care is for you, and all the teachers of righteousness.
"Ye shall cherish and protect the weak, and those who are oppressed, and all creatures that suffer wrong.
"Ye shall work with your hands the things that are good and seemly; so shalt ye eat the fruits of the earth, and live long in the land.
"Ye shall purify yourselves daily and rest the seventh day from labour, keeping holy the sabbaths and the festivals of your God.
"Ye shall do unto others, as ye would that others should do unto you."
WHAT IS TRUTH?
Again the twelve were gathered together in the circle of palm trees, and one of them, even Thomas, said to the others," What is Truth?, for the same things appear different to different minds, and even to the same mind at different times. What, then, is Truth?"
And as they were speaking Jesus appeared in their midst and said," Truth, one and absolute, is in God alone, for no man, neither any body of men, knoweth that which God alone knoweth, who is the All in All. To men is Truth revealed, according to their capacity to understand and receive.
"The one Truth hath many sides, and one seeth one side only, another another, and some see more than others, according as it is given to them.
"Behold this crystal; how the one light is manifest in twelve faces, yea four times twelve, and each face reflecteth one ray of light, and one regardeth one face, and another another, but it is the one crystal, and the one light that shineth in all.
"Behold again, when one climbeth a mountain and attaining one height, he saith,'This is the top of the mountain, let us reach it', and when they have reached that height, lo, they see another beyond it until they come to that height from which no other height is to be seen, if so they can attain it.
"So it is with Truth. I am the Truth and the Way and the Life, and have given to you the Truth I have received from above. And that which is seen and received by one, is not seen and received by another. That which appeareth true to some, seemeth not true to others. They who are in the valley see not as they who are on the hill top.
"But to each, it is the Truth as the one mind seeth it, and for that time, till a higher Truth shall be revealed unto the same; and to the soul which receiveth higher light shall be given more light. Wherefore condemn not others, that ye be not condemned.
"As ye keep the holy Law of Love, which I have given unto you, so shall the Truth be revealed more and more unto you, and the Spirit of Truth which cometh from above shall guide you, albeit through many wanderings, into all Truth, even as the fiery cloud guided the children of Israel through the wilderness.
"Be faithful to the light ye have, till a higher light is given to you. Seek more light, and ye shall have abundantly; rest not, till ye find.
"God giveth you all Truth, as a ladder with many steps, for the salvation and perfection of the soul, and the truth which seemeth to-day, ye will abandon for the higher truth of the morrow. Press ye unto Perfection."
( Extract from the 'Gospel of the Holy Twelve.' )