"A Complex Problem Involving a Simple Equation"
by The Right Reverend Ileana Isfan
Humanity refers to both men and women. In reality, the human life form or MAN equals man plus woman plus the life-giving or creative forceGOD.
The God aspect of the equation is necessary because there can be no life without it. Man and woman have equal value in the equation for life to exist as MAN. If man and woman have equal value in the life equation, they must have equal responsibilities for life. Though the history of mankind is heavily loaded or biased as the history of men, women have played major roles, especially in the spiritual life.
As modern clergywomen, we continue to fulfill an ancient and respected role. We devote our whole lives and beings to the spiritual life. We take seriously the exhortation of Jesus that it is the responsibility of every PERSON to come to know God by means of the rebirth He taught in the paradosis, or oral teachings.
As part of our responsibility to make the True Way available to all who wish to avail themselves of it, we feel that "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" should include the freedom to pursue one's destiny as an immortal Being of Light with a Conscious Soul. However, just the right to pursue our spiritual destiny is not enough to achieve it; we must have the freedom to know the proper means or method of achieving a Conscious Soul. If at death of the physical body we expect to exist in another "world" or "dimension" as a non-physical, or spiritual, body, we must have an adequate "vehicle." This vehicle must be developed while we inhabit a physical body.
Although we are also concerned with civil rights and religious rights and freedoms, we are primarily concerned with the state of the human spirit, which has declined to a level that is critical to human survival. This is the primary reason for the Proclamation of Human Spiritual Rights.
It would be foolish and irresponsible of us to assume the Pollyanna attitude that self-appointed, zealous "guardians" of a Christianity of their own limited and erroneous understanding cannot deal a final death blow to an already fragile world. We, in good conscience, cannot stand by and allow new forms of human chauvinism to dominate religion and destroy the emerging New Christianity resulting from the Appearance of God's Divine Presence, which is manifesting in steadily growing strength as Great Light.
Our Hope and Faith
As members of the clergy and of human society, we hope to see the day when an enlightened society will be rid of the persistent curse of ignorance of the true history of religion, of prejudice, and of persecution engendered by the xenophobic tendency of the human race to hate strangers or people unlike themselves, and of the tendency to label religions heretical or pagan if they differ from their own.
We have faith in our hope for a number of reasons. One, a physiological reason, is that though xenophobia may be an inherited factor, scientific research has proven that it can be reversed to engender opposite feelings of friendliness, tolerance of others, and love. Was not Jesus' chief teaching that we love one another? In John 15:12, Jesus is quoted as saying, "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." To what extent have Christians followed, and continued to follow, this commandment? Can anyone doubt that there is room for improvement on this point?
Another reason for our hope is the knowledge that there have been and continue to be individuals with the capacity to love God and mankind as Jesus taught. If it is possible for some men and women, is it not possible for all? Did not Jesus say, in essence, that what He did, others could do also?
Life is not static and neither is true religion. The reception of higher-dimensional information did not cease with the death of Moses, Mohammed, Buddha or any other "messenger" of God.
The history of mankind and of religion provides another reason for hope. God, who spoke the Word in times past to members of the human family through prophets possessed of the Holy Spirit, seems to elect to send a pre-existent being into the world from time to time to instruct mankind. Such a being was Jesus, who assumed the office of Christ, and was Christ manifest among mortals of the world. Jesus came to restore the supernatural knowledge of God not to be worshiped as God.
Other prophets existed in the world before and after Jesus, and in many parts of the world. This can be verified by a study of the sacred literature of the world. As mentioned by the Persian prophet, Manes, "Wisdom and deeds have always from time to time been brought to mankind by the messengers of God. So in one age they have been brought by the messenger called Buddha to India, in another by Zoroaster to Persia, in another by Jesus to the West." These are only three examples among others.
Jesus preached the fulfillment of a common tradition known in different forms throughout the world. The origin of this tradition can be traced to all ancient civilizations far back in time. Whenever this tradition is extended to a people, it is accompanied by the birth of a world Teacher, such as Jesus, who amends and supplements the older tradition.
Of course, our greatest hope lies in the manifestation of the Image and the Word of God in the world at the Second Coming or Second Advent. Those skeptics who have not had a personal experience with the Grace or "energy" of God might be pleased to know that that experience is possible, because the Image and the Word are not meaningless terms; they represent, for lack of a better medium than words, the non-physical, or spiritual, supernatural "energy" and "information" of a state or dimension we call God. All members of the human family are, whether they recognize or accept it or not, Children of God, for both matter and spirit coexist in every human being, and the Light of God shines equally on all. Therein lies hope and possibility for the regeneration of the world to Spirit. God is a Living Power, a Living Beingness, not just dead imaginative theory. Because God is a Living something that is not visible or tangible in our third dimension of space and time, God cannot be confined to human writing or speech, nor can God be relegated only to those past ages that man has enshrined as holy. The God State, or Creation, is a continuous state of being. The Christian religion (as other religions) has not reached its limits, theologically speaking. To think so is to be ignorant of the process of life and to deny the experiences, the teachings, and the wisdom of all the ancient sages and prophets, and to miss an enlightened understanding of true science. How can the cosmos be static? Who can claim to know the mind of God and believe modern man is the epitome or pinnacle of God's Creation? If God is a Living God, the spiritual evolution of mankind must be a possibility that permits man to evolve to a state or condition which allows "communication" with God at anytime anywhere in the world or universe.
When Moses said to God that he was not eloquent of speech, God said (according to scripture), "Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou wilt say." If this was possible a few millennia ago, is it not possible in our age? Therefore, if and when some among modern mankind are fortunate enough to have "speech" or "communication" with God, might it not behoove us to listen? One thing we must have is the right to listen, and the right to learn how to listen. Is this not the most "scientific" as well as spiritual thing to do in order to find out who, what and why we are the strange, magnificent creatures that we are? Wouldn't you want to know?
The appearance of God's Divine Presence manifest as Great Light predicted to transpire in the End Times of the world (the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one of a different kind) is recorded in all the prophetic literature of the world's great religions, including the apocalyptic works of Judaeo-Christian scripture. Jesus spoke of a Second Coming. One such reference is recorded in the Gospel of John (xiv:27): "...And I will pray the Father and he shall send you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever...." He said He had come to declare the coming Kingdom of God. Jesus did not say He would return personally. Nor did anyone say that the hoped-for transformation of man into a spiritual being was a foregone conclusion, or that it would happen automatically. The spiritual Light Body had to be, in ancient times as now, activated, nourished, and maintained over a lifetime by the Process or System taught by Jesus. Unfortunately, this System has been lost for almost 2000 years. To understand how this happened and why requires an understanding of the true history of Christianity and of the loss of the Secret Teachings of Jesus.
The expectation of Christianity has always been, and still is, the return of Jesus, though it is not clear how or in what form He would return, or when. This long-awaited event has spawned much speculation, conflict and even persecution among men of secular or man-made religions or organizations who would seek to control the thoughts and feelings of the masses unschooled in the history of Christianity or in a real understanding of true religion and its purpose.
These self-appointed "guardians of religion," as they interpret it, and of the morality and ethics of all people, represent a grave threat to religious and spiritual liberty, human dignity and constitutional democracy. This is nothing new, for the world has always been plagued by ignorance of the existence of the Light of God and the meaning of true religion and spirituality, a condition binding mankind to the stranglehold of the Dark and destructive nature of evil forces in the universe.
Man's inhumanity to man and all of creation provides sufficient evidence that he has been short-changed somewhere along the line. His inhumanity, due to a lack of spirituality, or even knowledge of its existence, has, you might say, solidified to a dangerous level. However, since man is not responsible for his own existence, he periodically is subject to transitions brought about by natural and supernatural law, or by God, if you prefer. This means change. But change tends to be very difficult or unpleasant for many individuals. New concepts or ideas, like the new kid or different family on the block, have to experience resistance and ridicule or persecution before acceptance. Love has a hard time growing in conditions like these, and millions of people are hurt and killed before love blossoms. Generally speaking, often it is easier, and sometimes safer, just to follow the status quo and not rock the boat.
The flaming truth of human society is that it is largely governed and controlled by hypocrisy, ignorance and greed. People and institutions prate about the sacredness of life and the need to preserve it at all cost (which is mostly a big lie, because there is more effort to eradicate it than to preserve it). Most humans in the world are not even allowed civil rights or rights to live decent, comfortable physical lives; yet because man is more than a biological species in contact with mutable life forces, he is the bearer of the human spirit, with the potential to communicate with Divine Intelligence. Therefore, he struggles against all odds to stay alive. If the spirit is this strong, there must be some value to it. The terrible conditions imposed upon humanity are indicative of the value of the spirit, or else the forces opposing it would not try so hard to eradicate it.
This indicates the source of the oppositionthe Dark or destructive evil spirit, commonly called Satan or the Devilwhich controls man's Dark nature. Until mankind understands his true nature and the means of overcoming his Dark nature, chaos and Darkness will continue to be dominant in the world.
Out of His innate goodness and love, God is again extending to the world His Love and Grace (as a special spiritual "energy " or "radiation" that can be experienced with the proper training and attitude or desire) in an act of Redemption at His Second Coming. God does this to redeem man from the sin of ignorance of the knowledge of God's Image and Word.
It is the sin of ignorance, because mankind has been denied this knowledge by the Darkness that governs and controls ignorance. This is the great sin perpetuated in the world.
To understand the great sin still being perpetuated in the world requires a knowledge of the history of religion, of Christianity and of the loss of the secret Gospel. Such a history is difficult for the average person to come by, because suppression or unavailability is part of the status quo which perpetuates the ignorance. To explain very briefly, mankind has been denied the true teachings of Jesus. With the crucifixion of Jesus and the death of His original disciples and early followers, the secret, oral teachings were lost. Roman persecution of the early 'edah-church or community (the original, authentic church under Jesus and His disciples), continued during the first few centuries. The wielders of power at Rome impressed their wills upon the masses under their control. This suppression of society was both political and religious. Because so much of ancient religious literature was destroyed by order of the Roman emperors during the first two or three centuries, historians and students of the early church have been at a loss to reconstruct the events that actually took place and, more importantly, to grasp both the original teachings of the 'edah-church and the doctrines of the many mystery religions that flourished in the empire. What remains is a tarnished record, a gospel known to be interpolated, misunderstood and misinterpreted, handed down to posterity by secular church writers under the state religions, which is not to be confused with the True Teachings of Jesus.
Continued persecutions and inquisitions slowly but surely suppressed all traces of the ancient teachings and schools of great learning, erasing the genius of inspired sages who were heirs to knowledge gained over many thousands of years; the tragedy was the loss of the Gospel message of Jesus and the Essenes. Deprived of the benefits of high religion and the guidance of inspired messengers of God, the Roman Empire degenerated to barbaric rule, resulting in the Dark Ages that gripped western civilization for a thousand years.
Despite the Renaissance and the period of great scientific discoveries in the next thousand years, the present world is far from the peaceful, loving world or anything remotely similar to what Jesus, and other great religious teachers, envisioned or taught about.
What followed in place of the transforming spiritual process of new birth and life, exemplified by the new spiritual man taught by Jesus, was a belief system of dogmatic concepts, worship, and symbolic ritualistic sacrifice.
Modern Christianity has been made in the image of the culture that took it over from the remnant that taught it in Palestine; that is, Christianity was eventually legalized under the state and became the instrument of civil authority for the good of the state social order.
Modern Christianity lacks the heart of Christ's teachings; that is, the Process of Transformation taught by Jesus. Therefore, despite one's intellectual ability, faith or zealousness, one cannot arrive at an understanding of or communion with God by powers of the mind any more than by emotional frenzy.
The Spirit, reborn by the Process of Transformation, must be animated and nurtured on God's Light. Then, the reborn Soul, possessed of Divine Reason, can have knowledge and understanding of God's Word.
We are deeply concerned because the world cannot afford a repetition of what happened to the original teachings of Jesus. Can the world honestly pray to God and pretend to love God and Jesus when it daily makes a mockery of Jesus' teachings, even though it is unintentional because people have been misinformed? Even in civil law, ignorance of the law is no excuse. It is time to wake up to the reality that in our present day the same Dark Forces that deprived the world of the living Gospel of Jesus are still at work by the same methods in modern form. Our advanced level of communications makes it even easier for self-appointed zealots to try to perpetuate the work of the Dark Forces by taking advantage of the freedoms granted Americans in our great Constitution to use totalitarian propaganda methods false accusations, false information, wrong quotations, material out of context, outright lies and fearto foist the Great Lie on an unwary public.
It appears extraordinary that in one breath, zealous cult-awareness crusaders commend and invoke the Constitution while simultaneously using a choice of words and phrases aimed at dishonoring and stigmatizing legitimate religions and ministers of God. Perhaps in their too great zeal to express their own opinions on the interpretation of Christ's teachings and the Bible, and on the thousands of individuals and organizations, they have not only misconstrued the words but the intent as well. By what authority do the Cult Awareness Crusaders assume they, as opposed to many others, correctly interpret the Bible and are representative of the true Biblical Community for the real Jesus Christ? From their statements, it appears that their real desire is to appeal to human emotions and weaknesses while hiding behind a limited and private interpretation of the Bible. If they are what they claim to be, they should truly repent to God, for by their attitude they are, in a manner of speaking, committing murder in their hearts; the kind of murder committed by the temple priests who judicially murdered Jesus. Heresy can exist in law as well as in religion.
We prefer to think that we live in a place and time of great freedom, justice and liberty; but every responsible individual knows how fragile these qualities of life are. The Inquisition and its methods of suppressing so-called heresy were not confined to Spain and other European countries in the 15th and 16th centuries. But a few centuries ago, men and women in America were burned at the stake for beliefs that othersfallible men and womenthought to be heretical. Do such individuals and organizations wish to serve God and Christ by similar methods?
Misguided zeal is a dangerous thing. To accuse individuals of being cult leaders or organizations of being cults, in the obviously negative connotations of the term "cult" and with the accompanying connotations of evil, are insulting and offensive to every person, of whatever religion, who has more than a cursory, fundamentalist, narrow or literal understanding of scripture.
Religious freedom means more than the freedom to attack others whose views differ from our own. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and God; thus it behooves us all to love God and exemplify Christ. If the spirit of God is to prevail amongst us, perhaps we ought to consider the questions and problems of religion intelligently, seriously and dispassionately, and consider those things only which merit consideration.
If we truly believe in God, Christ and the prophets, then we must pay careful attention to what they have told us. If God promised us a Second Advent, then should we not expect it and prepare for it? Do we want the world to be plunged into Darkness forever?
Christians have been waiting for the Second Advent, or as some say, the return of Christ, ever since the beginning of Christianity. Many thought it would occur soon after the death of Jesus. The ministry of Jesus prepared for the coming of God and the establishment of the kingdom of the Spirit in which all flesh and blood, and all things material, would pass away from the memory of man. Jesus also said,"Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no way enter therein." (Luke xviii.17) From Peter's second Epistle (iii.1-13) we learn that the Second Advent was to come at a future time, but this great event was to be some time in coming, and that the teachings and Christ's ministry were only half accomplished. The Second Coming was an essential part of the message, one which would regenerate and fulfill the original Christian tradition and eventually bring about a World of Light under God.
Malachi (iii. 1-2) tells us that a messenger of God would proclaim the Second Advent. There are many other references to the Second Coming, both in canonical and extra canonical scripture. Sages and prophets did not write fiction or fairy tales, so it seems we would benefit greatly from a serious study of wisdom literature.
Our reward for our responsibility to assist the human family in order for them to share in their divinity is based in the promise of the Second Advent:
By means of the Creative Power of Light and Energy, God is to clothe the races of the earth in 'New Flesh' to inherit a New World.
A New Humanity, created by God's Light as successor to the former races generated out of Darkness, would establish a New world Order of Truth and justice ruled by God's Divine Image and Word, which would result in the transformation of matter into incorruptible Spirit in a restored Creation in which Evil and Darkness would vanish forever (The Book of God's Revelation).
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