The Twelve Foundation Stones and the Portals
THE SEVEN LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS & THE QUESTION OF THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE
"Love never fails but Prophecies shall fail; [the gift of] Languages shall cease; if there be Knowledge, it shall vanish because our Knowledge is partial and our Prophesy is partial but when Perfection (‘teleion’) comes, then that which was partial shall be done away. When I was a child, I understood as a child; I thought as a child but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Now, we see through a translucent glass but then [when Perfection] comes, face to face and I shall Know, even as I am Known." - I Corinthians 13:8-12
On this last trip back East, I had an interesting conversation with my son Jerome. We were both visiting his sister for the Thanksgiving holidays. In the beginning of our conversation, he expressed amazement that I so often use other sources, other than the Bible in the pages of this newsletter, as if to say that everything we need to know is contained in the covers of the King James Bible. He asked me if I thought the Bible
was inspired and you know me, I can be facetious at times, so, I asked him which Bible he meant. He said "The Christian Bible". Well, I had to remind him that there are several Bibles which have been produced by Christians and that each of these have totally different books from one another. Since I was only able to recall certain information about a couple of these, off the top of my head, I thought it might be well to revisit his very important question, in this writing.
Seated on the plane coming home, I got to thinking of how we had just gotten to our ninth issue dealing with the Seven Levels of Consciousness and I recalled something the Sethians said about the levels of inspiration in the Old Testament. The Sethians were Christians who liked to identify themselves with the Patriarch Seth and for this reason Epiphanius got bent out of shape and labeled them as ‘heretics’. But he did not get around to refuting what they actually said. I’ll quote from one of my own writings (citing Epiphanius).
"Those whom Epiphanius labeled ‘Sethites’ took the words of Jesus ‘All who came before me were thieves and robbers to mean that to the extent those Old Testament Prophets were unable to hear the LOGOS, to that extent they became ‘robbers’, in that they failed to accurately transmit the words of the LOGOS. According to the Sethites, the Prophets actually prophesied by the seven planetary Archons. The first
one was Ialdabaoth who had chosen Abraham to be the father of Jewish people. Moses, Joshua, Amos and Habakkuk had prophesied by Ialdabaoth. Samuel, Nathan, Jonah and Micah prophesied by IAO. Elijah, Joel and Zechariah were the mouth pieces of Sabaoth (Saturn). Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Daniel prophesied by
Adonai (Jupiter), Tobias and Haggai were the prophets of Oreus (Mars), while Ezra and Zephaniah prophesied by Astanteus (Venus)."2
CREATING A NEW BIBLE
When the Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, they brought with them all the Knowledge which they had learned in Babylon and Assyria. They had learned the wisdom of having written records. Almost all their original records had been destroyed and it became obvious to Ezra that the Jews would need new scriptures as well as a new temple,
in order to reorganize the religion of Israel. So, he set out to create a new Bible for the people. Ezra was the person responsible for the formation of what is now called the Old Testament. It was he, who gathered together the material and revised the Hebrew Scriptures. He arranged his writings into twenty-two books because there were
twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Nehemiah added still more writings to this collection. We see references in these later writings to ancient books, like the Book of Jasher and the Book of Jubilees.
But the Samaritans, who had never been deported from their homeland rejected this new Bible, because they still retained what they said was the original writings of Moses. Even the Essenes rejected parts of the Jewish Bible, clinging as they did to their original writings. Compare and contrast the following passages:
Gen. 14:14 - Judges 18:27,28
Gen. 36:31 - 36:43 & Num. 31:13
Exodus 16:34 - Josh. 5:12-15
Num. 12:3 -
Deut. 3:11 - II Sam. 12:36
Deut. 34:6 (Moses’ burial)
JEREMIAH REJECTS THE NEW BIBLE
We should not be surprised at this, for even Jeremiah was not so happy with this revised copy of Moses’ Law, that Nehemiah began reading to the people.3 It had been ‘accidentally found behind the Altar by Hilkiah, the High Priest.4 Jeremiah cried out, "How do you say, We are wise and the Law of the LORD is with us? Lo, he surely made it in vain. The pen of the scribes made it in vain."5 The Temple establishment had turned away from an ancient tradition of prophets to a priesthood centered around a temple. They began to send out letters to the leaders saying, "Every man that is mad and makes himself a prophet should be put in prison and in stocks."6 Well, that is exactly what happened to Jeremiah. He was placed in stocks.7
But, it would get even tougher for prophets, who wanted to ignore the priestly establishment. "And it shall come to pass that when any shall prophesy, then his father and his mother that bore him shall say to him, You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and mother that bore him shall thrust him through [with a sword] when he preaches. And it shall come to pass in that day that the prophet shall be ashamed of his vision, when he prophecies. Neither shall they be permitted to wear rough clothing. But he shall be made to confess, ‘I am no prophet. . ."8
This state of affairs was quite different from what Moses would have desired. When he was informed about two unlicensed preachers in the camp, he said, "Do you envy for my sake? I would to God that all the LORD’s people were prophets."9 So you can begin to see what trepidation must have arisen in the hearts of the priests when John the Baptist and Jesus appeared. Both of them were killed.
WHO IS CORRUPTING THE SCRIPTURES
With hind sight, we can see the wisdom of having a Temple and a written library of books that are declared sacred. But Jesus accused the Jews of having corrupted their own Scriptures. He said, "Yet, how has Israel conducted himself? How many of God’s prophets have been beaten and slain? How many prophecies has he corrupted and how often violated the Law of God."11 I have wondered what ever became of the book that Jesus quoted, called the ‘Wisdom of God’.10
Even in Paul’s day Christians were erasing and revising scriptures. He wrote, "For we are not like many, who corrupt the Word of God."12 It was the Latin father, St. Jerome who rearranged the New Testament. The early manuscripts have all of Paul the Apostle’s writings placed after James, Peter, Jude and John. By positioning Paul’s writings before Peter’s and James’, he relegated them from being the chiefs of the Apostles to being something inferior. It was also St. Jerome’s translation of the Gospel of Matthew, which created a furor in Rome. Some truly scholarly people accused him of blatant forgery and perversion of the text.
CONTRADICTIONS AND FAILED PROPHECIES IN THE BIBLE
As I discussed the question of the Inspiration of the Scriptures with my son, Jerome, I did not wish to offend him by mentioning the various contradictions that would instantly appear in the Bible, if we did not allow for various levels of inspiration and errors in translation. When we find Mark assigning a quote to Isaiah, which is actually found in Malachi13, how inspired is that? Or Matthew 14 citing a passage from Isaiah that is only found in Psalm 77?
Which God was it, who said, "I spoke not unto your fathers, nor did I command them, when I brought them out of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices."15
And which God was it who said, "And the LORD called to Moses saying . . . speak to the children of Israel and say to them, If any man of you brings an offering unto the LORD, you shall bring your offerings cattle of the herd and the flock. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice . "16
What about the failed prophecies of Jeremiah? Was he a false prophet, when he wrote that Babylon would become desolate and remain so forever, yet the city is currently rebuilt and has many people living in it?17 And when has the ‘Throne of the LORD’ ever been set up in Iran as Jeremiah prohecied?18
IS ALL SCRIPTURE INSPIRED?
Whoever wrote II Timothy in the name of the Apostle Paul had this to say, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof and correction and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may become Perfect, thoroughly furnished in good works."19 I’ll come back to the meaning of ‘Perfect’ in a moment, but first we need to ask does this writer actually mean ‘all’ in the literal
sense? If so, would he look upon the Koran as being inspired by God? How about the Vedas, are they inspired? Well, I’m sure that a lot of Christians would rise up and say, ‘No, only the Christian scriptures are inspired’. But let me quote something from one of the Vedas, which is believed to be about 5,000 years old. "In the beginning
was the Prajapati (the Creator). With him was the Vak (the Word). And the Vak was the Supreme Creator." Now, compare this passage with the first verse of John’s Gospel, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." One whole chunk of the Proverbs is a remake of Egyptian scriptures. Proverbs 23:17 through 24:34 is from Egyptian Wisdom literature.
Let me remind you that many Christians do not even accept other Christians Scriptures. The old primitive church at Antioch, Syrian was one of the first churches to send out missionaries. They sent Paul and Barnabus out. But this church totally rejected from their canon the books II Peter, II and III John, Jude and Revelation.
Their Bible was written in Aramiac an ancient language very much like Hebrew. During the Reformation, translators argued over which manuscripts to use: those for Alexandria or those from the Vatican. They totally ignored the Peshitto which was translated from copies made by the original Apostles about the year 150 A.D. The
above books were not included by the Marionites in their canon until the Roman Pontiff sent the Jesuits to Syria and convinced one-third of the people to place themselves under the Pope’s authority, in 1724 A.D. They became known as the Melkites of Syria. Today, the Marionites still insist that Christ only had one will not two. Their ‘error’ was condemned in 680-681 by the Council of Constantinople.
The Jesuits were also sent to the Coptic Church because they also broke fellowship with Rome at the same time as the Church of Antioch. As you will recall, ancient copies of Gnostic scriptures were found in Egypt about fifty years ago. These belonged to the ancient Church of Alexandria. Did the writer of II Timothy accept the Gnostic Gospels?
If St. Peter did not write II Peter, that would mean that he did not put his stamp of approval on Paul’s writings: "...Even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to Wisdom given to him, has written to you, just as in his other letters, speaks of things, some of which are hard to understand, which those who unlearned and unstable wrestle with, just as they do with other scriptures, to their own destruction."20 We know that the Church at Jerusalem did not accept Paul according to the Clementine Letters, so they certainly would not have approved of his writings. But the churches of the West loved Paul.
SOLA SCRIPTURES ?
When the Reformers broke away from the Church of Rome, one of their battle cries was ‘Sola Scriptures’. They did not wish to bow to the authority of the Roman Pontiff any longer. Martin Luther realized that with the fall of Papal authority, numerous sects, cults and denominations would arise. What has amazed me over the years, as I have traveled
among religious groups that used the same Bible, is the number of divisions and controversies that arise from people who quote the same texts. Does that mean that I reject the inspiration of the Scriptures? Not really. It shows me that we need to rightly divide the Word of Truth. To me the LOGOS (Word) is alive. It is not limited to something that
one of our brothers wrote hundreds of years ago. We must cultivate a high enough level of Consciousness to perceive the Voice of God in all things. Does true Knowledge ‘puff up’ the possessor? I don’t think so. It’s been my observation that the most opinionated professors of religion, that I have met, were also some of the most ignorant. They were the ones who were ‘puffed up’. Now, I must move on to the question we started out with.
WHEN WILL KNOWLEDGE BE SUPERSEDED AND REVELATION END?
It comes when a person achieves ‘Perfection’. Here I am not speaking of ‘sinless perfection’ but that state of maturity that arises from the final initiation. The Greek word is ‘teleios’. Paul was a little modest when he wrote, "Not as though I had already attained or were already Perfect - but I follow after, if perchance I may apprehend that for which I was apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren I consider not myself to have apprehended but one thing I do - forgetting those things of the past, I reach forth unto those things before me, pressing on toward the high Grades of God which are in Christ Jesus."21 At that moment, we cease viewing God as through a translucent glass and feast upon the beauty of God with our own inner Eye, even while still in the flesh.
Of Jesus, it was said, "And Jesus increased in Wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man."22 "Although he was a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. And having become Perfect, he became the Author of eternal Salvation to all those that obey him."23
May God bless you with these thoughts, I remain, yours, Jeffrey Brackeen
1. John 10:8
2. Pp. 73, 74, Forbidden Truths Revealed, by Jeffrey Brackeen
3. Neh. 8:1
4. II Kings 22:8
5. Jer. 8:8
6. Jer. 29:26
7. Jer. 20:2
8. Zech. 13:3, 4
9. Num. 11:29
10 Lu. 11:49
11. Verses 277 278, Chap. 10, The Complete Gospel of Jesus Christ,
12. II Cor. 2:17
13. Mark 1:2
14. Matthew 13:35
15. Jer. 7:22
16. Lev. 1:1-5
17. Jer. 51:61, 62. See also Jer. 33:17, 18
18. Jer. 49:38
19. II Tim. 3:16, 17
20. II Pet. 3:15, 16
21. Phil. 3:12-14
22. Luke 2:52
23. Heb. 5:8, 9