AN ANALYSIS OF THE NICENE CREED IN COMPARISON WITH JESUS’ TEACHINGS

AN ANALYSIS OF THE NICENE CREED
IN COMPARISON WITH JESUS’ TEACHINGS

Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.

“Is reincarnation cheap grace?”

“Does reincarnation take away from the role of Jesus in God’s plan of salvation?”

In order to answer these questions, we must consider traditional Christianity’s doctrines relating to Jesus, grace, and the human condition.

In 325 C.E., the ecumenical council of Church Fathers, meeting in Nicaea, adopt the Nicene Creed89 as the means by which the worldwide church maintains one and the same doctrine. With the advent of the Protestant Reformation, numerous creeds are developed by the various “break-away” Christian groups. However, the powerful influence of the Nicene Creed persists, even within those denominations that profess to have no creed. The beliefs set forth in the Nicene Creed permeate our Christian psyche. Christians have read the Bible through the lens of the Nicene Creed for seventeen hundred years. Today, it is the creed often used during Services of Communion.90 (This endnote includes the Nicene Creed in its entirety.)

“Who is Jesus according to the Nicene Creed?”

“We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven … for our sake he was crucified … he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father … with the Father and the Son he [the Holy Spirit] is worshiped and glorified.”

On the basis of this description of Jesus rests our misconceptions of his true identity, his role in the salvation of humanity, and humanity’s condition. Fierce controversies over Jesus’ divinity versus his humanity, or combination thereof, are raged by Christians for hundreds of years. Ruthless debates over humanity’s original sin, humanity’s deprived state, and God’s need for a blood sacrifice fill the pages of numerous theological treatises. With the concept of reincarnation deemed heresy, the horrendous doctrine of double predestination is devised as a means to explain the presence of unmitigated evil in the world.91 (Endnote contains added information.) Theologians are forced to talk around their elbows and back in an effort not to punch holes in the above creed.

Ponder the above words from the Nicene Creed. What do they tell you about Jesus? Jesus is said to be God. Jesus is to be worshipped as the sacrificial lamb, thus the vicarious atonement for our sins. By implication, God is a God who cannot bring himself to forgive humanity without a blood sacrifice of his beloved Son. Seldom expressed verbally, the grasping fingers of subliminal fear paralyze Christians into obeying when the church hierarchy commands, “Do not question God’s actions. You will lose your faith if you do.”

The assumed truth in the Nicene Creed is that humanity is down below God and Jesus, separate from them. By default, humanity is of a different nature—a nature that so angers God a blood sacrifice is required. God’s unconditional love and unlimited grace, as displayed in the opportunity to reincarnate, has no place in the creedal theology. Though Christians have tried to have faith in a God of love, fear prevails. How often have I heard, “I know God loves me because he gave his only Son to die for me.” In the search for security in a world ruled by an angry God, Christians regularly ignore their nagging intuitive hunches: “Requiring the death of one son, so that others might live, cannot be right.”

Fear is rarely admitted. I hear it when a bereaved person comforts himself with the words, “I’m sure she went to heaven. She was so good.” Though not a conscious part of his daily life, the belief in hell rises to the surface when the individual is confronted with death. The human psyche is deeply scarred with the church’s teaching of a physical place called hell, created by a God who intends to punish some individuals for eternity. As long as the church ignores the fact of reincarnation, hell remains the only method for God’s justice to work itself out.

Yet hell, as a place for some to spend eternity, is not biblical. Rocco Errico offers a word study. The English term hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon hel, meaning a hidden place. Hel comes from the verb form helan meaning to hide. Thus the English root word for hell, helan, has nothing to do with hell-fire. Biblical translators used the word hell to translate two different Semitic words: gehenna or gehenna dnoora in Aramaic (the language of Jesus) and sheol in Hebrew.

Sheol comes from the Hebrew root word shalal meaning to be still, quiet. The ancient Hebrews believe sheol to be a place beneath the earth’s surface where those who die, both good and bad, are inactive and quiet. They await judgment or resurrection day. It is a temporary resting place in the underworld.

The Aramaic gehenna dnoora refers to the “Valley of Hinnom.” During the first century C.E., Gehenna Dnoora is the garbage dump for Jerusalem. Located outside the city, people bring garbage to Gehenna Dnoora and burn it. The Judean king, Ahaz (735-715 B.C.E.), uses this valley to offer sacrifices to idols. Here, in the Valley of Hinnom, King Ahaz sends his son to the flames as a human sacrifice to the gods. As a result of these sacrifices, the valley Gei Hinnom becomes a Semitic term for hell.92 The Old Testament sheol and the New Testament gehenna dnoora in no way refer to a place established by God for eternal punishment.

Revelation 21:8 is another verse that seems, on the surface, to verify the Christian concept of hell: “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Throughout Revelation, sulfur appears in relationship to the eternal fires.93 On the mundane level, sulfur is a natural element found in protein. Protein is essential to the well-being of our physical bodies. Hidden wisdom uses sulfur as an alchemical symbol.94 Alchemy, as defined by Webster, is the “power or process of transforming something common into something special.” Thus sulfur in combination with the eternal fire is the means by which souls are transformed “from something common into something special.” The second death is therefore death to the lower self (or something common) so that the something special can be resurrected. Revelation is speaking of the astral plane where all negativity is eventually transmuted and resurrected into something special.

Hell, as a place of eternal punishment, is not biblical. God truly is love.

Sadly the misconceptions of the church render Christians paralyzed with fear. Although many ministers and laypersons say they no longer believe in hell, no concentrated effort is made to correct this destructive doctrine. It is simply ignored. To ignore it does not alleviate fear. Instead, the fear is repressed, giving it power far beyond our recognition.

Why, when the minister who attempts to present new insights is silenced, does she acquiesce? Why is the layperson hesitant to ask the questions that really concern him. For the minister, loss of the particular pulpit may lead to a more open congregation. For the parishioner, loss of status within the church community is far less restricting than repressing questions springing from the soul. The healing of subliminal fear of an unpredictable God awaits the church’s awakening to and proclamation of Truth.

As I continue to share the story of my search for Truth, I pray you will have the courage to explore with me and recognize for yourself, God is Absolute Love.

“What does Jesus teach?”

Throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man, thus emphasizing his prototype human role. This prototype human concept of himself is reinforced throughout his teachings.

Jesus repeatedly shifts the attention from himself to “his Father in heaven.” In Matthew 8, an individual suffering from leprosy approaches Jesus, asking to be healed. Jesus touches the man’s scaly skin, saying, “Be made clean.” As the man is healed, Jesus commands him to go to the temple and offer a gift of thanksgiving to God. Jesus deflects the credit for the healing from himself to God.

Mark 10:17-22 relates the story of a rich man running up to Jesus. “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus corrects him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” Then Jesus answers the man’s question according to his individual soul’s needs. Jesus senses that this wealthy man is attached to his material possessions. His soul needs to learn at least three lessons this incarnation: 1) detachment from riches as his source of supply; 2) sharing his possessions with others; and 3) looking to God alone as his source of abundant supply. Grieving, the man turns away—he is not ready to learn.

That Jesus views himself as the prototype human is obvious in Luke 6:40. “A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher.” Jesus expects his disciples to develop the same level of spiritual maturity he exhibits. He is frustrated with their failure to do so.

While the disciples are rowing across the Sea of Galilee, a storm splashes waves into the boat. Fearful for their lives, the disciples call to Jesus to wake up and save them. After calming the sea, Jesus questions his disciples, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”95 Jesus expects them to have the faith needed to calm the sea. Instead, they simply look at him in awe.

The disciples seem unable to comprehend Jesus’ expectations of them. On another occasion, Jesus is teaching a crowd of five thousand men in a deserted place. As dusk approaches, his disciples grow uneasy. They want Jesus to dismiss the crowd so they can go into the villages, find a place to spend the night, and purchase some food. Jesus expects the disciples to solve the problem: “You give them something to eat.”96 Once more the disciples do not know what to do.

Jesus places himself on par with the disciples and the rest of humanity. He teaches us to address God as “our Father” when we pray.97 In his teachings, he refers to God as “your Father in heaven.”98 Jesus indicates the familial relationship we share with him: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Our Father, your Father, my Father—we and Jesus have the same relationship to God. Because Jesus, as prototype human, is so far beyond our present demonstrated abilities, we believe ourselves to be less than he in the eyes of God. In reality, Jesus, as prototype human, reveals the goal of reincarnation.

John’s gospel presents the most vivid display of Jesus’ knowledge that he is prototype man. The above portion of the Nicene Creed is based on the Church Fathers’ interpretation of John 1:1-18. Jesus is equated with the Word. The creed affirms Jesus as true God from true God. As a result, reading the gospel of John through the lens of the Nicene Creed can be a confusing experience.

In contrast to the Nicene Creed, Christian Gnosticism equates the Word with the spirit of God indwelling Jesus and every other human being. As I state in Chapter Three at: http://www.pathwaytoascension.com/bible_reincarnation.html,  the Gnostics are reincarnationists. Scholars, not bound by orthodoxy, believe Gnostics to be the descendants of the original Christians and the inheritors of the hidden wisdom Jesus gives only to his disciples.99 The Greek meaning of christos is the Christ, the anointed one, the Messiah. Gnostics teach that the Christ is the divine spirit in every being.100 Jesus is called the Christ because he has evolved spiritually to the point of being filled with the Spirit. In his prayer for all his followers, Jesus prayed, “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us.”101 Gnostics equate the Word with the Christ. Making this distinction between Jesus and the Christ Spirit indwelling all beings opens the door to the hidden wisdom teachings of Jesus, including reincarnation.

The goal of reincarnation is to become one with God—to become so filled with the Christ Spirit that we, like Jesus, are manifesting as the Christ. Reading the Bible with the lens of gnosticism is a thrilling adventure. The Bible, especially John’s gospel, comes alive with personal meaning. Through the lens of gnosticism, the Bible is your story and my story, the narrative of our souls’ journey back to God. Read through the lens of the Nicene Creed, the Bible is the story of a faraway God periodically intervening within the historical setting of a helpless humanity.

John’s gospel is filled with teachings of Jesus that are ignored by subscribers to the Nicene Creed. They fall on deaf ears because a Christianity based on the Creed presents Jesus as the God Man to be worshipped. To traditional Christians, relating to Jesus as an equal is a foreign concept.

Jesus makes the distinction between himself as the man and the indwelling Spirit of the Father: “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.”102

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”103

“My teaching is not mine but his who send me.”104

“I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me … I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.”105

“Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me … I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak … What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”106

“The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.”107

The climax of Jesus’ teaching regarding humanity’s status within the divine cosmic plan in found in John 14:12: “The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will go greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Jesus is the prototype man, the example we are to follow, not to worship. Believing Jesus to be a divinity we are to worship renders his teachings unfathomable.

Jesus’ metaphor of the vine beautifully illustrates the sameness of the Word or Christ spirit within Jesus and humanity. In John 15, Jesus teaches, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower … I am the vine, you are the branches.” Remember, Jesus speaks the words of his Father or the Christ Spirit within him. When Jesus states, “I am the true vine,” he is channeling the words of the Christ Spirit. In other words, the Christ Spirit (which dwells within each of us) informs us through Jesus, “I [the Christ Spirit] am the true vine.” Jesus is the spokesperson for the Christ Spirit.

In Palestine, grape vineyards are a common sight. Anyone hearing Jesus’ words will immediately know that the grapes are produced on the branches. His metaphor unveils the true relationship of humanity with the Christ Spirit and God. God, as the vinegrower, is the Creator God of John 1:1. The life force through which the vine comes into being is the Word, or Christ Spirit (the only begotten Son). This life force not only fills the vine, but also its branches—humanity. It is the life that is the light of all people. We, the branches, are to bear the fruit, to do all the works that Jesus did and more. As a member of the human race, Jesus is one of the branches.

Let us now read that most beloved verse of the New Testament, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world [or humanity] that he gave his only Son [the Christ Spirit within each of us], so that everyone who believes in him [the indwelling Christ Spirit] may not perish but may have eternal life.”

The true source of eternal life is the Christ Spirit within humanity and all of creation. Continuing in John 3, we read,

“Indeed, God did not send the Son [the Christ Spirit] into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him [the Christ Spirit]. Those who believe in him [the Christ Spirit] are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God [the Christ Spirit dwelling within each of us]. And this is the judgment, that the light [the Christ Spirit as the life force of all creation] has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light [or recognize the Christ Spirit within], so [under the false assumption] that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light [come to know the Christ Spirit within themselves], so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God [as branches of the vine God implanted on Earth].108

Returning to the Nicene Creed, we find it states, “For our sake he was crucified.” As stated in chapter three, the early followers of Jesus were compelled by the pressures of their cosmopolitan society to answer the question: “Why do you call ‘Teacher’ a man the Roman government sentenced to death for treason?” They answer the questions within the context of their religious experiences.

Christianity grows out of the Jewish religion. Throughout Old Testament times and into the first century C.E., the Jewish religion is sacrificial. Just as we have evidence of two levels within Jesus’ teachings (the parables for the crowds and the hidden wisdom for the disciples alone), 109 the Judaic sacrifice has two levels.

Rituals of worship within the Jewish religion include the sacrifice of animals up to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. John the Baptist (as depicted in John 1:29, 35) uses a metaphor, derived from his religious background110 to refer to Jesus: “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”111 Likewise the gospel writers tend to explain Jesus’ crucifixion within the mundane boundaries of the Jewish religion. However, an esoteric level of Judaism exists. This level is illustrated by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah: “Listen to the teaching of our God …. What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.” Instead of blood sacrifices, the Lord requests, “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to go good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”112 Words, incorporated into a Christian hymn as if they relate to Jesus’ sacrifice, are instead a part of the esoteric teachings of Judaism: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah proclaims the requirement for this cleansing: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword.”113 God freely offers cleansing and abundance to all who are willing and obedient. Sacrifices are not needed.

Circumcision is a Jewish ritual of dedication to the Lord, similar to the ritual of baptism in the Christian church. Deuteronomy, one of the books in the Jewish Torah (or Book of Law) unveils the esoteric level of circumcision. “The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.”114 Physical manifestations or rituals are simply a reminder of higher, spiritual Truth. They do not constitute the means of salvation.

How does Jesus answer when questioned, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” As we see in the example of the rich man, Jesus responds to this question according to the individual’s stage of spiritual maturity. For this particular rich man, Jesus prescribes, “Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor.”115 He knows this man cannot enter the kingdom of heaven as long as he remains attached to his material possessions—in other words chained to the mundane level of spirituality. This answer causes problems for some Christians. Does Jesus mean being rich disqualifies us from entering heaven?

Zacchaeus is a wealthy tax collector living in Jericho. Tax collectors are uniformly hated because they cheat the people. Upon meeting and having Jesus in his home for a meal, Zacchaeus repents: “Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’” Jesus does not suggest to Zacchaeus that he sell his possessions. Zacchaeus offers to share his possessions, to balance his negative karmic debt by returning four times as much as he has unfairly taken from the people. Jesus’ response to Zacchaeus is totally different from his answer to the rich man cited above. Each of us has specific soul lessons to learn this incarnation. Jesus reinforces Zacchaeus’ decision: “Today salvation has come to this house.”116 Zacchaeus continues to be a rich man. He can accomplish spiritual maturity, while remaining rich, because he willingly shares his abundance.

Jesus ends his praise of Zacchaeus with a curious statement if read through the lens of the Nicene Creed: “For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”117 Traditional Christianity teaches that the only means of salvation is through the spilled blood of Jesus. This is not the teaching of Jesus. Zacchaeus is affirmed in his salvation on the basis of his own soul’s growth.

Since the goal of Jesus’ ministry is “to save the lost,” we would expect him to explain his means of doing so. Jesus urges us to follow him, to lay down our lives in service to others, to take up our cross, to do the things he does and more. When asked, “What is the greatest commandment,” Jesus turns all attention away from himself. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”118

If Jesus makes no reference to himself when expounding upon the means of salvation, why does he allow himself to be crucified? Matthew, Mark, and Luke depict Jesus interpreting his forthcoming death within the religious milieu of his day—as the sacrificial lamb. He does this through the institution of the Lord’s Supper as he celebrates the Passover Feast with his disciples. In John’s gospel also, Jesus celebrates the Passover Feast with his disciples. He then washes their feet. He instructs them: “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So, if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”119 Jesus presents himself as prototype man.

In John 10:17-18, Jesus sets forth the reason for his crucifixion: “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

What is Jesus saying?

Read through the lens of the Nicene Creed, he is sacrificing his life because God commands it in order to save us from our sins. Read through the lens of hidden wisdom, Jesus is laying down his life in order to resurrect his physical body. “I have the power to take it up again.” God commands it because Jesus has attained a level of oneness with God, a level of divinity that enables him to resurrect his physical body as concrete proof that death does not exist. Jesus is the prototype man. He is a concrete revelation to humanity of the path that leads to eternal life.

He affirms his ability to resurrect himself earlier in John 2:19, 21: “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’ …. He was speaking of the temple of his body.” Jesus is teaching on the level of hidden wisdom, but the people connect his words to the physical temple in Jerusalem. Orthodox Christianity also interprets his teachings on the physical level. Read through the lens of Gnosticism and reincarnation, the Bible overflows with the secret teachings of Jesus and his predecessors.

Salvation of human beings is found throughout the Bible and is not limited to or dependent upon the death of Jesus. The life-giving force of the Word, the only begotten Son of God, is within all of humanity. Jesus, as prototype man, precedes us in his re-union with God. He is the Wayshower, the man who saves us by demonstrating and revealing the Way back home. We may require numerous additional lifetimes on earth before we can add the Christ after our name. God’s grace is eternal, awaiting that day.

Does the belief in reincarnation render God’s grace cheap? Orthodox Christians answer, “yes” because, for them, the only means of salvation is through the shed blood of Jesus—thus costly grace. Reincarnationists respond, “No.” For them, costly grace is lazy grace. Orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus “did it all”; Christians have only to believe. Reincarnationists know that many lifetimes are required in order to develop the self-discipline and to integrate the hidden wisdom sufficiently to fulfill Jesus’ command, “Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Does acceptance of reincarnation take away from the status of Jesus as the central figure in Christianity? Orthodox Christianity once more responds “yes” for the same reason cited above. Reincarnationists rejoice in their reply “no.” Jesus is the prototype man, the human being whose own triumph over lower self promises the same capacity to each of us. We are all to become Christed beings.

God is Love.

ENDNOTES

 89 Creeds of the Churches, ed. John H. Leith (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1982) 28.

90 THE NICENE CREED: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten ,not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made human. For our sakes he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

91 DOUBLE PREDESTINATION states that God, at the time of creation, foreordains some souls to eternal bliss, some to eternal damnation. Augustine, one of the early Church Fathers, evolved a doctrine of predestination which stressed “it is God’s choice and action, taken without regard for human merit foreseen, which at once starts people on the road to salvation and enables them to persevere in it.” [Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985) 209.] Though Augustine did not go so far as to teach those souls not selected by God are foreordained to eternal damnation, his doctrine did so by implication. Acceptance of the extreme theory of double predestination waxed and waned throughout Christian history, with its culmination in John Calvin. Calvin goes beyond Augustine and explicitly asserts double predestination. His doctrine states that the reprobation of those not elected is a specific determination of God’s inscrutable will. [John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion trans. Ford Lewis Battles, ed. John T. McNeill (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press) 1viii.] Reprobation means foreordained to damnation. Calvin taught anxiety over whether or not one is among the elect is to be considered a temptation by Satan. [Calvin 1iz.] It is doctrines like double predestination that have permeated the Christian psyche with fear. Even when the doctrine is denied on the conscious level, the subconscious continues submerged in the fear “what if?” Imprisoned by fear of a capricious God, Christians have understandably been very hesitant to read the Bible with any other than the traditional lens. Such doctrines have deprived Christians of much joy.

92 Rocco Errico, “Why Hell Is A Rubbish Heap,” Science of Mind Magazine Feb. 1996:103. Used with permission by Rocco Errico. Dr. Errico’s book entitled Let There Be Light presents seven keys for gleaning an understanding of the Bible. These keys are based upon his knowledge of the Hebrew and Aramaic languages (the original languages of the Old and New Testaments), plus the ancient Middle Eastern culture. His book is available in this website’s bookstore, listed under Biblical Studies.

93 Revelation 9:17, 14:10, 19:20, 20:10, and 21:8.

94 Manly P. Hall, An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic, and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, (Los Angeles: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., 1978) CXXXII.

95 Mark 4:35-41.

96 Luke 9:10-13.

97 Matthew 6:9.

98 Matthew 7:11.

99 Cranston 153. Matthew 13:11, Mark 4:11, Luke 8:9.

100 Cranston 155.

101 John 17:21.

102 John 5:19.

103 John 5:30.

104 John 7:16.

105 John 8:28, 38.

106 John 12:44, 49, 50b.

107 John 14:10b.

108 John 3:16-21.

109 Matthew 13:10-11, Mark 4:10-11, 33-34, Luke 8:10.

110 The Suffering Servant motif found in Isaiah 53: “Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter.”

111 John 1:29.

112 Isaiah 1:10-11, 16-17.

113 Isaiah 1:18-20.

114 Deuteronomy 30:6.

115 Mark 10:21.

116 Luke 19:1-10.

117 Luke 19:10.

118 Matthew 22:37-39.

119 John 13:12b-15.

 

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