Gnosticism Course

This blog is for the Master of Gnosticism course offered through the Universal Life Church Seminary. We discuss the course lessons, aspects of Gnosticism and essays from the students who have finished the course.

Friday, April 5, 2013

About Hare Krishnas

The Hare Krishna Religion is 5,000 years old, in its present form.  It is known as Gaudia Vaishnavism.

The religion received its first revival 500 years ago with the advent of Lord Chaitanya, a Saint who brought forth the practice of chanting the Name of God for liberation.  Most recently it was brought to the west by Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, a renunciant  from India who traveled to the west by order of his Guru, who wished the religion be given to the English speaking countries. Prabhupada came to America in 1966, and in twelve years circled the globe establishing many Temples and communities for Krishna Consciousness.

In America, for some decades, the Krishna religion has been considered a cult.  All the social stereotypes of brainwashing, coercion, belief in many gods, "begging" at airports and other bad qualities were ascribed to the movement.  This was unfortunately exacerbated by mistakes made by members of the movement and the general disorganized make-up of the organization in its early days.   The Movement is formally known as The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, or ISKCON.
These "problems" have lately (1989) been resolved by better organization at the leadership level, and the development of an enrolled-congregation (1993).  The fact is that the Hare Krishna movement is a revived tradition of legitimate Hindu Faith, but has suffered he growing pains of a developing Church Organization. 

The main scripture of this Religion is the Bhagavada Gita, "The song of God", spoken by Krishna Himself 5,000 years ago to His friend Arjuna, on a battlefield set for epic war in south India.  The other main scriptures are the Srimad Bhagavatam, a work that is about 8,500 years old, and considered the "cream" of all Vedic literature, with explanations of God, His power, creation and its processes, relationship with this world and mankind, etc.; a thorough and complete scientific work of spirituality, and acknowledged as the source of all Yoga practices and Metaphysical knowledge, it is called "the Mother of all the Vedas". (about 39 volumes)

The religion itself is Monotheistic.  There is only one God, Shri Krishna, and He is an eternal person, with an eternal spiritual body.  When He appears in the universe for one purpose or another, He changes the form of His spiritual body, at His own Will.  He never takes on a material, flesh and bone body.
The object of the Faith is to return to Krishna in His abode in the Spiritual Sky.  In this Vedic-age called Kali-yuga (time of derision and fights) the recommended method of liberation is chanting the Holy Name in this mantra form;  "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare"In most general terms, this mantra means "O devotional potency of the Lord, please engage me in God's service"… that is only a general interpretation.

The devotional standards of this religion appear as four regulative principals; No Meat-eating, No Intoxication, No Gambling, and No illicit sex.  These standards are to be striven for and attained in concert with devotional activities prescribed by the above mentioned Vedic scriptures.  As these four simple standards can actually be a lofty stage of pure living, and many who identify with the movement find all the details related to this orthodox faith rather difficult to achieve. I had created the five stage system of congregational advancement, which now organizes the congregants from novices to the more advanced stages.  The ultimate goal of belonging to the main-organization and its Gurus, is initiation; to be a monk or initiated house-holder.  This can only be granted when the developed congregant achieves a steadiness of lifestyle conducive to higher spiritual advancement.  How ever, since I had introduce the Congregational standards, it is easier to worship in the movement without initiation, but rather to worship at a level consistent with one's current abilities or level of desire.
 

--
Rankin.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Re: Gnostic Essay (sorry it took so long)

Gnosticism

Gnosticism is both very old in its origins and also very new in its
reemergence. At one point in religious evolution, the idea of subscribing
to a purely faith based religion would have been considered ridiculous.
Gnosticism held to this principle. Rather than being faith based the
Gnostics believed that you needed to find your own Gnosis through
communing with the Ultimate Source of Creation.

There were several schools of Gnostic thought that have existed.
Basilides, Valintinus, and Simon Magus taught their followers differing
views of how the mythology of the Universe should be presented, based on
their own individual experiences. The Nag Hammadi Library, discovered in
December 1945, shed some further light on the basis of Gnostic beliefs and
even provided some new Gospels that were not accepted into main stream
Christian manuscripts. These texts are sometimes referred to as the Lost
Gospels.

There are some common themes that run through the mythology of the
different schools of Gnostic thought. I will paint what I consider the
common points to be in broad strokes.

There was a True and pure source of all things. It was envisioned as being
a source of bright pure light, which represented the source of all
knowledge or gnosis. This Creator set forth to creating, and created
beings of light. There were many hierarchies, each more distant and
therefore less pure and perfect than those before them. The brightest
dwelled closest to the Ultimate Source, the dimmest further away. These
beings created further, in pairs of cosmic opposites, therefore
maintaining balance.

One day a Female creative being, sometimes referred to as Sophia, created
a being without her Male creative counterpart. This being having been
created far from the source of Pure Creation was ignorant of what existed
before it. It thought it existed alone. Being born in darkness and
imbalance it produced a world and its own heavens, which being imperfect
brought about the dis function of this material world. It demanded worship
from all that it created. It distracted all of human creation from its
true purpose. It trapped our bodies of light in this world and prevented
us from true re communion with the Divine Source .Which was the ultimate
source of knowledge and liberation from this imperfect material existence.
Again I painted in very broad strokes. The bottom line was a belief in
liberation or salvation through knowledge gained by the individual via
direct experience of the Original source.

The teachings of the Gnostics still permeate Christianity and in fact are
making a bit of a come back on their own face value. An internet search of
Gnostic church will turn up more than just a few modern Gnostic religious
movements. There are also fellowships that, to a greater or lesser degree,
teach Gnostic concepts in their organizations educational programs. Some
such organizations would be the Freemasons, Rosicrucians and the Hermetic
Order of the Golden Dawn just to mention a few.

As a Minister I have used Gnostic concepts to communicate solace on more
than one occasion. I find it particularly helpful when speaking with open
minded main stream Christians concerning the loss of a loved one. The most
common statements are "it's not fair that they were taken from me" and
"God is not loving, he allows pain and sorrow". To many, mentioning that
God allows sorrow to bring us closer to him is not a comforting
explanation. Explaining that we are all on a journey of spiritual
evolution and that death is an opportunity of spiritual reunion seems to
offer some explanation of why we suffer and why the world is imperfect.

Rev. Goodson




Friday, July 20, 2012

Book of Luke Part Two


Grace be unto you, peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Chapter Thirteen of the Four Gospels
Chapter 12 closed with the failure of the Jewish nation to discern the time in which they lived,and with the Lord's warning to repent quickly or perish forever. Chapter 13 continues this general subject,and is largely addressed to Israel as a nation, although the principles apply to individual people. Two national calamities from the basis of the resulting conversation. The first was the massacre of some Galileans wha had come to Jerusalem to worship. Pilate the governor of Judea, had ordered them to be slain while they were offering sacrifices. The other tragedy concerned the collapse of a tower in Siloam which caused the death of eighteen persons.

Parable of the fruitless fig tree. The Son of God knew the mind of His Father, the owner of the vineyard, and that the dread order"cut it down" and been issued; Israel and again exhausted the Divine forbearance.Neither a nation nor a person has reason to enjoy the care of God if not bringing forth fruits of righteousness unto the glory and praise of God. Man exists for the honor and pleasure of the CREATOR: when he does not serve this just end why should not the sentence of death follow his sinful failure, and he be removed from his place of privilege.

Healing of the bent over woman, the expression a daughter of Abraham indicates not only that she was Jewish but also a believer, a woman of faith, The curvature of the spine was caused by Satan. We know from other parts of the Bible that some sickness are the result of satanic activity, Job boils were inflicted by Satan. Paul thorns in flesh was a messenger of Satan to buffet him. The devil is not allowed to do this on a believer,however, without the Lord's permission. And God overrules any such sickness or suffering for His own glory. The critic of our Lord were thoroughly put to shame y His words. The common people rejoiced because a glorious miracle and been performed and they knew it.

I believe that leaven in the Scripture is always a symbol of evil, here the thought is that evil doctrine has been introduced into the pure food of the people of God. The evil doctrine is not static; it has an insidious power to spread. The narrow gate here is new birth-salvation by grace through faith. Jesus was warning the man to make sure that he enters by this door. Many will seek to and will not be able. This does not mean that they will seek to enter in by the door of conversion. But rather that in the day of Christ's power and glory, they will want admission to His kingdom,but it will be too late. The day of grace in which we live will have come to an end.

Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdomof God.Gentiles wil travel to the brightness of CHRIST'S kingdom from all corners of the earth and enjoy its wonderful blessing, Thus many Jews who were first in God's plan for blessing will be rejected, while the Gentiles who were looked down upon as dogs will enjoy the blessing of Christ's Millennial Reign.

Prophets perish in Jerusalem: the prerogative was reserved for the city of Jerusalem. It was that with which characteristically had murdered the servants of the Most High God. Jerusalem had more or less a monopoly on the death of God's spokesmen. That is what the Lord Jesus meant when He said that" it cannot be  that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
 
Chapter Fourteen 
Parable of he ambitious guest. When we seek a high place for ourselves, there is always the possible shame of being demoted. If we are truly humble before God, there is only one direction we can possibly move and that is up. Jesus taught that it is better to be advanced to a place of honor that grasp that place and later have to relinquish it. He Himself is the living example of self-renunciation.He humbled himself and God exalted Him. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled by God. The cost of discipleship the man who does well for himself is the man who gives up everything of bargains; he carries the cross for a few years in this world, and in the world to come has everlasting life. He obtains the best of possessions; he carries his riches with him beyond the grave.He is rich in grace here, and he is rich in glory hereafter. And, best of all, what he obtains by faith in Christ he never loses.It is that good part which is never taken away.
  
What is there in the world so useless as salt the one property for which it is valued? It is worse than useless for any other purpose. So with the disciples who ceases to be Christ's disciple.He is not suited for the world's purposes, and he has forsaken God. He has too much light or knowledge for entering into the vanities and sins of the world,a nd he has no enjoyment of grace and truth to keep him in the path of Christ...Svorless salt becomes an object of contempt and judgment.
 
Chapter Fifteen
The teaching ministry of our Lord in chapter 14 seemed to attract the despised tax collectors,and other who were outwardly sinners. Although Jesus reproved their sins, yet many of them acknowledged that He was right. They took sides with Christ against themselves.
The Pharisees and scribes resented the fact that Jesus fraternized with people who were avowedly sinners They did not show grace to these social and moral lepers,and they resented Jesus doing so.
 
This man receives sinners and eats with them. It was in answer to their charge that the Lord Jesus recounted the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. These stories were aimed directly at the Pharisees and scribes, who were never broken before God to admit their lost condition. As a matter of fact, they were as lost as the publicans and sinners, but they steadfastly refused to admit it. The point of the three stories is that God receives real joy and satisfaction when He sees SINNERS REPENTING whereas he obtains no gratification from self-righteous hypocrites who are too proud to admit their wretched sinfulness.
 
Chapter Sixteen
Man generally is God's steward: and in another way Israel was God's steward, put into God's vineyard,and entrusted with law, promises, covenants, worship. But in all, Israel was found to have wasted His goods. Man looked at as a steward has been found to be entirely unfaithful. Now, what is to be done? God appears,and in the sovereignty of His grace turns that which man has abused on the earth into a means of heavenly fruit. The things of this world being in the hands of man, he is not to be using them for the present enjoyment of this world, which is altogether apart from God, but with a view to the future. We are not to seek to possess the things now, but by the right use of these things to make a provision for other times. It is better to turn all into a friend for another day than to have money now. Man here is gone to destruction. Therefore now, man is a steward out of place.
 
it is utterly impossible to live for things and for God at the same time. If we are mastered by money, we cannot really be serving the Lord. In order to accumulate wealth, we must devote our finest effort to the taks. In the very act of doing this we rob God what is rightfully His. It is a matter of divided loyalty. Motives are mixed. Decision are not impartial. Where our treasure is there our heart is also. In the effort to gain wealth, we are serving mammon.It is quite impossible to serve God at the same time.
 
Any man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery,and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery also. This is exactly what the Pharisees were doing spiritually. The Jewish people had been brought into a covenant position with God. But the Pharisees were now turning their backs on God in a mad quest for material wealth. And perhaps the verse suggests that they were guilty of literal adultery as well as spiritual.
 
The rich man and Lazarus. If he had the love of God in him, he could not have lived in luxury, comfort,and ease when a fellow man was outside his front door, begging for a few crumbs of bread. He would have abandon his love of money. It is likewise true that Lazarus was not saved because he was poor.He had trusted the Lord for the salvation of his soul. Portrait of rich man he wore only the most expensive, custom-made clothing, and his table was filled with the choicest gourmet foods. He lived for self,catering to bodily pleasures and appetites,he had no genuine love for God,and no care for his fellow man. And so chapter 16 closes with the most solemn warning to the Pharisees,and to all who would live for money. They do so at the peril of their souls. It is better to beg bread on earth than beg for water in Hades.
 
Chapter Seventeen 
The continuity or flow of thought in this chapter is obscure. It almost seems as if Dr. Luke pieces together several disconnected subjects. Of course the principle applies in a very general way. Little ones can be stumbled by being encouraged in worldliness. They can be stumbled by being involved in sexual sin. They can be stumbled by any teaching that waters down plain meaning of the Scriptures. Anything that leads them away from the pathway of simple faith,of devotedness, and of holiness is a stumbling block. When the Lord Jesus speaks of offending one of these little ones. He probably included more than children. His reference also seems to be to disciples who are young in the faith.
 
Concerning the need for a forgiving spirit. If a Christian wronged by another Christian, he should first of all forgive the offender in his heart. This keeps his own soul from resentment and malice. Then he should go to the offender privately not  rebuke him,also should be told that he is forgiven.Even if he sins repeatedly, then say that he repents, he should be forgiven. The purpose of rebuke and other disciplinary action is not to get even or to humiliate the offender, but to restore him to fellowship with the LORD and with his brothers. All rebukes should be delivered in a spirit of love. We have no way of judging whether an offender's repentance is genuine. We must accept his own word that he has repented. No matter how often we fail Him, we still have the assurance that if we confess our sins, Lord will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Concerning faith. It is our own pride and self-importance that prevent us from forgiving our brothers.That pride need to be rooted up and cast out. If our faith the size of mustard seed can root up a mulberry tree and plant it in the sea, it can more easily give us victory over the hardness and unbrokenness which keep us from forgiving a brother indefinitely. Concerning profitable servants. So the disciples are bond slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ. They belong to Him -spirit,soul, and body. In the light of Calvary,nothing they can ever do for the Savior is sufficient to recompense Him for what He has done. Five marks of a bond servant are: He must be willing to have one thing on top of another put upon him, without any consideration being given. In doing this, he must be willing not to be thanked for it. Having done all this, he must not charge the Master with selfishness. He must confess that he is an unprofitable servant.He must admit that doing and bearing what he has in the way of meekness and humility, he has not done one stitch more than it was his duty to do.
 
in chapter 17, the Lord Jesus had warned the disciples that afflictions and persecutions lay ahead. Before the time of His glorious appearing, they would be required to go through deep trials. By way of instruction concerning prayer. In the following text,we find a praying widow,a praying Pharisee, a praying tax-collector,and a praying beggar.
 
Chapter Eighteen
The Lord Jesus closed the parable with he question, 'Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will e rally find faith on the earth." This probably means the kind of faith that the poor widow had. But it may also indicate that when the Lord returns, there will only be a remnant who are true to Him.in the meantime, each of us should be stimulated to the kind of faith that cries to God  night and day.
 
Jesus again predicts His death and resurrection. We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be delivered to the Gentiles. He will be mocked and insulted. They will kill Him. The third day He will rise again. The meaning of His words was hidden from them. It seems hard for us to understand why they were so dull in this matter, but the reason is probably this: their minds were so filled with thoughts of a temporal deliverer who would rescue them from the yoke of Rome,and set up the kingdom immediately, that they refused to entertain any other program. We often believe what we want to believe, and resist the truth if it does not fit into our preconceived notions. Until the resurrection, much of Jesus teaching was not well understood. Perhaps the disciples thought Jesus death was somehow figurative.
 
Jesus heals a blind man. Somehow the beggar is aware of Jesus ability to heal. By this stage of Jesus ministry  His reputation must have been quite widespread. On Son of David it was clearly a messianic title. Stood, that is He came to a halt,Jesus command serves also to rebuke those who lacked compassion for the beggar. In the midst of the attempt to hear,Jesus, one must take care not to be insensitive to the plight of others. After physical and spiritual healing, the man follows Jesus which perhaps implies that he becames committed disciple, he and the people give praise to God, Jesus approached a time when His works will rather be despised.
 
Chapter Nineteen
Zacchaeus was  a rich man, and ordinarily it is impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. But Zacchaeus humbled himself before the Savior,and did not let his wealth come between his soul and God. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. In other words, the conversion of Zacchaesus was a fulfillment of the very purpose of Christ's coming into the world.
 
Believers in this present age will be reviewed as far as their service is concerned at the judgment Seat of Christ. This takes place in heaven, following the Rapture. The faithful Jewish remnant who will witness for Christ during the Tribulation Period will be reviewed at Christ's Second Advent. This is the judgment that seems to be primarily in view in this passage. Second cleansing of the Temple. Now as His ministry rapidly drew to a close, He entered the sacred precincts and cast out those who were making a house of prayer into a den of thieves. The danger of introducing commercialism into the things of God is always present. Christiandom today is leavened by this evil: Church bazaars and social, organized financial drives, preaching for profit-and all in the Name of Christ. Every reformation of abuses in the church is to be on God's Word.
 
Jesus laments over Jerusalem. He was not fooled by the ardor of the welcoming mob. The picture is one of Jesus being overcome with emotion following the months of years of preparation for a ministry whose terrible climax would take place. Jesus sketches a brutal siege and conquest; there can be no doubt that the Roman assault of A.D. 70 is in view. Visitation in Scripture refers to God's coming, whether to bless or to judge. Here Jesus comes, and His whole life has been and continues to be one of extending God's grace and blessing. But His visitation for a good purpose,now unrecognized and finally rejected,will become the basis for judgment.
 
Chapter Twenty
What a picture! The Master Teacher tirelessly proclaiming the good news in the shadow of the temple,and the leader of Israel insolently challenging His right to teach.
 
This passage shows that the great essential in teaching God's word is to be filled with the holy Spirit. One who has that endowment can triumph over those whose power is wrapped up in degrees, human titles, and honors. Where did you get your diploma? Who ordained you? The old questions, possibly begotten of jealousy,are still being asked. The successful gospel preacher who has not ridden the theological halls of some distinguished university or elsewhere is challenged on the points of his fitness and the validity of his or her ordination.
 
Parable of the wicked vine dressers. The Lord Jesus supplied the answer, He will come and destroy those vine dressers and give the vineyard to others. This meant that the Christ-rejecting Jews would be destroyed,and that God would take others into the place of privilege. The others may refer to the Gentile or to regenerated Israel of the last days. The Jews recoiled at such a suggestion. Certainly not!  They had no place in their plans for Him. But God was determined that He would have the place of preeminence, by making him the chief cornerstone, a stone which is indispensable and in the place of greatest honor.
 
Rendering to Caesar and to God. They were seemingly so concerned about Caesars interests but they were not nearly concerned about God's interest.The money belongs to Caesar,and you belong to God. Let the world have its coins, but let God have His creatures. It is so easy to quibble over minor matters while neglecting the principal things in life. And so easy to discharge our debts to our fellow-man while robbing God of His rightful dues.
 
The Sadducees and their resurrection. Jesus answered that the marriage relationship was for this life only: It would not saying that husbands and wives would not recognize each other in heaven, but thier relationship there would be on completely different basis. The phrase resurrection from the dead refers to ta resurrection of believers only. IT LITERALLY MEANS RESURRECTION OUT FROM THE DEAD ONES. The idea of a general resurrection in which all the dead,both saved and unsaved, are raised at one tie is not found int he Bible.
 
Chapter Twenty -One
The widows two mites. Jesus watched the rich putting their gifts into the treasury of the temple,He was struck by the contrast between the rich and a certain poor widow, They gave some, but she gave all. in God's estimation, she gave more than all of them put together. They gave out of the abundance;she gave out of her poverty. They gave what cost them little or nothing; she gave all the livelihood that she had. The gold of affluence which is given because it is not needed, God hurls to the bottomless pit; but the copper tinged with  blood He lifts and kisses into the gold of eternity.
 
Outline of future events. The Savior's answer first seemed to take them ahead to the end of the age when the temple would again be destroyed prior to te setting up of the kingdom. There would be false messiahs and false rumors,wars and uprisings. There would not only be conflict among nations, but great catastrophes of nature- earthquakes...famines and pestilences, terrors, and great signs from heaven.
 
The period before the end. But not a hair of your  head shall be lost. It can only mean that though some would die as martyrs for Christ, their spirtual preservation would be complete. They wold die but they would not perish.Those who patiently endure for Christ,  rather than renounce Him will thus prove the reality of their faith. Those who are genuinely saved will stand true and loyal at any cost, by your endurance you will gain your lives.
 
The fig tree and all the trees. The shooting forth of the other trees may symbolize the phenomenal growth of nationalism and the emergence of many new governments in newly developed countries of the world, These signs would mean that Christ' glorious kingdom would soon be set up. Warning to watch and pray. True disciples should watch and pray at all times,thus separating ourselves from the ungodly world which is doomed to experience the wrath of God,a nd identifying themselves with those who will stand in acceptance before the Son of Man.

Chapter Twenty-Two
The plot to silence Jesus gains momentum with the aid of a turncoat. In the absence of the multitude: due to Jesus' popular following it was feared an arrest i broad daylight would provoke a riot. Middle eastern kings liked to rule with an iron hand (Sadam Hussein), and then take on a title that extolled their benevolence.Christians should crave neither such power nor such claim. The disciples have stuck with Jesus, if not always with perfect understanding, still when other have fallen away.
 
Jesus is borne up up in His hour of need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. Agony appears on Him it points to the intensity of Jesus struggle, Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death it self, but with his own destiny to  be made the sin-bearer for all  mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sin brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.

Peter three denial the first denial  I know not what thou sayest is merely a pretense of ignorance o Peters part. Peter goes into the porch,a passageway leading to the street. Then he is confronted by another maid, probably the outer gatekeeper. This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth. The third denial comes after a while when he is accused because his speech betrays the or makes evident or gives you away.
 
Jesus endures the violence of the soldiers, whose contempt is clear. This is the trial before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme court, Jesus and already made His messianic claims evident, especially by way of hard questions to those who now were judging Him. Jesus is condemned for blasphemy, that is, for supposedly elevating Himself to divine status.
 
Chapter Twenty Three
Following His appearance before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was hurried away to be put on civil trial before Pilate, the Roman governor. Three political charges were now brought against Him by the religious leaders. First, of all, they accused Him of perverting the nation, that is, of turning the loyalty of the people away from Rome, Secondly, they said that He forbade Jews to pay taxes to Cesar. Finally, they accused Him of making Himself a King.
 
Pilates verdict: innocent but condemned: this sorry compromise was, of course, totally unjustifiable and illogical, It was the poor, fear -driven soul's attempt to do his duty by Jesus and to please the crowd at the same time, But it did neither, and it is no wonder that the angry priests would not accept that verdict at any price.
 
The crucifixion that the Messiah should die was hard enough to credit, but that He should die such a death was utterly beyond belief. Yet so it was. Everything which Christ ever touched-the cross included-he adorned and transfigured and haleod with splendor and beauty; but let us never forget out of what appalling depths he has set the cross on high. In the soul of Jesus there was no resentment; no anger,  no lurking desire for punishment upon the men who wee adminration of the mailed fist. When I hear Jesus thus pray, I know that the only place for the mailed fists is in hell. There were three crosses at Calvary that day, the cross of Jesus in the middle, and a criminal cross on each side of Him.
 
This story reveals the truth to us that salvation is conditioned upon repentance and faith. However, it contains other important messages also. It declares that salvation is independent of sacraments, The thief and never been baptized, nor had he partaken of the Lord's Supper.He did in fact boldly profess his faith in the presence of a hostile crowd and amid the thoughts and jeers of rulers and soldiers, yet he was saved without any formal rites.It is also seen that there is no good works. The body may sleep, but consciousness exists after death. Again it is evident that there is no purgatory. Out of a life of sin and shame, the robber passed immediately into a state of blessednes. Again it may be remarked that salvation is not universal. There were two robbers; only one was saved. Last of all it may be noted that the very essence of the joy which lies beyond death consists in personal communion with Christ. The heart of the promise to the dying theif was: Thou shall be with me. THis is our blessed assurance taht to deaprt is to be with Christ, whic is very far better.
 
Chapter Twenty Four
Then on Sunday at early dawn they made their way to the tomb, carrying the spices which they had prepared for the body of of Jesus. Among those first heralds of the resurrection were Mary Magdalen, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. It appears that the Lord may have left the grave-clothes as if they had been a cocoon, The fact that the grave-clothes were left behinds shows that the body was not stolen; thieves would no take time to remove the covering, Peter returned to his house, still trying to solve the mystery.
 
The two were sadly rehearsing the death and burial of the lord as they returned from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a journey of about seven miles. Jesus drew them out further with the question, "Why, what did happen? They answered by first paying tribute to Jesus, then reviewing His trial and crucifixion, They told of their dashed hopes, then of reports that His body was no longer in the tomb.
 
The  Savior teaching between His resurrection and His ascension. He explained that His resurrection was the fulfillment of His own words to them. had He not told them that all the Old Testament prophecies concerning Him had to be fulfilled? The Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalm were the three main division of the Old Testament. Taken together, they signify the entire OT. The burden of the Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ? That He must suffer (Psalm 22:1-21; Isaiah 53:1-9). That He must rise again from the dead the third day (Psalm 16:10: Jonah 1:17; Hos.6:2). That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
 
The disciple were witnesses of the resurrection. They must go forth as heralds of the glorious message. But first they must wait for the promise of the Father, for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,Then they would be endued with divine power to bear witness to the risen Christ. The Holy Spirit was promised by the Father in such Old Testament passages as Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiah 36:27; Joel 2:28.
 
 
Yours In Christ,
Andrew Blackman
 
 
 
 



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Christian History Information

            How does Christ's person and work constitute the beginning of Christianity.
 
            Jesus was an extraordinary person he was able too reason at an early age which is shown via his observation skills .it was not until after he was Baptized by his cousin John the Baptist that his skills came to the attention of the public ,the way he embraced mans laws and added his own which was to go one step forward as oppose to being negative.  His positive skills and the manner he expressed himself caused a large following he was able to speak so even the uneducated could follow his beliefs even by treating none Jews as equals in his ministry would have been a first a religion that embraced all regardless of gender and race would have been so advanced for his generation it must have scared the elders and also the Roman army.

            Despite the above Jesus was still able to teach his followers the disciples even though he had visitors who wished to hear him speak or heal them ,most religions or cults would have turned people away while the Teacher was training his followers this more so made Jesus and his teachings unique.

            When Jesus was crucified some followers would have fell by the wayside as their leader or rabbi had left them it must have seemed the end of everything dear ,but the resurrection secured Christianity because he was seen to have spoken to numerous persons complete with the wounds he was given from the crucifixion and from the spear this then caused the following to strengthen not only was this event the foundation it was the foundation stone with all men being the children of god.

            Jesus as the rock and Christianity as its foundation created the biggest religion which was global in its teachings and beliefs.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shamanism Course Lesson 12

Leeann Vanderlooven
Lesson#12
 
1.            Traditional African and Shamanic Cultures believe that moral and spiritual wrongdoings are likely to lead to illness, because the create disharmony in the individual and the community.
2.            In the African tradition, the emphasis is on the treatment of the whole person and that can only be achieved by recognizing the cultural health needs of each individual.
3.            Soul loss mean "to lose a part of our soul".
4.            As we move through our lives, many of us encounter situations that are frightening, traumatic and just too painful to deal with.
5.            In order to cope, we push aside the energy of the situation and continue on with our lives as best we can.
6.            This pushing aside can result in energy or soul parts being lost or trapped in an event that replays its self over and over again.
7.            The benefit of soul retrieval helps to heal the client of their present situation.         
8.            It is very necessary to reintegrate the soul parts, so that energy and personal power are restored.
9.            The san's (bushman) are unequaled, because of their hunter-gather lifestyle, which embraces all aspects of nature.      
10.         The san's live in South Africa.
11.         The four elements of nature are, earth, wind, fire and water.
12.         The san activate the num energy by dancing and clapping.
13.         Reaching Kia the healers then travel to the spirit world, or the heavens, to plead with the ancestral spirits and the Great Spirit for the patient's health.
14.         When the shamans approach members of the clan, lay their hands on them, they pull out the sickness of a patient.
15.         The two types of voice techniques that you can use to help a client relax are permissive or authoritarian.
16.         The authoritarian technique is a powerful and straight to the point. Its purpose is to command the client to loosen up and to get them to relax completely through the use of repetitious commands.
17.         The permissive technique uses a softer tone of voice to coax the subject into relaxation. In contrast to the authoritarian technique, the healer and the subject are one and the same in the process.              
18.         The names of the key components of the language of induction are synonyms, paraphrased suggestions and connective words.

Master of Mystical Christianity Lesson 24

Questions For the Heart and Mind
  1. What is the relationship between intimacy and sexuality? What role does intimacy play in your life? The relationship between intimacy and sexuality is the development of knowledge of another. The role intimacy plays in my life is that affection, understanding and support are important to me.
  1. If you are married or in an intimate relationship, is God a part of your union? Is it a sacred union? I am not married. I believe that in intimate relationship, God is most definitely a part of the union, and the genuine love within the union makes it a sacred one.
  1. Have you met any of your soul mates or twin flame in the third dimensional plane? How did you recognize them and what was the result? Yes, I have met a soul mate. My recognition was intuitive recognition within. The result was that I never feel lonely; I always feel there is someone who will always listen to me.
  1. What is the connection between intimacy, sexuality and planetary healing? I believe intimacy to be close relationship and communication with others. Sexuality is the gift of identity given by God to a man or woman.  Planetary healing for me is living in conscious harmony with nature. The connection between the three is that balance between close relationships with others, comfortable in our own identity, leads us to harmony with the world around us.
Catherine Whittle
Universal Life Church
ULC Youtube Channel


Master of Mystical Christianity Lesson 23


Questions For the Heart and Mind

  1. Defining alchemy allegorically and symbolically, what base metals in your life need to be transformed into gold? What steps are you taking to accomplish this? The base metals in my life needing to be transformed into gold are the strengths and dedication I need to be a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ. I am working on this by reaching out to God through a daily program of prayer. I also wish to continue deepening my understanding of God by reading sacred writings and reflecting on them. I am studying the Master of Mystical Christianity hoping to strengthen and deepen my knowledge about Jesus Christ and spirituality, and wish to continue to do further study once the course is completed.
  1. If you are past the age of 40, recall your passage through mid-life and the astrological transits of Saturn, Uranus and Chiron. What changed in your life? If you are under the age of 40, how can you use this information to assist you through this time of transformation? My mid-life transition was an strong experience. My outlook on life changed. At the time I was entering my mid-life time, I was in an accident which affected my mobility. As a result I reflected and a great change took place within me. My own experience has led me to believe that the change was God at work within me, helping me to move to the next dimension of my life.
  1. Have you ever consciously experienced kundalini energy? If you have, what were the symptoms and what was the result? I understand kundalini energy as energy for developing strength, awareness, character and consciousness. Yes, I have consciously experienced kundalini energy as I entered my mid-life and a time of transition. The symptoms were a feelings of deep change occurring within my spirit, and the result was that I followed the call to become a minister.
  2. How would you bring sexuality and spirituality together in your life today? I would bring sexuality and spirituality together in my life by rejoicing in the identity God has gifted me as a woman.

Catherine Whittle