Whenever you bring a book into your home you also bring along the author. And wherever that book is kept it will emanate the authors vibrations. Even more, if the book was in any way inspired or influenced by psychic-astral beings, whether saints, angels, demons, or discarnates, it will be a living channel for their energies and influences into your environment. Next to sacred imagery and symbols, books are the most potent invocations of invisible forces.
While living in the monastery where I fulfilled my novitiate I came across an autobiographical sketch of a contemporary Greek mystic living in England. He told of buying a religious book from some door-to-door missionaries. From the moment of its entry into his home, there were mild psychic disturbances of a poltergeist nature, especially around the bookcase in which this book was kept. He summoned a priest to bless and purify the house, but it did no good. However, the priest was inwardly prompted to ask him if he had recently purchased anything that might be a conveyer of disturbing energies. All he could think of was that book. Knowing the character of the publishers and translators, the priest expressed the opinion that the disturbances were caused by its presence. The man removed the book, the phenomena ceased immediately.
We must be careful about who we may be letting in our house through the printed word. On the other hand, in The Way of a Pilgrim there is the account of a young man who saw a demon exorcised by the touch of a book containing the Four Gospels.
So effective is the written word that in Hinduism it is common to write formulas of power and wear them enclosed in metal containers known as kavachamsarmors. The ancient Irish Christians used them as well (calling them loricas) and so do the Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox Christians of Egypt seal copies of the Gospels in silver boxes that look like books and use them as power objects in certain ritual actions.
Now, if this is true of the written and printed word, how much more so is it true of the read (mentally spoken) word? Whenever you read something, the vibrations of the writer and his astral backing flow into your mind. Remember, your subconscious mind (astral brain) never forgets anythingnot even during future incarnations. Therefore anything you read will be part of your subtle mind bodies until you transcend them or wash them out through spiritual ritual and practice. So be careful what you read, listen to, or watch.
Does this mean that you must become afraid of contamination on every side? Not at all. If you will continually hold on to the calm of meditation while reading, hearing, and looking, that holy consciousness will act as a divine shield and filter, keeping you from infection. But be careful lest you tempt the Lord thy God1 in the form of your Higher Self by being careless about your mental diet.
Let us consider another aspect of this incident of swearing by the Torah. The Hebrews were not so naive as to suppose that if a person touched the Torah and lied that he would have a fit or drop dead. But they did know that because of the high and purifying vibrations emanating from Torah a person would receive manifold recompense for any lies he told in its presence (which is really the presence of God), and that those lies would be revealed to all witnesses in timeeven many years in the future.
We have already discussed the fact that karma created in relation to holy people and the spiritually awakened is more intense because of the energy vortices in which they constantly move. It is like getting too close to a fire and bursting into flame. Few things are more stupid than trying to deceive, cheat, steal from, or harm a seeker for higher life. The retribution is swift and devastatingnot because the transgressor is being punished by an angry God or that vengeance is being executed, but because their karma is sped up and intensified through the karmic linkage they create through such acts. Since the seeker is continually working to cast off all karmic debts and bonds, the reaction is rapid and drastic, for he will not be around in later lives for the making of amends. This is especially true when he is going through certain cycles of development in which his entire environment becomes cathartic.
Knowing this, people feared to touch sacred objects and speak lies, or to engage in any negative activity near them. Votaries of Shiva and Shakti in India wear the seeds of the rudraksha tree. The magnetism of these seeds is so strong that many Indian medical doctors prescribe the wearing of them as a cure for high blood pressure. (Beads made from the wood of the sacred tulsi plant are belived to cure low blood pressure). They impart perceptible stability to the entire physical system. However, there is an esoteric side to this, as well. Any negative speech or actions engaged in while wearing these beads become compounded in their virulence. Spiritual teachers counsel those who wear the beads to be scrupulously careful in word and deed, otherwise they will come to grief.
We who wish to surround ourselves with the presence of the sacred, both internally and externally, should be conscious of these principles and act accordingly.
Karinus and Leucius, hearing this adjuration, trembled in their body, and groaned, being disturbed in heart. And together they looked towards heaven, and with their fingers made the sign of the cross on their tongues, and immediately they spake together, saying: Give each of us sheets of paper, and let us write what we have seen and heard.
The Sign of the Cross is a supreme sign of power. We see that these men knew of its power, too. This gesture enabled them to speak. Although they were reanimated, yet since they were only to be re-embodied for a short time they were not fully integrated with their bodies. Thus they had difficulties with speech. No doubt they could have more fully grounded themselves and become able to speak normally, but such a thing might have caused them to become ensnared in their bodies and unable to easily depart after the allotted time of their visitation.
Here now is what they wrote.
And they gave it to them. And they sat down, and each of them wrote, saying:
O Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life of the dead, permit us to speak mysteries through the death of Thy cross, because we have been adjured by Thee. For Thou didst order Thy servants to relate to no one the secrets of Thy divine majesty which Thou didst in Hades.
Hades in this instance was that place where those souls were waiting who had evolved beyond the necessity for earthly incarnation and yet who could not pass on to Paradise, the transgression of Adam-Jesus having deprived him and them of the subtle body needed to function there.2 Thus they dwelt in a reposeful darkness, doing nothing, neither creating nor reaping karma.
And when we were, along with all our fathers, lying in the deep, in the blackness of darkness, suddenly there appeared a golden heat [or, hue] of the sun, and a purple royal light shining upon us. And immediately the father of all the human race, with all the patriarchs and prophets, exulted, saying: That light is the source of eternal light, which hath promised to transmit to us co-eternal light. And Esaias cried out and said: This is the light of the Father, the Son of God, as I predicted when I was alive upon earth: The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephthalim across Jordan, Galilee of the nations, the people who sat in darkness, have seen a great light; and light was shining among those who are in the region of the shadow of death. And now it has come and shone upon us sitting in death.
And when we were all exulting in the light which shone over us, there came up to us our father Simeon; and he said, exulting: Glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; because I took Him up when born, an infant, in my hands in the temple; and instigated by the Holy Spirit, I said to Him, confessing: Now mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the sight of all peoples, a light for the revealing of the nations, and the glory of Thy people Israel. When they heard this, all the multitude of the Saints exulted more.
And after this there came up, as it were, a dweller in the desert; and he was asked by all: Who art thou? To whom he said in answer: I am John, the voice and the prophet of the Most High, going before the face of His coming to prepare His ways, to give the knowledge of salvation to His people for the remission of their sins. And seeing Him coming to me, instigated by the Holy Spirit, I said; Behold the Lamb of God! Behold Him Who taketh away the sins of the world! And I baptized Him in the river of Jordan, and I saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Him in the form of a dove; and I heard a voice from the heavens saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And now I have gone before His face, and have descended to announce to you that the rising Son of God is close at hand to visit us, coming from on high to us sitting in darkness and the shadow of death.
The implication that Saint John the Baptist was not in hades is most interesting. Where, then, might he have been? It is not unlikely that he became part of the astral entourage of Jesus, for the Lord was always accompanied by a host of highly evolved astral beings and angels. In the revelations of Saint Catherine Emmerich we find that her visions of the life of Christ were not viewings of time past but personal memories of having been in astral form and observing His entire manifestation upon the earth.
Aspirants often have many invisible fellow-travelers on the astral plane. Oftentimes they are people to whom they were very close in previous livesusually spiritual teachers or spiritual companions from those lives.
And when the first created, father Adam, had heard this, that Jesus was baptized in Jordan, he cried out to his son Seth: Tell thy sons, the patriarchs and the prophets, all that thou heardest from Michael the Archangel when I sent thee to the gates of paradise to implore God that he might send thee His Angel to give thee oil from the tree of mercy, with which to anoint my body when I was sick.
This journeying of Seth to Paradise was an astral phenomenon. The early humans easily projected their consciousnessand on occasion their subtle bodiesinto the invisible worlds. The oil from the tree of mercy would have materialized in the physical hands of Seth if he had succeeded. There are healing shrines in the East where this still happens. That is, besides regular miraculous cures occurring, frequently the sufferer or someone praying in their behalf will find that a physical medicine (usually an herb) has materialized right in their hands. When the patient takes the herb he is cured.
Then Seth, coming near to the holy patriarchs and prophets, said: When I, Seth, was praying to the Lord at the gates of paradise, behold Michael, the Angel of the Lord, appeared to me, saying, I have been sent to thee by the Lord. I am set over the human race [lit., body].
Saint Michael rules over the physical, psychic, and spiritual health of the human race. This is because he is the angel of the Sun, and it is the rays of the sun that produce all human growth and evolution on all levels. Of course by the rays of the sun I mean the astral and causal counterparts of the physical light rays. Saint Michael is also the mighty patron of Christians.
And to thee, Seth, I say, do not labor with tears in prayers and supplications on account of the oil of the tree of mercy to anoint thy father Adam for the pain of his body, because in no wise shalt thou receive of it, except in the last days and times, except when five thousand five hundred years have been fulfilled: then will come upon the earth the most beloved Son of God, to raise up again the body of Adam, and the bodies of the dead: and He, when He comes, will be baptized in Jordan. And when He shall have come out of the water of Jordan, then with the oil of His mercy shall He anoint all that believe on Him; and that oil of mercy shall be for the generation of those who shall be born out of water and the Holy Spirit into life eternal.
Obviously the physical body of Adam did not rise at the advent of Jesus. This should be understood metaphysically. The dead, as in the Nicene Creed,3 is also to be taken symbolically.
The oil of mercy is the spiritual grace of divine mercy through Christ Jesus.
Then, descending upon earth, Christ Jesus, the most beloved Son of God, will lead our father Adam into paradise to the tree of mercy.
And when they heard all these things from Seth, all the patriarchs and prophets exulted with great exultation.
And when all the Saints were exulting, lo, Satan, the prince and leader of death, said to Hades: Make thyself ready to receive Jesus, who boasts himself to be the Son of God, and is a man fearing death, and saying, My soul is sorrowful, even unto death. And he has withstood me much, doing me evil; and many whom I made blind, lame, deaf, leprous, and demoniac, he has healed with a word; and those whom I have brought to thee dead, he has dragged away from thee.
Satan is the principle and force of cosmic delusion, not an actual individual consciousness or person. Yet, since all things are inherently intelligent, this force has come to take on a kind of artificial life and intelligence, often manifesting in some form or through psychic impressions. This is happening here.
Hades is the entity that rules the part of the astral world in which the holy ones were awaiting transfer into Paradise through Christ. In the East it is the custom to call a ruler by the same name as the territory over which he rules. In Greece today a bishop is often called by the name of his diocese. Thus the Bishop of Corinth is often simply referred to as Corinth.
Hades, answering, said to Prince Satan: Who is he that is so powerful, when he is a man in fear of death? For all the powerful of the earth are kept in subjection by my power, whom thou hast brought into subjection by thy power. If, then, thou art powerful, what is that man Jesus like, who, though fearing death, withstands thy power? If he is so powerful in humanity, verily I say unto thee, he is all-powerful in divinity, and his power can no one resist. And when he says that he fears death, he wishes to lay hold on thee, and woe will be to thee to the ages of eternity. And Satan, prince of Tartarus, answered and said: Why hast thou doubted and feared to receive this Jesus, thy adversary and mine? For I have tempted him, and I have roused up my ancient people the Jews with hatred and anger against him; I have sharpened a lance to strike him; I have mixed gall and vinegar to give him to drink; and I have prepared wood to crucify him, and nails to pierce him, and his death is near at hand, that I may bring him to thee, subject to thee and me.
Little did Satan realize that he was actually working out the salvation of the human race and the world itself. But since all things are essentially good, it could not be otherwise. There is nothing that does not ultimately work out the divine plan. Thus Jesus told Saint Julian of Norwich: All shall be well, much to the discomfiture of the present-day everlasting hell proponents. Origen explains in De Principiis that even the miseries of the (temporary) astral hells are for the healing and deliverance of those that undergo them. This is because God is love and so also is His creation. However much we may work to distort it, we cannot change its fundamental character. Just think! We live and move within the all-pervasive love of God, whatever the appearance may be. We are never apart from that love, from that God, for even a fraction of an eyewink. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.4
Tartarus answered and said: Thou hast told me that it is he himself who has dragged away the dead from me. Now there are many who are here kept by me, who, while they lived on earth, took the dead from me, not by their own powers, but by godly prayers, and their almighty God dragged them away from me. Who is that Jesus, who by his word has withdrawn the dead from me without prayers? Perhaps he is the same who, by the word of his command, brought alive Lazarus, after he had been four days in stench and corruption, whom I kept dead.
Here is Saint Johns account of the raising of Lazarus:
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.5
We see from the words of Hades that miracles are worked in two ways: by the power of God invoked from outside the miracle-worker, and by the power of God from within the miracle-worker who has become deified, a god with God. Hades rightly said that many in his realm had raised the deadbut only through power invoked from on high. Jesus, on the other hand, was unique in that He raised the dead through His own inherent divinity. Thus He was not a servant of God, but was Himself God. And He most plainly said of those who should follow Him in the attainment of deification (theosis): Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.6 And: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.7
An interesting aspect of this quotation: Jesus says that the scripture contains these words, but we do not find them in any of the Old Testament books. This would seem to imply that we do not have all the books Jesus knewsuch as the book of Jasher and the book of Enochor that by scripture He was referring to a book of the Essenes.
Satan, prince of death, answered and said: That Jesus is the same. And when Hades heard this, he said to him: I adjure thee by thy powers and mine, do not bring him to me. For I at that time, when I heard the command of his word, trembled with terror and dismay, and all my officers at the same time were confounded along with me. Nor could we keep that Lazarus; but, shaking himself like an eagle, he sprang out, and went forth from us with all activity and speed, and the same ground which held the dead body of Lazarus immediately gave him forth alive. So now, I know that that man who could do these things is God, strong in authority, powerful in humanity, and He is the Savior of the human race. But if thou bring Him to me, all who are here shut up in the cruelty of the prison, and bound by their sins in chains that cannot be loosened, He will let loose, and will bring to the life of His divinity for ever.
Hades speaks here not of those righteous ones awaiting Paradise, but all those in the lower astral worlds, both those that are hells and those more pleasant realms that are also places of learning and karmic fulfillment. Here we see the principle that all are to be saved through Christ, that there can never be anyone eternally damned. As Saint Peter says: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.8
And as Prince Satan and Hades were thus speaking to each other in turn, suddenly there was a voice of thunders, and a shouting of spirits: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall come in. Hades hearing this, said to Prince Satan: Retire from me, and go outside of my realms: if thou art a powerful warrior, fight against the King of glory. But what hast thou to do with Him? And Hades thrust Satan outside of his realms. And Hades said to his impious officers: Shut the cruel gates of brass, and put up the bars of iron, and resist bravely, that we, holding captivity, may not be taken captive.
He hopes in vain, for David prophesied of this moment: Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive.9
And all the multitude of the Saints, hearing this, said to Hades, with the voice of reproach: Open thy gates, that the King of glory may come in. And David cried out, saying: Did I not, when I was alive upon earth, prophesy to you: Let them confess to the Lord His tender mercies and His wonderful works to the children of men: for He has shattered the brazen gates, and burst the iron bars; He has taken them up out of the way of their iniquity? And after this, in like manner, Esaias said: Did not I, when I was alive upon earth, prophesy to you: The dead shall rise up, and those who are in their tombs shall rise again, and those who are upon earth shall exult; because the dew, which is from the Lord, is their health? And again I said, Where, O Death, is thy sting? Where, O Hades, is thy victory?
Since we now have these final words only in the book of Hoseawho must have been citing Isaiahit would seem that we do not have the complete sayings of Isaiah. This should show us that it is hopeless to base our spiritual life on scriptures. If we have a living spiritual tradition, then even if all the scriptures in the world are dissolved we can still attain to the same vision embodied in the scriptures. For this reason mystical Christians have never been book worshippers, idolizing the Bible and basing their life on a written page, on the letter that kills, but rather upon the Inner Spirit that gives life.10
Every so often someone writes to me complaining that in my speeches and essays I do not cite the Gnostic books such as those in the Nag Hammadi Library. How, then, they want to know, can I possible be a Gnostic? Such people are Protestant Gnosticsthat is, their Gnosticism is simply a speculation based on English translations of ancient Gnostic books by scholars that are not Gnostics themselves. But by the mercy and grace of God the Gnosis of which I speak is that which has been handed on by an unbroken chain of qualified teachers from the days of Jesus Himself, and which I have received from worthy ones who embodied what they taught. Among my most blessed memories are the times when my first Christian Geronta (guru) would enter my room in silence and sit without saying a wordsometimes for an hour. In that silence ancient wounds were perceptibly healed. I would not at all wish for words, but would luxuriate in the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.11 Then in silence he would stand up, bless me, and depart, leaving behind a grateful son who had at last found safety from the winds and waves of this troubled world. Through their loving-kindness I have met many saints and lived with some of them. They were the living scriptures which I studied to learn the true science of life in the spirit. I saw before my eyes what human beings could become. Reality, not theory, was my daily bread. Sri Ramakrishna often said that you could squeeze a book on weather with all your might but you could not squeeze a drop of rain out of it. So it is with scriptures. Of themselves they mean nothing without a qualified teacher, one whose students can say: Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?12
And when all the Saints heard this from Esaias, they said to Hades: Open thy gates. Since thou art not conquered, thou wilt be weak and powerless. And there was a great voice, as of thunders, saying: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye infernal gates; and the King of glory shall come in. Hades, seeing that they had twice shouted out this, said, as if not knowing: Who is the king of glory? David said, in answer to Hades: I recognize those words of the shout, since I prophesied the same by His Spirit. And now, what I have said above, I say to thee, The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle; He is the King of glory. And the Lord Himself hath looked down from heaven upon earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, and to release the sons of the slain. And now, most filthy and most foul Hades, open thy gates, that the King of glory may come in. While David was thus speaking, there came to Hades, in the form of a man, the Lord of majesty, and lighted up the eternal darkness, and burst asunder the indissoluble chains; and the aid of unconquered power visited us, sitting in the profound darkness of transgressions, and in the shadow of death of sins.
When this was seen by Hades and Death, and their impious officers, along with their cruel servants, they trembled at perceiving in their own dominions the clearness of so great a light, when they saw Christ suddenly in their abodes; and they cried out, saying: We have been overcome by thee. Who art thou, that to the Lord directest our confusion?
Some manuscripts have: Who art thou, O man, that to God directest thy prayer to our confusion? This seems more likely.
Although we are reading an account of an astral event, let us not forget that everything which took place in the earthly life of Christ must also take place within us. The traveling of Jesus to India, to the East, reflects the necessity of our cultivating our Eastern, or right-brain, consciousness which is a consciousness of intuition and the spirit.
The descent of Christ into hades is symbolic of our own turning within and entering into our own invisible realms through meditationwhich indeed shakes and breaks the bonds in which our inner saints lie awaiting deliverance. And meditation will lift them up to reign in the Paradise of our higher consciousness, destroying the rulership of all that is earthly and dark in us. So as we continue on, let us keep in mind what this narrative may tell us about what should take place in us as we ascend the upward path to divinity.
Who art thou, that, undestroyed by corruption, the uncorrupted proof of thy majesty, with fury condemnest our power? Who art thou, so great and little, lowly and exalted, soldier and commander, wonderful warrior in the form of a slave, and the king of glory dead and alive, whom slain the cross has carried? Thou, who didst lie dead in the sepulchre, hast come down to us alive; and in thy death every creature trembled, and the stars in a body were moved; and now thou hast been made free among the dead, and disturbest our legions. Who art thou, that settest free those who art held captive, bound by original sin, and recallest them to their former liberty?
This latter phrase demonstrates that we are not created at the moment of conception and sinners by nature, but that we existed beforehand with God in perfect freedom which is our natural heritage. This is why in the esoteric Christian teachings of Martinism Jesus is often called the Restorer. It is important to hold this concept for it changes our entire way of approaching spiritual life.
Who art thou, who sheddest a divine and splendid and illuminating light upon those who have been blinded by the darkness of their sins?
In like manner, also, all the legions of the demons, terror-stricken with like fear from their fearful overthrow, cried out, saying: Whence art thou, O Jesus, a man so powerful and splendid in majesty, so excellent, without spot, and free from guilt? For that world of earth which has been subject to us always until now, which used to pay tribute for our uses, has never sent us such a dead man, has never destined such gifts for the powers below. Who therefore art thou, that hast so intrepidly entered our bounds, and who hast not only no fear of our punishments, but, moreover, attemptest to take all away from our chains? Perhaps thou art that Jesus of whom our prince Satan said, that by thy death of the cross thou wast destined to receive the dominion of the whole world.
Then the King of glory, trampling on death by His majesty, and seizing Prince Satan, delivered him to the power of Hades, and drew Adam to His brightness.
O Joy-giving radiance of the holy glory of the Father Immortalheavenly, holy, blessed Jesus Christ! The Christians of the East sing this daily, and from this account we can partly see why.
Then Hades, receiving Prince Satan, said to him, with vehement revilings: O prince of perdition and leader of extermination, Beelzebub, derision of Angels, to be spit upon by the just, why didst thou wish to do this? Didst thou wish to crucify the King of glory, in whose death thou didst promise us so great spoils? Like a fool, thou didst not know what thou wast doing. For, behold, that Jesus by the splendor of His divinity is putting to flight all the darkness of death, and He has broken into the strong lowest depths of our dungeons, and has brought out the captives, and released those who were bound. And all who used to groan under our torments insult us, and by their prayers our dominions are taken by storm, and our realms conquered, and no race of men has now any respect for us. Moreover, also, we are grievously threatened by the dead, who have never been haughty to us, and who have not at any time been joyful as captives. O Prince Satan, father of all impious wretches and renegades, why didst thou wish to do this? Of those who from the beginning, even until now, have despaired of salvation and life, no bellowing after the usual fashion is now heard here; and no groaning of theirs resounds, nor in any of their faces is a trace of tears found.
It is the gospel of Satan that there is no hope for the damned and that they shall suffer physical and mental agony eternally for having been lost. We see that it is the forces of evil that want such a destiny to come upon human beings. Of course it really cannot, but being creatures of lies they try to convince us that it shall be so. Thus those Christians who teach such lies are the servants of Satan, not of Christ, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.13
Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?14
Salvation and damnation are matters of our own will. The purpose of karmic reactions which cause us suffering is to enable us to realize the folly of evil and turn our wills toward the good. And since all have come from the Good, and have That as their essential nature, it is impossible for a person to become evil in nature. Eventually nature will out and even the worst of sinners take the path to sainthood.
O Prince Satan, possessor of the keys of the lower regions, all thy riches which thou hadst acquired by the tree of transgression and the loss of paradise, thou hast now lost by the tree of the cross, and all thy joy has perished. When thou didst hang up that Christ Jesus the King of glory, thou wast acting against thyself and against me. Henceforth thou shalt know what eternal torments and infinite punishments thou art to endure in my everlasting keeping. O Prince Satan, author of death, and source of all pride, thou oughtest first to have inquired into the bad cause of that Jesus. Him in whom thou perceivedst no fault, why, without reason, didst thou dare unjustly to crucify? and why hast thou brought to our regions one innocent and just, and lost the guilty, the impious, and the unjust of the whole world?
And when Hades had thus spoken to Prince Satan, then the King of glory said to Hades: Satan the prince will be in thy power for ever, in place of Adam and his sons, my just ones.
It will be good to see how Saint Paul expresses this in the eighth chapter of his letter to the Romans, especially since he is accused of having brought the hell and damnation attitude into Christianity.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the Saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is authentic Christianity and the true perspective of Saint Paul.
And the Lord stretched out His hand, and said: Come to me, all my Saints, who have been My image and likeness. Do you, who have been condemned through the tree and the devil and death, now see the devil and death condemned through the tree. Immediately all the Saints were brought together under the hand of the Lord. And the Lord, holding Adam by the right hand, said to him: Peace be to thee, with all thy children, my righteous ones! And Adam fell down at the knees of the Lord, and with tearful entreaty praying, said with a loud voice: I will extol Thee, O Lord; for Thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. O Lord God, I cried unto Thee, and Thou hast healed me. O Lord, Thou hast brought out my soul from the powers below; Thou hast saved me from them that go down into the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, all His Saints, and confess to the memory of His holiness; since there is anger in His indignation, and life in His goodwill. In like manner also all the Saints of God, falling on their knees at the feet of the Lord, said with one voice: Thou hast come, O Redeemer of the world: as Thou hast foretold by the law and Thy prophets, so hast Thou fulfilled by Thy deeds. Thou hast redeemed the living by Thy cross; and by the death of the cross Thou hast come down to us, to rescue us from the powers below, and from death, by Thy majesty. O Lord, as Thou hast set the title of Thy glory in heaven, and hast erected as the title of redemption Thy cross upon earth, so, O Lord, set in Hades the sign of the victory of Thy cross, that death may no more have dominion.
And the Lord, stretching forth His hand, made the sign of the cross upon Adam and upon all His Saints; and holding Adam by the right hand, went up from the powers below: all the Saints followed Him. Then holy David cried out aloud, saying: Sing unto the Lord a new song, for He hath done wonderful things; His right hand and His holy arm have brought salvation to Himself. The Lord hath made known His salvation; His righteousness hath He revealed in the sight of the heathen. And all the multitude of the Saints answered, saying: This is glory to all His Saints. Amen, alleluia.
And after this the prophet Habakkuk cried out, saying: Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, to deliver Thine elect. And all the Saints answered, saying: Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord; God is the Lord, and He hath shone upon us. Amen, alleluia. In like manner after this the prophet Micah also cried out, saying: Who is a God like unto Thee, O Lord, taking away iniquities and passing by sins? And now Thou dost withhold Thine anger for a testimony against us, because Thou delightest in mercy. And Thou turnest again, and hast compassion upon us, and pardonest all our iniquities; and all our sins hast thou sunk in the multitude of death, as Thou hast sworn unto our fathers in the days of old. And all the Saints answered, saying: This is our God to eternity, and for ever and ever; and He will direct us for evermore. Amen, alleluia. So also all the prophets, quoting the sacred writings concerning His praises, and all the Saints, crying, Amen, alleluia, followed the Lord.
[Then all the Saints of God asked the Lord to leave as a sign of victory the sign of His holy cross in the lower world, that its most impious officers might not retain as an offender any one whom the Lord had absolved. And so it was done. And the Lord set His cross in the midst of Hades, which is the sign of victory, and which will remain even to eternity.]
And the Lord, holding the hand of Adam, delivered him to Michael the Archangel: and all the Saints followed Michael the Archangel, and he led them all into the glorious grace of paradise. And there met them two men, ancient of days. The Saints asked them: Who are you, that have not yet been dead along with us in the regions below, and have been placed in paradise in the body? One of them answered, and said: I am Enoch, who by the word of the Lord have been translated higher;
And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.15
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.16
and he who is with me is Elias the Thesbite, who was taken up by a fiery chariot.
Here is the Biblical account being referred to:
And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.
And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.
And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;
And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.17
The Gospel of Nicodemus continues:
Here also even until now we have not tasted death, but have been reserved to the coming of Antichrist, by divine signs and wonders to do battle with him, and, being killed by him in Jerusalem, after three days and half a day to be taken up alive again in the clouds.
This is referred to in the book of Revelation:
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.18
The Gospel of Nicodemus continues:
And while the Saints Enoch and Elias were thus speaking, behold, there came up another man, most wretched, carrying on his shoulders the sign of the cross. And seeing him, all the Saints said to him: Who art thou? because thy appearance is that of a robber. And what is the sign which thou carriest on thy shoulders? In answer to them, he said: Truly have you said that I was a robber, doing all sorts of evil upon the earth. And the Jews crucified me along with Jesus; and I saw the miracles in created things which were done through the cross of Jesus crucified, and I believed Him to be the Creator of all created things, and the King omnipotent; and I entreated Him, saying, Be mindful of me, Lord, when Thou shalt have come into Thy kingdom. Immediately He accepted my entreaty, and said to me, Amen; I say to thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. And He gave me this sign of the cross, saying, Walk into paradise carrying this; and if the guardian Angel of paradise will not let thee go in, show him the sign of the cross, and thou shalt say to him, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who has now been crucified, has sent me. Having done so, I said all this to the guardian Angel of paradise. And when he heard this, he immediately opened, and led me in, and placed me at the right of paradise, saying: Lo, hold a little, and there will come in the father of the whole human race, Adam, with all his children, holy and just, after the triumph and glory of the ascension of Christ the crucified Lord. Hearing all these words of the robber, all the holy patriarchs and prophets with one voice said: Blessed art Thou, O Lord Almighty, Father of everlasting benefits, and Father of mercies, Who hast given such grace to Thy sinners, and hast brought them back into the grace of paradise, and into Thy rich pastures; for this is spiritual life most sure. Amen, Amen.
These are the divine and sacred mysteries which we saw and heard, I Karinus, and Leucius. More we are not allowed to tell of the other mysteries of God, as Michael the Archangel adjured us, and said: You shall go into Jerusalem with your brethren, and continue in prayers, and you shall cry out, and glorify the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who has raised you up again from the dead with Himself. And with none of men shall you speak; and you shall sit as if dumb, until the hour shall come when the Lord Himself shall permit you to relate the mysteries of His divinity. And Michael the Archangel ordered us to walk across Jordan into a place rich and fertile, where there are many who rose again along with us for an evidence of the resurrection of Christ the Lord; because only three days were allowed to us who have risen from the dead to celebrate in Jerusalem the passover of the Lord, without living relations, for an evidence of the resurrection of Christ the Lord:
See the mercy of God in all things. Only those who had no living relatives in Jerusalem were raised temporarily from the dead. Why? Because those relatives would have been grieved a second time at their death, thus suffering doubly from the brief time of their resurrected presence. Such are the ways of God Whose loving care for us should never be doubted.
and we have been baptized in the holy river of Jordan, receiving each of us white robes.
In this way they, too, became disciples of Christ.
And after three days, when we had celebrated the passover of the Lord, all who rose again along with us were snatched up into the clouds, and taken across the Jordan, and were no longer seen by anyone. But we were told to remain in the city of Arimathea in prayers.
These are the things which the Lord commanded us to relate to you. Give Him praise and confession, and be penitent, that He may have mercy upon you. Peace be to you from the same Lord Jesus Christ, and the Savior of all of us! Amen.
And after they had finished all, writing on separate sheets of paper, they arose. And Karinus gave what he wrote into the hands of Annas and Caiaphas and Gamaliel; in like manner also Leucius gave what he wrote into the hands of Nicodemus and Joseph. And being suddenly transfigured, they became exceedingly white, and were seen no more.
The atoms of their temporary bodies simply dispersed, and they truly were dissolved. The release of the atomic particles produced a brilliant light in the same manner as a nuclear explosion. This not only happens on earth at the dissolution of a physical object, but in the astral world as well. Those who are passing to higher astral levels shine momentarily with intense light and then are gone.
And their writings were found exactly the same, not one letter more or less.
This had occurred before in the translating of the Septuagint, as we have already discussed.
All the synagogue of the Jews, hearing all these wonderful sayings of Karinus and Leucius, said to each other: Truly all these things have been done by the Lord, and blessed be the Lord for ever and ever. Amen. And they all went out with great anxiety, beating their breasts with fear and trembling; and they went away, each to his own house.
Another text gives this in addition:
And when the paper was finished and read through, all that heard it fell on their faces, weeping bitterly, and cruelly beating their breasts, crying out, saying through all: Woe to us! Why has this happened to us wretched? Pilate flees; Annas and Caiaphas flee; the priests and Levites flee; moreover also the people of the Jews, weeping and saying, Woe to us wretched! we have shed sacred blood upon the earth.
For three days, therefore, and three nights, they did not taste bread and water at all; nor did any of them return to the synagogue. But on the third day again the council was assembled, and the other paper of Leucius was read through; and it was found neither more nor less, to a single letter, than that which the writing of Karinus contained. Then the synagogue was perplexed; and they all lamented forty days and forty nights, looking for destruction from God, and the vengeance of God. But He, pitier affectionate and most high, did not immediately destroy them, bountifully giving them a place of repentance. But they were not found worthy to be turned to the Lord.
Throughout the religious history of humanity the question of what causes some to seek God and some to not seek, and what causes some of those who do seek to persevere in the search while others do not, has troubled very many. But those whom it troubled were all of one cast of mind. That is, they were persons who considered themselves enlighteners of others, who felt that they had a responsibility to spiritually uplift those around them.
They were deluded. All illumination comes from within, from the immortal spirit of each person. Any illumination coming from without (without including environment and other persons, as well as from ones own outside layers of the gross and subtle bodies, including the mind and the emotions) is darkness, springing from illusion. God alone can illumine the spirit which is itself part of His infinite Light. And He accomplishes this illumination from within the depths of the enlightened spirit, not otherwise, for He is nothingand nowhereelse.
What role, then, can we play in the illumination of others? None whatsoever. Why, then, am I writing this, rather than simply letting you figure things out for yourself? Because you have willed for me to do so, and I as part of your karmic environment am responding. It is not God who has called me to write these words, but you. Of course it is God Who has so inspired me since you are part of Him. And so am I. In other words, the play is going on, and I am part of your drama, as you are part of mine.
What function, then, can these words of mineor anything else that might be thought advantageous to your spiritual growthhave for your betterment? They can function as a release of the knowledge you already have, as a stimulus to your eternal intuition-memory. They can be an evocation of what you already know. And that is of incalculable worth.
However, you must be sensitive to such spiritual stimuli, and that sensitivity is exclusively in your domainno other person or object can produce it in you. Through purification and meditation you can increase your responsiveness more and more, thus becoming enlightened to an increasing degree.
A true spiritual teacher knows that he teaches nothing, but rather is a catalyst, an object to which the spirit of another can respond with its own illumination. Knowing thisand knowing as well that he can in no way affect the sensitivity of anothersuch a teacher simply teaches without demanding any particular (or any) response, knowing that this is the domain of the Immortal, whereas his teaching is confined to the realm of mortality. Further, knowing that his teaching is his own response to the karmic demands of the taught, he cannot feel that he is a teacher in the usual sense of the term. He is simply part of the play of illumination. No more. And if he does not fulfil his part, another will. No one is unique or indispensable.19 Spiritual egotism hates such a view, but that is its nature.
This all being true, we can see that the reason these men were not converted by the amazing testimony given them was that they simply did not have the capacity for it. They were not worthy in the sense that they were not able. And they alone could make themselves able.
Sometimes God is credited (or blamed) for the conversion and non-conversion of various people, but that is not trueif meant in the sense of the absolute Deity. It is true if by God is meant the Higher Self of the individual.
So, all comes about in Gods good time.
All texts continue:
All these things which were said by the Jews in their synagogue Joseph and Nicodemus immediately reported to the proconsul. And Pilate himself wrote all which had been done and said concerning Jesus by the Jews, and he placed all the words in the public records of his praetorium.
After this, Pilate going into the temple of the Jews, assembled all the chief priests, and learned men, and scribes, and teachers of the law, and went in with them into the sanctuary of the temple, and ordered that all the gates should be shut, and said to them: We have heard that you have a certain great collection of books in this temple: therefore I ask you that it be presented before us. And when four officers brought in that collection of books, adorned with gold and previous gems, Pilate said to all: I adjure you by the God of your fathers, who ordered you to build this temple in the place of his sanctuary, not to conceal the truth from me. You all know what is written in that collection of books; but now say whether you have found in the writings that Jesus, whom you have crucified, to be the Son of God that was to come for the salvation of the human race, and in how many revolutions of seasons he ought to come. Declare to me whether you crucified him in ignorance of this, or knowing it.
Being thus adjured, Annas and Caiaphas ordered all the others who were with them to go out of the sanctuary; and themselves shut all the gates of the temple and the sanctuary, and said to Pilate: We have been adjured by thee, O good judge, by the building of this temple, to give thee the truth, and a clear account of this matter. After we had crucified Jesus, not knowing Him to be the Son of God, thinking that He did miracles by means of some charm, we made a great synagogue in this temple.
They are speaking the truth regarding not knowing the nature of Jesus, for Saint Paul told the Jews in Antioch: Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.20 And he wrote to the Corinthians: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.21
And conferring with each other of the signs of the miracles which Jesus had done, we found many witnesses of our nation who said that they had seen Jesus alive after suffering death, and that He had penetrated into the height of heaven. And we have seen two witnesses, whom Jesus raised up again from the dead, who told us many wonderful things that Jesus did among the dead, which we have in our hands, written out. And our custom is, every year before our synagogue, to open that holy collection of books, and seek out the testimony of God. And we found in the first book of the Seventy [the Septuagint], where the Archangel Michael spoke to the third son of Adam, the first man, of five thousand and five hundred years, in which the Christ, the most beloved Son of God, was to come from the heavens; and upon this we have considered that perhaps He was the God of Israel who said to Moses, Make to thee the ark of the covenant, two cubits and a half in length, one cubit and a half in breadth, one cubit and a half in height.
This is most interesting. It was the Septuagint Greek text and not the Hebrew that was used for prophecy and divination by the High Priest himself as well as the Sanhedrin. Sad to say, the portions they are referring to are no longer to be found in the Septuagint. What happened to them I cannot say for sure. (Of course there is always a chance that the author of this text made a mistake.)
In these five and a half cubits we have understood and recognized, from the structure of the ark of the old covenant, that in five and a half thousands of years, Jesus Christ was to come in the ark of the body; and we have found Him to be the God of Israel, the Son of God.
There are those who have carefully studied measurements within the Great Pyramid, considering that they are prophetic. And we can see that this idea of sacred and symbolic measurement was known to the Jewswhose knowledge was derived from India by way of Egypt. In esoteric Christianity we utilize sacred geometry on occasion, as well.
Because after His passion, we, the chief priests, wondering at the signs which happened on account of Him, opened this collection of books, searching out all the generations, even to the generation of Joseph, and reckoning that Mary the mother of Christ was of the seed of David; and we have found that from the time that God made the heaven and the earth and the first man, to the deluge, are two thousand two hundred and twelve years [a footnote to the text says that this should be 2262 years]; and from the deluge to the building of the tower, five hundred and thirty-one [this includes the second Cainan] years; and from the building of the tower to Abraham, six hundred and six [should be 676] years; and from Abraham to the arrival of the children of Israel from Egypt, four hundred and seventy years; and from the coming of the children of Israel out of Egypt to the building of the temple, five hundred and eleven years; and from the building of the temple to the destruction of the same temple, four hundred and sixty-four years. Thus far have we found in the book of Esdras. After searching, we find that from the burning of the temple to the advent of Christ, and His birth, there are six hundred and thirty-six [should be 586] years, which together were five thousand five hundred years, as we have found written in the book that Michael the Archangel foretold to Seth the third son of Adam, that in five and a half thousands of years Christ the Son of God would come [lit., has come]. Even until now we have told no one, that there might be no dissension in our synagogues. And now thou hast adjured us, O good judge, by this holy book of the testimonies of God, and we make it manifest to thee. And now we adjure thee, by thy life and safety, to make manifest these words to no one in Jerusalem.
Again, why did they choose to suppress the truth? Because that was the vibration of their mental bodies. How easily do we refuse to see what we see! The cultivation of absoluteand many times painfulself-honesty is essential if we would realize God Who is Himself Truth.
Pilate, hearing these words of Annas and Caiaphas, laid them all up in the acts of our Lord and Saviour, in the public records of his praetorium, and wrote a letter to Claudius, king of the city of Rome, saying:
Pontius Pilate to Claudius his king, greeting. It has lately happened, as I myself have also proved, that the Jews, through envy, have punished themselves and their posterity by a cruel condemnation. In short, when their fathers had a promise that their God would send them from heaven his holy one, who should deservedly be called their king, and promised that he would send him by a virgin upon the earth: when, therefore, while I was procurator, he had come into Judea, and when they saw him enlightening the blind, cleansing the lepers, curing the paralytics, making demons flee from men, even raising the dead, commanding the winds, walking dryshod upon the waves of the sea, and doing many other signs of miracles; and when all the people of the Jews said that he was the Son of God, the chief priests felt envy against him, and seized him and delivered him to me; and telling me one lie after another, they said that he was a sorcerer, and was acting contrary to their law.
And I believed that it was so, and delivered him to be scourged, according to their will. And they crucified him, and set guards over him when buried. And he rose again on the third day, while my soldiers were keeping guard. But so flagrant was the iniquity of the Jews, that they gave money to my soldiers, saying, Say that his disciples have stolen his body. But after receiving the money they could not keep secret what had been done; for they bore witness both that he had risen again, that they had seen him [or, that they had seen that he rose from the dead], and that they had received money from the Jews.
This accordingly I have done, lest any one should give a different and a false account of it, and lest thou shouldst think that the lies of the Jews are to be believed.
The letter was to Tiberias, not Claudius. Its complete veracity is certainly to be questioned, but we must remember that Pilate was a kind of politician, and that his crucifixion of Jesus was in retrospect a serious error, one that could have gotten him expelled from his position in the Empire. How often do we perhaps act in the same wayand for less motivation?
The following seems to be an introduction to the full report of Pilate to Tiberius as found in the section we have just finished.
In those days, our Lord Jesus Christ having been crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Palestine and Phoenicia, these records were made in Jerusalem as to what was done by the Jews against the Lord. Pilate, therefore, along with his private report, sent them to the Caesar in Rome, writing thus:
To the most mighty, venerable, most divine, and most terrible, the august Caesar, Pilate the governor of the East sends greeting. I have, O most mighty, a narrative to give thee, on account of which I am seized with fear and trembling. For in this government of mine, of which one of the cities is called Jerusalem, all the people of the Jews have delivered to me a man named Jesus, bringing many charges against him, which they were not able to convict him of by the consistency of their evidence. And one of the heresies they had against him was, that Jesus said that their Sabbath should not be a day of leisure, and should not be observed. For he performed many cures on that day: he made the blind receive their sight, the lame walk; he healed paralytics that were not at all able to make any movement of their body, or to keep their nerves steady, but who had only speech and the modulation of their voice, and he gave them the power of walking and running, removing their illness by a single word. Another thing again, more powerful still, which is strange even with our gods: he raised up one that had been dead four days, summoning him by a single word, when the dead man had his blood corrupted, and when his body was destroyed by the worms produced in it, and when it had the stink of a dog. And seeing him lying in the tomb, he ordered him to rise. Nor had he anything of a dead body about him at all; but as a bridegroom from the bridal chamber, so he came forth from the tomb filled with very great fragrance. And strangers that were manifestly demoniac, and that had their dwelling in deserts, and ate their own flesh, living like beasts and creeping things, even these he made to be dwellers in cities, and by his word restored them to soundness of mind, and rendered them wise and able and reputable, eating with all the enemies of the unclean spirits that dwelt in them for their destruction, which he cast down into the depths of the sea. And again there was another having a withered hand; and not the hand only, but rather half of the body of the man, was petrified, so that he had not the form of a man, or the power of moving his body. And him by a word he healed, and made sound. And a woman that had an issue of blood for many years, and whose joints [arteries] and veins were drained by the flowing of the blood, so that she did not present the appearance of a human being, but was like a corpse, and was speechless every day, so that all the physicians of the district could not cure her. For there was not any hope of life left to her. And when Jesus passed by, she mysteriously received strength through his overshadowing her; and she took hold of his fringe behind, and immediately in the same hour power filled up what in her was empty, so that, no longer suffering any pain, she began to run swiftly to her own city Kepharnaum, so as to accomplish the journey in six days.
And these are the things which I lately had in my mind to report, which Jesus accomplished on the Sabbath. And other signs greater than these he did, so that I have perceived that the wonderful works done by him are greater than can be done by the gods whom we worship.
And him Herod and Archelaus and Philip, Annas and Caiaphas, with all the people, delivered to me, making a great uproar against me that I should try him. I therefore ordered him to be crucified, having first scourged him, and having against him no cause of evil accusations or deeds.
And at the time he was crucified there was darkness over all the world, the sun being darkened at mid-day, and the stars appearing, but in them there appeared no lustre; and the moon, as if turned into blood, failed in her light. And the world was swallowed up by the lower regions, so that the very sanctuary of the temple, as they call it, could not be seen by the Jews in their fall; and they saw below them a chasm of the earth, with the roar of the thunders that fell upon it. And in that terror dead men were seen that had risen, as the Jews themselves testified; and they said that it was Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs, and Moses and Job, that had died, as they say, three thousand five hundred years before. And there were very many whom I also saw appearing in the body; and they were making a lamentation about the Jews, on account of the wickedness that had come to pass through them, and the destruction of the Jews and of their law.
And the fear of the earthquake remained from the sixth hour of the preparation until the ninth hour. And on the evening of the first day of the week there was a sound out of the heaven, so that the heaven became enlightened sevenfold more than all the days. And at the third hour of the night also the sun was seen brighter than it had ever shone before, lighting up all the heaven. And as lightnings come suddenly in winter, so majestic men appeared [or, so men appeared on high] in glorious robes, an innumerable multitude, whose voice was heard as that of a very great thunder, crying out: Jesus that was crucified is risen: come up out of Hades, ye that have been enslaved in the underground regions of Hades. And the chasm of the earth was as if it had no bottom; but it was as if the very foundations of the earth appeared along with those that cried out in the heavens, and walked about in the body in the midst of the dead that had risen. And he that raised up all the dead, and bound Hades, said: Say to my disciples, He goes before you into Galilee; there shall you see him.
And all that night the light did not cease shining. And many of the Jews died, swallowed up in the chasm of the earth, so that on the following day most of those who had been against Jesus could not be found. Others saw the appearing of those that had risen, whom no one of us had ever seen. And only one [or, not one] synagogue of the Jews was left in this Jerusalem, since all disappeared in that fall.
With that terror, being in perplexity, and seized with a most frightful trembling, I have written what I saw at that time, and have reported to thy majesty. Having set in order also what was done by the Jews against Jesus, I have sent it, my lord, to thy divinity.
Here is the text of another short letter also written to Tiberius, apparently after the one just above.
Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar the emperor, greeting.
Upon Jesus Christ, whose case I had clearly set forth to thee in my last, at length by the will of the people a bitter punishment has been inflicted, myself being in a sort unwilling and rather afraid. A man, by Hercules, so pious and strict, no age has ever had nor will have. But wonderful were the efforts of the people themselves, and the unanimity of all the scribes and chief men and elders, to crucify this ambassador of truth, notwithstanding that their own prophets, and after our manner the sibyls, warned them against it: and supernatural signs appeared while he was hanging, and, in the opinion of philosophers, threatened destruction to the whole world. His disciples are flourishing, in their work and the regulation of their lives not belying their master; yea, in his name most beneficent. Had I not been afraid of the rising of a sedition among the people, who were just on the point of breaking out, perhaps this man would still have been alive to us; although, urged more by fidelity to thy dignity than induced by my own wishes, I did not according to my strength resist that innocent blood from the whole charge brought against it, but unjustly, through the malignity of men, should be sold and suffer, yet, as the Scriptures, signify, to their own destruction. Farewell. 28th March.
The following is an account of the death of Pilate, known as The Giving Up Of Pontius Pilate, on the basis of which the Ethiopian Orthodox Church commemorates Pilate as a Christian martyr. It begins abruptly, so perhaps a prior page or more has been lost.
And the writings having come to the city of the Romans, and having been read to the Caesar, with not a few standing by, all were astounded, because through the wickedness of Pilate the darkness and the earthquake had come over the whole world. And the Caesar, filled with rage, sent soldiers, and ordered them to bring Pilate a prisoner.
And when he was brought to the city of the Romans, the Caesar, hearing that Pilate had arrived, sat in the temple of the gods, in the presence of all the senate, and with all the army, and all the multitude of his power; and he ordered Pilate to stand forward [or, in the entrance]. And the Caesar said to him: Why hast thou, O most impious, dared to do such things, having seen so great miracles in that man? By daring to do an evil deed, thou hast destroyed the whole world.
Believing that Jesus was at the least a son of one of the gods, Tiberius was terrified at the possible consequences for the Empire since He had been executed by Imperial authority wielded by Pilate.
When we see his idea that if Pilate would be executed as well it would placate Jesus and whatever god was His father, we discover the roots of modern Christian theology which says that by the death of Jesus the wrath of God toward sinners was appeased. That is, God wanted to see blood, and when He did He was mollified. Hideous! Yet this is the real way the Greeks and Romans thought about religionnot the way the modern pagans tell us. It was not Christianity which brought the darkness of fear into the pagan world, but the pagans that infused it into Christianity after the false conversion of Constantine.
And Pilate said: O almighty king, I am innocent of these things; but the multitude of the Jews are violent and guilty. And the Caesar said: And who are they? Pilate said: Herod, Archelaus, Philip, Annas and Caiaphas, and all the multitude of the Jews. The Caesar said: For what reason didst thou follow out their counsel? And Pilate said: Their nation is rebellious and insubmissive, not submitting themselves to thy power. And the Caesar said: When they delivered him to thee, thou oughtest to have made him secure, and to have sent him to me, and not to have obeyed them in crucifying such a man, righteous as he was, and one that did such good miracles, as thou hast said in thy report. For from such miracles Jesus was manifestly the Christ, the King of the Jews.
And as the Caesar was thus speaking, when he named the name of Christ, all the multitude of the gods fell down in a body, and became as dust, where the Caesar was sitting with the senate.
This phenomenon was to be repeated many times over the next three centuries, having precedent in the following account from the book of First Samuel, verses one to four:
And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.
When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.
And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.
Now we continue with the text on Pilate.
And the people standing beside the Caesar all began to tremble, on account of the speaking of the word, and the fall of their gods; and being seized with terror, they all went away, each to his own house, wondering at what had happened. And the Caesar ordered Pilate to be kept in security, in order that he might know the truth about Jesus.
And on the following day, the Caesar, sitting in the Capitol with all the senate, tried again to question Pilate. And the Caesar said: Tell the truth, O most impious, because through thy impious action which thou hast perpetrated against Jesus, even here the doing of thy wicked deeds has been shown by the gods having been cast down. Say, then, who is he that has been crucified; because even his name has destroyed all the gods?
The Jews knew well that the Names of God could work miracles, so when the paralyzed beggar at the gate of the Temple was cured by Saints Peter and John, the Sanhedrin, when they had set them in the midst asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?22 Many among the Jews believed that Jesus had discovered the Secret Name of God that had been hidden in the temple of Solomon, and that through invocation of this Name He was able to work miracles.
Pilate said: And indeed the records of him are true; for assuredly I myself was persuaded from his works that he was greater than all the gods whom we worship. And the Caesar said: For what reason, then, didst thou bring against him such audacity and such doings, if thou wert not ignorant of him, and altogether devising mischief against my kingdom? Pilate said: On account of the wickedness and rebellion of the lawless and ungodly Jews, I did this.
And the Caesar, being filled with rage, held a council with all his senate and his power, and ordered a decree to be written against the Jews as follows: To Licianus, the governor of the chief places of the East, greeting. The reckless deed which has been done at the present time by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the cities of the Jews round about, and their wicked action, has come to my knowledge, that they have forced Pilate to crucify a certain god named Jesus, and on account of this great fault of theirs the world has been darkened and dragged to destruction. Do thou then speedily, with a multitude of soldiers, go to them there, and make them prisoners, in accordance with this decree. Be obedient, and take action against them, and scatter them, and make them slaves among all the nations; and having driven them out of the whole of Judea, make them the smallest of nations, so that it may not any longer be seen at all, because they are full of wickedness.
And this decree having come into the region of the East, Licianus, obeying from fear of the decree, seized all the nation of the Jews; and those that were left in Judea he scattered among the nations, and sold for slaves [lit., he made to be slaves in the dispersion of the Gentiles]: so that it was known to the Caesar that these things had been done by Licianus against the Jews in the region of the East; and it pleased him.
And again the Caesar set himself to question Pilate; and he ordered a captain named Albius to cut off Pilate’s head, saying: Just as he laid hands upon the just man named Christ, in like manner also shall he fall, and not find safety.
And Pilate, going away to the place, prayed in silence, saying: Lord, do not destroy me along with the wicked Hebrews, because I would not have laid hands upon Thee, except for the nation of the lawless Jews, because they were exciting rebellion against me. But Thou knowest that I did it in ignorance. Do not then destroy me for this my sin; but remember not evil against me, O Lord, and against Thy servant Procla, who is standing with me in this the hour of my death, whom Thou didst appoint to prophesy that Thou shouldest be nailed to the cross.
At the time when Barabbas and Jesus were offered for release to the people, when Pilate was set down on the judgment seat, his wife [Claudia Procula] sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.23
Learning that Pilate had condemned Jesus to death, Claudia Procula left in secrecy and took refuge among the Christians, becoming one of them. After some time she returned to Pilate and so had gone with him to Rome.
Do not condemn her also in my sin; but pardon us, and make us to be numbered in the portion of Thy righteous.
And, behold, when Pilate had finished his prayer, there came a voice out of the heaven, saying: All the generations and families of the nations shall count thee blessed, because under thee have been fulfilled all those things said about me by the prophets; and thou thyself shalt be seen as my witness at My second appearing, when I shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel, and those that have not owned My name. And the prefect struck off the head of Pilate; and behold, an Angel of the Lord received it. And his wife Procla, seeing the Angel coming and receiving his head, being filled with joy herself also, immediately gave up the ghost, and was buried along with her husband [by the will and good pleasure of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be the glory of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen].
The truth is, Pilate isand has been since his death nearly two thousand years agowaiting in the place where the righteous were awaiting the coming of Christ at His crucifixion. When the Lord Jesus shall be born again upon the earth Pilate will also then be born on the earth and shall come to Him for true salvation.
1) Matthew 4:7 [Go back]
4) Psalms 118:24 [Go back]
5) John 11:1-45 [Go back]
6) John 14:12 [Go back]
7) John 7:38 Belly is the Old English translation of the word meaning inmost parts. [Go back]
8) I Peter 3:18-20 [Go back]
9) Psalms 68:18 [Go back]
10) The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (II Corinthians 3:6) [Go back]
11) Philippians 4:7 [Go back]
12) Luke 24:32 [Go back]
13) I Timothy 2:4 [Go back]
14) Ezekiel 33:10,11 [Go back]
15) Genesis 5:21-24 [Go back]
16) Hebrews 11:5 [Go back]
17) II Kings 2:1-14 [Go back]
18) Revelation 11:3-12 [Go back]
19) Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (Matthew 3:9) [Go back]
20) Acts 13:26-28 [Go back]
21) I Corinthians 2:7,8 [Go back]
22) Acts 4:7 [Go back]
23) Matthew 27:19 [Go back]
Unknown Lives of Jesus and Mary
- Chapter One–The Protoevangelium Of Saint James
- Chapter Two–The Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus and Mary
- Chapter Three–The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary
- Chapter Four–The History of Anna, The Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Chapter Five–The Gospel of Thomas
- Chapter Six–The Infancy of the Savior
- Chapter Seven, part 1–The Ladakh Manuscript
- Chapter Seven, part 2–The Ladakh Manuscript
- Chapter Eight, part 1–The Gospel Of Nicodemus
- Chapter Eight, part 2 –The Gospel Of Nicodemus
- Chapter Nine–The Death of Pilate, Who Condemned Jesus
- Chapter Ten–The Narrative of Joseph
- Chapter Eleven–The Book of John Concerning the Falling Asleep of Mary
- Chapter Twelve–Miscellaneous Sources
- Chapter Thirteen–Afterword