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Page 4

Some Errors of Dogmatic Religion

Perspective by Tony Bisson

Thoughts Concerning Theological
Concepts, Comments And Objections

Contents Of Page 4

Dogma does not want humanity to know about Divine Law

Probably the saddest mistranslation in history

They have robbed humanity of the Aeon of aeons


Free-will has a greater purpose than accepting one particular dogma

A selfish and unthinking attitude which denies the Mission of Christ

Perfection comes after aeons of evolution and not instantly

"Christian Spiritualists are denying God's sweetest gift"?

"Even if a shining angel should preach a different gospel"?

They are preaching their own gospel

Page Four

The Dogma Does Not Want
Humanity To Know About Divine Law

An unfortunate fault with the "be saved or be damned" dogma is that the retribution-and-reward aspect of the inviolable Law of Consequences is disguised and made of non-effect.

The pedantic Fundamentalist claim that a soul is saved by faith (in what really is a belief in a metaphysical concept) which they have derived from words in the Bible in conjunction with their own experiences with the supernormal activities of the Spirit. In their concept, they claim the soul is saved by faith and not by works. But, in this context, their faith is not actually in God (which would then enable them to work out their own salvation by God's grace), but rather their faith is in a concept, i.e. that the Master was a human sacrifice which makes them "saved" and instantly perfect if they just believe in such a concept.

This does not of course mean that the Literalists do not place faith in God, but rather their faith in salvation (their concept of salvation) pivots completely around accepting that a human sacrifice was made by Jesus to enable them to be made perfect (simply on the basis of acceptance of that fact without anything else, namely 'works', being involved). The pedant claims that 'works' cannot bring salvation at all, but it is faith in the acceptance of a single concept derived from a single event which in fact brings them salvation.

However, the Literalists either conveniently or unwittingly ignore the many statements in the Sacred Record which assert the opposite to their belief. Many Biblical statements tell us that we must "work out our own salvation", and that we do indeed develop spiritually or involve according to our works. For instance, here are some statements which show this quite clearly i.e. that their is an inviolable and unalterable Law of Consequences...

Divine Law

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven...For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
Luke 6:37
"...be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that he shall also reap..."
"...every man's work shall be made manifest...if any man's work abide...he shall receive a reward. If any man's work be burned (destroyed) he shall suffer loss..."
1 Cor.3:13-15
"...that everyone may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
2 Cor.5:10
"...God will render to every man according to his deeds..."
"...The Son of man...shall reward every man according to his works..."
"...And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man as his work shall be."
"...dead were judged according to their works..."

Dogmatic teachings which put doctrine before character development have misunderstood the meaning and purpose of religion.

As for the "everlasting punishment" doctrine where the majority of good people spend eternity in Hell for failing to accept a doctrine, this is also a slur upon the God who is Love Itself. Jesus did not come to save just a few, but He died for the whole "world". The hells are a remedial pruning ground for those who live against the laws of God. But Christ will seek the lost sheep until it is found. Certainly Christ warns very deeply about the abuse of the freewill and the opposition to the laws of God, knowing the anguish which the soul must undergo in the hells of man's own making, but real nevertheless. But this does not mean that the hells are everlasting or that God creates life only to allow it never to be saved in all eternity.

God is not a derranged Magistrate, but rather He has tried over and over again to save man from the consequences of violating those most merciful laws which He brought into being for the raising up and guiding of His children. The laws cannot be changed, they are based on Love and Love is the Source of all Life. The Literalists should come back into the Fold of Truth instead of diminishing the protection afforded to His children by the warnings about the consequences of violating the laws of Love.

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Matthew 25:46

Probably The Saddest Mistranslation In History

The unfortunate rendering is:
"These shall go away into everlasting punishment".

However, the true rendering should be:
"These shall go away into age-long pruning".
"These shall go away into age-lasting chastisement".

Why is the exposure of this mistranslation so important? Because it changes the Nature of our Father, the Divine Parent, our God, from one of a malicious, callous and thoughtless tyrant into an always true, wise, faithful and ever-loving Supreme Being.

NB. The majority of the Greek constructions used in this synopsis were originally transliterated by the Reverend Arthur Chambers, Associate of King's College, London; Vicar of Brockenhurst, Hants. at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the main thrust of this synopsis is developed from his books "Problems of the Spiritual" and "Our Life After Death".

Note: This article is followed (further down this page) by an enlightening extract from "Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of The Christian Church During its First Five Hundred Years" by Rev. J.W. Hanson D.D.

Also of possible interest concerning objections to Universal Salvation is this article:
"Universal Salvation is a 'Heresy'!"

There is a mistranslation in Matthew 25:46 which needs to be analysed. This analysis of the mistranslation of Matthew 25:46 is considered with the assumption that Christ Jesus actually said the words recorded in Matthew, and that what was written in Matthew is not the author's own personal interpretation of what he assumed to be true but that he actually heard Christ Jesus say those exact words, or that another person's account of Christ's words was literally exact when given to the author.

As a mistranslation and misinterpretation, it is one which has satisfied man since the original Greek was translated into Latin. The mistranslation is of two words: "everlasting punishment", and when put in the context of the sentence, the unfortunate result is this: "These shall go away into everlasting punishment". However, the true rendering is: "These shall go away into age-long pruning" (or "...age-lasting chastisement").

"Everlasting punishment" should read "age-long pruning". The Greek word for an "age" is: aion1, which is the noun from which the adjective: aionios (aionios) is derived. The word "aionios" means "age-long", but this word has been mistranslated as "everlasting".

But what word or words could have been used to denote "everlastingness"? There is the word: aei, an adverb = ever, always, for ever. With the article, this word was used to express unendingness: unending time (the unending time; i.e. eternity). Also: immortals = those existing forever; i.e. the immortals. Moreover, this word: aei, conjoined with other words, imports into the latter the idea of non-ending. Thus: ever-budding = ever-budding; ever-sprouting = ever-sprouting; perpetual generation = perpetual generation - and so on.

Therefore, if our Lord had said what the Traditionalist translators claim i.e. "These shall pass away into everlasting punishment", then instead of saying: age-long pruning (These shall go away into an age-long pruning), our Lord could have said: unending_vengeance to mean: "These shall go away into the unending vengeance or punishment" - which would have left no doubt in the mind of any person as to the signification of the intended meaning - truly and literally unending. But Matthew did not write that because our Lord did not say such a thing.

There is another Greek word which the New Testament writers actually have used to convey the sense of literal unendingness or that which is truly everlasting. It is the word: aidios (aidios), an adjective derived from aei - ever - ever. Consequently there can be no question as to its signification being "everlasting". This word is used to describe God's Power and Divinity in Rom.1:20, which of course are eternal and everlasting i.e. everlasting divinity, the translation of which is given in the Revised Version as "His everlasting power and divinity".

The word aidios (aidios) is commonly employed by the writers of the New Testament: aidios forever = "for ever", while exists everlastingly was a phrase employed to denote "that which exists everlastingly". Moreover, the noun formed from this word is aidios eternity, which is the Greek word for "Eternity". But the word employed to convey the length of time when referring to "punishment" was not aidios (aidios = forever = without end) but was in fact aionios (aionios = age-long = long but terminable period), a word which is used hundreds of times in the Bible to denote a terminable period and also in comparative literature (Josephus, the historian uses both aidios (aidios) and aionios (aionios) to demonstrate literal endlessness and terminableness respectively).

If our Lord or the Bible writers had desired to leave no doubt concerning the mistranslated passage under question, it would have been perfectly simple to convey that unthinkable and non-Divine significance of a literal "everlasting punishment" by writing everlasting punishment (utilising aidios).

Even supposing that the word aionios (aionios) was to be used to convey a sense of "everlastingness" in an emphatic manner, its meaning does not denote a length of time which literally has no end. "Aionios" is used in the Bible to be a descriptive term for things which may perhaps exist for a relatively lengthy period but which ultimately do have an end - it is conditioned by the noun it is used with. This adjective "everlasting" is used today to emphasise a perhaps lengthy period of time by utilising it as a metaphor in a purely allegorical sense; we utilise the word "everlasting" to describe things which are not literally everlasting. For example, it might be said: "Her fingers were worn to the bone by the everlasting toil"; or perhaps: "His thirst was unbearable on his everlasting journey through the desert". Every one knows that the word everlasting used in this sense does not literally mean everlasting - the adjective is conditioned by its associated noun. Yet the highly efficient Greek language offered the early Christian speakers and writers quite adequate adjectives to distinguish between a literal endlessness: aidios - (aidios), and a known or unknown period which may occasionally appear relatively interminable before it is over - but which most certainly does have an end at some stage: aionios - (aionios).

To such poor souls in the darkness of aionion kolasin (age-long pruning) who have so crushed the Spirit within that no light may reach them, their hell might seem everlasting. But by God's most merciful provision, those who took the journey long ago and who have climbed the steep hill to God, take of what gifts and light they have made their own and seek to raise those in the darkness (but the freewill cannot be interfered with and still many refuse to face the light until further pruning and correction has taken place through suffering).

Etymologically, the words "aionios" and "aidios" possess a perceptible disparity because they have different roots - roots pertaining to "age": aion1, and "for ever": aei - ever, respectively. They are both used to convey the sense of lengthy periods of time, but the inference of "aionios", because it is derived from "age", is different to that of "aidios" because it is derived from "for ever". Even "aidios" with its sense of literal endlessness has been utilised to emphasise a point i.e. that "sinning in knowledge" has far worse consequences than "sinning in ignorance", as can be seen when this word is employed to describe the result of evolved spiritual beings sinning (Jude 6). "Aidios" can impinge upon the territory of "aionios" to emphasise a point, and in this case aidios is as strong a metaphor as can be devised - it is used rhetorically.

(With regard to the implications involved concerning the correct meaning of 'aionios' and its import upon 'everlasting life', see below 'Humanity has lost the Aeon of Aeons'.)

Also to be considered is the true meaning of the word: kolasin used by our Lord in His phrase: age-long pruning (These shall go away into an age-long pruning). This word kolasin means "cutting back with a view to improvement" or "correctional chastisement", which fully describes what happens to the soul in the hells as the soul is purified through suffering before an initial repentance, and after repentance as the poor soul must progressively climb the steep hill to God from the darkness, depending on the depths to which it has sunk, up through the twilight, and towards the ever-increasing Light.

This is explained in symbolic terms in Christ's parable about the "wicked servant" who was forgiven his debt, but failed to forgive the debts of another. With a wicked servant's physical death, the inviolable law of consequences which cannot be circumvented, ensures the delivering of "him to his tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him" (Matt.18:34). As painful as this chastisement may be and as endless as it might seem, God's ultimate Plan cannot fail, and after perhaps a long Aeon of time, the prodigal son shall return and be welcomed back into the fold with open arms, and God's Love shall be demonstrated once again.

There should be no doubt that a subject (kolasin) which is "correction" cannot have an adjective which denotes "everlastingness" to describe it, because "correction" or "pruning" is something which is done with a view to improvement - to correcting that which is incorrect, and there would be no need for improvement if "punishment" was to be applied eternally.

Humanity Has Lost The Aeeon Of Aeons

A difficulty which presents itself to some traditionalists is this: If the word aionios (aionios) does not mean "everlasting" or "eternal" in regard to punishment, then neither does it in regard to reward and blessedness; seeing that the same word is used in reference to righteousness - "The righteous shall go into an age-long life". What basis do we have for a belief in everlasting life, if in this and similar passages in the New Testament only an Aeonial or age-long life is promised?

Our Saviour Christ in His reiterated promises as to this Aeonial-life, and the writers of the Epistles in their constant reference to the same thing, were focussing their mental gaze upon that great Epoch which St Paul in Ephesians 3:21 describes as "...the Aeon of the Aeons" - aon-of-aons (but which rarely receieves a correct translation).

Note: That the early Greek-speaking Christians understood, beyond any doubt or confusion, that aionios was associated with an Aeon or age, is unquestionable by anyone who studies the subject seriously and with an unbiased mind. "Macrina the Blessed", born A.D. 327 to Christian parents, employs the word aionion in its proper sense of ages. On Phil. ii:10, Macrina declares (Life and Resurrection, p. 68): "When the evil has been extirpated in the long cycles of the Aeons nothing shall be left outside the boundaries of good". The German version translates "the long cycles of the Aeons" as "centuries" (jahrhunderte), which clearly illustrates how an intended meaning is irrevocably altered by human misinterpretation .

This is a particular Aeon, the great Aeon, the consummating Age of all the ages, the Age whose closing shall see the fulfilment of God's "Purpose of the Aeons" (Eph.3:11), i.e. "the Restitution of all things." It will be an Aeon of blessedness and perfected being and life to those in affinity with Christ. "I give unto them this Aeonial (aionios) life" said He.

But this Aeon of blessedness and perfected life for the righteous will include its epochs of pruning and disciplining. Though it will be a terminable period, it will be a vast one, as indicated by Paul's words: "all the generations of the Aeon of Aeons" or "...Aeons of the Aeon" - aon-of-aons - which the Traditionalists translate as "all ages, world without end" (Eph.3:21); and Christ spoke of "Aeonial death" and "Aeonial pruning", indicating an ongoing process of painful soul-purification for those who are dead spiritually, contrasted with living the Christ-Life and progessing spiritually with Christ. This great Aeon will close only when the Purpose of God in Christ shall have been accomplished; when the epochs of pruning and death shall have passed away, and the "lost" and "dead" beings shall have been found and made alive to God.

Note: The earliest Christians who came immediately after the earthly sojourn of Christ, said in the first recorded creed (not the "Apostles' Creed", so named, which was not formed until between 250 A.D. and 350 A.D. in its earliest form): "I believe in the Aeonian life" which was shortly revised to "I believe in the life of the coming Aeon". "Endless punishment" or "everlasting punishment" simply do not get mentioned. This is because the early Christians - the Christians who were closest to the Cause of the Christian Religion, Jesus Christ - were Universalists, as was the Saviour Himself. This Universalism was prevalent amongst Greek-speaking Christians until, in the sixth century, the stern hierarchical Roman influence and language corrupted the original beautiful and sweet Christian thought. Indeed, before this, from Clement of Alexandria and onwards for three hundred years, Universal Salvation was taught.

To those who pass into that great Aeon, identified with Christ, it will mean an Aeon of enhanced and superabundant life; a life which will place the participators of it beyond the reach of Aeonial pruning or Aeonial "death". That is what our Lord meant when He said: "If a man keep My word, he shall not see death all through the Aeon" - through the aion - (John 8:51).

It may be asked: "If that great Aeon will close, will not the life and blessedness of that Aeon also come to an end?" No, that cannot be. Like a mighty river which has gathered the waters from the smaller streams and brooks, and then charges itself into the great ocean, so the "Aeon of Aeons (Eph.3:21)" will merge into Eternity; and the life pertaining to that Aeon - because it is from Perfection Himself, because it is God-life and Christ-life - will last for ever.

The great Aeon of Christ Jesus' Purpose shall finally achieve its fulfilment and to Christ's satisfaction (Isaiah 53:11), "...when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father" (1 Cor. 15:24), thus in "the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ (Eph.1:10) .

We do not base our immortality upon the promise of the Aeonial life (as grand as that promise is); but upon the fact that linked to Him we are linked to God. The soul shall have thrown off layer upon layer of that which had been blocking the Spirit, the soul shall have thinned the conditions of its garment (the spiritual body) to allow penetration into the Light in its higher states of awful purity becoming ever more "fashioned unto the likeness of Christ" - and that cannot know any ending. "Because I live," said Jesus, "you shall live also" (John 14:19).

What has been said will be sufficient to show how superficial is the argument, that, in rejecting "everlasting" as the translation of the word aionios (aionios) we demolish not only the awful doctrine of everlasting loss and misery, but also that of everlasting life and blessedness. When the truth is looked at with honesty, the Literalistic Fundamentalists and Traditionalists base their salvation upon this word "aionios" (although they do not realise this and would claim otherwise) because the Fundamentalists draw their theory of salvation whilst regarding this word to mean 'everlasting without end' - and therefore in their minds one either passes one way to Hell from which there is no return, or alternatively, the other "direction" - and this being based upon a mere belief: 'being saved or being damned' - damned everlastingly without end, no less.

For if this word literally signifies "everlasting", then most good people are doomed for ever to a hideous "punishment" and that is an erroneous, immoral and disgusting belief. But if this word is considered to mean what it signified to those of Christ's earthly sojourn, when it is used to describe passing things, then we may truly begin to enter into understanding the Love and Foresight of God.

We would truly need a pity which is Divine, if either the chance for all of God's creatures to live for ever in perfect harmony, joy and love - or for a large portion of good people to be subjected to eternal torment - was based upon a word!...the word "aionios", which is used in the Bible to describe things which have come into being and have gone out of being, such as systems of social and national life, the Aaronic order of priesthood, and the gates of a temple (Psalms 24:7).

The Translators have always overlooked this important difference for two reasons: Firstly, they were without a true understanding of the early Greek language with its words denoting endlessness and periods of time, and indeed the philosophic meaning of its root, which ultimately is an antithesis of time, as it is used to describe certain periods, i.e. the Mosaic era, etc. - something which has a beginning and an end - but not time itself. Secondly, because they have misinterpreted Christ's teaching of Universal Salvation and, through dogmatisation, have assumed salvation to be limited to only a predestined few, due to the overwhelming Roman and non-Christian influences imported into the original beauty of early Christianity.

The above synopsis draws its theme (and Greek constructs and translations) from the writings of the Reverend Arthur Chambers, Associate of King's College, London; Vicar of Brockenhurst, Hants., found in two of his books "Problems of the Spiritual" and "Our Life After Death".

NB: Many who believe in Universal Salvation also do not believe that there is a place (Hell or the hells) where those with much so-called evil in their souls receive a form of purification in order that they can live according to God in the Spirit. However, this is not the case with Greater World Christian Spiritualists who accept the spiritual philosophy or who might have had experiences with fallen souls perhaps, who most definitely believe in the existence of hells of varying evil where, through untold suffering and much effort, it is possible to traverse from one hell to another hell less "evil", and so on, explaining how God is "the Saviour of all men" and also how God shall indeed "draw all men" unto Him, and indeed how universal redemption has been ordained by God for each and every one from the very beginning. This is so very much in line with the private thoughts of the earliest Universalists such as Origen, who spoke of the "medicinal" value of the sufferings in Hell.

Tony Bisson

The Following Is Extracted From:
"Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of The Christian Church During its First Five Hundred Years"
(And Showing The Influence Of Greek Mythology And Pagan Philosophy On Christian Doctrine )
by Rev. J.W. Hanson D.D.

Origin of Endless Punishment

"When our Lord spoke, the doctrine of unending torment was believed by many of those who listened to his words, and they stated it in terms and employed others, entirely differently, in describing the duration of punishment, from the terms afterward used by those who taught universal salvation and annihilation, and so gave to the terms in question the sense of unlimited duration.

"For example, the Pharisees, according to Josephus, regarded the penalty of sin as torment without end, and they stated the doctrine in unambiguous terms. They called it eirgmos aidios (eternal imprisonment) and timorion adialeipton (endless torment), while our Lord called the punishment of sin aionion kolasin (age-long chastisement).

Meaning of Scriptural Terms

"The language of Josephus is used by the profane Greeks, but is never found in the New Testament connected with punishment. Josephus, writing in Greek to Jews, frequently employs the word that our Lord used to define the duration of punishment (aionios), but he applies it to things that had ended or that will end.1 Can it be doubted that our Lord placed his ban on the doctrine that the Jews had derived from the heathen by never using their terms describing it, and that he taught a limited punishment by employing words to define it that only meant limited duration in contemporaneous literature? Josephus used the word aionos with its current meaning of limited duration. He applies it to the imprisonment of John the Tyrant; to Herod's reputation; to the glory acquired by soldiers; to the fame of an army as a "happy life and aionian glory." He used the words as do the Scriptures to denote limited duration, but when he would describe endless duration he uses different terms. Of the doctrine of the Pharisees he says:

'They believe that wicked spirits are to be kept in an eternal imprisonment (eirgmon aidion). The Pharisees say all souls are incorruptible, but while those of good men are removed into other bodies those of bad men are subject to eternal punishment" (aidios timoria). Elsewhere he says that the Essenes, "allot to bad souls a dark, tempestuous place, full of never-ceasing torment (timoria adialeipton), where they suffer a deathless torment" (athanaton timorion). Aidion and athanaton are his favorite terms for duration, and timoria (torment) for punishment.'

Philo's Use of the Words

"Philo, who was contemporary with Christ, generally used aidion to denote endless, and aionian temporary duration. He uses the exact phraseology of Matt. xxv: 46, precisely as Christ used it: "It is better not to promise than not to give prompt assistance, for no blame follows in the former case, but in the latter there is dissatisfaction from the weaker class, and a deep hatred and Aeonian punishment (chastisement) from such as are more powerful." Here we have the precise terms employed by our Lord, which show that aionian did not mean endless but did mean limited duration in the time of Christ. Philo adopts athanaton, ateleuteton or aidion to denote endless, and aionian temporary duration. In one place occurs this sentence concerning the wicked: "to live always dying, and to undergo, as it were, an immortal and interminable death." 2

"Stephens, in his valuable "Thesaurus," quotes from a Jewish work: "These they called aionios, hearing that they had performed the sacred rites for three entire generations." 3 This shows conclusively that the expression "three generations" was then one full equivalent of aionian.

"Now, these eminent scholars were Jews who wrote in Greek, and who certainly knew the meaning of the words they employed, and they give to the Aeonian words the sense of indefinite duration, to be determined in any case by the scope of the subject.

"Had our Lord intended to inculcate the doctrine of the Pharisees, he would have used the terms by which they described it. But his word defining the duration of punishment was aionian, while their words are aidion, adialeipton, and athanaton.

"Instead of saying with Philo and Josephus, thanaton athanaton, deathless or immortal death; eirgmon aidion, eternal imprisonment; aidion timorion, eternal torment; and thanaton ateleuteton, interminable death, he used aionion kolasin, an adjective in universal use for limited duration, and a noun denoting suffering issuing in amendment.

"The word by which our Lord describes punishment is the word kolasin, which is thus defined: 'Chastisement, punishment.' 'The trimming of the luxuriant branches of a tree or vine to improve it and make it fruitful.' 'The act of clipping or pruning - restriction, restraint, reproof, check, chastisement.' 'The kind of punishment which tends to the improvement of the criminal is what the Greek philosopher called kolasis or chastisement.' 'Pruning, checking, punishment, chastisement, correction.' 'Do we want to know what was uppermost in the minds of those who formed the word for punishment? The Latin poena or punio, to punish, the root pu in Sanscrit, which means to cleanse, to purify, tells us that the Latin derivation was originally formed, not to express mere striking or torture, but cleansing. correcting, delivering from the stain of sin.' 4

Use of Gehenna

"So of the place of punishment (gehenna). The Jews at the time of Christ never understood it to denote endless punishment. The reader of Farrar's 'Mercy and Judgment,' and 'Eternal Hope,' and Windet's 'De Vita functorum statu,' will find any number of statements from the Talmudic and other Jewish authorities, affirming in the most explicit language that Gehenna was understood by the people to whom our Lord addressed the word as a place or condition of temporary duration. They employed such terms as these 'The wicked shall be judged in Gehenna until the righteous say concerning them - We have seen enough -' 5 'Gehenna is nothing but a day in which the impious will be burned.' 'After the last judgment Gehenna exists no longer.' 'There will hereafter be no Gehenna.' 6

"These quotations might be multiplied indefinitely to demonstrate that the Jews to whom our Lord spoke regarded Gehenna as of limited duration, as did the Christian Fathers. Origen in his reply to Celsus (VI, xxv) gives an exposition of Gehenna, explaining its usage in his day. He says it is an analogue of the well-known valley of the Son of Hinnom, and signifies the fire of purification.

"Now observe: Christ carefully avoided the words in which his auditors expressed endless punishment (aidios, timoria and adialeiptos), and used terms they did not use with that meaning (aionios kolasis), and employed the term which by universal consent among the Jews has no such meaning (Gehenna); and as his immediate followers and the earliest of the Fathers pursued exactly the same course, is it not demonstrated that they intended to be understood as he was understood? 7

"Professor Plumptre in a letter concerning Canon Farrar's sermons, says: 'There were two words which the Evangelists might have used: kolasis, timoria. Of these, the first carries with it, by the definition of the greatest of Greek ethical writers, the idea of a reformatory process, (Aristotle, Rhet. I, x, 10-17). It is inflicted 'for the sake of him who suffers it.' The second, on the other hand, describes a penalty purely vindictive or retributive. St. Matthew chose - if we believe that our Lord spoke Greek - he himself chose the former word, and not the latter.'

"All the evidence conclusively shows that the terms defining punishment - 'everlasting,' 'eternal,' 'Gehenna,' etc., in the Scriptures teach its limited duration, and were so regarded by sacred and profane authors, and that those outside of the Bible who taught unending torment always employed other words than those used by or Lord and his disciples.

"Professor Allen concedes that the great prominence given to 'hell-fire' in Christian preaching is a modern innovation. He says: 'There is more 'blood-theology' and 'hell-fire,' that is, the vivid setting-forth of everlasting torment to terrify the soul, in one sermon of Jonathan Edwards, or one harangue at a modern 'revival,' than can be found in the whole body of homilies and epistles through all the dark ages put together. Set beside more modern dispensations the Catholic position of this period (middle ages) is surprisingly merciful and mild.' 8"

A complete in-depth study and conclusively thorough exposure of this mistranslation by the Reverend John Wesley Hanson D.D. can be found in His book:
"The Greek Word 'Aion - Aionios' Translated 'Everlasting - Eternal' In The Holy Bible, Shown To Denote Limited Duration".

"Jesus Christ the righteous...is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2)
"...who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Tim.2:6)
"The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" (1 John 4:14)
"We trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially those that believe" (1 Tim.4:10)
"The lord is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish" (2 Pet.3:9)
"The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men" (Titus 2:11)

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"What Is Meant By Repentance"?

The way the word 'repent' has been used by some has caused misunderstanding and some disunity through dogmatization. Many naming themselves Christians claim that 'repenting' is of no value at all unless it is associated only with accepting a metaphysical concept, i.e. that 'repenting' is possessing the belief that one cannot be purified (sanctified) in the spiritual sense unless one believes and accepts that the actual dying upon the Cross of the physical body of Jesus is the only means whereby sanctification, hence salvation, is possible.

There is a fuller way to look at repentance and salvation than that offered by the Fundamentalist, and it is a point of understanding which is very fine and yet enables our perception of God to be one of true Love with perfect Justice, not that promoted by the Fundamentalist.

It is not being said that Christ did not shed His Blood on the Cross for the whole world, for all mankind, for that He most certainly did. It is being said that the mere acceptance of a metaphysical concept does not make one perfect and is not the sole reason for repentance. This is the crux of the matter - the Fundamantalist claims that repentance is accepting that perfection (their concept of salvation) comes from accepting that Christ was an altar sacrifice to make them instantly perfect should they accept the concept itself. This is what they mean by repentance. In effect, repenting and affirming the Dogmatist's belief have been blended as one and are inseparable, and this is considered to have 'saved' that soul, which is now 'made perfect' and fit to reside in the highest Heaven of spiritual power and purity. However, this is mere wishful thinking.

This teaching leaves much to be desired with regard to the truth in full. Indeed, our strength, as Christian Spiritualists, lies in the Cross - not in the dead Christ, but in the living One; not in the Cross of sorrow, but in the Cross of joy; not in Gethsemane or Calvary, but in His glorious rising, and the joy which was cast out upon a wondering world.

That deep step was cut by Him so that those who have lost their way might see the gleam of the shining step, hasten their footsteps and climb in turn. Indeed, Christ died such a terrible death so that we would remember Him; simply passing away naturally would not have had such an everlasting and deep influence.

Certainly, the Literalist is blessed if he or she turns from any way which they have been following which acts in an antagonistic manner to the laws of the Spirit; and this blessing can occur when they believe their own limited and unique method of what they call 'repentance'. But they fail to realise that God wants all of His children to come back and stop opposing the laws of the Spirit, because by violating the evolutionary spiritual laws God's children draw to themselves misery and anguish which must be worked out in time to come.

True repentance is feeling great compunction for wrongdoing, and then acting upon that very real remorse. There is no thought or act coming as a consequence of deep and genuine sorrow for wrongdoing, which does not bring upon the child of God blessings and spiritual progression in the real sense. Jesus showed quite clearly that loving God and seeking to help our neighbour in a selfless way (without the wish for material reward or the craving for the adoration of those who know not God) is the way forward. Being sorry for wrongdoing and seeking to do to ones neighbour as one would have done to oneself, quite simply, is all that God asks of His children.

The Lord God wants all of His children to return from ignorance and spiritual isolation and to enter the peace and joy which He has prepared for them, and He tries many methods and ways of bringing His children nearer to His all-encompassing love. That great act of redemption (the Cross) by Jesus Christ, enabled the children of God to undergo a powerful contrition (deep, deep sorrow for wrongdoing) out of love for God, because God's love for His own children was now demonstrated in such a conclusive way by the fact that He would live as man, and more than that, even die at the hand of His own selfish children for their sake.

This is in contrast to attrition (sorrow through fear of punishment for wrongdoing) which was prevalent amongst Old Testament peoples before that most generous act of redemption of the Lord God coming Himself in the form of His own Christ as Jesus, with the example and teaching which came with Him, as well as the enormous effect that that act upon the Cross has had and will have throughout the ages.

Repentance comes when the soul is illuminated by the goodness of the Spirit, thus the darkness within the soul is recognised as something horrible and undesirable. This repentance can be at any time and can come in varying degrees of remorse. Realising that God died as the Man Jesus upon the Cross in order to reveal His unceasing love for oneself certainly provides the strongest and greatest catalyst for repentance; but it must be remembered that any real remorse and genuine sorrow for wrongdoing represents repentance - and this is pleasing and welcome in the sight of God.

"We are saved only through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ!" or a similar variation, is perhaps the most common utterance of the Pedant who claims that his or her dogma is "the only way". But the Christian Spiritualist has a different interpretation of the "redemptive power of Jesus Christ".

The Christian Spiritualist knows the meaning of the "redemptive power of Jesus the Christ" because the Christian Spiritualist learns about God's Unconditional Love. Where Love is, forgiveness and unforgiveness have no place, and God is Love. The Pedant says that God does not forgive unless there is repentance by the sinner. The Christian Spiritualist says that God loves all sinners alike because God's love is unconditional - but the sinner must feel remorse in order to be able to consciously rectify his or her errors against Good. It is this Unconditional Love which is "the redemptive power of Jesus the Christ".

The Christian Spiritualist knows that the way to "put things right" is by repentance and service to others (expiation), and it is by God's grace through His unconditional love that this is possible. So in God's truth, forgiveness does not depend upon repentance because Love is always unconditional and Divine Love transcends a human emotion of forgiveness or the withholding of forgiveness - by not repenting for wrongdoing, man is simply barring himself from the joys of a life which is spiritual and whole; unrepentant man builds the barriers between himself and the countless gifts willingly given by an ever-giving generous Being. As the Spiritual Christ is that part of God which enters creation out of the purest Perfection of the Godhead, a sinner is "saved through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ".

The manifestation of God's Christ as Jesus of Nazareth upon this little planet was to display God's love by action and example as well as teach about it. This was literally a physical manifestation of the "redemptive power of the Christ of the Godhead in Jesus Christ". However, "the redemptive power of Jesus the Christ" is not limited to that physical manifestation; indeed, Christ was before the beginning of the world and His redemptive power has always been and shall always be.

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Freewill Has A Greater Purpose Than
Accepting One Particular Dogma

"But God has given us freewill" the Fundamentalist may proclaim and continue..."you have the choice to accept God or reject Him, and that is the reason for your freewill; it is God who has devised this belief; accept it or be damned!" (according to the extreme Fundamentalist). However, that is their idea of what Truth is and what they consider to be the reason for Christ's coming, but that does not make it the Truth. Here, those who have dogmatized are assuming freewill has been given for the purpose of accepting their own doctrine and dogma i.e. that Christ Jesus was a "blood sacrifice" which gave people unearned spiritual salvation and the right to enter Perfection without any further spiritual development, if they just believe this is so. Freewill was not given by God for that reason at all, for that reason is one which exists only in their own minds.

This concept of a God, who possesses omnipotence and omniscience (which includes foresight) creating life without providing a means for all of that life (His own children and creations) to be redeemed - is a fact which is horrendously fiction. What kind of God, who is omniscient and can see the future, would knowingly create life in order that much of that life was to be subjected to punishment, torture, despair, anguish and pain for ever and ever without end - and this, we are told, on the basis of a belief rather than a way of life! Such a God must surely have tendencies which even the greatest of tormentors would be proud to possess.

This concept of God makes sure that most of that life is to be lost to the "Devil" (a name, incidentally, which describes the powers of darkness collectively, for there are many wicked souls equally capable of being attributed with the name of "Devil" who are always scheming among themselves to overthrow whoever might be in the position of power at the time in whatever region of whatever hell it might be).

Again, that freewill should be considered to have been given solely for the purpose of accepting or rejecting a point of theology, albeit, man-made, is not only erroneous, but detracts from the real purpose that God has given freewill. Freewill has been given for a twofold purpose - to choose aright, and to use those choices to help others - but man has, over the ages, used that freewill in a threefold way, the third being the abuse and misuse of that gift. The consequences of this abuse are all too obvious to the person who has the will to see, and so man needs to be saved from himself. The Cross was absolutely essential to enable man to understand his God's intentions towards him, and to create the necessary power and influence so that the man might see and grasp the path that he must follow if he should wish to retrieve that which he had thrown away when he started abusing that precious gift of freewill The Cross was necessary to lay down the Christ Way for man to follow.

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A Selfish And Unthinking Attitude
Which Denies The Mission Of Christ

The fact of all this, that God's own children are to be lost to "Satan", actually means the ultimate blasphemy - Satan is more powerful than God, because God cannot save His children from the Devil. Such a concept beggars belief. The pedants, with their blinkered literalism, claim: "But you must believe the word of God as it is written; you must not choose the bits you like and ignore the bits you do not like!" - and yet in the same breath they are choosing the bits that suit themselves by claiming that those who do not accept their dogmas are to be handed over to the Devil to be tormented because they believed in a God who "is love", when in fact Jesus came for the very opposite reason, i.e. that He might destroy the works of the devil - "The Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1John 3:8.)". God's promise through His prophets of ultimate universal salvation is made of none effect if Jesus does not ultimately destroy the works of the Devil.

In short, if, as the Literalist claims, most of God's children are to be delivered to the Devil to be tortured forever without end, then God must tolerate evil forever. And if annihilation is to be the lot of God's children, then why torture them first for thousands and thousands of years simply because they thought differently to the Literalists. Such a "God" is surely related to "Satan" and seems to share many of his characteristics. Such a one can hardly be attributed with the attributes of compassion or mercy, such as those demonstrated and portrayed by Jesus.

And all this horror, we would be told by those who believe such a thing, is to be brought about even for those who follow the way laid down by Jesus but refuse to believe that their God is actually capable of such atrocities and abominations, and therefore have not followed His Will! Such a concept is almost unbelievable among civilised people. A sensitive and moral person should have no difficulty in knowing the meaning of "God's mercy endureth forever".

The attitude of those who follow the selfish concept that the elitist chosen few are the only ones to be saved, is such that they many naturally become quick to condemn (and create offence). They have misunderstood Christ and God's unfailing love. What may be all right for a few million people, with regard to the character of their God, is not all right for many others. And in the meantime, many would-be Christians keep their distance out of an inner sense of decency.

Freewill has a much greater role to play in God's great Scheme of things than has been realised by the exponents of the "be saved or be damned" dogma and those others who have similar elitist designs. Freewill has not been given to us so that we can accept a dogma created from the minds of men, but freewill is with us so that we may use it aright for ever, to utilise the gift of individuality correctly, to use it for helping and serving others, to create beauty for God and as well as for His children, to use it as it was meant to be used and not in a selfish or destructive way. Freewill was not given simply to accept a dogmatic concept.

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Perfection Comes After Aeons
Of Evolution And Not Instantly

"But God sent His Son so that we might be saved" the fundamentalists may claim. Indeed, but we are not instantly saved by a one-time acceptance of that mighty Redeemer's death on a Cross; we are saved through being given the redemptive power to scale the heights of God's glorious Realms of ever-increasing beauty.

If those who had built up the Truth from their minds instead of from their hearts (the priests of two thousand years ago) had been accepted by Jesus and He had preached from their altars, and if He had withheld His deep understanding of the poor, and if He had surrounded Himself with the earthly pomp and splendour which a King is entitled to according to earthly thinking (which He could have done with one thought), and if He had kept silent about the blind hypocrisy which the supposed custodians of the Truth constantly displayed - if Jesus had been like that, then He would never have been crucified. It was man and his selfishness, his ignorance, and his lust for power, which killed Jesus in the flesh. That act was not an act of magic which can turn people into instant saints without imperfection.

This is one of the major errors made by man with his physical outlook on spiritual matters: In short, the Fundamentalist literally assumes that on acceptance of certain facts, i.e. the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, coupled with the acceptance of Him as a personal Saviour - the acceptance of these facts makes one a new being and therefore a soul who immediately qualifies for eternal life in Heaven because Jesus has taken sin away by the act of His death on the Cross; this in contrast to having to go to Hell for not making that initial affirmation. That is where the error lies.

All of this as a whole and viewed in the correct way, is true, except for the part about becoming a perfect spiritual being (or at least one of the "saved" souls) by accepting that idea. Christ's promise of drawing all to Him was one which was "to be testified in due time", and was going to be achieved by showing the soul that he or she is loved by God, and by awakening something within that soul, a right attitude towards life, and therefore a correct direction would be brought about. Compunction and sorrow for working against God and hurting Him and His other creations would be a natural consequence of realising the love of God. Realisation of God's love was to do away with written laws and "write the law in their hearts".

The erroneous idea of instant "sainthood" (as some extremists would say) and an instant salvation based on a single and one-time acceptance of a belief, stems from the beliefs of the people of an earlier time. A cruel set of religious leaders put fear into the people and did not ever give the comfort and enlightenment to those downtrodden people as they were meant to. The Lord God Jehovah was assumed to demand all that was precious to the material mind along with what little they had, and if He was not "happy" He could turn his wrath upon the poor misguided people without a moments notice. Such people were ignorant of any idea at all of a God of love and mercy, and their ignorance and sad circumstances made them highly superstitious in everyday things.

Also, their God was shown to want their precious animals for sacrifice, and this would "assuage" the quickly angered and "jealous" Overseer from cracking the Great Whip. The blood, and therefore the life, so it was assumed, "atoned" for their sins which they thought was the removal of imperfections which they had built up. Those early writers, before they had even had the chance to break free from such heavy indoctrination which coursed through their veins, put down words and gave them to a people of whom they knew the collective mind so well. They put down what they naturally assumed Jesus had died for - to be a blood sacrifice - the last and final one, which made them instantly into saints and therefore the only candidates for entry into Heaven. And therein lies one of the biggest man-made errors found in the Bible and Christianity.

Spiritually, the Supreme Sacrifice is true, and its meaning is further explained when those early Christians were encouraged to "go on increasing in the knowledge of God", indicating so clearly now, that salvation is a process through which one must go. One is really in the process of being saved.

The half-truth of instant salvation is further compounded because many come into contact with part of a spiritual force, which they erroneously assume is what gives them eternal life and will keep them alive forever, misguidedly believing that before this contact they were not in possession of an eternal spirit at all (when in fact they did always have a spirit which was given by God out of Himself). Hence, all that this type of thinker perceives in the Bible is only that which revolves around this concept; and the grander and more glorious, indeed, more Christ-like truth, that Jesus came to save the whole world and not just themselves, just simply makes no sense to them whatsoever. The truth is that Jesus knew that His life, death and resurrection would eventually bring about the renewal and salvation of all souls: "We trust in a living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially those that believe".

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"Christian Spiritualists Are Denying God's Sweetest Gift!"

"But you are throwing God's gift back at Him when you do not accept that Jesus died to clean your soul of sin by that very act!" - claim those who cannot see any other way that God could possibly redeem humanity (referring to a 'blood sacrifice' which is their limited and quite immoral concept of salvation). This is of the same type of objection as: "If Jesus did not die to save us then why did God bother sending His Son to die? It's a disgrace not to accept it!"

However, the stated assertion by the believer in a limited salvation is very narrow-minded - he or she has enclosed the mind in a set of limited beliefs and the bigger picture totally eludes his or her vision. That act - the Cross - was the most spiritually potent event that this world has ever known, and it has had and it is yet to have far-reaching effects.

Probing the unseen mysteries of the Spirit World around us, enables us to gain a little understanding concerning the spiritual effects which are not recognised by those who do not believe that the Spiritual World is around us, particularly those who do not believe in the continuity of life such as literalist Christians who believe in a final resurrection and a heaven-and-hell-forever existence at the "end of time". And in regard to the Cross, its surge of power and its irresistible force has turned to tide of the devolution of the occupants of earth for all time - and its effect is certainly not limited to the earth plane.

The influence of the Cross remains forever and works its power constantly. Today we would be living as beasts in the field were it not for the Cross - no, we do not throw God's Gift back at Him; no, we do not negate the death of Jesus as meaningless.

But, please note, that not accepting that one is given "salvation" through a one-time acceptance of a doctrinal principle (even with all ones heart) and thereby becoming fit to reside in the awful purity of the highest Heaven solely because of that conscious acceptance, does not in any way mean one is throwing anything back at God, because the notion of instant "salvation" is just that - a notion.

Indeed, when the deep decision is made in the mind to follow Christ and to try to live a Christ life, a powerful spiritual change is made, spiritual laws begin to work for the benefit of that soul in a more powerful way. But that does not mean that the good-hearted soul who naturally tries to be as selfless to their neighbour as possible, cannot achieve spiritual purification without being "born again" (or some other name given to a Fundamentalist belief).

Along similar lines as the: "You-are-throwing-God's-gift-of-Jesus-back-in-His-face" objection, people calling themselves Christians who have been thoroughly conditioned by Fundamentalist teachers, often raise the objection: "How do you think God feels when you reject His gift of Jesus?". Well, it needs to be stated in plain language - we are certainly not rejecting God's sweetest Gift of Jesus, merely questioning the manmade doctrine which has been created about the life and death of Jesus.

But there is another aspect to this. We know, because we believe through both experience and teaching, that there is continuity of life after 'death'. This means that the inner person leaves the body of earthly flesh at the phase commonly known as 'death'. That person does not change at all in characteristics with the change of so-called death. It is still the same person, only now living in a different world. If the person has lived a good life and has run the course of their life along the lines which were exemplified by the life of Jesus on earth, then that person will find themselves very much freer in a congenial environment far surpassing anything this earth world can contain, as far as happiness and spiritual beauty go. That person is so overwhelmed with the love of God that he or she wishes with all their heart to work for God.

And one of the many things such people choose to do is return in spirit to the earth and seek to influence, by love, those still in the flesh. They seek to help them to learn lessons and they seek to bring healing to those on earth too. They bring with them spiritual blessings, real tangible spiritual flowers and many beautiful spiritual gifts from the World of Spirit in which they find themselves, and they offer them freely to those on earth. The question needs to be asked of the Fundamentalist: "How do you think these beneficent spirits feel when you reject them as interfering evil spirits?"

Similarly again, quite often when a person dies who is not particularly prepared for an Afterlife, they can be seen clairvoyantly standing by their own grave. Around the grave are the mourning 'survivors' in deep distress at having 'lost' one so dear. But that one so dear is doubly distressed. He or she can actually feel the distress of those relatives and friends who are mourning at the grave. He or she calls out with all their might to those left behind, trying to make them aware that he or she is alive and indeed there in the same place as them. But to no avail. If only the connection could be made, there would be instant healing, as has been seen so many times in Christian Spiritualist churches.

Now, a question also needs to be asked of the Fundamentalist who says that not only do we throw God's gift back in His face, but we also break His laws by using the sacred gift of Spirit Communion, and it is this: "Why do you throw God's gift of Spirit Communion back in His Face, when He allows his children the freedom to return in spirit to the earth plane for their own relief and the relief of those left behind in the flesh?". God never intended that the Spiritual World and the earth plane should be separated - the barrier of murky cloud is solely man's own creation through his constant violation of spiritual laws. Also, another question can be asked of the Fundamentalist: "Why do you insist on telling everybody that it is wrong to acknowledge, by communication, the dearly departed loved one, when it causes them an immense grief to deny that they are here?"

Indeed, a sad state of affairs such misguided teaching has got us all into. There is something clearly wrong with the limitations of the Fundamentalist teaching and it clearly flies in the face of God's wondrous and all-considerate love. His gift of Spirit Communion should be seen as the sacred gift it is, born of Divine Love and Understanding for His own children. A loving parent would not deny such a reviving and healing gift of such reunion, then why think that the Great Heart of all would deny such a thing? Quite the contrary.

So, to put it as simply and briefly as possible, nobody is denying God's Gift of Jesus. The notion that He died as a 'blood sacrifice' to make us perfect on acceptance of a metaphysical belief is the point which is contested. The primary and overall reason for Christ’s appearance, life, death and resurrection was to demonstrate Divine Love, the love which God has for His children. Christ’s death on the Cross exemplifies the extent to which Divine Love will go to prove Unconditional Love to God’s children.

There are many more considerations to be taken into account. One such aspect of Christ’s death on the Cross is the effect such a Sacrifice would have for all time as far as human memory and understanding are concerned. Jesus died on the Cross so that the effect would be so very deep that the world would never be the same again. He would be remembered for all time because of the way He died. Had He not gone that awful way, the way of the Cross, then the effect He desired would never have been. He had to die like that to achieve His goal. Jesus died that most terrible agonising way so that mankind would remember Him. He knew what would happen if He didn't go that way - mankind, with all the material thoughts, would forget Him. He even had to ask us to remember Him in a act of eating bread. No, nobody is denying God's sweetest Gift.

Gregory of Nazianzus, born A.D. 330 (Bishop of Constantinople) was a preserver of the original native Greek teaching of Universal Salvation, before the corruption of a 'limited salvation' entered Christian teaching via Africo-Latin, Pagan and heathen influences. Universal Salvation is the ultimate restoration of all souls "to be testified in due time" (1 Tim. 2:6), to their original pristine spiritual condition, and is not dependent upon a superstitious affirmation of a one-time acceptance of a blood sacrifice for spiritual salvation. Gregory sums up the true Nature of the wonderful Sacrifice given to humanity by our Lord, in two sentences:

"A few drops of blood renew the whole world, and become for all men that which rennet is for milk, uniting and drawing us into one". Christ is "like leaven for the entire mass, and having made that which was damned one with himself, frees the whole from damnation".

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"An Angel Of Light Preaching A Different Gospel"? (2 Cor.11:15)

A problem that the Fundamentalist encounters when told that celestial messengers are dispatched by Christ to minister to mankind (Heb.1:14), is a colourful phrase used by Paul saying that even if an angel of light should appear and preach a different gospel, then that angel is Satanic.

With regard to the reference to "angels of light", the spiritual reality concerning the enemies of Christ, is that very sick souls ("evil" spirits) whose spiritual bodies have devolved and deteriorated, find it extremely unbearable to encounter even subdued spiritual vibrations. When a spirit has evolved so far as to be able to "stand in the presence of God", anything which hurts the Christ becomes abhorrent to them.

However, even assuming (incorrectly) that a spirit from the darkness was able to produce the Divine spiritual light which those who have taken the steep hill to God in aeons past have bought for themselves through effort and evolution of the soul, what in fact would they have to preach in order for the gospel to be different from the one which Paul taught? Coupled with this point, we must also consider the things that Paul said which are part of the teaching of the gospel (which is not the one which the Literalists espouse).

In a sentence, the Literalist has based his interpretation of spiritual salvation upon a humanly-devised theology concerning a one-time affirmation of faith which enables himself or herself and only those who have also accepted that certain single belief to reside in the rarefied atmosphere of God's pure Heaven, yet the majority of the human race who have not accepted such a belief not only do not instantly become fit to reside in God's Heaven but are only fit to receive an eternal torturing in the depths of Hell.

Such a belief is bolstered further by the Pedant's literal interpretation of Paul's statement of being "saved by faith and not by works", instead of the correct application of this statement that it is faith in God and by following The Way shown by Him through Christ for man to follow (not faith in a metaphysical concept), by which we are saved. It is by faith in the Christ of God and His teachings and His great Example - the pinnacle of which was death on the Cross - that our thoughts, actions and service enable the process of spiritual evolution according to God's spiritual laws. From God we came and to God we return when we have learnt to use our freewill as intended away back in the beginning when we were thought into being by God long before the earth plane came into being.

The faith referred to includes the faith that He abandoned His Power and conditions of Light, peace and joy, and "proceeded forth" from the Father God to live amongst men; faith in Christ, that He lived and died and reappeared to show that He had conquered the death of His physical body; faith that living the path laid down by Christ is certain to produce the ultimate result of spiritual perfection; yes, faith in all these things - but the saving, redeeming power which is of the greatest potency, is the faith in a loving, caring, feeling and understanding Father, Who loves His creatures that much that He would come and live amongst them and even die for them.

All of the types of faith mentioned above are enhanced and edified by the teaching of the Greater World Christian Spiritualist Church. And moreover, the fact that Christ sends His messengers of Light to mankind today encourages a greater faith and love for our Lord, because He has not left us alone with only the Sacred Record and a sometimes erroneous human interpretation to guide and comfort us, but that He guides and comforts us with further revelation of His Truth by those of His servants who took the journey long ago.

As an addendum, a certain point of relevance can be brought in here. Perhaps ironically, this particular objection ("angel of light") by the Fundamentalist Christian actually points us further in the direction of Universal Salvation teachings as opposed to the Fundamentalist's own belief in a limited and elitist salvation. Again, let us look at the aforementioned passages (concerning this "angel of light" 2 Cor.Ch.11) which are used by the Literalist to refute the right of the non-Literalist to believe in the love-filled Divine teachings of Universal Salvation. Basically, we are told: if Satan can appear as an 'angel of light', then why not his ministers too? Somebody in the Corinthian community was misleading the Corinthians, and Paul was pointing out that their teachers were misguided. So, clearly, Paul wanted to make a point of the true Gospel (the truth concerning Christ and spiritual redemption).

What, then, does Paul say in the verse concerning Satan's ministers being able to take on the likeness of righteousness (2 Cor.11:15)? Plainly, and for no reason to twist the meaning, Paul tells the Corinthians that the ministers of Satan shall receive what they have given. Yes, indeed: "Their end shall be according to their works". Please note, Paul does not say: "The ministers of Satan shall be punished because they have not accepted a certain religious dogma"; Paul did not say: "Those preaching a different Gospel to me shall pass into everlasting condemnation in Hell because they have failed to believe that all of the consequences of their sins have been removed by accepting a metaphysical concept". No, in Paul's passage on this subject, he wrote clearly that the "end" of those who misguide others concerning the truth of the Christ "shall be according to their works". "Works" (ergon: employment, product, act - from ergo: to work) are those things which an individual creates himself or herself and which are attributed to the soul of that individual - they are not a religious tenet or belief.

This reinforces the truth that perfection "unto the likeness of Christ" comes only through the grace of God - the grace which has made it possible that the individual (or the soul fallen from perfection) can follow in the footsteps of Christ and draw back something of that perfection, thus drawing closer to the goal of perfection which God Almighty has always intended for His children.

The Bible emanates the truth of the evolution of the soul, and the examples of the carrying of the burdens of the Cross are emphasised by Christ. It is the simplest of paths, but the doctrines of man, influenced by those unseen souls who have fallen into darkness, are thrown in front of the Way that Christ laid down for man to follow, and such doctrines of words obscure the clarity and simplicity of that Way - the Christ Way, the way of the Christ Spirit.

Fundamentalists Preach Their Own Gospel because:
"Faith without works is dead" (James 2:20)

But what else did Paul preach in the Name of Christ, thus, by association, indicating that it should not be considered Satanic or the teacher not considered to be Satan (or one of Satan's "ministers")? Let us look at this carefully. Paul said: "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that he shall also reap" (Gal.6:7). Also, Paul said: "...work out your own salvation..." (Phil.2:12). Now, it is very obvious to any unindoctrinated person that if Paul is claiming to preach the gospel in his letters, then these statements must also be considered part of that gospel. Is this the "gospel" which the Literalists preach? No.

Indeed, it is they who preach that a soul must believe in the primitive concept that Jesus was an altar-sacrifice*(1) which has the effect of enabling the believer access into Heaven without any spiritual evolution having to be achieved. They do not teach that salvation comes through "working out your own salvation"; and they distort the Biblical teachings that nobody can escape the consequences of violating Divine Law regardless of what is believed - indeed, laws summed up by what Paul taught himself: "be not deceived, God is not mocked, that whatsoever a man sows that he shall also reap" (Gal.6:7).

But let us leave the last word on this matter to Jesus the Christ. When asked by a wealthy man: "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?", Jesus replied: "if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" and "if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Matt.19:16-21).

Jesus, the Master, was asked a direct question about eternal life and how to achieve it. Did Jesus then say that the rich man needed to accept that the consequences of his sins shall be removed if he just accepts that He is to be a "blood sacrifice" and that he would then be perfect to enter Heaven? No, far from it! Jesus could have taken this opportunity to say such a thing and make it plain, but instead He said something to the contrary. He said to achieve eternal life the wealthy man not only had to make sure that the most basic laws of love (Commandments) were followed by works, but he had to change himself internally through external works by abandoning materialism so that he was free enough to follow the Way laid down by Himself - the way of service to others without the desire for earthly reward, the way of understanding, the way of sanity, the way of transforming the lesser self into the greater; the way of giving and not taking; the way of compassion; the way of forgiving; the way of self-denial of the things which still reflect the earth in their lower sense by keeping the heart and mind fixed on Divine values and the Light of the Cross - and that method was to be used to become suitably purified (Matt.19: 21) to enter eternal life - and not a metaphysical belief.

The Good Master has spoken, may His words be taught in the way intended and not twisted so as to allow Fundamentalist dogma to draw His children away from the Way laid down by Him - drawn away into what is merely wishful thinking.

"...For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:37

"...Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that he shall also reap..." Gal.6:7

"...Every man's work shall be made manifest...if any man's work abide...he shall receive a reward. If any man's work be destroyed he shall suffer loss..." 1 Cor.3:13-15

"...That everyone may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor.5:10

"...God will render to every man according to his deeds..." Rom.2:6

"...The Son of man...shall reward every man according to his works..." Matt.16:27

"...My reward is with me, to give to every man as his work shall be." Rev.22:12

"...Dead were judged according to their works..." Rev.20:12

*(1) Altar-sacrifice: A reference to that known as "penal substitution" - that Jesus Christ, being a perfect human, was a human sacrifice to replace animal sacrifices because, it is alleged by some, animal sacrifices could not atone for humanity, and God Almighty would only accept a pure human as a sacrifice, thereby "atoning" for the sins of humanity.

This in turn leads to the concept that the acceptance of the altar-sacrifice/penal substitution theory (i.e. "accept that Jesus died for your sins and you receive eternal life") is the only means of entering a state of spiritual perfection - the only alternative being "eternal damnation". This may be a somewhat naive concept based upon the combination of superstition and a brush with the supernatural, but this by no means infers that the blood of Christ that was spilt on the Cross was a pointless exercise or time wasted!

But very much on the contrary, it was absolutely essential for that most gracious Sacrifice to take place in order that the influence that Christ Jesus should leave upon this world should resound throughout the generations, and thereby affect the hearts and minds of mankind from shore to shore, thus providing both spiritual evolution of the soul of the individual and of humanity as a whole. To paraphrase an early Christian commentator (Archbishop of Constantinople, Gregory of Nazianzus c.330-390): "A few drops of Blood renew the whole world".

Without the Crucifixion, the teachings and Example of Jesus Christ would not have had the deep and everlasting effect that they have had. Indeed, if that Sacrifice had not occurred, then the point of progress to which man has presently evolved on this earth would not have been possible due to the extreme selfishness and wickedness of the powers which dominated the world, man would today be worse than barbarians through involution. These things may perhaps be so simple that they are overlooked because often one is looking for a complicated or perhaps unanswerable reason.

This does not mean that God Almighty was not guiding mankind before the Crucifixion (this He has done by manifold methods), nor does it mean that He will cease to guide man (anything which raises the heart and mind of man towards that perfect Divine Consciousness is precious in God's sight) - but it simply means that the Crucifixion was absolutely essential for man's progression, indeed, man's salvation - but not salvation through acceptance of a religious idea.

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