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Re: ~*~ The Original Teachings Of Christ BANNED By The Catholic Church ~*~

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  • Conshana
    Dear Celetial Divine Mystic,,, I am a new member, and this is my first post. I have not yet written an intro, but I soon shall, that folks may know who I am. I
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1, 2006
      Dear Celetial Divine Mystic,,,
      I am a new member, and this is my first post. I have not yet written
      an intro, but I soon shall, that folks may know who I am.
      I was doing some online investigations, and this site came up, and as
      Fortune would have it, I saw this post, and read it.

      The conclusions and facts which you have noted below tally almost
      perfectly with my own investigations! Using the Catholic Churches OWN
      archives, (From On-Line research), The evidence is overwhelming that
      the Early Church was corrupted and controlled by the emperors living
      during the times of the Biblical Conclaves. As you noted below,
      Constantine was a "biggie",,, HOWEVER, Justinian was also a "terror"
      to the truth, and in fact published a series of Anathemas, which I
      will search in my files, and publish to this forum, along with the
      website information to go to for more information / further research.

      Lest it be thought I am "ANTI - ", whatever, Let me say this. IN THE
      ORIGINAL genesis of ALL religions, there was the basic premise of
      LOVE. It was in the outside influences and the roles of the "Powers
      That Be" that degraded the original concepts, and "greased the
      slopes" of degeneration of those concepts. The ONLY purpose was for
      the greed, power and control of the adherents,,, and hence of the
      masses.

      It is truly a grievous sorrow, that lies and deceptions take on their
      own truth, and are propogated AS "TRUTH",,, This has happened
      throughout the history of mankind. Greed and Fear are the motivating
      factors behind all this, and a truly conscious and aware individuated
      Spirit can only sit back, scratch their head in bewilderment,and
      say, "W H Y?"

      Which brings me to the cause of all this, in the first place. Fear
      and an exaggerated sense of importance. Some call it EGO, yet even
      this concept has been severely maligned. Ego, in its proper place and
      role, is an integral part of the Human / Spiritual continuum, the
      Human / Spiritual Gestalt. But that is a subject for another day!

      I, Personally, thank you for posting such an enlightening essay!
      Blessings to you and yours, and to this Forum.

      Love and Living Light,,,
      I AM Conshana
      (And thanks to Taye, who all unknowingly led me here!)



      --- In lovingpurelove@yahoogroups.com, "CeLeStiaL DiViNe MySTiC"
      <universal.divinelife@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > *~ The Original Teachings Of Christ BANNED By The Catholic Church ~*
      >
      >
      >
      > Believe it or not, at the start of the 21st century we find
      ourselves
      > in the middle of more religious wars. Our enemy, who claims to
      > represent Islam, is attacking the West on multiple fronts. Islamic
      > terrorists have attacked America, Israel, Spain, France, and Russia
      > in recent years, and even the president of the mightiest nation on
      > Earth has openly doubted if the West can ever win this war against
      > these religious extremists.(2) Most perpetrators of suicide
      > operations in buses, schools and residential buildings around the
      > world for the past 10 years have professed to be devout Muslims,
      but
      > their claim to represent true Islam has been widely disputed.
      Still,
      > while their fellow Muslims around the world have not universally
      > united in support of this Jihad against the West, they have also
      not
      > done so in condemnation of it either. This should not surprise us,
      > because Islam was born with a warlike nature, and aggression will
      > probably always be in its blood. Although he preached peace,
      history
      > leaves no doubt that Mohammed supported the use of violence for the
      > advancement of Islam, and his followers have never forgotten that
      > injunction. This observation is not meant as a condemnation of
      Islam,
      > but only to distinguish it from other religious approaches, such as
      > Essenes, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, Jainism and Taoism etc that
      are
      > not so warlike.
      >
      > Constantinian Christianity, the foundation of Western civilization,
      > was also born of war, and will probably always have war in its
      blood
      > as well. By this, I do not mean the original religion Christ
      taught,
      > but rather that imposter which came later and modified His
      teachings.
      > This imposter shows no evidence of being the true offspring of the
      > Prince of Peace, but seems instead to be, much like Islam, born of
      a
      > warlike parentage. Constantine's Church has been in a fairly
      constant
      > state of war since its inception, fighting the Jews, the Gnostics,
      > the Muslims, the Protestants, and even a good portion of the
      > scientific community. However, unlike that imposter which came
      later,
      > it does not seem that true Christianity could have originally been
      a
      > warlike religion. Its gentle Founder never carried a sword, refused
      > to defend Himself when attacked, and taught His followers to "love
      > their enemies", "give to those who ask". "worship not money", "turn
      > the other cheek", and "resist not evil". Not only did the meek
      > Founder of Christianity go quietly like a lamb to His own
      slaughter,
      > but actually told His disciples that if they wanted to be saved,
      they
      > would have to follow His example and do the same.(3) There seems
      > little doubt -- that person is NOT represented by our Western
      > civilization today. He is not represented by our politicians or our
      > priests, not by Wall Street, Academia, or even Hollywood. He is
      > virtually unknown. And so are His true teachings. Jesus Christ's
      > original true teachings required His followers to embody loving
      > kindness to all creatures and to all of mother earth as divine; His
      > followers never ate nor wore nor used anything which exploited or
      > harmed or robbed the freedom from any creature. Jesus Christ and
      > his original followers were vegan Essenes whose teachings forbade
      > any flesh/fish/creature eating, and forbade all alcohol/wine
      > drinking, and held non~violence and loving kindness towards All
      Life,
      > as well as sexual purity and an ascetic pure celibate life as vows.
      > The Catholic Church is militant and filled with blood~lust and sin,
      > therefore they hated the Essenes and the true teachings of Jesus.
      > The Catholic Church tried to destroy all of the Essene Gospel Texts
      > of Jesus and His Apostles and followers. All modern Christian
      > churches are not aware of the true Jesus and His teachings.
      > Jesus Christ spoke of God as being the Mother and Father of ALL, as
      > well as being Genderless, Immanent and Transcendent, and Beyond.
      > Christ taught that ALL was indeed the Self and Fabric of God's
      > Consciousness SPIRIT ~ God Himself.
      > After aeons of reincarnations towards spiritual perfection, the
      > destiny of all manifestations without exception, is finally Union ~
      > Merging back into Divine Oneness with GOD the ALL ONE IMMORTAL
      > SPIRIT.
      >
      >
      > We have dire problems here now. While the Islamic militants
      attacking
      > us today are at least being honest with and loyal to their own
      > personal beliefs in fighting this war, we find ourselves in
      apparent
      > conflict with our religion's peaceful Founder if we fight back. In
      > order to fight back, we must actually fight on two fronts -- we
      must
      > fight both our outer enemy and also our inner faith. And so, while
      we
      > are divided within ourselves, our enemy is whole, and would thus
      seem
      > to hold a significant advantage over us.
      >
      > Islam is visibly growing stronger and more robust around the world,
      > even as mainstream Christianity seems to be dying the fabled "death
      > of a thousand cuts". In Europe, once the stronghold of a vast
      > Christian Empire, an increasing percentage of the population now
      > considers religion completely irrelevant to their lives. Meanwhile,
      > in America, Christianity's supposed new center of gravity on the
      > planet, we find a corrupt ministry and priesthood whose sexual and
      > financial scandals have managed to make the vulgarities of popular
      > television seem tame by comparison. And in science, more and more
      > evidence is piling up in support of reincarnation, an idea which,
      if
      > true, spells doom for conventional Christian theology.(4)
      >
      > Nonetheless, the only way we will win this war, the only way we can
      > survive this onslaught, is to be whole ourselves as well, to be
      true
      > to our religion (whatever that may be) at least as much as our
      enemy
      > is to his. If we embrace our faith halfheartedly, our hearts, and
      > thus our strength, will be divided already, leaving us likely to
      lose
      > our battles before they even begin. If we are to be in a religious
      > war, we cannot expect to win by betraying our religion while our
      > enemy is loyal to his.(5) Unfortunately, this is easier said than
      > done. It has become more and more clear from the last century's
      > archaeological finds that what the world follows today is not
      > Original Christianity, but a heavily edited, modified, and
      incomplete
      > substitute. People around the world are realizing that even if we
      > try, it may not be possible for us to be true to Christ's original
      > teachings today, simply because we have been misled about what they
      > were. This, of course, has been argued before. Right from its
      > inception, sects began splitting off from the main trunk of
      > Christianity, accusing the church of betraying and corrupting
      > Christ's original teachings. In a virtual orgy of finger-pointing,
      > this accusation has been repeated by every single denomination of
      > Christianity. Now that the many banned and unedited, Original
      sacred
      > texts Gospel's teachings of Jesus Christ the Essene and His Essene
      > direct disciple followers are being published, we have a divine
      > treasure chest overflowing with the true wisdom to follow and
      > practice. Thanks Be To God!
      >
      > While all these sects don't agree what the true teachings of
      Original
      > Christianity actually were, they all do agree that those original
      > teachings were eventually betrayed and corrupted. Of course, we
      > didn't have any solid proof to back up those claims until 1945,
      when
      > a large cache of previously-unknown early Christian scriptures were
      > unearthed in Egypt. In Nag Hammadi, a small southern village on the
      > west bank of the Nile, we found 52 early Christian writings that
      had
      > once so threatened Constantine's Church that it sought out and
      > destroyed all existing copies. And then, for good measure, that
      same
      > church also murdered any poor soul who happened to be caught in
      > possession of one of these illegal scriptures.(6) The only reason
      any
      > copies of these works remained to be found at Nag Hammadi is
      because
      > Constantine's Church never knew they were buried there.
      >
      >
      >
      > The Lost Gospels
      >
      >
      >
      > Never before had such a collection been recovered; this twentieth
      > century find brought the first serious defeat in the church's
      ancient
      > and ongoing war against these records. For nearly 2000 years, the
      > church's censorship campaign had been successful, alienating the
      > world from some of the earliest flowerings of Christian thought.
      > Thanks to that censorship, some of the teachings and recurring
      themes
      > in these early scriptures now seem totally alien to Christianity,
      not
      > making any sense at all to conventional theology. In the Gospel of
      > Thomas, for example, we are repeatedly instructed to "make the two
      > one"; in the Gospel of Philip, we are told that Jesus
      > Himself "divided" in two when He died; in the Secret Book of James,
      > we read that salvation revolves around the relationship between
      one's
      > own soul and spirit; in the Gospel of Mary, we are warned against
      > having a divided heart; and in the Gospel of Truth, we learn that
      > Jesus' mission was to repair a great division. This theme of
      division
      > and duality obviously permeated early Christian thought, but was
      > later erased from the canvas of history, making it as alien to the
      > church as a flashlight to a caveman.
      >
      > A great many of these lost scriptures have been dated to the first
      or
      > second centuries, making them some of the earliest Christian
      > literature ever written. Despite that, however, these teachings
      were
      > meticulously erased from the church's legacy; we never inherited
      them
      > because the church didn't want us to. For 1500 years, the church
      > burned these books, along with their owners. This campaign to
      destroy
      > all but a carefully chosen set of early Christian teachings began
      > with Constantine's conversion in the 4th century, and lasted all
      the
      > way until the end of the Spanish Inquisition in 1834.
      >
      > It was the longest censorship campaign in human history.
      >
      > There's no way to calculate how much we lost. Although a few
      listings
      > of titles of missing early Christian scriptures still exist, we
      know
      > these listings aren't inclusive. They are just the only listings
      that
      > managed to survive the editing process of the church. Still, they
      are
      > enough. They make it clear that many more early Christian
      scriptures
      > once existed than do today. In the first centuries of the church,
      the
      > faithful once also read all the following Original Gospel's
      > scriptures of the vegan Essenes of Jesus Christ The Essene which
      are
      > the direct in~person words and deepest mystical teachings of Jesus
      > Christ, right alongside the familiar titles in today's much changed
      > and re~written and edited Bible:
      >
      >
      >
      > The Acts of Andrew
      >
      > The Gospel of Andrew
      >
      > The Gospel of the Twelve Apostles
      >
      > The Gospel of Barnabas
      >
      > The Gospel of Bartholomew
      >
      > The Gospel of Basilides
      >
      > The Gospel of Cerinthus
      >
      > The Revelation of Cerinthus
      >
      > Epistle from Christ to Peter and Paul
      >
      > The Gospel of the Egyptians
      >
      > The Gospel of the Ebionites
      >
      > The Gospel of the Encratites
      >
      > The Gospel of Eve
      >
      > The Gospel of the Hebrews
      >
      > The Book of the Helkesaites
      >
      > The Gospel of Hesychius
      >
      > The Book of James
      >
      > The Acts of John
      >
      > The Gospel of Jude
      >
      > The Acts of the Apostles by Lentitus
      >
      > The Books of Lentitius
      >
      > The Acts of the Apostles by Leucius
      >
      > The Acts of the Apostles by Leontius
      >
      > The Acts of the Apostles by Leuthon
      >
      > The Gospel of Lucianus
      >
      > The Gospel of Marcion
      >
      > The Gospel of Matthias
      >
      > The Traditions of Matthias
      >
      > The Gospel of Merinthus
      >
      > The Gospel of the Nazarenes
      >
      > The Acts of Paul and Thecla
      >
      > The Acts of Paul
      >
      > The Preaching of Paul
      >
      > The Revelation of Paul
      >
      > The Gospel of Perfection
      >
      > The Acts of Peter
      >
      > The Doctrine of Peter
      >
      > The Gospel of Peter
      >
      > The Judgment of Peter
      >
      > The Preaching of Peter
      >
      > The Revelation of Peter
      >
      > The Acts of Philip
      >
      > The Gospel of Philip
      >
      > The Gospel of Scythianus
      >
      > The Acts of the Apostles by Seleuccus
      >
      > The Revelation of Stephen
      >
      > The Gospel of Titan
      >
      > The Gospel of Thaddaeus
      >
      > The Epistle of Themison
      >
      > The Acts of Thomas
      >
      > The Gospel of Thomas
      >
      > The Gospel of Truth
      >
      > The Gospel of Valentinius
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > While today's official New Testament only offers its readers the
      four
      > gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, along with a handful of
      > letters from Paul, Peter, James, and Jude, early congregations also
      > read dozens of other gospels and holy scriptures that no longer
      > exist. All we have left today are these empty titles, which stand
      as
      > mute witness to the power and thoroughness of the church's
      censorship
      > campaign.(7) Although only eight authors are represented in the
      > official New Testament, in the earliest years of Christianity the
      > faithful read the work of at least 38 additional authors (that we
      > know of). The earliest disciples spent their lives teaching a
      > literate culture about Christ, and, as Luke himself testifies, a
      > great many written works emerged from their passionate commitment
      to
      > that mission :
      >
      >
      >
      > "Many have taken pen in hand to draw up an account of the things
      that
      > have taken place among us, just as they were handed down to us from
      > the first eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. Since I have
      > perfectly followed all these things from the very beginning, it
      > therefore seemed good for me to also write you an orderly account."
      > - The Gospel of Luke 1: 1-3
      >
      >
      >
      > In the earliest years of the faith, before Luke got around to
      writing
      > up his version of events, many others had already done so.
      > Constantine's Church, however, condemned all of those early
      reports,
      > all except the 27 books that made it into the New Testament. And as
      > it was making those decisions, the church demonstrated special
      > favoritism towards one author in particular -- Paul -- who wrote
      more
      > than half of all the books in the New Testament. Of its 27 books,
      > Paul, a man who never even met Jesus in the flesh, wrote 13 of
      them.
      > Today, of course, Constantine's Church embraces Paul's letters as
      the
      > standard by which all other Christian scripture is to be judged,
      > primarily because his work seemed to be, at least before the
      > discovery of the Gospel of Thomas, the oldest surviving Christian
      > literature. However, in Philippians 3:10-14, Paul himself confessed
      > that his familiarity with Christianity was imperfect and limited,
      > which would seem to cast doubt on the full accuracy of His
      > representation of Christ's original teachings. He admitted that he
      > did not yet "know" Christ and still wished to accomplish this, and
      > that he was not yet "perfect" in the faith. Despite these
      > shortcomings, however, Paul's writings were not only chosen to be
      in
      > the Bible, but given preference over a great many other scriptures,
      > including many allegedly written by some of the actual Twelve
      > Apostles, such as Peter, James, Andrew, Thomas, and Philip. Of
      > course, the church's only possible defense of this would be if all
      > those writings are falsely attributed, and were not actually
      written
      > by the true Twelve. For if they were authentic, then the testimony
      of
      > those who spent a year or more being instructed by Christ during
      His
      > ministry would surely be preferred over someone who had only had
      > visions of Him after His resurrection.
      >
      > Certainly, the church does deny that these scriptures were written
      by
      > members of the original Twelve; however, there are two things wrong
      > with that argument. One, if these scriptures were not originally
      > written by the Apostles, then where are the scriptures they would
      > have written? In a literate civilization, a sizable percentage of
      the
      > Apostles probably would have scratched out some sort of written
      > recollection or teaching over the course of their lives, and Luke
      > confirms that this in fact did occur. If these recently discovered
      > scriptures are not the ones they wrote, then where are the ones
      they
      > did write? And two, very good cases can be made that both The
      Gospel
      > of Thomas (found at Nag Hammadi Egypt in 1945),(8) and The Gospel
      of
      > Peter (found in Akhmim Egypt in 1886)(9) actually do date from the
      > mid-first century, which is exactly when the Twelve would have been
      > most likely to produce written works.
      >
      > We know our lists of lost works are incomplete, because the Nag
      > Hammadi find contained no less than 41 early Christian scriptures
      > that we'd never even heard of before. Their titles had previously
      > appeared in no list, no correspondence, no surviving document of
      any
      > kind. These scriptures were considered so dangerous to the church
      > that not one single mention of them was allowed to survive the
      > passage of time. In the last century, for example, we discovered
      that
      > there had once been a Gospel of Mary. We never knew that before,
      and
      > the only possible explanation why we never did is because the
      church
      > didn't want us to. If the church had wanted that text to survive,
      no
      > power on earth could have erased it from our heritage.
      >
      > Not only were all these texts themselves to be rooted out, the
      church
      > decided, but all trace of them as well. History was to be wiped
      > completely clean of any memory or mention of the ideas in these
      > works. And until their texts were finally unearthed again in Egypt,
      > all we had left were empty titles, and lots of questions about what
      > kind of ideas had once been inside them.
      >
      > How many more were there? Were there yet another 41 scriptures
      > written in the earliest years of the church that we still don't
      know
      > anything about? Were there a hundred? Two hundred? There just
      doesn't
      > seem to be any way to know. If the church could successfully erase
      > all memory of these 41 scriptures, it could do anything. 1500 years
      > is a long time to get a story straight.
      >
      > Truth Through Censorship
      >
      >
      >
      > Constantine's Church openly admits this censorship. It claims that
      > all these lost texts were erroneous representations of Christianity
      > and so deserved to be destroyed; and in support of that position,
      it
      > points to some extant writings of early church figures which say as
      > much. However, this argument is disingenuous, for the church is
      > arguing its case with evidence it itself has admitted tampering
      with.
      > For all we know, the vast majority of Christians in the first two
      > centuries preferred these forbidden scriptures over those
      > Constantine's Church canonized, but now that all evidence which
      might
      > have reflected that has been erased, we will never know. As soon as
      > Constantine's Church began tampering with the evidence, it lost all
      > credibility.
      >
      > Over the years, many have accused the church of betraying its
      > original integrity in order to gain political strength and
      stability,
      > and such a motivation would be easily understandable. Christians
      > suffered horrific persecution in the first 300 years of the church.
      > Many of the original apostles endured beatings, stonings, and
      > imprisonments, and anyone who accepted a public position as a
      > Christian leader was asking for a short and troubled life. For
      > example, in 235 AD the Roman Bishop Pontian was arrested almost as
      > soon as he was ordained. Rome sent him to the lead mines of
      Sardinia,
      > where prisoners were forced to toil 20 grueling hours per day on
      > nothing but one meal of bread and water. Most died within months.
      > Like Pontian, many high-ranking Christians were sent to the
      Sardinian
      > mines in those years, or persecuted in other equally miserable
      ways.
      > Less than a century later, however, after the Roman Emperor
      > Constantine converted to Christianity, everything changed.(10) In
      314
      > AD, the new Roman Bishop found himself showered with prestige,
      > wealth, pomp, and the favor of the Emperor. Instead of facing
      > persecution, he was now living in the lap of luxury, with a
      beautiful
      > palace, a glorious cathedral, and all the trappings of power.
      >
      > After suffering so much grief from all those centuries of
      > persecution, it was only natural for Christians to welcome a more
      > politically approved status for the church. But ever since that
      > status was granted, historians have been asking if accepting it was
      a
      > mistake. Before Constantine, the church had been a pure fellowship
      of
      > selfless heroes, people so committed to serve Jesus that they
      endured
      > any hardship. There was no question of their personal dedication to
      > the church's ideals and teachings, since they were putting their
      > lives on the line just to be a member. But after Constantine's
      > conversion, the newly "politically correct" church became an
      > attractive career option for the average person. Simply claiming to
      > be a Christian could bring power, prestige, and promotion, where it
      > had previously only brought persecution. This placed the church at
      > risk of being infiltrated by unscrupulous people seeking nothing
      more
      > than worldly power and political advancement. Such people, if they
      > succeeded in securing a foothold in the ecclesiastical hierarchy,
      > could ascend to positions where their ambition could compromise the
      > church.
      >
      >
      >
      > The Emperor's New Sword
      >
      >
      >
      > As Constantine came to power in the fourth century, the Roman
      Empire
      > was struggling with a dilemma. After centuries of persecutions, it
      > had become obvious that the flood of Christians refusing to pay
      > religious homage to the Emperor was not going to end, even under
      > penalty of death. Constantine knew a radically new approach was
      > needed to deal with the Christians. The continuing sociological
      > phenomenon of civil disobedience meant just one thing to Rome: the
      > masses had become unacceptably unruly, and the Empire needed to
      find
      > something to render them servile and cooperative again. Until
      > Christianity entered the picture, state and religion had always
      > operated in tandem in Rome; the Emperor had always enjoyed being
      > viewed as a god, and exercising a god's unlimited control over his
      > subjects. The entrance of Christianity into Roman culture was the
      > first real interruption of that privilege. This strange new
      religion
      > gave its followers the courage to defy the state, as they so
      famously
      > did during the Christian persecutions. This open defiance made a
      huge
      > impression on Rome. It left the Emperor looking weak, which
      > threatened the stability of the whole Empire.
      >
      > But the Emperor eventually realized that this new faith might be
      made
      > to work for him instead of against him, just as all the former
      > religions had done. Constantine tried to increase his control over
      > the population by reunifying state and religion, two social forces
      > which had recently been wasting their energies against one another.
      > With Christianity working for the state, the Emperor reasoned, he
      > could re-establish his traditional control over the populace,
      giving
      > commands the masses would again be too afraid to disobey. Indeed,
      > Christianity seemed to hold the potential to make the Emperor's
      power
      > over the masses greater than it had ever been before. With a
      renewed
      > alignment of church and state, the people would no longer merely
      fear
      > the ability of the state to take one's life, but would then also
      fear
      > its ability to condemn one's soul to eternal damnation in the
      > afterlife as well. If a government could get the population to
      truly
      > believe it had such power, it would possess the most successful
      > populace control system imaginable.
      >
      > But some adjustments would be needed first. As it was, the
      Christian
      > religion showed a lot of potential; the courage and dedication it
      > inspired in men's hearts must have seemed a very attractive
      commodity
      > to the Emperor. What power a man would have if he could control
      such
      > faith! But that religion would still need to be shaped and
      > manipulated somewhat in order to fine tune it into the best
      possible
      > political tool. The state's claim to religious power would have to
      > rest on one assumption -- that earthly authorities could
      irreversibly
      > damn one's soul into eternal punishment. That, of course, would
      > require the people to believe that a single, eternal afterlife
      > immediately followed one's present earthly life. There was no room
      > for reincarnation in this picture, or any idea that a person might
      > have more than one life, or more than one chance to get things
      right.
      > Reincarnation, if it was there, would have to go.
      >
      >
      >
      > Reincarnation in the Early Church
      >
      >
      >
      > Reincarnation was there. There's really no questioning the presence
      > of reincarnation in early Christian theology. In fact, the doctrine
      > of rebirth was so mainstream in the earliest years of the church
      that
      > one of its most prominent teachers, Valentinus, almost became Pope.
      > Born in Alexandria around A.D. 100, Valentinus claimed to have been
      > personally initiated by Theudas, a disciple and initiate of the
      > Apostle Paul, who had passed down secret teachings and rituals from
      > Christ Himself. Like Paul, Valentinus also claimed to have had a
      > vision of the risen Christ. Following this mystical experience, he
      > began teaching in Alexandria, but migrated to Rome around 135 AD,
      > where he quickly became an influential and widely respected member
      of
      > the Orthodox Church. His pro-reincarnational teachings were so well
      > received there, in fact, that he was actually a candidate for the
      > papacy. After losing what is said to have been a very close
      election,
      > he continued to teach in Rome for many years, and his theology
      > attracted a large following, especially in Egypt and Syria.
      >
      > Constantine's Church openly admits that some portion of pre-Nicene
      > Christianity believed in reincarnation, and the recovered gospels
      > from Nag Hammadi, preserved in their original unedited condition
      for
      > 1500 years, say the same thing. In fact, it would have been
      > surprising if reincarnation had not been a part of the original
      > teachings of the church, since the world in which Christianity
      arose
      > was utterly saturated with the idea.(11) In Egypt, that massive
      > cultural force on Israel's Western border, the doctrine was so
      > ancient that a number of Pharaohs even had the idea incorporated
      into
      > their very names.(12) And towards the East, rebirth was the
      > foundation of India's entire culture. But by far the most direct
      > influx came through Hellenistic thought. Ever since Alexander the
      > Great conquered the Mediterranean world in the fourth century BC,
      the
      > pro-reincarnational teachings of Plato and Socrates flowed like
      water
      > through the Holy Land. By enforcing the spread of Greek language,
      > Alexander and his successors brought everyone into communication in
      > an unprecedented way.
      >
      > Many ancient reports coming out of Egypt insisted that the belief
      was
      > common among the earliest Christians, being imparted in secret to
      the
      > faith's most advanced initiates.(13) According to tradition,
      > Christianity was originally brought to Egypt by Saint Mark in the
      > second half of the first century. While we possess no records
      > describing the theology of Mark besides the canonical gospel, he
      may
      > have also authored a Secret Gospel of Mark that contained more
      > advanced teaching for those being initiated into the Christian
      > mysteries.(14) Excerpts from that "secret gospel", which were
      > rediscovered in the 20th century, seem to portray Jesus initiating
      a
      > student into secret mysteries of the church. From the very
      beginning
      > of the Egyptian church, then, a 'secret doctrine' seems to have
      been
      > taught to those who were deemed worthy.
      >
      >
      >
      > The Alexandrian Catechism
      >
      >
      >
      > The intellectual center of the Roman Empire at the time was in
      > Alexandria Egypt, and the Catechetical School, an official
      > institution of the church, was founded there sometime in the second
      > century. Before the establishment of that school, however, the
      > Christian sects of Carpocrates, Basilides, Isidore, Valentinus and
      > Heracleon all flourished in Alexandria. These groups all taught a
      > form of Christianity that included reincarnation, which put them in
      > familiar company in that corner of the world. The famous Jewish
      > philosopher Philo, also an Alexandrian, taught a version of Judaism
      > that included reincarnation, and back then, Christianity was widely
      > thought of as another Jewish sect. Alexandria's JudeoChristian
      > reincarnationist schools have been dated as far back as 117 AD.
      >
      > The original founding date of the Catechetical School is unknown;
      any
      > documents that might have provided that information have been
      deleted
      > from the historical record. In any case, we know the school dates
      at
      > least as far back as 175 AD, when it was headed by a man named
      > Pantaenus. Although this school became very famous and influential,
      > history has left no record of the teachings of Pantaenus. All we
      know
      > is that he eventually passed along the leadership of the school to
      > Saint Clement(15) in 190 AD, who ran the institution until he in
      turn
      > passed the reins to Origen in 203 AD.
      >
      > Born about 150 AD, Clement of Alexandria was deeply respected in
      the
      > early Christian community; in addition to being the head of the
      most
      > prestigious theological college of his day, he was also a presbyter
      > in the church of Alexandria. He was exceptionally well-read,
      holding
      > a comprehensive knowledge of JudeoChristian literature, including
      > both orthodox and heretical works. Clement used and honored many
      > scriptures that Constantine's Church later condemned, including The
      > Gospel of the Egyptians, The Gospel of the Hebrews, The Traditions
      > of Matthias, The Teaching of Peter, The Epistle of Barnabas, the
      > Apocalypse of Peter, and The Preaching of Peter, all of which he
      > seems to have considered authentic. He claimed to have received a
      > secret esoteric Christian tradition from Pantaenus, which had been
      > passed down directly from the Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul.
      > These mysteries had to remain hidden, Clement insisted, and could
      > never be written or taught publically :
      >
      >
      >
      > "...the wise do not utter with their mouth what they reason to
      > council. 'But what ye hear in the ear," says the Lord, "proclaim
      upon
      > the houses," bidding them receive the secret traditions of the true
      > knowledge, and expound them aloft and conspicuously; and as we have
      > heard in the ear, so to deliver them to whom it is requisite; but
      not
      > enjoining us to communicate to all without distinction, what is
      said
      > to them in parables."
      > - Clement of Alexandria, "The Mysteries of the Faith Not To Be
      > Divulged to All"
      >
      >
      >
      > Did those secret teachings include a belief in reincarnation? The
      > ninth century Greek theologian Photius thought so, accusing him of
      > teaching reincarnation in his work "Outlines" (Hypotyposeis).(16)
      >
      > Although he possessed an extraordinary education and was hailed
      as
      > a theological pioneer, Clement was dwarfed in all of these by his
      > student Origen, who is widely recognized as the most prominent,
      > distinguished, and influential of all the early church fathers. The
      > most prolific theologian of early Christianity, he is said to have
      > written over 6,000 works, although the vast majority of those
      > ultimately failed to survive the church's later censorship. Still,
      > in Origen's extant works, we seem to catch a far more substantial
      > glimpse of the esoteric teachings passed down to him from Pantaenus
      > and Clement. And one of Origen's contemporaries -- Saint Jerome --
      > also publically accused him of teaching reincarnation in his
      writings
      > as well. However, Origen makes a curious distinction. While he
      > enthusiastically condemns belief in the reincarnation of the soul,
      he
      > seems to openly support belief in the reincarnation of the spirit.
      > (17) Origen taught that the living are born into this world after
      > having already experienced previous lives :
      >
      >
      >
      > "The soul has neither beginning nor end... [They] come into this
      > world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of
      > their previous lives." (18)
      >
      >
      >
      > Constantine's Choice
      >
      >
      >
      > In addition to Valentinus, Clement, and Origen, we also know that
      > many other prominent figures in the early church taught a form of
      > Christianity which included reincarnation. But we know too that
      > reincarnation did not mesh with the Empire's political needs. And,
      of
      > course, we know that the church subsequently edited and modified
      the
      > literature of the time to suit its purposes. Knowing all that, only
      > one question remains : did Constantine intentionally compromise
      > Christ's original teachings to further his political ambitions? Of
      > course, our knowledge of the history of these first centuries is
      far
      > from perfect, and scholars still dispute various details of the
      early
      > church councils. Because of the insufficiency of our information,
      > there cannot help but be some confusion and obscurity. Nonetheless,
      > it is quite clear that like all the Emperors who came before him,
      > Constantine didn't think anything was forbidden for him to do.
      > Although he paid lip service to Christianity, Constantine
      > demonstrated virtually no loyalty to Christ's teachings. Over the
      > course of his life, he murdered his own wife, his eldest son, and
      > many of his closest friends, and reveled in the mutilation and
      > torture of political enemies and prisoners of war. Despotic and
      > ambitious, Constantine seemed ruthlessly determined to achieve
      > complete dominance over the Empire regardless of the cost. And
      > although he claimed to be a Christian, he at the same time also
      > worshiped the traditional Roman sun god. Such a life would seem to
      be
      > a far cry from the ideals and teachings of Christ, but it does seem
      > to have a lot in common with the subsequent history of the Church
      of
      > Rome and all its descendants, a parallel which has led many over
      the
      > centuries to suspect that the true founder of the Roman Church was
      > not Christ at all, but Constantine himself.
      >
      > Shortly after acquiring control of the united Empire and ending the
      > Christian persecutions, Constantine almost immediately found
      himself
      > facing yet another domestic crisis over religion. The east was
      > rioting in one city after another; bishop was now contending
      against
      > bishop, and people were fighting in the streets. Although
      Constantine
      > did not fully comprehend what all the fuss was about, he resolved
      to
      > put an end to it. He needed a united church for his united Empire,
      so
      > for the first time in the history of the church, the state
      intervened
      > in a dispute about belief. It wouldn't be the last time.
      >
      > By Constantine's orders, 1,800 bishops from all corners of the
      Empire
      > were invited to attend a great church council at Nicaea, but only
      > about 300 answered the imperial summons, perhaps because they
      > realized that Constantine intended to chair the meeting himself.
      The
      > thought of a Roman Emperor presiding over church affairs must have
      > been very intimidating and troubling to the Christians of that era;
      > many of the attendees still bore scars of torture from previous
      > Emperors.
      >
      > At the heart of the matter to be addressed was a simple question:
      had
      > Jesus always been God, or had He once just been a man who at some
      > point became God's Son? Was there, in other words, a time when the
      > Father alone existed, but not the Son? This was no mere academic
      > question. If Jesus was originally a man who later became God's Son,
      > that implied that other men could potentially also become Sons of
      > God. And if others could become Sons of God, then no one would
      > necessarily need the church for their salvation, but could instead
      > achieve that goal on their own, the same way Christ did. This
      > question was ripping the church apart, just when Constantine needed
      > it to hold the empire together.
      >
      > In the end, it was decided in that meeting that Jesus had always
      been
      > God, and that other men could not follow in His footsteps to
      achieve
      > the same result. Instead, the council declared that the souls of
      men
      > were not like Jesus' soul, and did not, in and of themselves,
      possess
      > any inherent potential for divinity. While Christ's soul had always
      > existed, the council decided, man's soul was a created thing, and
      did
      > not come into existence until the person was physically born. There
      > was thus a huge gulf between God and man, and the church was the
      > only bridge between them. In short, man had to rely on the church
      to
      > acquire eternal life. In denying the soul's divine origin, the
      > council implicitly ruled out all possibility of pre-existence and
      > reincarnation, while emphasizing the power and authority of the
      > church over the individual.(19) In the end, one definition of
      > Christianity was chosen in that meeting, and all others were
      > rejected. Shortly after, the dreaded Christian persecutions began
      > anew, this time orchestrated by the church itself.
      >
      >
      >
      > Return of the Christian Persecutions
      >
      >
      >
      > Some things never change. Since the earliest days of the Roman
      > Empire, anyone refusing to pledge allegiance to the Emperor was put
      > to death, and this attitude did not suddenly disappear just because
      > Constantine converted. After the Council of Nicaea, all who
      practiced
      > those rejected versions of Christianity were labeled enemies of the
      > state, and started to be hunted down. These new persecutions
      involved
      > unprecedented literary censorship, starting with the Emperor
      > Constantine's order that all writings of the Christian theologian
      > Arius had to be delivered up to the authorities to be burned, and
      > that anyone found concealing them would be put to death. But that
      was
      > just the beginning. When Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the
      > official state religion a few years later, the Roman government
      > published an edict requiring all subjects of the Empire to profess
      > the faith of the Bishop of Rome, and those who refused found
      > themselves the enemies of the state all over again. Much as before,
      > everyone was again forced to either pledge allegiance to the
      official
      > state religion, or suffer harsh punishment. The church went through
      > an amazing transformation in the fourth century. Instead of being
      > prey, Christians were now the hunters. Instead of being martyrs,
      > church leaders became "heretic" hunters, mercilessly killing any
      who
      > dared disagree with them. All writings inconsistent with the
      official
      > teachings of the church were outlawed, and those who read them
      risked
      > being burnt at the stake. And that, historians think, was just
      about
      > when all those texts started to be gathered up and buried at Nag
      > Hammadi. For the next thousand years, the church continued to hunt
      > and kill "heretics". Curiously, Jesus seems to have predicted all
      > this:
      >
      >
      >
      > "The time is coming when whoever kills you will think he is doing
      God
      > a service."
      > - John 16:2
      >
      >
      >
      > With the church deciding what could and could not be read, all
      > authors who challenged the teachings of the church had their works
      > erased from history. Thousands of books were burnt, and hundreds of
      > thousands of "heretics" along with them. Less than 100 years after
      > Constantine's conversion, the church burnt the entire contents of
      the
      > famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt, and it continued to launch
      > similar campaigns for the next 1000 years. It massacred tens of
      > thousands of Christian "heretics" in France in the Albigensian
      > crusade of 1209-1255, and possibly hundreds of thousands more
      during
      > the Inquisition.(20) Like George Orwell's imaginary "Big Brother",
      > Constantine's Church sought complete control over both public and
      > private opinion. When the printing press was invented in the
      > fifteenth century, the church demanded the right to approve all
      > manuscripts before publication. The church even refused to let
      people
      > read its own book. As unlikely as it seems today, it was actually
      > illegal to possess the Bible, and simply reading it was considered
      > proof that someone was a heretic. Men and women were actually
      burned
      > at the stake for reading the Roman Catholic Bible.
      >
      > Obviously, something had gone horribly wrong. Christianity had
      taken
      > a wrong turn. What had started out as love had warped into hatred
      and
      > fear. Prior to Constantine, however, the church had been different,
      a
      > pure fellowship of selfless heroes filled with the love, courage,
      and
      > fruitfulness that only comes from authentic health and wholeness.
      > Even though the original church contained the disparate elements
      that
      > would later become known as the Roman and Gnostic Churches, they
      were
      > originally very successful together. Prior to Constantine,
      Christians
      > had been known throughout the Empire for their remarkably advanced
      > social innovations. Christian communities had been very organized,
      > cohesive, and creative, introducing artisan associations,
      charitable
      > groups, and retirement and funeral insurance agencies that
      supported
      > all members regardless of social class. They not only introduced
      > these modern social innovations, but executed them so well that the
      > Roman government tried to emulate their new social systems.
      However,
      > Rome fumbled the job so badly that all it ended up doing was
      > emphasizing how well the Christians had done.
      >
      >
      >
      > Orphans of War
      >
      >
      >
      > After the Council of Nicaea, however, everything changed. There
      then
      > seemed to be two separate churches, the Constantinians and the
      > Gnostics, which were suddenly alienated from and at war with one
      > another. Each of those surviving halves sincerely believed that it
      > alone represented the true Church, the original teachings of
      Christ,
      > but, as we will see from the recovered scriptures from Nag Hammadi,
      > they were both wrong. Neither half was the whole. What had
      originally
      > been filled with a dynamic and creative complexity had been
      > shattered, and from its ashes, two equally crippled halves crawled
      > forth. Constantine's Church became a powerful dictator, murderer
      and
      > thief, waging endless wars of conquest both at home and abroad,
      while
      > the gnostic church became a disorganized and ineffective dreamer
      that
      > receded into the shadows of history, occasionally reappearing with
      > new names like Manichaeism, Bogomilism, and Catharism. Each time it
      > resurfaced, it taught an otherworldly version of Christianity that
      > incorporated reincarnation, and each time it was hunted down anew
      by
      > Constantine's Church. Both halves are the orphaned offspring of
      > Christianity's first war, and neither has known any peace since.
      >
      > These two halves are very different, but their difference is not an
      > unfamiliar one. One exhibited the characteristics of one half of
      the
      > human psyche, while the other behaved more like the other half of
      the
      > mind. Constantine's Church focused more on objective "left brain"
      > issues like discrimination, order, and authority, while the gnostic
      > church paid more attention to subjective "right brain" issues like
      > intuition, imagination, and personal experience. Like the conscious
      > mind, Constantine's Church was more dominant and out-in-the open,
      > while the gnostic church was more like the unconscious, carrying
      out
      > its activity in the background. We will run across this pattern
      again
      > and again in our search for Original Christianity.
      >
      > The divorce between the orthodox and gnostic factions of
      Christianity
      > did not actually begin in Nicaea. Instead, they seem to have
      started
      > differentiating from one another almost as soon as Christ was
      lowered
      > from the cross. All the Council of Nicaea did was bring this
      process
      > to fruition. And since that first climactic division in Nicaea,
      > Christianity has just continued on the same self-destructive
      course,
      > fracturing ever further with each new century. Where there had
      > originally been just one church, there are now, according to the
      > World Christian Encyclopedia, over 34,000 different Christian
      > denominations.(21) Each has its own unique teachings and practices,
      > but none, the lost gospels suggest, reflect the original teachings
      > of Christ.
      >
      > And so, at the dawn of the first great religious war of the third
      > millennium, the West finds itself unarmed. The world today is in
      much
      > the same situation the Roman Empire was just after Constantine's
      > conversion: a single monolithic power is again struggling to
      maintain
      > and reinforce its dominance over the rest of the globe. When Rome
      > tried to use religion to achieve that end back in the 4th century,
      > Christianity's early history ended up getting erased and rewritten.
      > It is curious that we find ourselves at such a point in history
      once
      > again, because at this crossroads, we find that what we need most
      > now -- our original religion -- is precisely what we lost the first
      > time we came around this corner.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > 1. "Falsehood in Wartime", 1928.
      >
      > 2. In a "Today Show" interview broadcast August 30th, 2004,
      President
      > Bush said the United States could never win the war against
      > terrorism.
      >
      > 3. Matthew 10:38-39, Matthew 16:24-25, Luke 14:26-27, John 12:26.
      > Certainly the martyrs of Christianity's first three centuries
      > understood this.
      >
      > 4. Dr. Ian Stevenson, a psychiatrist from Charlottesville,
      Virginia,
      > has spent virtually his entire distinguished career researching
      > reincarnation. This former head of the Department of Psychiatry at
      > the University of Virginia has devoted the last 40 years to the
      > scientific documentation and verification of past life memories,
      > accumulating over 3000 cases in his files. And while many feel that
      > Stevenson's numerous scholarly books and articles offer the best
      > scientific evidence yet for reincarnation, he is not alone in this
      > pursuit. Numerous other scientists around the world, such as Dr.
      > Erlendur Haraldsson of Iceland, are now also investigating cases of
      > reincarnational memories. Meanwhile, the last 30 years have also
      seen
      > an explosion of popular interest in reincarnation as well, as
      > millions have begun to explore their own memories through past-life
      > regression.
      >
      > 5. We may no more want to engage in a religious war without
      religion
      > in our heart than we would want to get into a knife fight without a
      > knife in our hand.
      >
      > 6. After having been hunted, persecuted, and killed for centuries
      by
      > the Romans, the authorities of Constantine's Church embraced the
      same
      > strategies against its own enemies as soon as it had the power to
      do
      > so. Shortly after Christianity became the official religion of the
      > Empire, being a Manichee, or gnostic, carried the death penalty.
      >
      > 7. A few of these ancient works, such as The Gospel of Thomas and
      The
      > Gospel of Truth, were finally recovered again at Nag Hammadi, after
      > being lost to history for over 1500 years.
      >
      > 8. Among scholars of Thomas, the view that Thomas preserves the
      > earliest sayings of Jesus is almost universally accepted. However,
      > other NT scholars have been slower to accept this conclusion, as
      the
      > discussions that went on for decades among Thomas scholars are only
      > just now beginning to filter out to the rest of the fragmented and
      > parochial world of biblical scholarship.
      >
      > 9. "The original stage of Peter may well be the earliest passion
      > story in the gospel tradition." See The Complete Gospels, Robert J.
      > Miller, ed., p. 400.
      >
      > 10. Historians disagree if Constantine really ever converted to
      > Christianity at all. He worshiped the Roman sun god at the same
      time
      > he professed to be a Christian. After his 'conversion', he built a
      > triumphal arch in Rome that featured the sun god, and a statue of
      the
      > sun god for Constantinople. All his coins featured the sun. He made
      > Sunday (the day of the sun god) into a day of rest when work was
      > forbidden. Christianity incorporated worship of the Roman sun god
      > into its rites during Constantine's reign, praying towards the
      rising
      > sun, worshiping on Sunday, and celebrating Jesus' birth on December
      > 25 (the birthday of the sun god). Constantine's character never
      > reflected Jesus' teachings, even after his so-called 'conversion'.
      He
      > remained vain, superstitious, and violent, with little respect for
      > human life. He reveled in slaughtering the enemy during military
      > campaigns, forced prisoners to fight wild beasts, and even had a
      > number of his own family members executed. Constantine supposedly
      > waited until just before he was dying before asking to be baptized,
      > and, in fact, historians disagree as to whether or not he actually
      > was baptized at that time.
      >
      > 11. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that reincarnation was
      > widely taught in Judea in the first century, and was even taught by
      > the Pharisees. See his Jewish War, 3, 8, 5 and Antiquities of the
      > Jews 18, 1, 3. This historical report is given even greater
      credence
      > by the fact that Judaism went on to officially incorporate the
      > doctrine of reincarnation as 'gilgul' in the Zohar, a classic of
      > Jewish mysticism purportedly written in the 2nd century.
      >
      > 12. The ka-name of Amonemhat I was "He who repeats births," the ka-
      > name of Senusert I meant "He whose births live," and the ka-name of
      > Setekhy I was "Repeater of births." Pharaohs sometimes claimed to
      > have more than one ka (soul), claiming, in effect, to possess
      > multiple selves, identities, personalities, and so on; this
      suggests
      > that these ancient Pharaohs claimed, just as 'holy men' of the East
      > do today, that they remembered their past lives and identities.
      >
      > 13. A great many biblical passages seem to refer to reincarnation.
      > See The Division of Consciousness and The Lost Secret of Death for
      > more.
      >
      > 14. See Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark by Morton
      > Smith.
      >
      > 15. Clement was venerated as a saint down to the seventeenth
      > century .
      >
      > 16. Clement's Hypotyposeis is no longer extant, but numerous
      > fragments have been preserved in a handful of Greek works. Photius
      > argued in his work Bibliotheca that Clement taught reincarnation in
      > Hypotyposeis. While he softpeddled reincarnation, Clement may have
      > been more open with other elements of the esoteric tradition he
      > inherited from his teachers. In Clement's day, the distinction
      > between orthodox and gnostic was not nearly as defined as it would
      > become later. Even though Clement was a towering leader of the
      church
      > in his day, he referred to the most advanced and purest Christians
      > as 'gnostics'. There was a huge difference, Clement insisted,
      between
      > the faith of the ordinary Christian and the knowledge of the
      perfect
      > Christian. The perfect Christian, he maintained, receives profound
      > insights into the mysteries of the religion which ordinary
      Christians
      > must accept on faith alone. Emphasizing the moral worth of
      religious
      > knowledge, Clement extolled Christian perfection, referring to the
      > perfect Christian as "the true gnostic". Despite all this, however,
      > Clement had no notable or lasting influence on the subsequent
      history
      > of Christian theology, except for his influence on the young
      Origen.
      > Most of his works, including On First Principles, On Prophecy, On
      > Angels, On the Devil, On the Origin of the Universe, On the Unity
      and
      > Excellence of the Church, On the Soul, on Resurrection, On
      Marriage,
      > and others, have been lost to history. We can only imagine what
      other
      > early Christian insights Clement might have tried to share with us
      in
      > those works
      >
      > 17. See Origen's Commentary on John 6:7 and Commentary on Matthew
      > 10:20
      >
      > 18. From his De Principiis
      >
      > 19. Even so, the current of reincarnational thought in Christianity
      > was so strong that the church was eventually forced to more
      > explicitly condemn reincarnation a few hundred years later, at the
      > 2nd Council of Constantinople. See Appendix 1 for more.
      >
      > 20. No one really knows how many people were put to death during
      the
      > Inquisition, because, of course, the Roman Catholic Church was the
      > only entity that had any chance to keep records. Estimates range
      all
      > the way from a low of 7,000 victims to a high of 67 million.
      >
      > 21. David Barrett et al, editors, World Christian Encyclopedia: A
      > Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions - AD 30 to 2200,
      Oxford
      > University Press, 2001. More conservative surveys still list over
      > 660 distinct Christian denominations.
      >
      >
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      ~*~*~*~ Greetings Conshana my Sister! ~*~*~*~ Yes Conshana... the Rome Vatican Library has a Top Secret Banned Section in which many of the Essene Sacred Texts
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 4, 2006
        ~*~*~*~ Greetings Conshana my Sister! ~*~*~*~


        Yes Conshana... the Rome Vatican Library has a Top Secret
        Banned Section in which many of the Essene Sacred Texts have
        been hidden away for ages... but now that some brave researchers
        gained access to those Vatican Secret Vaults... those Unedited
        Ancient Original Essene and Gnostic Sacred texts have
        been scanned~copied in their Original state and are now
        publicized in book form. They can even be ordered from
        http://Amazon.Com I can later list the best books.
        Make sure that you also deeply peruse this Essene Sacred texts
        Online Website:
        http://TheNazareneWay.Com And also read the Articles on:
        http://Essene.Org

        As all my members know, in the outgoing emails from my divine group:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Universal_DivineLifeChurch_Mystics_Vegan
        there are many more vegan Christ Essene~Nazarene etc Links that
        All should peruse and contemplate deeply.


        Discern though that Christ never married anyone ~ Christ is not
        a sexual being with carnal desires! Many modern translators and
        commentators just cannot understand the Holy Spiritual Purity required
        for complete Spiritual Illumination, because they themselves are weak
        and are willingly under the thrall of lower desires. Christ Is God
        Absolute Purity! None of the spiritual Heavenly planes have any type
        of sexual or marriage or any earthly type relationships, nor lower
        senses nor lower desires~tendencies. Certainly Christ~God is not below
        the mere myriad of temporary heavenly planes in Purity! The Ultimate
        Attainment is Illumination ~ Merging In Oneness With Infinite Immortal
        Ambrosial MOTHER FATHER GENDERLESS GOD ~ THE ALL ~ GOD ALL ONE SPIRIT
        ~ AND BEYOND!

        The many Heavens {and Hells according to karma} are places we visit,
        between embodied lives, along the way, until ALL Beings, through Grace
        and living a deeply pure and mystical spiritual life of Divine Love,
        eventually attain Absolute Merging In GOD ~ Our Infinite Original
        Perfection Divine Love Wisdom Beingness Omnipresence... Permanently...
        and Forevermore!


        It is heartening to know that now various wonderful publications
        are comming out by authors that are attempting to help unveil
        the purity and depth of the original Essenes; Christ's sublime
        ambrosial divine mystical spiritual teachings and His Real Life ~
        All steeped in Loving~Kindness to ALL Creatures ~ Mother Earth ~
        ALL LIFE Seen and Unseen and Beyond as Divine Spirit manifestations
        of Mother~Father~Genderless GOD ~ One Spirit Divine and Immortal.

        The Essenes were holistic indeed! For them natural Creation was the
        Temple of God ~ and made of God. Their worship was mostly celebrated
        in the Holy Beautiful Nature of the Creator ~outside~ in that which is
        not constructed by human hands. All of the Essene's medicines were the
        organic plants and herbs, springing up from Mother Earth herself...
        such is also the food and medicine of All other Creatures. The
        Essenes, as did Christ the Essene, clothed themselves in long bright
        white linen or cotton garments. None of their choices harmed nor
        exploited any Creature. The Essenes were all the deepest of divine
        mystics and joyful ascetics. They initiated those who were mystically
        receptive and ready for the Essene wisdom and vows. The early Essenes
        of Christ the Essene wrote many sacred Gospel texts; Christ's direct
        teachings and life, which were all banned by the later Catholic Church.

        Just as Saint Francis of Assisi ecstatically worshiped and addressed
        with profound Divine Agape Love ~ the Sun ~ Moon ~ Water ~ ALL Animals
        And Creatures ~ Trees ~ Flowers ~ Meadows ~ Breezes ~ Sky etc As His
        Holy And Divine Spiritual Kindred ~ As Manifestations Of God's
        Immortal Spirit ~ This gives a hint of the way the Essenes love and
        revere ALL LIFE as God's Own Divine Beingness Spirit manifesting in
        All forms. {The modern~day Catholic Franciscian Orders have no clue as
        to who St. Francis was, taught or embodied. These modern Franciscians
        have many cruel hunters in their priestly ranks, and most modern
        Franciscans are avid meat eaters. This would be demonic and apalling
        to the original Saint Francis who never did anything to harm any
        Creature, and he taught that no Creature was any different or any
        lower than any human being. He taught that ALL Creatures were God's
        Divine Immortal Spirit.}

        Yes... Divine Holy Love and Forgivness are Universally a must.
        Only the human species is hateful, toxic, and all~destructive.
        And, this is because those qualities of Holy Divine Love and
        Forgiveness and Loving~Kindness have ceased to have reality and value
        to so many humans. Before the human species chose to "Fall" and chose
        separation from the One Spirit God and chose violence, ignorance and
        greed ~ before humans committed this evil ~ ALL Living Beings Were
        Vegan! Only the human species has this "Original Sin"! ALL Other
        Creatures and Beings Are INNOCENT.

        Because of the radical downward shift in all manifestation's forms
        vibrational rate due this this Curse humans karma put upon ALL Life...
        some Holy Animals and Creatures *physical biology* began to require a
        different non~vegan type of food. The human species inflicted this
        upon them. MANY Animals and Creatures are still purely vegan and never
        violate any being and would choose death before eating any kind of
        flesh. ALL Animals and Creatures are Innocent and they know that they
        are Immortal Spirit, and they have not lost any of their Intuition or
        Spiritual Gifts. Only the human species questions this still... only
        the human species has atheists and doubters of Spirit ~ God. Only the
        human species is plagued with insanity and ignorance. Let us now, all
        individually choose Divine Wisdom and to seek GOD ~ Spirit ~ within
        us... Everywhere ~ Merging as One Ambrosial Divine Spirit!
        Be Loving~Kindness To ALL LIFE Always! Everything can again become
        it's Original Pure State Of Divine Being! Lets us shed everything
        toxic, cruel, selfish, impure, artificial, materialistic addictions ~
        and live simply and purely and with Loving~Kindness towards ALL LIFE!


        ~*~ Bountiful Ambrosial Divine Love Blessings! ~*~


        ~*~ CeLeStiaL DiViNe MySTiC ~*~ UniVerSaL DiViNe LiFe CHuRcH ~*~


        ~*~*~*~ Rev. Celestial Constance EverOne ~*~*~*~

        *Mystical Theology *Virtues *Woman Mystic Priest *Guidance *Healing*


        ^,,^******************************************************
        >Y<*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*PEACE*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        http://360.yahoo.com/Universal.DivineLife {CONNECT!}

        http://My.Care2.Com/Shivani_Ahimsa {See My Sharebook~BLOG Link}

        http://AuthorsDen.Com/UniversalDivineLife {My Previous Writings}

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Universal_DivineLifeChurch_Mystics_Vegan






        "Conshana" wrote:


        Dear Celestial Divine Mystic,,,

        I am a new member, and this is my first post. I have not yet written
        an intro, but I soon shall, that folks may know who I am.
        I was doing some online investigations, and this site came up, and
        as Fortune would have it, I saw this post, and read it.

        The conclusions and facts which you have noted below tally almost
        perfectly with my own investigations! Using the Catholic Churches OWN
        archives, (From On-Line research), The evidence is overwhelming that
        the Early Church was corrupted and controlled by the emperors living
        during the times of the Biblical Conclaves. As you noted below,
        Constantine was a "biggie",,, HOWEVER, Justinian was also a "terror"
        to the truth, and in fact published a series of Anathemas, which I
        will search in my files, and publish to this forum, along with the
        website information to go to for more information / further research.

        Lest it be thought I am "ANTI - ", whatever, Let me say this. IN THE
        ORIGINAL genesis of ALL religions, there was the basic premise of
        LOVE. It was in the outside influences and the roles of the "Powers
        That Be" that degraded the original concepts, and "greased the
        slopes" of degeneration of those concepts. The ONLY purpose was for
        the greed, power and control of the adherents,,, and hence of the
        masses.

        It is truly a grievous sorrow, that lies and deceptions take on their
        own truth, and are propogated AS "TRUTH",,, This has happened
        throughout the history of mankind. Greed and Fear are the motivating
        factors behind all this, and a truly conscious and aware individuated
        Spirit can only sit back, scratch their head in bewilderment,and
        say, "W H Y?"

        Which brings me to the cause of all this, in the first place. Fear
        and an exaggerated sense of importance. Some call it EGO, yet even
        this concept has been severely maligned. Ego, in its proper place and
        role, is an integral part of the Human / Spiritual continuum, the
        Human / Spiritual Gestalt. But that is a subject for another day!

        I, Personally, thank you for posting such an enlightening essay!
        Blessings to you and yours, and to this Forum.

        Love and Living Light,,,
        I AM Conshana
        (And thanks to Taye, who all unknowingly led me here!)





        "CeLeStiaL DiViNe MySTiC" <universal.divinelife@> wrote:



        *~ The Original Teachings Of Christ BANNED By The Catholic Church ~*



        Believe it or not, at the start of the 21st century we find ourselves
        in the middle of more religious wars. Our enemy, who claims to
        represent Islam, is attacking the West on multiple fronts. Islamic
        terrorists have attacked America, Israel, Spain, France, and Russia
        in recent years, and even the president of the mightiest nation on
        Earth has openly doubted if the West can ever win this war against
        these religious extremists.(2) Most perpetrators of suicide
        operations in buses, schools and residential buildings around the
        world for the past 10 years have professed to be devout Muslims, but
        their claim to represent true Islam has been widely disputed. Still,
        while their fellow Muslims around the world have not universally
        united in support of this Jihad against the West, they have also not
        done so in condemnation of it either. This should not surprise us,
        because Islam was born with a warlike nature, and aggression will
        probably always be in its blood. Although he preached peace, history
        leaves no doubt that Mohammed supported the use of violence for the
        advancement of Islam, and his followers have never forgotten that
        injunction. This observation is not meant as a condemnation of Islam,
        but only to distinguish it from other religious approaches, such as
        Essenes, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, Jainism and Taoism etc that are
        not so warlike. We must not forget that the West {USA and Britain etc}
        also, have continually perpetuated lies, horrible violent atroscities,
        forced manipulations, invasions, mass slaughter of the innocent,
        destruction and thievery against the middle east and other countries;
        of course they will seek to react.

        Constantinian Christianity, the foundation of Western civilization,
        was also born of war, and will probably always have war in its blood
        as well. By this, I do not mean the original religion Christ taught,
        but rather that imposter which came later and modified His teachings.
        This imposter shows no evidence of being the true offspring of the
        Prince of Peace, but seems instead to be, much like Islam, born of a
        warlike parentage. Constantine's Church has been in a fairly constant
        state of war since its inception, fighting the Jews, the Gnostics,
        the Muslims, the Protestants, and even a good portion of the
        scientific community. However, unlike that imposter which came later,
        it does not seem that true Christianity could have originally been a
        warlike religion. Its gentle Founder never carried a sword, refused
        to defend Himself when attacked, and taught His followers to "love
        their enemies", "give to those who ask". "worship not money", "turn
        the other cheek", and "resist not evil". Not only did the meek
        Founder of Christianity go quietly like a lamb to His own slaughter,
        but actually told His disciples that if they wanted to be saved, they
        would have to follow His example and do the same.(3) There seems
        little doubt -- that person is NOT represented by our Western
        civilization today. He is not represented by our politicians or our
        priests, not by Wall Street, Academia, or even Hollywood. He is
        virtually unknown. And so are His true teachings. Jesus Christ's
        original true teachings required His followers to embody loving
        kindness to all creatures and to all of mother earth as divine; His
        followers never ate nor wore nor used anything which exploited or
        harmed or robbed the freedom from any creature. Jesus Christ and
        his original followers were vegan Essenes whose teachings forbade
        any flesh/fish/creature eating, and forbade all alcohol/wine
        drinking, and held non~violence and loving kindness towards All Life,
        as well as sexual purity and an ascetic pure celibate life as vows.
        The Catholic Church is militant and filled with blood~lust and sin,
        therefore they hated the Essenes and the true teachings of Jesus.
        The Catholic Church tried to destroy all of the Essene Gospel Texts
        of Jesus and His Apostles and followers. All modern Christian
        churches are not aware of the true Jesus and His teachings.
        Jesus Christ spoke of God as being the Mother and Father of ALL, as
        well as being Genderless, Immanent and Transcendent, and Beyond.
        Christ taught that ALL was indeed the Self and Fabric of God's
        Consciousness SPIRIT ~ God Himself.
        After aeons of reincarnations towards spiritual perfection, the
        destiny of all manifestations without exception, is finally Union ~
        Merging back into Divine Oneness with GOD the ALL ONE IMMORTAL
        SPIRIT.


        We have dire problems here now. While the Islamic militants attacking
        us today are at least being honest with and loyal to their own
        personal beliefs in fighting this war, we find ourselves in apparent
        conflict with our religion's peaceful Founder if we fight back. In
        order to fight back, we must actually fight on two fronts -- we must
        fight both our outer enemy and also our inner faith. And so, while we
        are divided within ourselves, our enemy is whole, and would thus seem
        to hold a significant advantage over us.

        Islam is visibly growing stronger and more robust around the world,
        even as mainstream Christianity seems to be dying the fabled "death
        of a thousand cuts". In Europe, once the stronghold of a vast
        Christian Empire, an increasing percentage of the population now
        considers religion completely irrelevant to their lives. Meanwhile,
        in America, Christianity's supposed new center of gravity on the
        planet, we find a corrupt ministry and priesthood whose sexual and
        financial scandals have managed to make the vulgarities of popular
        television seem tame by comparison. And in science, more and more
        evidence is piling up in support of reincarnation, an idea which, if
        true, spells doom for conventional Christian theology.(4)

        Nonetheless, the only way we will win this war, the only way we can
        survive this onslaught, is to be whole ourselves as well, to be true
        to our religion (whatever that may be) at least as much as our enemy
        is to his. If we embrace our faith halfheartedly, our hearts, and
        thus our strength, will be divided already, leaving us likely to lose
        our battles before they even begin. If we are to be in a religious
        war, we cannot expect to win by betraying our religion while our
        enemy is loyal to his.(5) Unfortunately, this is easier said than
        done. It has become more and more clear from the last century's
        archaeological finds that what the world follows today is not
        Original Christianity, but a heavily edited, modified, and incomplete
        substitute. People around the world are realizing that even if we
        try, it may not be possible for us to be true to Christ's original
        teachings today, simply because we have been misled about what they
        were. This, of course, has been argued before. Right from its
        inception, sects began splitting off from the main trunk of
        Christianity, accusing the church of betraying and corrupting
        Christ's original teachings. In a virtual orgy of finger-pointing,
        this accusation has been repeated by every single denomination of
        Christianity. Now that the many banned and unedited, Original sacred
        texts Gospel's teachings of Jesus Christ the Essene and His Essene
        direct disciple followers are being published, we have a divine
        treasure chest overflowing with the true wisdom to follow and
        practice. Thanks Be To God!

        While all these sects don't agree what the true teachings of Original
        Christianity actually were, they all do agree that those original
        teachings were eventually betrayed and corrupted. Of course, we
        didn't have any solid proof to back up those claims until 1945, when
        a large cache of previously-unknown early Christian scriptures were
        unearthed in Egypt. In Nag Hammadi, a small southern village on the
        west bank of the Nile, we found 52 early Christian writings that had
        once so threatened Constantine's Church that it sought out and
        destroyed all existing copies. And then, for good measure, that same
        church also murdered any poor soul who happened to be caught in
        possession of one of these illegal scriptures.(6) The only reason any
        copies of these works remained to be found at Nag Hammadi is because
        Constantine's Church never knew they were buried there.



        The Lost Gospels



        Never before had such a collection been recovered; this twentieth
        century find brought the first serious defeat in the church's ancient
        and ongoing war against these records. For nearly 2000 years, the
        church's censorship campaign had been successful, alienating the
        world from some of the earliest flowerings of Christian thought.
        Thanks to that censorship, some of the teachings and recurring themes
        in these early scriptures now seem totally alien to Christianity, not
        making any sense at all to conventional theology. In the Gospel of
        Thomas, for example, we are repeatedly instructed to "make the two
        one"; in the Secret Book of James, we read that salvation revolves
        around the relationship between one's own soul and spirit; in the
        Gospel of Mary, we are warned against having a divided heart; and in
        the Gospel of Truth, we learn that Jesus' mission was to repair a
        great division. This theme of division and duality obviously permeated
        early Christian thought, but was later erased from the canvas of
        history, making it as alien to the church as a flashlight to a caveman.

        A great many of these lost scriptures have been dated to the first or
        second centuries, making them some of the earliest Christian
        literature ever written. Despite that, however, these teachings were
        meticulously erased from the church's legacy; we never inherited them
        because the church didn't want us to. For 1500 years, the church
        burned these books, along with their owners. This campaign to destroy
        all but a carefully chosen set of early Christian teachings began
        with Constantine's conversion in the 4th century, and lasted all the
        way until the end of the Spanish Inquisition in 1834.

        It was the longest censorship campaign in human history.

        There's no way to calculate how much we lost. Although a few listings
        of titles of missing early Christian scriptures still exist, we know
        these listings aren't inclusive. They are just the only listings that
        managed to survive the editing process of the church. Still, they are
        enough. They make it clear that many more early Christian scriptures
        once existed than do today. In the first centuries of the church, the
        faithful once also read all the following Original Gospel's
        scriptures of the vegan Essenes of Jesus Christ The Essene which are
        the direct in~person words and deepest mystical teachings of Jesus
        Christ, right alongside the familiar titles in today's much changed
        and re~written and edited Bible:



        The Acts of Andrew

        The Gospel of Andrew

        The Gospel of the Twelve Apostles

        The Gospel of Barnabas

        The Gospel of Bartholomew

        The Gospel of Basilides

        The Gospel of Cerinthus

        The Revelation of Cerinthus

        Epistle from Christ to Peter and Paul

        The Gospel of the Egyptians

        The Gospel of the Ebionites

        The Gospel of the Encratites

        The Gospel of Eve

        The Gospel of the Hebrews

        The Book of the Helkesaites

        The Gospel of Hesychius

        The Book of James

        The Acts of John

        The Gospel of Judas

        The Gospel of Jude

        The Acts of the Apostles by Lentitus

        The Books of Lentitius

        The Acts of the Apostles by Leucius

        The Acts of the Apostles by Leontius

        The Acts of the Apostles by Leuthon

        The Gospel of Lucianus

        The Gospel of Marcion

        The Gospel of Mary

        The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

        The Gospel of Matthias

        The Traditions of Matthias

        The Gospel of Merinthus

        The Gospel of the Nazarenes

        The Acts of Paul and Thecla

        The Acts of Paul

        The Preaching of Paul

        The Revelation of Paul

        The Gospel of Perfection

        The Acts of Peter

        The Doctrine of Peter

        The Gospel of Peter

        The Judgment of Peter

        The Preaching of Peter

        The Revelation of Peter

        The Acts of Philip

        The Gospel of Philip

        The Gospel of Scythianus

        The Acts of the Apostles by Seleuccus

        The Revelation of Stephen

        The Gospel of Titan

        The Gospel of Thaddaeus

        The Epistle of Themison

        The Acts of Thomas

        The Gospel of Thomas

        The Gospel of Truth

        The Gospel of Valentinius

        and more not listed here...





        While today's official New Testament only offers its readers the four
        gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, along with a handful of
        letters from Paul, Peter, James, and Jude, early congregations also
        read dozens of other gospels and holy scriptures that no longer
        exist. All we have left today are these empty titles, which stand as
        mute witness to the power and thoroughness of the church's censorship
        campaign.(7) Although only eight authors are represented in the
        official New Testament, in the earliest years of Christianity the
        faithful read the work of at least 38 additional authors (that we
        know of). The earliest disciples spent their lives teaching a
        literate culture about Christ, and, as Luke himself testifies, a
        great many written works emerged from their passionate commitment to
        that mission :



        "Many have taken pen in hand to draw up an account of the things that
        have taken place among us, just as they were handed down to us from
        the first eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. Since I have
        perfectly followed all these things from the very beginning, it
        therefore seemed good for me to also write you an orderly account."
        - The Gospel of Luke 1: 1-3



        In the earliest years of the faith, before Luke got around to writing
        up his version of events, many others had already done so.
        Constantine's Church, however, condemned all of those early reports,
        all except the 27 books that made it into the New Testament. And as
        it was making those decisions, the church demonstrated special
        favoritism towards one author in particular -- Paul -- who wrote more
        than half of all the books in the New Testament. Of its 27 books,
        Paul, a man who never even met Jesus in the flesh, wrote 13 of them.
        Today, of course, Constantine's Church embraces Paul's letters as the
        standard by which all other Christian scripture is to be judged,
        primarily because his work seemed to be, at least before the
        discovery of the Gospel of Thomas, the oldest surviving Christian
        literature. However, in Philippians 3:10-14, Paul himself confessed
        that his familiarity with Christianity was imperfect and limited,
        which would seem to cast doubt on the full accuracy of His
        representation of Christ's original teachings. He admitted that he
        did not yet "know" Christ and still wished to accomplish this, and
        that he was not yet "perfect" in the faith. Despite these
        shortcomings, however, Paul's writings were not only chosen to be in
        the Bible, but given preference over a great many other scriptures,
        including many allegedly written by some of the actual Twelve
        Apostles, such as Peter, James, Andrew, Thomas, and Philip. Of
        course, the church's only possible defense of this would be if all
        those writings are falsely attributed, and were not actually written
        by the true Twelve. For if they were authentic, then the testimony of
        those who spent a year or more being instructed by Christ during His
        ministry would surely be preferred over someone who had only had
        visions of Him after His resurrection.

        Certainly, the church does deny that these scriptures were written by
        members of the original Twelve; however, there are two things wrong
        with that argument. One, if these scriptures were not originally
        written by the Apostles, then where are the scriptures they would
        have written? In a literate civilization, a sizable percentage of
        the Apostles probably would have scratched out some sort of written
        recollection or teaching over the course of their lives, and Luke
        confirms that this in fact did occur. If these recently discovered
        scriptures are not the ones they wrote, then where are the ones they
        did write? And two, very good cases can be made that both The Gospel
        of Thomas (found at Nag Hammadi Egypt in 1945),(8) and The Gospel of
        Peter (found in Akhmim Egypt in 1886)(9) actually do date from the
        mid-first century, which is exactly when the Twelve would have been
        most likely to produce written works.

        We know our lists of lost works are incomplete, because the Nag
        Hammadi find contained no less than 41 early Christian scriptures
        that we'd never even heard of before. Their titles had previously
        appeared in no list, no correspondence, no surviving document of any
        kind. These scriptures were considered so dangerous to the church
        that not one single mention of them was allowed to survive the
        passage of time. In the last century, for example, we discovered that
        there had once been a Gospel of Mary. We never knew that before, and
        the only possible explanation why we never did is because the church
        didn't want us to. If the church had wanted that text to survive, no
        power on earth could have erased it from our heritage.

        Not only were all these texts themselves to be rooted out, the church
        decided, but all trace of them as well. History was to be wiped
        completely clean of any memory or mention of the ideas in these
        works. And until their texts were finally unearthed again in Egypt,
        all we had left were empty titles, and lots of questions about what
        kind of ideas had once been inside them.

        How many more were there? Were there yet another 41 scriptures
        written in the earliest years of the church that we still don't know
        anything about? Were there a hundred? Two hundred? There just doesn't
        seem to be any way to know. If the church could successfully erase
        all memory of these 41 scriptures, it could do anything. 1500 years
        is a long time to get a story straight.


        Truth Through Censorship


        Constantine's Church openly admits this censorship. It claims that
        all these lost texts were erroneous representations of Christianity
        and so deserved to be destroyed; and in support of that position, it
        points to some extant writings of early church figures which say as
        much. However, this argument is disingenuous, for the church is
        arguing its case with evidence it itself has admitted tampering with.
        For all we know, the vast majority of Christians in the first two
        centuries preferred these forbidden scriptures over those
        Constantine's Church canonized, but now that all evidence which might
        have reflected that has been erased, we will never know. As soon as
        Constantine's Church began tampering with the evidence, it lost all
        credibility.

        Over the years, many have accused the church of betraying its
        original integrity in order to gain political strength and stability,
        and such a motivation would be easily understandable. Christians
        suffered horrific persecution in the first 300 years of the church.
        Many of the original apostles endured beatings, stonings, and
        imprisonments, and anyone who accepted a public position as a
        Christian leader was asking for a short and troubled life. For
        example, in 235 AD the Roman Bishop Pontian was arrested almost as
        soon as he was ordained. Rome sent him to the lead mines of Sardinia,
        where prisoners were forced to toil 20 grueling hours per day on
        nothing but one meal of bread and water. Most died within months.
        Like Pontian, many high-ranking Christians were sent to the Sardinian
        mines in those years, or persecuted in other equally miserable ways.
        Less than a century later, however, after the Roman Emperor
        Constantine converted to Christianity, everything changed.(10) In 314
        AD, the new Roman Bishop found himself showered with prestige,
        wealth, pomp, and the favor of the Emperor. Instead of facing
        persecution, he was now living in the lap of luxury, with a beautiful
        palace, a glorious cathedral, and all the trappings of power.

        After suffering so much grief from all those centuries of
        persecution, it was only natural for Christians to welcome a more
        politically approved status for the church. But ever since that
        status was granted, historians have been asking if accepting it was a
        mistake. Before Constantine, the church had been a pure fellowship of
        selfless heroes, people so committed to serve Jesus that they endured
        any hardship. There was no question of their personal dedication to
        the church's ideals and teachings, since they were putting their
        lives on the line just to be a member. But after Constantine's
        conversion, the newly "politically correct" church became an
        attractive career option for the average person. Simply claiming to
        be a Christian could bring power, prestige, and promotion, where it
        had previously only brought persecution. This placed the church at
        risk of being infiltrated by unscrupulous people seeking nothing more
        than worldly power and political advancement. Such people, if they
        succeeded in securing a foothold in the ecclesiastical hierarchy,
        could ascend to positions where their ambition could compromise the
        church.



        The Emperor's New Sword



        As Constantine came to power in the fourth century, the Roman Empire
        was struggling with a dilemma. After centuries of persecutions, it
        had become obvious that the flood of Christians refusing to pay
        religious homage to the Emperor was not going to end, even under
        penalty of death. Constantine knew a radically new approach was
        needed to deal with the Christians. The continuing sociological
        phenomenon of civil disobedience meant just one thing to Rome: the
        masses had become unacceptably unruly, and the Empire needed to find
        something to render them servile and cooperative again. Until
        Christianity entered the picture, state and religion had always
        operated in tandem in Rome; the Emperor had always enjoyed being
        viewed as a god, and exercising a god's unlimited control over his
        subjects. The entrance of Christianity into Roman culture was the
        first real interruption of that privilege. This strange new religion
        gave its followers the courage to defy the state, as they so famously
        did during the Christian persecutions. This open defiance made a huge
        impression on Rome. It left the Emperor looking weak, which
        threatened the stability of the whole Empire.

        But the Emperor eventually realized that this new faith might be made
        to work for him instead of against him, just as all the former
        religions had done. Constantine tried to increase his control over
        the population by reunifying state and religion, two social forces
        which had recently been wasting their energies against one another.
        With Christianity working for the state, the Emperor reasoned, he
        could re-establish his traditional control over the populace, giving
        commands the masses would again be too afraid to disobey. Indeed,
        Christianity seemed to hold the potential to make the Emperor's power
        over the masses greater than it had ever been before. With a renewed
        alignment of church and state, the people would no longer merely fear
        the ability of the state to take one's life, but would then also fear
        its ability to condemn one's soul to eternal damnation in the
        afterlife as well. If a government could get the population to truly
        believe it had such power, it would possess the most successful
        populace control system imaginable.

        But some adjustments would be needed first. As it was, the Christian
        religion showed a lot of potential; the courage and dedication it
        inspired in men's hearts must have seemed a very attractive commodity
        to the Emperor. What power a man would have if he could control such
        faith! But that religion would still need to be shaped and
        manipulated somewhat in order to fine tune it into the best possible
        political tool. The state's claim to religious power would have to
        rest on one assumption -- that earthly authorities could irreversibly
        damn one's soul into eternal punishment. That, of course, would
        require the people to believe that a single, eternal afterlife
        immediately followed one's present earthly life. There was no room
        for reincarnation in this picture, or any idea that a person might
        have more than one life, or more than one chance to get things right.
        Reincarnation, if it was there, would have to go.



        Reincarnation in the Early Church



        Reincarnation was there. There's really no questioning the presence
        of reincarnation in early Christian theology. In fact, the doctrine
        of rebirth was so mainstream in the earliest years of the church that
        one of its most prominent teachers, Valentinus, almost became Pope.
        Born in Alexandria around A.D. 100, Valentinus claimed to have been
        personally initiated by Theudas, a disciple and initiate of the
        Apostle Paul, who had passed down secret teachings and rituals from
        Christ Himself. Like Paul, Valentinus also claimed to have had a
        vision of the risen Christ. Following this mystical experience, he
        began teaching in Alexandria, but migrated to Rome around 135 AD,
        where he quickly became an influential and widely respected member of
        the Orthodox Church. His pro-reincarnational teachings were so well
        received there, in fact, that he was actually a candidate for the
        papacy. After losing what is said to have been a very close election,
        he continued to teach in Rome for many years, and his theology
        attracted a large following, especially in Egypt and Syria.

        Constantine's Church openly admits that some portion of pre-Nicene
        Christianity believed in reincarnation, and the recovered gospels
        from Nag Hammadi, preserved in their original unedited condition for
        1500 years, say the same thing. In fact, it would have been
        surprising if reincarnation had not been a part of the original
        teachings of the church, since the world in which Christianity arose
        was utterly saturated with the idea.(11) In Egypt, that massive
        cultural force on Israel's Western border, the doctrine was so
        ancient that a number of Pharaohs even had the idea incorporated
        into their very names.(12) And towards the East, rebirth was the
        foundation of India's entire culture. But by far the most direct
        influx came through Hellenistic thought. Ever since Alexander the
        Great conquered the Mediterranean world in the fourth century BC, the
        pro-reincarnational teachings of Plato and Socrates flowed like water
        through the Holy Land. By enforcing the spread of Greek language,
        Alexander and his successors brought everyone into communication in
        an unprecedented way.

        Many ancient reports coming out of Egypt insisted that the belief was
        common among the earliest Christians, being imparted in secret to the
        faith's most advanced initiates.(13) According to tradition,
        Christianity was originally brought to Egypt by Saint Mark in the
        second half of the first century. While we possess no records
        describing the theology of Mark besides the canonical gospel, he may
        have also authored a Secret Gospel of Mark that contained more
        advanced teaching for those being initiated into the Christian
        mysteries.(14) Excerpts from that "secret gospel", which were
        rediscovered in the 20th century, seem to portray Jesus initiating a
        student into secret mysteries of the church. From the very beginning
        of the Egyptian church, then, a 'secret doctrine' seems to have been
        taught to those who were deemed worthy.



        The Alexandrian Catechism



        The intellectual center of the Roman Empire at the time was in
        Alexandria Egypt, and the Catechetical School, an official
        institution of the church, was founded there sometime in the second
        century. Before the establishment of that school, however, the
        Christian sects of Carpocrates, Basilides, Isidore, Valentinus and
        Heracleon all flourished in Alexandria. These groups all taught a
        form of Christianity that included reincarnation, which put them in
        familiar company in that corner of the world. The famous Jewish
        philosopher Philo, also an Alexandrian, taught a version of Judaism
        that included reincarnation, and back then, Christianity was widely
        thought of as another Jewish sect. Alexandria's JudeoChristian
        reincarnationist schools have been dated as far back as 117 AD.

        The original founding date of the Catechetical School is unknown; any
        documents that might have provided that information have been deleted
        from the historical record. In any case, we know the school dates at
        least as far back as 175 AD, when it was headed by a man named
        Pantaenus. Although this school became very famous and influential,
        history has left no record of the teachings of Pantaenus. All we know
        is that he eventually passed along the leadership of the school to
        Saint Clement(15) in 190 AD, who ran the institution until he in turn
        passed the reins to Origen in 203 AD.

        Born about 150 AD, Clement of Alexandria was deeply respected in the
        early Christian community; in addition to being the head of the most
        prestigious theological college of his day, he was also a presbyter
        in the church of Alexandria. He was exceptionally well-read, holding
        a comprehensive knowledge of JudeoChristian literature, including
        both orthodox and heretical works. Clement used and honored many
        scriptures that Constantine's Church later condemned, including The
        Gospel of the Egyptians, The Gospel of the Hebrews, The Traditions
        of Matthias, The Teaching of Peter, The Epistle of Barnabas, the
        Apocalypse of Peter, and The Preaching of Peter, all of which he
        seems to have considered authentic. He claimed to have received a
        secret esoteric Christian tradition from Pantaenus, which had been
        passed down directly from the Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul.
        These mysteries had to remain hidden, Clement insisted, and could
        never be written or taught publically :



        "...the wise do not utter with their mouth what they reason to
        council. 'But what ye hear in the ear," says the Lord, "proclaim upon
        the houses," bidding them receive the secret traditions of the true
        knowledge, and expound them aloft and conspicuously; and as we have
        heard in the ear, so to deliver them to whom it is requisite; but not
        enjoining us to communicate to all without distinction, what is said
        to them in parables."
        - Clement of Alexandria, "The Mysteries of the Faith Not To Be
        Divulged to All"



        Did those secret teachings include a belief in reincarnation? The
        ninth century Greek theologian Photius thought so, accusing him of
        teaching reincarnation in his work "Outlines" (Hypotyposeis).(16)

        Although he possessed an extraordinary education and was hailed as
        a theological pioneer, Clement was dwarfed in all of these by his
        student Origen, who is widely recognized as the most prominent,
        distinguished, and influential of all the early church fathers. The
        most prolific theologian of early Christianity, he is said to have
        written over 6,000 works, although the vast majority of those
        ultimately failed to survive the church's later censorship. Still,
        in Origen's extant works, we seem to catch a far more substantial
        glimpse of the esoteric teachings passed down to him from Pantaenus
        and Clement. And one of Origen's contemporaries -- Saint Jerome --
        also publically accused him of teaching reincarnation in his writings
        as well. However, Origen makes a curious distinction. While he
        enthusiastically condemns belief in the reincarnation of the soul, he
        seems to openly support belief in the reincarnation of the spirit.
        (17) Origen taught that the living are born into this world after
        having already experienced previous lives :



        "The soul has neither beginning nor end... [They] come into this
        world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of
        their previous lives." (18)



        Constantine's Choice



        In addition to Valentinus, Clement, and Origen, we also know that
        many other prominent figures in the early church taught a form of
        Christianity which included reincarnation. But we know too that
        reincarnation did not mesh with the Empire's political needs. And, of
        course, we know that the church subsequently edited and modified the
        literature of the time to suit its purposes. Knowing all that, only
        one question remains : did Constantine intentionally compromise
        Christ's original teachings to further his political ambitions? Of
        course, our knowledge of the history of these first centuries is far
        from perfect, and scholars still dispute various details of the early
        church councils. Because of the insufficiency of our information,
        there cannot help but be some confusion and obscurity. Nonetheless,
        it is quite clear that like all the Emperors who came before him,
        Constantine didn't think anything was forbidden for him to do.
        Although he paid lip service to Christianity, Constantine
        demonstrated virtually no loyalty to Christ's teachings. Over the
        course of his life, he murdered his own wife, his eldest son, and
        many of his closest friends, and reveled in the mutilation and
        torture of political enemies and prisoners of war. Despotic and
        ambitious, Constantine seemed ruthlessly determined to achieve
        complete dominance over the Empire regardless of the cost. And
        although he claimed to be a Christian, he at the same time also
        worshiped the traditional Roman sun god. Such a life would seem to be
        a far cry from the ideals and teachings of Christ, but it does seem
        to have a lot in common with the subsequent history of the Church of
        Rome and all its descendants, a parallel which has led many over the
        centuries to suspect that the true founder of the Roman Church was
        not Christ at all, but Constantine himself.

        Shortly after acquiring control of the united Empire and ending the
        Christian persecutions, Constantine almost immediately found himself
        facing yet another domestic crisis over religion. The east was
        rioting in one city after another; bishop was now contending against
        bishop, and people were fighting in the streets. Although Constantine
        did not fully comprehend what all the fuss was about, he resolved to
        put an end to it. He needed a united church for his united Empire, so
        for the first time in the history of the church, the state intervened
        in a dispute about belief. It wouldn't be the last time.

        By Constantine's orders, 1,800 bishops from all corners of the Empire
        were invited to attend a great church council at Nicaea, but only
        about 300 answered the imperial summons, perhaps because they
        realized that Constantine intended to chair the meeting himself. The
        thought of a Roman Emperor presiding over church affairs must have
        been very intimidating and troubling to the Christians of that era;
        many of the attendees still bore scars of torture from previous
        Emperors.

        At the heart of the matter to be addressed was a simple question: had
        Jesus always been God, or had He once just been a man who at some
        point became God's Son? Was there, in other words, a time when the
        Father alone existed, but not the Son? This was no mere academic
        question. If Jesus was originally a man who later became God's Son,
        that implied that other men could potentially also become Sons of
        God. And if others could become Sons of God, then no one would
        necessarily need the church for their salvation, but could instead
        achieve that goal on their own, the same way Christ did. This
        question was ripping the church apart, just when Constantine needed
        it to hold the empire together.

        In the end, it was decided in that meeting that Jesus had always been
        God, and that other men could not follow in His footsteps to achieve
        the same result. Instead, the council declared that the souls of men
        were not like Jesus' soul, and did not, in and of themselves, possess
        any inherent potential for divinity. While Christ's soul had always
        existed, the council decided, man's soul was a created thing, and did
        not come into existence until the person was physically born. There
        was thus a huge gulf between God and man, and the church was the
        only bridge between them. In short, man had to rely on the church to
        acquire eternal life. In denying the soul's divine origin, the
        council implicitly ruled out all possibility of pre-existence and
        reincarnation, while emphasizing the power and authority of the
        church over the individual.(19) In the end, one definition of
        Christianity was chosen in that meeting, and all others were
        rejected. Shortly after, the dreaded Christian persecutions began
        anew, this time orchestrated by the church itself.



        Return of the Christian Persecutions



        Some things never change. Since the earliest days of the Roman
        Empire, anyone refusing to pledge allegiance to the Emperor was put
        to death, and this attitude did not suddenly disappear just because
        Constantine converted. After the Council of Nicaea, all who practiced
        those rejected versions of Christianity were labeled enemies of the
        state, and started to be hunted down. These new persecutions involved
        unprecedented literary censorship, starting with the Emperor
        Constantine's order that all writings of the Christian theologian
        Arius had to be delivered up to the authorities to be burned, and
        that anyone found concealing them would be put to death. But that was
        just the beginning. When Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the
        official state religion a few years later, the Roman government
        published an edict requiring all subjects of the Empire to profess
        the faith of the Bishop of Rome, and those who refused found
        themselves the enemies of the state all over again. Much as before,
        everyone was again forced to either pledge allegiance to the official
        state religion, or suffer harsh punishment. The church went through
        an amazing transformation in the fourth century. Instead of being
        prey, Christians were now the hunters. Instead of being martyrs,
        church leaders became "heretic" hunters, mercilessly killing any who
        dared disagree with them. All writings inconsistent with the official
        teachings of the church were outlawed, and those who read them risked
        being burnt at the stake. And that, historians think, was just about
        when all those texts started to be gathered up and buried at Nag
        Hammadi. For the next thousand years, the church continued to hunt
        and kill "heretics". Curiously, Jesus seems to have predicted all
        this:



        "The time is coming when whoever kills you will think he is doing God
        a service."
        - John 16:2



        With the church deciding what could and could not be read, all
        authors who challenged the teachings of the church had their works
        erased from history. Thousands of books were burnt, and hundreds of
        thousands of "heretics" along with them. Less than 100 years after
        Constantine's conversion, the church burnt the entire contents of the
        famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt, and it continued to launch
        similar campaigns for the next 1000 years. It massacred tens of
        thousands of Christian "heretics" in France in the Albigensian
        crusade of 1209-1255, and possibly hundreds of thousands more during
        the Inquisition.(20) Like George Orwell's imaginary "Big Brother",
        Constantine's Church sought complete control over both public and
        private opinion. When the printing press was invented in the
        fifteenth century, the church demanded the right to approve all
        manuscripts before publication. The church even refused to let people
        read its own book. As unlikely as it seems today, it was actually
        illegal to possess the Bible, and simply reading it was considered
        proof that someone was a heretic. Men and women were actually burned
        at the stake for reading the Roman Catholic Bible.

        Obviously, something had gone horribly wrong. Christianity had taken
        a wrong turn. What had started out as love had warped into hatred and
        fear. Prior to Constantine, however, the church had been different, a
        pure fellowship of selfless heroes filled with the love, courage, and
        fruitfulness that only comes from authentic health and wholeness.
        Even though the original church contained the disparate elements that
        would later become known as the Roman and Gnostic Churches, they were
        originally very successful together. Prior to Constantine, Christians
        had been known throughout the Empire for their remarkably advanced
        social innovations. Christian communities had been very organized,
        cohesive, and creative, introducing artisan associations, charitable
        groups, and retirement and funeral insurance agencies that supported
        all members regardless of social class. They not only introduced
        these modern social innovations, but executed them so well that the
        Roman government tried to emulate their new social systems. However,
        Rome fumbled the job so badly that all it ended up doing was
        emphasizing how well the Christians had done.



        Orphans of War



        After the Council of Nicaea, however, everything changed. There then
        seemed to be two separate churches, the Constantinians and the
        Gnostics, which were suddenly alienated from and at war with one
        another. Each of those surviving halves sincerely believed that it
        alone represented the true Church, the original teachings of Christ,
        but, as we will see from the recovered scriptures from Nag Hammadi,
        they were both wrong. Neither half was the whole. What had originally
        been filled with a dynamic and creative complexity had been
        shattered, and from its ashes, two equally crippled halves crawled
        forth. Constantine's Church became a powerful dictator, murderer and
        thief, waging endless wars of conquest both at home and abroad, while
        the gnostic church became a disorganized and ineffective dreamer that
        receded into the shadows of history, occasionally reappearing with
        new names like Manichaeism, Bogomilism, and Catharism. Each time it
        resurfaced, it taught an otherworldly version of Christianity that
        incorporated reincarnation, and each time it was hunted down anew by
        Constantine's Church. Both halves are the orphaned offspring of
        Christianity's first war, and neither has known any peace since.

        These two halves are very different, but their difference is not an
        unfamiliar one. One exhibited the characteristics of one half of the
        human psyche, while the other behaved more like the other half of the
        mind. Constantine's Church focused more on objective "left brain"
        issues like discrimination, order, and authority, while the gnostic
        church paid more attention to subjective "right brain" issues like
        intuition, imagination, and personal experience. Like the conscious
        mind, Constantine's Church was more dominant and out-in-the open,
        while the gnostic church was more like the unconscious, carrying out
        its activity in the background. We will run across this pattern again
        and again in our search for Original Christianity.

        The divorce between the orthodox and gnostic factions of Christianity
        did not actually begin in Nicaea. Instead, they seem to have started
        differentiating from one another almost as soon as Christ was lowered
        from the cross. All the Council of Nicaea did was bring this process
        to fruition. And since that first climactic division in Nicaea,
        Christianity has just continued on the same self-destructive course,
        fracturing ever further with each new century. Where there had
        originally been just one church, there are now, according to the
        World Christian Encyclopedia, over 34,000 different Christian
        denominations.(21) Each has its own unique teachings and practices,
        but none, the lost gospels suggest, reflect the original teachings
        of Christ.

        And so, at the dawn of the first great religious war of the third
        millennium, the West finds itself unarmed. The world today is in much
        the same situation the Roman Empire was just after Constantine's
        conversion: a single monolithic power is again struggling to maintain
        and reinforce its dominance over the rest of the globe. When Rome
        tried to use religion to achieve that end back in the 4th century,
        Christianity's early history ended up getting erased and rewritten.
        It is curious that we find ourselves at such a point in history once
        again, because at this crossroads, we find that what we need most
        now -- our original religion -- is precisely what we lost the first
        time we came around this corner.





        1. "Falsehood in Wartime", 1928.

        2. In a "Today Show" interview broadcast August 30th, 2004, President
        Bush said the United States could never win the war against
        terrorism.

        3. Matthew 10:38-39, Matthew 16:24-25, Luke 14:26-27, John 12:26.
        Certainly the martyrs of Christianity's first three centuries
        understood this.

        4. Dr. Ian Stevenson, a psychiatrist from Charlottesville, Virginia,
        has spent virtually his entire distinguished career researching
        reincarnation. This former head of the Department of Psychiatry at
        the University of Virginia has devoted the last 40 years to the
        scientific documentation and verification of past life memories,
        accumulating over 3000 cases in his files. And while many feel that
        Stevenson's numerous scholarly books and articles offer the best
        scientific evidence yet for reincarnation, he is not alone in this
        pursuit. Numerous other scientists around the world, such as Dr.
        Erlendur Haraldsson of Iceland, are now also investigating cases of
        reincarnational memories. Meanwhile, the last 30 years have also seen
        an explosion of popular interest in reincarnation as well, as
        millions have begun to explore their own memories through past-life
        regression.

        5. We may no more want to engage in a religious war without religion
        in our heart than we would want to get into a knife fight without a
        knife in our hand.

        6. After having been hunted, persecuted, and killed for centuries by
        the Romans, the authorities of Constantine's Church embraced the same
        strategies against its own enemies as soon as it had the power to do
        so. Shortly after Christianity became the official religion of the
        Empire, being a Manichee, or gnostic, carried the death penalty.

        7. A few of these ancient works, such as The Gospel of Thomas and The
        Gospel of Truth, were finally recovered again at Nag Hammadi, after
        being lost to history for over 1500 years.

        8. Among scholars of Thomas, the view that Thomas preserves the
        earliest sayings of Jesus is almost universally accepted. However,
        other NT scholars have been slower to accept this conclusion, as the
        discussions that went on for decades among Thomas scholars are only
        just now beginning to filter out to the rest of the fragmented and
        parochial world of biblical scholarship.

        9. "The original stage of Peter may well be the earliest passion
        story in the gospel tradition." See The Complete Gospels, Robert J.
        Miller, ed., p. 400.

        10. Historians disagree if Constantine really ever converted to
        Christianity at all. He worshiped the Roman sun god at the same time
        he professed to be a Christian. After his 'conversion', he built a
        triumphal arch in Rome that featured the sun god, and a statue of the
        sun god for Constantinople. All his coins featured the sun. He made
        Sunday (the day of the sun god) into a day of rest when work was
        forbidden. Christianity incorporated worship of the Roman sun god
        into its rites during Constantine's reign, praying towards the rising
        sun, worshiping on Sunday, and celebrating Jesus' birth on December
        25 (the birthday of the sun god). Constantine's character never
        reflected Jesus' teachings, even after his so-called 'conversion'. He
        remained vain, superstitious, and violent, with little respect for
        human life. He reveled in slaughtering the enemy during military
        campaigns, forced prisoners to fight wild beasts, and even had a
        number of his own family members executed. Constantine supposedly
        waited until just before he was dying before asking to be baptized,
        and, in fact, historians disagree as to whether or not he actually
        was baptized at that time.

        11. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that reincarnation was
        widely taught in Judea in the first century, and was even taught by
        the Pharisees. See his Jewish War, 3, 8, 5 and Antiquities of the
        Jews 18, 1, 3. This historical report is given even greater credence
        by the fact that Judaism went on to officially incorporate the
        doctrine of reincarnation as 'gilgul' in the Zohar, a classic of
        Jewish mysticism purportedly written in the 2nd century.

        12. The ka-name of Amonemhat I was "He who repeats births," the ka-
        name of Senusert I meant "He whose births live," and the ka-name of
        Setekhy I was "Repeater of births." Pharaohs sometimes claimed to
        have more than one ka (soul), claiming, in effect, to possess
        multiple selves, identities, personalities, and so on; this suggests
        that these ancient Pharaohs claimed, just as 'holy men' of the East
        do today, that they remembered their past lives and identities.

        13. A great many biblical passages seem to refer to reincarnation.
        See The Division of Consciousness and The Lost Secret of Death for
        more.

        14. See Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark by Morton
        Smith.

        15. Clement was venerated as a saint down to the seventeenth
        century .

        16. Clement's Hypotyposeis is no longer extant, but numerous
        fragments have been preserved in a handful of Greek works. Photius
        argued in his work Bibliotheca that Clement taught reincarnation in
        Hypotyposeis. While he softpeddled reincarnation, Clement may have
        been more open with other elements of the esoteric tradition he
        inherited from his teachers. In Clement's day, the distinction
        between orthodox and gnostic was not nearly as defined as it would
        become later. Even though Clement was a towering leader of the church
        in his day, he referred to the most advanced and purest Christians
        as 'gnostics'. There was a huge difference, Clement insisted, between
        the faith of the ordinary Christian and the knowledge of the perfect
        Christian. The perfect Christian, he maintained, receives profound
        insights into the mysteries of the religion which ordinary Christians
        must accept on faith alone. Emphasizing the moral worth of religious
        knowledge, Clement extolled Christian perfection, referring to the
        perfect Christian as "the true gnostic". Despite all this, however,
        Clement had no notable or lasting influence on the subsequent history
        of Christian theology, except for his influence on the young Origen.
        Most of his works, including On First Principles, On Prophecy, On
        Angels, On the Devil, On the Origin of the Universe, On the Unity and
        Excellence of the Church, On the Soul, on Resurrection, On Marriage,
        and others, have been lost to history. We can only imagine what other
        early Christian insights Clement might have tried to share with us in
        those works

        17. See Origen's Commentary on John 6:7 and Commentary on Matthew
        10:20

        18. From his De Principiis

        19. Even so, the current of reincarnational thought in Christianity
        was so strong that the church was eventually forced to more
        explicitly condemn reincarnation a few hundred years later, at the
        2nd Council of Constantinople. See Appendix 1 for more.

        20. No one really knows how many people were put to death during the
        Inquisition, because, of course, the Roman Catholic Church was the
        only entity that had any chance to keep records. Estimates range all
        the way from a low of 7,000 victims to a high of 67 million.

        21. David Barrett et al, editors, World Christian Encyclopedia: A
        Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions - AD 30 to 2200, Oxford
        University Press, 2001. More conservative surveys still list over
        660 distinct Christian denominations.


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