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Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
This Gospel record is the recovered document from which the Four Gospels as we have them today were built upon. It was the first formulated life of the Christ and was written by St. John about the year 70 AD., when he was imprisoned in Rome and given page by page to one whom he could trust.
When the scroll was completed and after its contents had been made known to the Apostles, it was taken to Tibet by the same disciple, who left it in the care of a unnamed lama. Here, it remained until a friar, named Placidus, visited the monastery in the eighteen seventies and asked if he might show it to the Church Authorities in Rome.
The scroll was then given to him and on the way home, which took a long time, he translated a portion of it into Latin and on his arrival in Rome read it to the assembled Cardinals. At first they were impressed, but as he proceeded to reveal the contents they realised that to make it known would discredit the Church which had, during the Council of Nicea, eliminated from the Gospels the Master's teaching about the love and care of animals and about abstaining from eating flesh-foods. And so the scroll was hidden away in the archives of the Vatican, where it remains to this day.
The reason this Gospel contains much that is in St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John is because there were many Gospels written about this time containing the true teaching of Jesus, but this was the only one that escaped the pen of the `correctors', because they did not know of its existence.
The other Gospels contained the teaching of Jesus about the avoidance of meat-eating and about the love for animals, but all this teaching was eliminated by the `correctors'. "The Gospel of the Holy Twelve" is an authentic Gospel and should be accepted just as it is as the original teaching of Jesus.
Like all Sacred Scriptures, The Gospel of the Holy Twelve is mystical, and for right understanding it must be so interpreted. Its value lies in the teaching which in the garment is veiled. To understand the teaching, the garment must be lifted or removed. Then "falsehood passes away, but truth remains."
In all sacred mysteries, parables are used as garments for Truth that is hidden in its very expression. In one of the `Sayings of Jesus' —as recorded in the *oxyrhynchus Papyri—we are told: "That which is hidden from thee shall be revealed to thee. For there is nothing hidden which shall not be made manifest, nor buried which shall not be raised." To those who hid "the key to knowledge" Jesus said "Ye entered not in yourselves and to them that were entering in ye opened not." Ultimately, "Truth itself is unutterable save by God to God."
As stated in the Gospel of the Holy Twelve: "Truth is absolute and is in God alone. To men is Truth revealed, according to their capacity to understand and receive." "Look for the sufficient meaning of the manifest Universe and of the written word, and thou shalt find only the Mystical Sense."
"To some I speak things common. To others in great light I reveal mysteries: My words are Spirit and Life and are not to be estimated by the sense of Man. They, the prophets, deliver the letter but thou diseloseth the sense. They publish mysteries, but thou explainest the meaning of things sealed. They cry with words, but thou givest understanding to the hearer." At the close of the Gospel of the Holy Twelve we read: "For them that believe regarding the spirit rather than the letter which killeth, the things herein related are true as Spiritual verities, for others they are as an idle tale."
It was not without profound meaning that Jesus said: "Raise the stone" of the indwelling Self (to the level of Spirit), and there thou shalt find Me": and "Cleave the wood", of the lower and outer consciousness, "there am I". The "Son of God in man" must be lifted up for the right understanding of the Holy Scripture. Jesus said unto "the sick of the palsy"—and there are many such—"Arise, and take up thy couch."
One of the first acts of Jesus after His resurrection was to "open the Scriptures" to two of his disciples—-Cleophas and another— whom He joined on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus. These disciples He found "reasoning together" about the things which had then lately come to pass; and forthwith "He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself"; and He blamed them for their "folly" and for their "slowness of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken."
Had they listened to the dictates of their hearts rather than to the reasoning of their minds, their Spiritual eyes would not have been "holden." Jesus also said: "My soul grieveth over the sons of men, because they are blind in their heart and see not," and again Jesus warned his followers to "beware of false prophets which come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves." They would be known "by their fruits."
The fact that the disciples reasoned together implies a limitation of their consciousness to the outer and lower mental planes, wherein are seen but "the shadows of the tomb." Thus were the Spiritual eyes "holden". Their "Heart" was "slow"—a slowness which indicated lack of spiritual understanding. But "While He talked with them by the way, and while He opened to them the Scriptures", a change came over them: "Their hearts did burn within them", and their Spiritual eyes were opened.
They awoke and knew Him. He was known of them in the "breaking of the Bread" of Divine Truth which is the food of the soul. And on the opening of their Spiritual eyes, He whom therefore they had known outwardly. "Vanished from their sight", and they were enabled to testify: "The Lord is risen indeed"!
Most of the mistakes of the materialists arise from understanding localities and things material, when they should understand conditions and principles. The letter of Scripture is but the shadow of Divine Truth.
Those who mistake the shadow for the substance and the substance for the shadow, never arrive at Reality but follow false aims. Those who know the substance as the substance and the shadow as the shadow, arrive at Reality, and follow right aims.
Why are certain teachings hidden beneath the letter? Why, it may be asked, did Jesus teach the multitude in parables? The answer is, the Mysteries cannot be taught by the blood-guilty, nor may they except as "dark sayings", be given to those—the multitude—who live in conflict with Christ's teachings.
On this the Gospel of the Holy Twelve is explicit: "They who partake of benefits which are gotten by wronging God's creatures, cannot be righteous", nor can they "whose hands are stained with blood, or whose mouths are defiled with flesh", understand the mysteries of the kingdom, nor are they fit to receive the highest mysteries—"For this people's hearts are waxed gross".
The Aramaic "fragments" to which reference has already been made also deal with the "healing works of Jesus", many of which were effected by methods now known as nature-cure. It is therein recorded that Jesus said: "He who kills, kills himself; and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats of the body of death. For in his body every drop of their blood turns to poison, and their death will become his death." The command against killing is insisted on throughout, and the eating of all dead flesh is condemned.
The age in which we live is no age of faith. It is materialistic and anti-christian. Wickedness has become legalised. There is materialism in science and materialism in the Church and in religion. Truth is being suppressed and people are losing faith in so- called democracy and reformers ignore religion and Religion is therefore, and no wonder, repellent to many in these days.
It is important to bear in mind that while the souls of the Righteous become vehicles of Divine manifestation, some inspired writings are coloured by the character or mentality of the instrument or medium through whom they come.
They are not always to be regarded as infallible in every word. Inspiration of the Spirit does not necessarily imply infallibility of utterance, because no man is wholly without error. In the Gospel of the Holy Twelve we read that even among the prophets there has been found "the word of error".
For a divine message its own truth is the best evidence of genuine inspiration; which is the inbreathing of the Divine through the spiritual organs planted in man for that purpose. Inspiration has its birth in God. To men truth is revealed according to their capacity to understand and receive it.
The creation and salvation of the world is achieved "By the Descent of Spirit into Matter, and the Ascent of Matter into Spirit through the Ages," and such is the teaching of the Gospel of the Holy Twelve. We also find in this Gospel a command of Jesus that we "Love one another and all the creatures of God"—God being in all creatures.
Children are to be "brought up in the ways of righteousness, neither eating flesh, nor drinking strong drink; nor hunting the creatures which God hath given into the hands of man to protect." That Jesus came into the world to put an end to bloody sacrifices and flesh eating is explicit.
The doctrine of Regeneration is definitely taught by Jesus as the means whereby man is "made perfect through suffering: changes of life for the perfecting of souls." Having thus become "purified through many experiences," man shall die no more, neither shall he be born any more, for death hath no more dominion over him. In this teaching, there is no "scapegoat" Christianity: nor forgiveness or remission of sin by "vicarious atonement": For sins against the law of God there can be no remission save by "repentance and amendment."
"The Scriptures contain the Word of God, but often interpolated and transformed by the error of man, whether by accident or design.* Shall we cast away the gold or despise it for the sake of the dross mingled with it? Doing this we should be foolish, not wise."
The purpose of making known the Gospel of the Holy Twelve is for the restoration of the original text, depicting the life and uttering the truth relating to Christ's mission on earth. In this Gospel the prediction by Jesus was fulfilled. He said to His disciples: "They shall put you out of the Synagogues because they have not known me". And if it be asked who are His disciples, the answer is given thus: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another, and shew mercy and love to all creatures of God."
Let us bear in mind the following words recorded in the Oxyrhynehus Papyri: "Jesus saith, let not him who seeks cease until he finds, and when he finds he shall be astonished; astonished he shall reach the Kingdom, and having reached the Kingdom he will rest."
Let it be said that no mere ecelasiastical organisation will in the long run be able to stand against the eternal principles of Justice, Humanity and Love to all manifestations of God, whether human on non-human.
Of the Churches it may be said—"We sat on the ancient foundations, but we revealed not the ancient truth; we have the keys to heaven, but we opened not the gate ourselves nor suffered others who desired, to enter. To us was given Light, but we concealed it in a dark place, and those who cried for more light we persecuted and counted as heretics, and caused many to be put to death in our blindness.
And even now. 0 Master, we had well nigh again rejected Thee, but by the mercy of the Eternal—we heard the Holy and True doctrines which once Thou gayest by parable—even the doctrines of ancient times given anew—the new wine of Thy Kingdom; and at length our eyes being opened and our ears being unstopped, we have returned to Thee."
As this Gospel was not addressed to the heathen, but chiefly to the true followers of Jesus, in the early days of the Church of Jerusalem, so now it is sent to modern Christians who have strayed into worse than heathen darkness; and if perchance it may be received by men and women of "Peace and Goodwill" to whom "Peace on Earth" was originally announced, the effort in sending it forth will be amply rewarded.
THE CHRISTIAN GOSPEL TRUST,
HENLEY BRIDGE HOUSE,
* Oxyrhynchus Papyri: the Collection of many thousand fragments of papyri, found in 1897 onwards at Oxyrhynhus, a centre of Christian culture in the 4th Century, some 10 miles west of the Nile, near the modern Behnesa. The most celebrated are two series of "sayings of Jesus".
* Archdeacon Wilberforce of Westminster said "that after the Council of Nicea, AD 325, the MSS. of the New Testament were considerably tampered with". And Professor Nestlé in his "introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek Testament" tells us that certain scholars, called correctors, were appointed by the ecclesiastical authorities, and actually commissioned to correct the text of Scripture in the interest of what was considered ORTHODOXY.
"Beyond question of doubt", says Manley Palmer Hall, "records concerning Jesus do exist. It is equally certain that they are in the hands of people (the Vatican in Rome) who do not intend to make them available as they would endanger the institution of Christian Theology".