The message of my book is NOT entirely new revelation unlike St Paul’s Good News that he referred to as “my gospel” (Rom16:25). Now that WAS a revelation “HIDDEN FROM EARLIER GENERATIONS” (Col1:26), namely that members of the Gentile nations would “come to share an inheritance with the sanctified” (Acts26:18), an understanding of which has profound providential implications
My book relates to what St Paul described as a “MYSTERY hidden from earlier generations which NOW has been revealed to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col1:26,27NKJV)
The mystery for many is why Paul continually refers to the Church and its gospel as mysteries – Fellowship of the Secret elucidates…
Unto me (Paul) who is the most inferior of all the saints was this grace granted that I should proclaim to the nations the unsearchable riches of Christ so as to enlighten everyone regarding the FELLOWSHIP OF THE SECRET hidden in God through the ages” [Ephesians 3:8-9]
1. Humans were made in the image of God and even after the fall are to be regarded as such 
2. Cain and Abel as the first humans to be born of woman were representatives within a de facto universal covenant 
3. Abel was not “saved” by anticipating Calvary when he sacrificed an animal, he remained justified within a de facto covenant by exercising faith/faithfulness, offering the best of his produce with a good conscience
4. Cain defaulted from this Universal Covenant after killing his brother
5. Such an inclusive covenant is suggested by the fact that Cain was neither entirely alienated from God nor cursed by Him until after his fratricide 
6. Cain rather than Adam is the type of the reprobate (rejected ones), later described in the New Testament as derived from or belonging to the Evil One (Greek: ek tou ponerou) 
7. Adam is mankind’s federal head and the type of the “dead”; Cain is the type of the twice dead ; flesh and spirit having become united in evil
8. Those who go in the way of Cain  are regarded in the New Testament as children of the devil 
9. Children of the devil are distinguishable by their lack of conscience and their inability to emphasize or show compassion to others . They also have a total disregard for the truth 
10. Children of the devil are not fully human, created and seemingly adapted by God  yet not planted by Him , neither possessing His seed  nor any longer bearing a reflection of God’s image
11. When Paul speaks of non-Christians being “dead” he is not referring to damnation but to the disruption of the incarnate soul’s communion with the Source of its spiritual life
12. Original sin is a reality and “death” is its result
13. Our first parents “died” immediately they ate the forbidden fruit 
14. Spiritual death arises as soon as the conscience is defiled for that faculty has a spiritual dimension 
15. Death results from sin but Paul indicates sin is itself a result of death  arising from the corrupted intellectual vessel provided to the human soul
16. Infants do not experience spiritual death until in Paul’s language “the law comes”  being a clear sense of right and wrong; for where there is no law sin is not imputed and the conscience is not defiled 
17. Adam and Eve’s offspring do not inherit their parents’ guilt  but through procreation inherit an intellectual vessel that has been “shaped in iniquity”  acting as a malign influence on the soul
18. The soul/spirit of man, being that which returns to God is not derived from human sperm but directly created by God 
19. The God-given soul/spirit of man is innocent but pliable (liable to corruption)
20. Apart from gospel grace or infantile death the soul is bound to experience corruption
21. The soul/spirit of man is not intrinsically corrupt having come from God, unlike the procreated vessel into which it is diffused at birth
22. The intellectual vessel that the soul/spirit inhabits is morally deficient, governed by a triple concupiscence 
23. Paul refers to the intellectual vessel that the soul/spirit inhabits whilst on Earth as “the body of THIS death” , referring to its current spiritual status
24. Paul’s “law within his members” or “flesh” pertain to the governing principles adopted by the human brain as it processes the senses of the body 
25. Since the soul and spirit are immortal the human psyche cannot be confined to the physical brain
26. the soul/spirit that leaves the human body when the brain dies is itself an intellectual entity with a memory of its bodily existence 
27. Man is composed of body, soul and spirit 
28. The human’s spirit is also referred to in Scripture as the heart or inner-man 
29. The human’s spirit (not to be confused with the human spirit) is often mistaken for the Holy Spirit when interpreting the Pauline epistles 
30. The fruits of the spirit pertain to man’s spirit, for those currently devoid of the Holy Spirit also produce good fruit 
31. The inner conflict described by Paul in Romans 7 arises from conflicting motivations derived from the processing of the brain on the one hand and the conscience-directed spirit or “inner man” on the other 
32. Such an inner conflict is not restricted to the Christian, but to everyone with a functioning conscience
33. The guiding principle or engrained law within the human’s spirit or “heart” is the conscience 
34. The conscience is the light of the incarnate Word/Logos that is diffused within every soul that comes into the world 
35. In taking heed to conscience one is effectively responding to something or Someone superior to oneself
36. Conscience is therefore a sufficient object of faith, being man’s positive response to the divine revelation he has received
37. Those who defer to the dictates of their conscience are exercising a form of godly fear
38. Regardless of race or creed everyone who fears God and seeks to do what is right is accepted by Him 
39. “Justification” or acceptance before God within the inclusive Universal Covenant is on the basis of evincing a God-given quality (faith/faithfulness), manifested by the exercise of compassionate love 
40. Justification within the exclusive covenant sealed with Christ’s blood is by faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour
41. Paul’s teaching regarding Law and grace in his epistles to the Galatian and Roman churches is in the context of Jewish infiltrators who insisted that Christian believers complied with works and rituals pertaining to the Torah such as circumcision, observing festivals and the like [34 ]. On the contrary, said Paul, justification within the new covenant required faithfulness towards Christ, not compliance with “deeds of the Law”.
42. Natural law, especially as it pertains to the functioning of conscience is normative for humane living and final acceptance with God
43. Biblical salvation is provided to God’s specially chosen people in order for them to function within His royal priesthood and be fitted for future glory, requiring spiritual renewal and ongoing sanctification through a mystical participation with Christ
44. Acceptance as a subject of God’s kingdom at death and final judgement does not require adherence to a religious creed, simply the exercise of compassion arising from the promptings of conscience 
45. In showing deference to the dictates of their conscience, even avowed agnostics and atheists unknowingly exercise faith in Christ [as Logos]. They may have cause to mourn for their sin but will readily submit to Him when He is made known to them 
46. Describing little children by nature as “odious” and “an abomination to God”  opposes the teaching of Christ
47. In describing infants presented to Him as “little ones who believe in Me”  Jesus was alluding to an internal witness of the light of Christ, reflected in their God-given spirits/consciences, guaranteed in their case not (yet) to have been obscured or distorted by the lusts of the flesh or impurities of the mind
48. Those who show compassion to the destitute are judged as serving Christ and rewarded accordingly 
49. Pelagius was right in believing that man possessed the innate spiritual faculties to perform good works such as exercising compassion towards his fellow man
50. Pelagius was wrong if he believed  that man possessed the innate spiritual faculties to live a sinless life or merit co-heirship with Christ
51. Pelagius was wrong if he believed that any man could be saved in the gospel sense apart from being in a living relationship with Jesus Christ
52. The idea that Adam’s disobedience resulted in God degrading human nature to the extent that man could do “absolutely no good thing, whether in thought or will, affection or in action”  is unbiblical, an observable falsehood, an affront to God’s gracious magnanimity and the dignity of the human person
53. Acts of compassion, kindness and courage delight God’s heart and will be rewarded by Christ
54. The mature Christian has a sense of what pleases God for he already possesses the mind of Christ whom even whilst incarnate had the mind of His Father 
55. God is Love , and any theology that demands for its intrinsic coherence the notion that divine love is different in nature and outworking to that quality as it is defined in Scripture should be rejected, however revered its formulator may have been
56. God’s qualities such as love, holiness, compassion and kindness are superior in degree but the same in nature to those of man’s, for every good quality man possesses originates from Him
57. For much of their history the churches more particularly in the West have been under the misapprehension that their institution and the practice of the Christian faith primarily exists to enable people to go to heaven when they die
58. Many more liberal Christians are in error in believing that anyone other than a Christian can be saved in the gospel sense
59. All people of good will shall go to heaven when they die regardless of their religious beliefs
60. Implying that all people of good will are saved in the gospel sense undermines the role of the gospel, Church and sacraments
61. The soul cannot be healed unless Christ had first been admitted to the vessel and united with the spirit 
62. Biblical salvation is the restoration of divine communion whilst still incarnate through spiritual regeneration and devotion to Christ and His teaching. This is what is meant by “eternal life” (literally age-life) – it is to become re-acquainted with God, His Son and Spirit 
63. An essential means for communicating spiritual renewal and progression is through the sacraments of the Church
64. An essential element of the Christian life is participation in the Divine Eucharist
65. The Lord has ensured throughout the Church’s history that faithful assemblies in East and West are gathered to Himself, so that from the rising of the sun until its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to His name.
66. In some meaningful albeit mystical sense Christ’s body must be eaten and His blood drunk by the Christian for “whoever eats Me will draw life from me”  and “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person” 
67 [revised] Luther’s revolt was triggered by deformed practice and doctrine within the Roman Catholic Church but the Eastern Orthodox Church who was relatively unaffected by the sixteenth century upheavals continued to affirm the historically understood sacerdotal and sacrificial nature of the Holy Eucharist, still describing it as “the awesome sacrifice entrusted to the Church to be re-enacted and given to the faithful for the nourishment of their faith and forgiveness of their sins“ 
68. Participating in the Eucharistic feast is at best ineffectual if unaccompanied by the obedience of faith 
69. What Christians are being “saved” from is the malign influence of the mortal intellectual vessel which the soul/spirit currently inhabits 
70. By attending to the means of grace and persevering in the faith the Christian is in Paul’s words enabled to “possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour” 
71. The Abrahamic covenant superseded by the Covenant of Christ’s blood are exclusive covenants
72. Ishmael was blessed by God and his father Abraham  but not elected to the exclusive covenant designated for Isaac and his seed
73. The Church, like Isaac, are the children of promise 
74. Like Isaac, those within the Covenants of Promise are elected through unmerited grace
75. Christ as personal Saviour may only be apprehended by those the Father chooses for Him 
76. Covenantal admission is by grace alone; faithfulness is required to continue benefitting from its privileges
77. Everyone is to be judged and rewarded according to their life and legacy ; not for the gifts they were privileged to receive but how they have been utilized
78. Hell is as much a reality as Heaven and will involve sensual pain for its inhabitants 
79. As in life, post-mortem punishment can be for the purpose of healing as well as destruction 
80. God has intimated that every soul that can be healed and restored shall ultimately be so, for He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked
81. The Bible may hint  but does not positively affirm the idea of absolute universalism. Given that the wicked shall undoubtedly receive post-mortem punishment, the matter should have no impact on one’s conduct or life choices
82. The Christian’s ultimate destiny is bodily resurrection as Joint-Consort to the King of Kings, not “Requiem Aeternam”
83. There is to be a new Heaven AND a new earth where righteousness dwells 
84. The precise role and destiny of God’s elect people has yet to be disclosed but it in view of their undeservedly exalted status it must align with that of their Spouse, whose universal governance and reign of peace shall continue for ever 
85. The Elect are not the totality of God’s children but their firstborn , the first-fruits of humanity 
86. The current age is not the fulfilment of the Old Testament in a spiritualized form but in terms of salvation history is a dispensation established to recruit Gentiles to the Messianic community
87. The Gentile’s unexpected, and according to Paul “unnatural” incorporation into the messianic community [63 ] was to create “the fellowship pertaining to the secret (plan) hidden in God” . Although fore-ordained by the Father, this augmentation resulted from the refusal of God’s first-choice nation to acknowledge their Messiah even after His resurrection and ascension to glory 
88. Through Israel’s failure, fullness of salvation, “an inheritance with the sanctified” and the “gift of eternal life” initially understood to be exclusively for the Jews  has been extended to people chosen from every nation and succeeding generation
89. Such a mystery was known by God (i.e. the Father) but not communicated to any other being until revealed by the apostle Paul who described the mystery pertaining to the Gentiles’ unexpected inheritance as “to euaggelion mou” – “my gospel”
90. When Ephesians 3:9-12 and especially Romans11:11-15 are taken as read and integrated within a cohesive biblical synopsis it will be appreciated that God’s benign providence extends well beyond those elected to the exclusive covenants of promise. For if Paul is taken at his word, biblical salvation as we know it would not have been offered to the Gentile nations in the current age , yet the Old Testament is clear enough that people from every nation would ultimately be reconciled to God, for all the world is His and He loved it enough to send his Son to save it 
91. God’s strategy has always been to redeem and heal the world through a Spirit-led messianic community, not exclusively for them
92. In choosing to retain Adam and Eve as the procreative fountainhead of humanity after their rebellion, it must have been God’s intention to permit evil and suffering to enter the world. Yet such is the Father’s love for He will have known that His Son’s atonement for human sin would be essential to its restoration 
93. The ultimate purpose of human suffering is indicated in Heb2:10. Even the sinless Savior was perfected for His priestly office and future glory by suffering. How much more the need for such salting and grist to be provided for the mere mortals who will come to share His inheritance
94. Certain important mysteries have been hidden from the Church during its earthly pilgrimage 
95. If the assertions in this document are broadly correct, the final mystery John was told not to write about (concerning the little book – Rev10) is likely to pertain in nature to the broader providence here outlined
Notes & Bible references (NASB unless stated)
1 Gen9:6: Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man
2 Gen4:7 Masoretic: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, Sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him (KJV)
3 Gen4:13-16: Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me THIS DAY from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
4 1Jn3:12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous
5 Jude12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about[a] by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots
6 Jude11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah
7 Jn8:44a You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.
8 Mt25:41-46 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
9 Jn8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
10 Rom9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared* for destruction? (*note Greek: katertismina – Strong’s G2675) – has the sense of fitted, adapted or suitably adjusted)
11. Mt15:13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted
12 1Jn3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because his seed abides in him; and he cannot sin*, because he is born of God. (* i.e. continually practice sin)
13 Gen2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
14 cf. Heb9:14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 1Cor15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law
16 Rom7:9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;
17 Rom5:13 For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law
18 Jn15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but NOW they have no excuse for their sin
19 Ps51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (KJV)
20 Eccles12:7 then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it
21 IJn2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world
22 Rom7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
23 Rom7:23 But I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members
24 Lk16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here*, and you are in agony [Note the reason Lazarus was where he was; religious faith is not mentioned; likewise the Matthew 25 “sheep”]
25 1Thes5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
26 e.g. Rom7:22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man
& Rom8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God
27 e.g. Rom8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit (sic) is life and peace
28 Gal5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit (sic) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law
[It is an observable fact that non-Christians are well capable of exhibiting these qualities, although I managed to convince myself otherwise during my 28 years as a Calvinist]
29 Rom7:23 But I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members
30 Rom2:15 (Gentiles) show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them
31 Jn1:9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world (NKJV)
32 Acts10:35 In every nation the man who fears God and does what is right is welcome to Him
33 Gal5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
34 Gal4:9-10 How is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years.
35 Mt25:40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did (these acts of kindness) to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.
36 Rev1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.
37 John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion Second Book Chapter 1 para 8
38 Mt18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones* who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
* [It is clear from the preceding verses Jesus is not on this occasion referring to His adult disciples]
39 Mt25:40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
40 Much of Pelagius’ writing was destroyed so it is not known precisely what he believed and taught
41 Augustine’s “On Rebuke and Grace” chapter 3
42 Jn14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
43 1Jn4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love”
44 1Cor6:17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
45 Jn17:3 And this is eternal life, that they might know You the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (NKJV)
46 Jn6:57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me
47 Jn6:56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him
48 Greek Orthodox Arch-Diocese of America –http://goarch.org/ourfaith
49 1Cor11:27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
50 Rom7:23 I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members
51 1Thes4:4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor
52 Gen17:20-21 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac
53 Gal4:28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise
54 John6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day
55 Rom2:6 (God) will render to each person according to his deeds:
56 Luk16:24 Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame
57 Is4:4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning
58 1Tim4:10 we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers
59 2Pet3:13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells
60 Is9:6,7 A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will [a]rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace
61 Heb12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn* who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect
* “Firstborn” in the sense of leader/representative (Greek: prototokon) is plural – it is not referring to Christ but His people
62 James1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures
63 Rom11:24 For if you (Gentiles) were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
64 Eph3:9-12 (Paul) to bring to light what is the administration (or fellowship) of the mystery (or secret) which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
65 Acts18:6 But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
66 Acts26:18 to open (Gentile) eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me
& Acts11:17,18 Therefore if God gave the Gentiles the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
67 Rom16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past
68 Rom11:11,12,15 I say then, (the Jews) did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! … For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
69 Jn3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life
70 cf. Rom8:20-21 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
71 e.g. Acts1:7 Jesus said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority
& Rev10:4 When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them
Drafted 31st October 2017
I would be the first to acknowledge that such a process of biblical proof-texting can potentially be used to prove almost anything – what is really required is a comprehensive biblical synopsis that is intrinsically coherent and accords with the realities of secular, religious and church history as each has panned out, as well as with cosmic outcomes (eschatology) that reflect the sovereign, equitable yet magnanimous nature of God as He is revealed in Scripture. In terms of Church history, anyone earnestly seeking after truth rather than determined to defend a particular ecclesiological position needs to take account of the understanding of the second century churches, some of which will have been founded by the apostles themselves or their immediate appointees. They cannot have uniformly been in error concerning the essentials of the faith yet none of the available writings (readily available on internet) bear much resemblance, for example, to my former (Calvinist Evangelical) theology or polity – it is more akin to what I have set out here, especially in the area of natural law/innate spiritual faculties which many readers even some from my adoptive Catholic Church will regard as heretical (not so in the earliest Churches – see my latest blog HERE regarding the unity of doctrine within 2nd Century churches and their incorporation of natural law within their understanding of the gospel). With the Spirit’s help I believe I have now provided a unified biblical synopsis in “The Fellowship of the Secret”, available as cheaply as I’m permitted by Amazon to provide it at:
3. And Enoch began to recount from the books and said:
“I was born the seventh in the first week,
While judgement and righteousness still endured.
4. “And after me there shall arise in the second week great wickedness,
And deceit shall have sprung up;
And in it there shall be the first end.
“And in it a man shall be saved;
And after it is ended unrighteousness shall grow up,
And a law shall be made for the sinners.
5. “And after that in the third week at its close
A man shall be elected as the plant of righteous judgement,
And his posterity shall become the plant of righteousness for evermore.
6″. And after that in the fourth week, at its close,
Visions of the holy and righteous shall be seen,
And a law for all generations and an enclosure shall be made for them.
7″. And after that in the fifth week, at its close,
The house of glory and dominion shall be built for ever.
8. “And after that in the sixth week all who live in it shall be blinded,
And the hearts of all of them shall godlessly forsake wisdom.
“And in it a man shall ascend;
And at its close the house of dominion shall be burnt with fire,
And the whole race of the chosen root shall be dispersed.
9. “And after that in the seventh week shall an apostate generation arise,
And many shall be its deeds,
And all its deeds shall be apostate.
10. “And at its close shall be elected
The elect righteous of the eternal plant of righteousness,
To receive sevenfold instruction concerning all God’s creation.
<Taken from chapter 93 of Enoch1 as translated by R H Charles> **
Clearly, Week 2 refers to Noah and the Flood; Week 3 to the calling of Abraham by whom all nations would be blessed and Week 4 to the Law and the Ark of the Covenant. Weeks 5- 7 is understood by most to be relating to the temple but applying the dual perspective to prophecy set out in the opening chapter of my book*** verses 8-10 would have application to its successor, the Church.
***The Fellowship of the Secret: Examine book/e-book at Amazon
Both Jesus and Paul referred to certain individuals as “children of the devil”, Cain being the archetype of those who follow “in his way” (Jude11). John described Adam’s first-born as ek tou ponerou, i.e. derived from the Evil One (1Jn3:12). Ultimately of course like Lucifer himself, he is derived from God. All human souls are created by God (cf. Rom9:21,22) but not all are planted by Him (Mt13:39; 15:13), a mystery that I explore so far as I have been enabled in chapter six of my book. The requirements for acceptance within the Universal Covenant from which Cain defaulted are intuitive, a part of natural law, involving the innate spiritual faculty we know of as conscience. In the Bible’s definitive chapter on final judgement, the Matthew 25 sheep did not require “special revelation” or a religious creed to recognise that they should show compassion to those in need – it was intuitive to them, since they were “ek tou theou” (of God 1Jn4:7). As Jesus made crystal clear, such is the quality that determines a person’s post-mortem fate (Mt25:44-46). It is a passage in which religious faith is not mentioned at all, but such acts of compassion are evidence (indeed the efflux) of an underlying faith or godly fear as I seek to demonstrate from Scripture in chapter three of my book, along with evidence that such a concept of natural law was understood by the earliest (pre-Augustinian) Church Fathers who had received the Faith directly from the apostles or their immediate appointees and so were not solely reliant on biblical exegesis.
One’s status within the Universal Covenant also determines one’s involvement or otherwise with Satan as an agent (Greek: aggelos) within God’s mysterious providential role for evil. That is why Cain as the type of those rejected from that covenant was brand-marked and protected rather than wiped out there and then. These issues are, as it were, the unilluminated side of the revelation globe, pertaining (I believe) to the final mystery concerning God’s intentions towards His earthly creation (cf. Rev10:4-10). Failing to perceive the mystery of providence has resulted in biblical theologians for ever attempting to fit three square pegs (soteriological categories) into two round holes (soteriological outcomes). Anyone reflecting with hindsight on our planet’s religious and cultural formation should discern that such a presentation of the “Good News” not only provides the direst of cosmic outcomes but distorts the perceived characteristics of both man and his Creator. It dishonours the magnanimity and loving kindness of the One and nullifies the underlying goodness of the other, especially mankind’s ability to practice agape (compassionate love) which ultimately determines what one is and where one is heading (Mt25 again), the religious dimension determining in what capacity (Dan7:18). Such foundational errors have also resulted in seemingly intractable tensions within scripture typified by the narrow way leading to Life that few will ever attain on the one hand and frequent intimations (not least by Paul) of God’s broader scale intentions to reconcile all redeemable humanity to Himself on the other. The latter is surely consistent with the divine nature as Scripture reveals it and the Son of Man reflected it: compassionate and forgiving, making allowance for human weakness and culturally related ignorance (Acts17:30 cp. Amos3:2), yet One who will by no means show mercy towards the merciless but will avenge them for the suffering they have caused to those He loves (cf. Ex34:6-7; 2Thes1:5-6; Rev16:5-7).
It is surely no coincidence that Adam had three sons as did our postdiluvian Patriarch Noah, and from these have sprung all humanity: Adam’s son Seth and Noah’s son Shem represent the elect line; Adam’s son Abel and Noah’s son Japheth the “righteous” within the Universal Covenant whilst Adam’s son Cain and Noah’s son Ham were the accursed defaulters albeit that only one of Ham’s sons was cursed (Canaan) as Ham had already received a blessing (Gen9:1). Once we arrive at the EXCLUSIVE Abrahamic Covenant, Isaac represents the elect line resulting in Israel, whist Abraham’s other son Ishmael who had been circumcised by his father and blessed by God (Gen17:20), thereafter remaining in His favour and care (Gen21:20) had not been elected to the Covenant of Promise.
As for the Church –
“You brethren LIKE ISAAC are the children of promise” (Gal4:28NASB):
And you sisters and brethren, if baptized are in the elective covenant that replaced Abraham’s and you are there by grace alone. Others are equally loved and precious to God as was Ishmael, but are not elected to the exclusive grouping predestined before the foundation of the world to form the community in which the spiritual resources and teaching are provided for faithful adherents to become holy and faultless in love before God through Jesus Christ (cf. Eph1:4,5). That is the Church, priesthood for the world (1Pet2:9), brought forth by God’s will to be the first-fruits of His creation (cf. Jam1:18)
[A quote from “Fellowship of the Secret” – chapter 3]
** Illustration: A photo booth “selfie” of Patrick Mackay (b. 1952), a.k.a. “the Devil’s Disciple” – a prolific UK serial killer, animal torturer and Nazi enthusiast, allegedly taken on the very day he axed to death the Catholic priest who had earlier counselled him
AND HE SAID UNTO ME, “SON OF MAN, CAUSE THY BELLY TO EAT, AND FILL THY BOWELS WITH THIS (SCROLL) THAT I GIVE THEE. THEN DID I EAT IT; AND IT WAS IN MY MOUTH AS HONEY FOR SWEETNESS” (Ezek3:3KJV; cf. Rev10:4-11)
This is one of a number of prophetic passages that were drawn to my attention during the ten or so days I referred to in earlier posts as my spiritual encounter, during which time I would open the Scriptures and interpret certain passages in quite a new way, humanly speaking by applying a precise and highly literal approach to the original Hebrew or Greek. I hint at what I believe the above verse and its broader context may be referring to in my book, though I do not claim currently to be certain of the matter. Purely at the personal level, what I have come to understand to be God’s providential intentions for humanity tastes sweet as honey in the mouth; yet once ingested, the narrower traditional outcomes I had previously anticipated leave a decidedly sour sensation in in the abdominals (Greek: koilian – Rev10:10), as if ready for expulsion. If I am right, the final mystery of God would pertain to a disclosure regarding divine providence (see also: book of Enoch chapter 93 verse 10)
(Jesus) said to His disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But (the disciples) did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement (Lk9:44-45NASB).
Progressing to Luke 9, a key to unravelling the mystery of God’s providential intentions towards His earthly creation (cf. Rev10) and the historical errors concerning it is to recognize that even Jesus’ closest disciples were not aware that their Messiah was destined to die (see also Lk18:33-34 & Mt16:22; 17:22-23). It re-affirms the point made in my earlier post concerning the “gospel of the kingdom” and the fact that that particular mission statement cannot have incorporated any soteriology pertaining to the Cross. Of course the apostolic writers and the churches founded by them have rightly focused on the latter, but such could not have been contained within “THIS gospel of the Kingdom” that Jesus was referring to in the Olivet discourse (Mt24:14 Greek), for that same “gospel” had been preached by His disciples (Mt10:7-8) whom Matthew and Luke affirm were at the time clueless concerning their Master’s future Passion or its purpose. This simple observation has radical implications: it nullifies the fearsome Augustine’s proposal that people in Old Testament times were condemned to Hell except they had “believed in the incarnation, passion and resurrection of Christ as a future event” [a]. Nor, referring back to Genesis could righteous Abel have been “anticipating the Passion” when he sacrificed an animal whilst his brother offered the dregs of his fruit harvest. Cain happened to be a fruit farmer, Abel tended livestock (Gen4:2); but comparing scripture with scripture the key point is that Abel’s offering had been accepted because his works were righteous; Cain AND his offering were rejected because his works were evil (1Jn3:11,12). The one was a child of God, the other was described by the apostle John as wicked and satanic (ek tou ponerou), derived from the Evil One (1Jn3:12). Cain as the first man to be born of woman was the archetype of what Jesus, John and Paul refer to as children of the devil, whom, to put it mildly, are to be ignominiously dealt with at Christ’s coming (cf. Rom9:21,22; 2Thes1:8; Mt13:49; Mt15:13; ref: Enoch1:1). Similarly, Abel will not have “got saved” by anticipating Calvary, for I say again, even Christ’s disciples were ignorant of His future Passion or its purpose. Rather, Abel was justified within the eluded universal covenant of life (explained in FOTS* ch.2); the Cain and Abel story is concerned with the reprobation of the elder brother, who showed himself to be a God-hating homicidal maniac. He became “cursed from the earth” (Gen4:11 – note the “NOW”) and alienated from God’s loving care (Gen4:14 – note “THIS DAY”), i.e. his reprobation was affirmed AFTER killing his brother (cf. the mystery of evil – FOTS* ch.6).
Cain’s fate is not the fate of man by nature, for man is “in Adam”, not Cain. Natural man’s fate is for his God-given soul/spirit (that which returns to God at death) to inherit “the body of THIS death” (somatos tou thanatou TOUTOU Rom7:24) from his parents, ultimately from Adam. Paul’s “this” (toutou) is important as it refers to the “death” Paul is describing in the passage (Rom7:14-24), i.e. what the person he was depicting was currently experiencing; not the fact that he was mortal or was ” to go to hell when he dies”. As a result of such anthropological dualism (which Augustine dismissed, partly as a result of his wariness concerning the heretical cosmic dualism expounded by Manes), natural man aspires to do good and genuinely admires noble qualities such as compassion, generosity, bravery and integrity in others; indeed in view of his conscience (which fails to function in the likes of Cain), fallen man exhibit by nature some of the qualities prescribed in God’s Law becoming a law for himself (Rom2:14,15 strictly Greek). At the same, there is within man another law or guiding principle “within his members” (i.e. his physical senses as processed through the brain) “warring against the law in his mind (the conscience Rom2:15), bringing him into captivity to the law of sin (concupiscence) which is in his members (cf. Rom7:22-24 Greek). Such is the nature of “original sin” or Pauline “death”, and unless remedied, it radically damages the relationship with God for which man was created. It may indeed be remedied in the present (for a minority) by responding to the gospel and experiencing sacramental participation with Christ (Jn6:55-57). By such means of grace allied with corporal discipline (1Cor9:27), those who are called, chosen and faithful are “saved” from the corrupting influences of their disordered senses, becoming “free indeed to serve the living God” even whilst in Paul’s “body of death”; their souls being progressively healed so as to be fitted to share an immediate inheritance with the Son of God when He comes to establish His eternal Kingdom (cf. Rom8:17-23). As Paul jubilantly referred to this mystery, it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Col1:26,27NKJV)
[a [a] Augustine: “Against two letters of the Pelagians” Book III Chap. 11
* i.e. The Fellowship of the Secret