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The John Sebastian Marlow Ward Website

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About John Sebastian Marlow Ward
Early Life of J.S.M. Ward
Ward as a Medium & Spiritualist
Ward and Freemasonry
JSM Ward as a Historian
J.S.M. Ward as an Author
J.S.M. Ward and the Abbey of Christ the King
The Abbey Church in Barnet
The Folk Park
Ward and the Anglican Church
Ward and the Masonic Research Society
Churchill Sibley and the Orthodox Catholic Church
Ward and the Orthodox Catholic Church
The Abbey and the War
The Dorothy Lough Case
Mar Georgius and the Katholicate of the West
The Consecrations
The Consecration of Bishop Chamberlain
Ward driven from England.
The Community in Cyprus
Death of J.S.M. Ward
Ward's Work survives his Death
Key Associates of J.S.M. Ward
His Mystic partner, Jessie Ward
Life of John Churchill Sibley
Last of Ward's priests; Peter Gilbert Strong
Ward's son; John Reginald Cuffe
Other Individuals Associated with JSM Ward
The Spiritual Journey of J.S.M. Ward
Ward as a Mystic
Ward and the First Apocalypse
Other Key Apocalypses
Ward and the Return of Christ
The Legacy of J.S.M. Ward
The Basic Theology of J.S.M. Ward
WARD'S THEOLOGY; The Nature of God
WARD'S THEOLOGY: The Work of Salvation
WARD'S THEOLOGY; God's Great Plan
The Mystical Theology of J.S.M. Ward

THE THEOLOGY OF JOHN WARD

 

PART ONE (Covering Stanzas 1 – 4)

 

The Nature of God.

 

This Web page is the first in a series that together provide a more detailed analysis of Ward’s Theology than the outline given in the Summary of his Beliefs. However, the reader is asked to refer to that Summary before reading further.          

This page expands on stanzas 1 – 4 and considers the Nature of God, specifically it analyses the following subjects; the link between Manifestation and Creation, the Purpose of Creation; the Fatherhood of God and the Nature of Divine Revelation; the Incarnations of the Salvator and the Life of Jesus Christ; and the Holy Spirit as the Mother of All. 

 

The first stanza of the Summary deals with what is perhaps the most difficult subject in Theology - the nature of God. In this Web Page we shall discuss the subject in more detail, but from the start we must warn the reader that no human mind can expect to comprehend the nature of God fully. Even the greatest mystic is very far from doing so and all through the ages, Mankind has struggled to find words to express mystical concepts in ways that are comprehensible to ordinary mortals. For the most part even the greatest theologians have merely made use of theological formulae or dogmas, which in themselves are often quite hard for a layman to understand. In this study we shall try to dispense with such formulae or else to explain them in more detail, and we trust that within the limitations of the human mind, God will enable us to do so. It reads;

 

We believe in One God, Unmanifested and Incomprehensible, from Whom and in Whom, all things have their being, even Time and Space: Who in the Beginning, manifested forth as the Trinity of One Substance, namely, God the Father, the Father of all souls, God the Holy Spirit, the Mother of all souls and God the Son, the Elder Brother of all souls, Who in turn brought all Creation into being, from Whom descends continuously a stream of Divine Sparks which enter into matter to gain therein experience, that they may ultimately return to enrich the Godhead.

 

.

Creation

 

“In the Beginning” we read in Genesis 1. 1, and thus at the very start of the Bible we are introduced to a paradox. For we are at once discussing the Beginning of all things and at the same time made aware that before the beginning of all other things, God Alone existed. We are not told how long God existed before He made the Heavens (note the plural) and the Earth, but the question is meaningless if as we are told, He then made all things including Time and Space.

 

Our ancestors had trouble with this concept. How could “Time” and “Space” have ever been Created? Surely they at least had always been - even if there was no Creation, Space must have existed as a total emptiness. How could it be said to have been Created? And as for Time! Why Time is the one thing that cannot change. Every clock may stop, even the stars and planets may cease from their motions, but that does not mean that Time has ceased to Be. God is Eternal - he is not bound by Time. He is Omnipresent, therefore He is not bound by Space, but that is not the same as saying that either of them do not exist. So our ancestors reasoned, and so many people still argue today, but this is not quite true, and many modern thinkers are coming to realise it.

 

This is because Modern Science has explained it all for us, and although there are those who are reluctant to accept the postulates of science as fact, in this matter at least, it seems to have provided Theology with support from a most unexpected source. In the Big Bang Theory, Science postulates exactly the same thing as Mysticism has long taught! At some time in the distant past, neither Time nor Space existed, and then suddenly they came into being!  The concept is still hard for the layman to comprehend, but today’s scientists have a complicated array of equations to prove that it is possible and a rapidly increasing list of astronomical observations that suggest that it is historical fact.

 

The best way we can put the Big Bang Theory of Modern Science into simple terms is like this. Imagine that you are living inside an empty balloon. It is very small and compact, in fact there is no room to move at all, nor is there any light or other sensory input. And then suddenly it starts to expand because someone is starting to blow it up.

 

Suddenly you are surrounded by Space as the air causes the skin of the balloon to expand around you. Imagine that this process continues for some time. Every few seconds a new breath of air enters the balloon and it expands a little further, and what has been a meaningless and totally monotonous darkness is suddenly given character. Every puff of air is like a heartbeat, and the periodicity gives you a measure of the passing of time, something you never had before and at the same time your universe continues to expand.

 

Now think that the original balloon was so small that it had no dimensions at all. You cannot fit inside it - nothing can. It is a dimensionless point. Inside, it is not just small and compact - there is no Space at all. Nor is there any Time! From outside it is too small to be detectable; from inside it does not exist. This is not our idea of Divine Creation. It is the scientific theory of the Big Bang, and surprising, as it may seem, the mathematicians have provided convincing evidence that it is at least possible. So when Theologians say that at a single instant in time God brought into being all the Physical Universe and also the various spiritual realms, this is the sort of Creation they are describing. Science can only see the Physical part. Theology is also concerned with the Spiritual Realms, but the Bible tells us that all the various “Heavens” were Created at the same time as the Earth[i].

 

 

Manifestation

 

However, if nothing existed before Creation and if God Created the Heavens and the Earth out of nothing, then before that Creation He must have existed outside of it. We are taught that God is Infinite, but certainly Creation, vast though it is cannot be Infinite[ii]. At the instant of Creation did God cease to be Infinite and cease to dwell outside of His Creation? Did He somehow enter into that Creation and become Finite? for if He entered into that Creation it could only be in a form that was less than Infinite, a Form in which He would be comprehensible to that Creation. If so, then it is true to say that in doing so He made Himself Manifest to it.

 

Therefore, theology teaches that the Unmanifested Godhead made Himself Manifest. And although it may well be that in other worlds and other Galaxies He has made Himself Manifest in other Forms[iii], in the part of the Physical Plane that we know, (the Earth) He has manifested forth as what Christians call the Trinity of One Substance.   

 

 

The Trinity

 

Over the centuries, Christian theologians have discussed the nature of the Trinity ad nauseam, and Ward had no problem with the basic definitions provided but in his efforts to understand God, he went further than most. He saw the Trinity as consisting of Father, Mother and Son, Three distinct Persons, ever Three, yet ever One, from Whom descends each day a never-ending stream of Divine Fragments, separated from Him, and from one another, yet still Sparks of the One Divine Fire.

 

Each of these Sparks leaves the Godhead and descends through all the Angelic Realms until it ultimately reaches earth. There it becomes immersed in gross physical matter, where it is shattered into myriads of parts - each one of which contains an infinitesimal fragment of the Divinity. These tiny fragments gradually pass from one form of life to a higher for countless ages. Time and again the individual parts are brought together as they slowly evolve through the lower Kingdoms of Life on Earth, until eventually these merged Sparks reach a size where they can form the essential part of the Spirit of a Human Being.

 

 

The Return to God

 

Each human Spirit thus contains within it a Fragment of the Divine Fire, which having spent aeons of ages gathering experience throughout the Lower Kingdoms of Earth is ready to learn the lessons of the Human State. It is the destiny of each such Spark to gather those lessons and eventually, having acquired all the knowledge and experience that it can on earth, to pass beyond the need for rebirth in a physical body.

 

Thereafter, it will ascend slowly, stage by stage, through all the various “Heavens” learning lessons on each Plane of Existence. As it ascends, time after time it will merge with yet other Fragments of the same Divine Spark that left the Godhead so many aeons before and thus as it ascends what was once a multitude of tiny Sparks becomes ultimately a burning Flame. We call that Flame a Seraph, the highest of all the Angels, and ultimately Flaming Seraph, all its lessons learned is able to return whence it came and re-unite with the Godhead.

 

This is the Law of God’s Own Being, for it is by thus Manifesting Himself forth and sending out Fragments of His Own Divine Fire, that the Infinite One perpetuates Himself. For every Spark which returns to Him brings with it the garnered knowledge and experience of countless ages - it has proved its worth in task after task, and finally it plays its part in enriching and perpetuating the Godhead, which of Himself is All in All. The processes by which the Spark achieves its goal are discussed elsewhere, but for now we will pass now to a consideration of the nature of the Triune Godhead as manifested forth unto us. And first we will consider that which Christians call God the Father Almighty.

 

 

God the Father Almighty, The Father of All Souls

 

Having thus defined our concept of God as the Trinity of One Substance in the first section, our Summary of Beliefs then goes on to describe our belief in each of the Three Persons of that Trinity. The Second section describes our belief in God the Father. It reads;

 

We believe in God the Father, the Father of all souls, and Creator of Heaven and Earth who has revealed Himself to Mankind in a myriad different ways, but Who has revealed Himself to us through the Holy Scriptures.

 

Although this section is comparatively brief it includes several important parts; God the Father is defined as

 

a.      The Father of all Souls; and

b.      The Creator of Heaven and Earth,

 

And we are told that

 

c.       He has revealed Himself to Mankind in a myriad different ways,

d.      He has revealed Himself to us through the Holy Scriptures.

 

We shall consider each of these areas briefly.

 

 

The Father of all Souls and the Creator of Heaven and Earth

 

We have already seen that all souls spring from God, and that therefore it is the Godhead as a whole that can most properly be considered to be the Source of All Life. Why then do we speak of God the Father as being the Father of all souls?

 

God the Father is the Paternal Aspect of the Godhead, and therefore if we are to describe our relationship with Him, it must take cognisance of this fact. At the same time God the Father is also defined as representative of the Creative Power of God. That is not to say that the Other Two Aspects of the Trinity did not collaborate in the Creation of the Universe - the Bible tells us that They did.[iv] 

 

Nevertheless, we see the role of God the Father as being the initiator of Creation and this concept is also found in other faiths. The Hindus speak of their Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) as the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer respectively, and to a substantial extent the Christian Trinity is perceived in much the same way. Indeed the idea of a Paternal Creator is almost as widespread as religion itself. For as we have noted elsewhere, some form of belief in a Triple Deity is found in almost all religions, past and present.[v]

 

Thus the Father is seen as the Father of Creation by almost all souls that hold any form of belief in God. And if we seek from God some Virtue that is traditionally ascribed to every good and great father here on earth, it is only natural that we will seek it through God the Father.

 

 

God has Revealed Himself to Mankind in a Myriad Ways.

 

Many Christians see themselves as being the sole heirs of Salvation. They have the basic idea that God has Created a whole Universe and peopled it with uncounted trillions of creatures, yet He has only given a chance of spiritual fulfilment to their particular denomination, or perhaps to them and a few others with similar ideas. Some sects take this narrow-minded bigotry to its logical conclusion, suggesting that Heaven will only receive those who follow their own particular concepts or who keep the particular way of life that has been “revealed” to them. Fortunately the advance of Western material civilisation has caused this extreme view to become socially unpopular, though it still persists among many so-called Christians. The fact that most civilised groups reject such an extreme view has meant that it is often the subject of jokes made at the expense of one denomination or another. One such well-known story goes like this.

 

“St Peter was showing the newly arrived soul around Paradise. They passed a number of places of worship, including a number of chapels, an Eastern Temple, a Mosque and a big  Cathedral, before they reached a large area surrounded by a very high fence. ‘What’s in there?’ asked the newly arrived soul rather loudly. ‘Shush,’ replied St Peter. ‘That’s the XXXXXXX; they think they’re the only ones here and we don’t want to spoil it for them!’

 

Unfortunately there are still many denominations who think that they will be “the only ones there” and there are a great many ministers who promote this belief among their followers. Bigotry has been the cause of most of the religious wars and other conflicts in history and is found among most religious groups, both Christian and non-Christian. This is because it marks an early, though necessary, stage in the development of every human spirit. To primitive human spirits everything is black and white - right or wrong. And if such people are not told that their particular system of thought is the only right one, they readily lose interest in religion completely.   

 

However, once a spirit passes this stage, such religions only hold it back. Occasionally Saints develop within them, but even where the official teachings of the faith encourage bigotry such Saints-to-be rarely involve themselves in those aspects of its teachings, and are in themselves tolerant and loving towards non-members. That is not to say that we should not regard our own faith as superior to others. If we don’t, then why are we still members? But regarding one’s own faith as a superior or higher Revelation of the Truth does not mean that we condemn others, and like John Ward himself we trust and expect that all who follow his theology will have long passed that stage in their spiritual development.

 

Every religion and every denomination of every religion on earth is permitted to come into existence by God. Most[vi] are designed to lead souls closer to Him, and provide for the needs of different types of souls.

 

It is not as simple as saying that one religion is more advanced than another, for within most of the major religions, and even within a specific denomination there often exists a wide range of attitudes and points of emphasis. It is essential, however that we understand that at their highest, all true religions represent a “Seeking for God”, by the souls within them, and to a greater or lesser extent some degree of response from Him to His worshippers. And thus it is that we say that God has revealed Himself to Man in a myriad different ways.

 

 

Forms of Revelation

 

All true religions offer a Path to God, and God has revealed Himself to at least some members of the human race through each one of them, but although there are multitudes of such Divine Revelations, they fall broadly into three forms.

 

 

a.              The most significant are those given directly by God to Man, through the Salvator when He comes to earth. These visits by the Salvator come always at the ending of an Age, at a time when the human race has reached a cyclical peak, and when there are many holy and evolved souls on earth who can benefit thereby. Most of those souls are thus enabled to end their round of earth lives, and so the civilisation falls, as the younger spirits assume the leadership roles once held by their seniors. These younger spirits fail to comprehend the revelation fully, and thus it degenerates, usually into a number of different forms, but each catering for younger souls than the Original Wisdom. Such degenerate beliefs flourish for a space until the souls become older, and once again the Age draws to an end. At such a period these degenerate forms of religion fail to satisfy the more evolved spirits in incarnation and consequently many attempt to recover the lost Ancient Wisdom, whilst others seek new Wisdom from God and eventually the Salvator comes once again and the cycle is repeated. We see this pattern repeated in the stories of the Revelations given by Melchizedek (CLICK HERE), Jesus of Nazareth, and ultimately in the new Revelation of the Truth that Christ will bring when He comes once again.

 

 

b.             A second form of Revelation is where God speaks indirectly to Man through a Prophet or human Messenger, who understands that he/she is the bearer of such a message and proclaims it to those around. Such messengers may build on an earlier Divine Revelation, but claim Divine authority for their own interpretations of such a message. The most important of such messengers usually come some centuries after the Original Message of the Salvator, when it has lost its relevance to the majority of souls in incarnation, because they are now too young to understand it. Alternatively they come in the later part of the Age, shortly before the Salvator returns again, when many of the souls are once more outgrowing the degenerate forms of the original Revelation. In the first group of such teachers we can number Moses, some of the Early Church Fathers, and Mahommed, whilst the second will include Buddha, Zoroaster, Yeheshua ben Sirach[vii] and more recently, John Ward himself.

 

 

c.              The third form of Revelation is even less direct. In such circumstances God inspires one or more people to a particular course of action, either without them realising that He has given them a direct message, or where they are not prepared to claim His authority for it. Instead they use merely human logic or knowledge to develop a re-interpretation of an older revelation. Such re-interpretations lead mainly to new denominations of an older religion rather than a new faith. They are usually designed to help a limited number of souls for one or two of their lives, and without any claim to Divine authority, rarely play a major role in the development of the human race as a whole for more than a few centuries. Most of the new Christian denominations that have arisen over the last five hundred years fall into this category. They have not normally[viii] made any claims to Divine inspiration or Divine authority, and as often happen with such groups, many in their turn have fragmented over the centuries. In some of them today, there are literally dozens of sub-groups differing only on very minor theological points, themselves derived from varying interpretations of the Scriptures by individual leaders.

 

Through all of these different “Revelations” God has revealed something about Himself to the Human Race. Therefore we say, whether through the Divine Son when He comes to earth or through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Father of All has revealed Himself to mankind in a myriad different ways.

 

Ward’s theology respects all of these Revelations, accepting that within each one of them is to be found a least some fragments of the Truth. But although his followers naturally believe that his Theology provides the most comprehensive description of Reality they also acknowledge that they too, know only a part of the Truth. For there is no man on earth, nor Angel in Heaven who can fully comprehend the Nature of God, and the Fullness of His Divine Plans for His Creation.

 

 

He has Revealed Himself to us through the Holy Scriptures

 

However, although it acknowledges the value of all other revelations, Ward’s theology is firmly based on the Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and his Disciples and although it pays due respect to all that they are claimed to have taught and written, its principle source of doctrines is the canonical New Testament.

 

It also respects the earlier revelations given through Moses and the Prophets in the Old Testament, and the remnants of the teachings given even earlier by the Salvator Himself when He came as Melchizedek, as preserved by Moses in the book of Genesis. (CLICK HERE) 

 

Collectively these Scriptures are generally known as the Bible, and it is the Bible, together with the mystical experiences of John and Jessie Ward that provide the basis for the teachings of their followers today.

 

 

God the Son, the Elder Brother of All Souls

 

By His very Nature, God the Son, the Divine Child of God the Father and God the Mother is entitled to be claimed as “Elder Brother” by every soul in existence. It is important, however to understand the difference between Him and even the greatest of the Seraphim. The Nicene Creed describes Him as being “begotten of His Father before all worlds” and one of Ward’s Hymns (No 248 verse 2) tells us that “Ere the universe was fashioned, She conceived and brought to birth; She we call the Holy Spirit Bore the Saviour of the earth”.

 

This means that He sprang from the Godhead directly in the very instant of Creation, as the Unmanifested Godhead Manifested forth and thus He participates fully in the Divine Nature, whilst every other spirit is but a Spark of that Divine Fire, and sprang therefrom only after the instant of Creation.

 

This is why He is described not only as “the first begotten” (Hebrews 1, 6) and “the firstborn among many brethren”, (Romans 8; 29) but also as “the only begotten Son of God” (St John 3; 18), and apparent contradiction that has led many to stumble. It is also why He is the Salvator of Mankind - He is the natural “Bridge” between Creator and Creation, because although Divine, in a mystical sense He already participates in our Nature.

 

In our consideration of the previous section of our Summary of Beliefs, we noted that God has Revealed Himself to Man in many ways. But we also saw that the most important of those Revelations are those that are based on the Teachings given forth by the Salvator when He comes to earth every two thousand years or so. We noted in particular the teachings that were given forth when He came as Jesus of Nazareth and as Melchizedek, and indicated our belief that a yet further Revelation of the Truth would be given to Mankind when He returns as Christ the King.

 

The Third Section of our Summary of Beliefs refers to the Salvator, God the Son who is the Elder Brother of all Souls and reads thus;

 

We believe in God the Son, the Elder Brother of all souls, Who is also their Salvator, and periodically descends into matter, in order to lead his brethren along the Path of Return, who most recently came to earth as Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Who was born of the Virgin Mary and taught mankind the Way of Salvation. Who suffered death on the Cross, for our Redemption, descended into Hell to aid those who had failed, and then raising even His material Body out of the grave, returned to earth life to teach His disciples. And then ascended into Heaven.

 

In an earlier segment we considered the nature of the Godhead and each of the Three Persons of the Trinity. In this Section we are considering the relationship between God the Son and the whole human race. In particular we see Him as the Salvator - that Aspect of the Divinity that periodically descends to earth to aid His younger brethren. The word itself has a similar meaning to “Saviour”, but whilst “Saviour” usually refers Jesus of Nazareth, “Salvator” is used in a more general sense.

 

 

The Salvator

 

Although our records of that ancient time are far from exact, it does seem that at least 2000 years elapsed between His Coming as Melchizedek and His Coming as Jesus of Nazareth and although we believe that His Return is now drawing near, it is now nearly 2000 years since He died on Calvary and it appears likely that a similar period will elapse between that date and the time when He takes His power to reign as Christ the King.

 

On the evidence of these records, it seems reasonable to suggest that such a period regularly separates His Advents, but we cannot say this with certainty, for although we are told in the Bible (Micah 5; 2) that He has been going forth from all eternity, we are not told at what intervals He has done so. Perhaps this is because the duration is dependent on the varying rate of progress of made by souls on earth, rather than upon the passage of a set number of earthly years, for it must be remembered that in spiritual things, time is measured by experience and not by the passing of days.

 

For the same reason, a degree of uncertainty must always attend predictions about the date of His Coming Again as Christ the King. For the human race is Free, and this Free Will means that to a greater or lesser extent each individual soul can progress swiftly or more slowly depending on the choices it makes, and the timing of Christ’s Return is, to a certain extent, hastened or retarded thereby. This is a fact implied by Christ Himself when as Jesus of Nazareth He said that neither the Angels nor even the Son Himself knew the exact timing of His Return[ix] (St Mark 13; 32)

 

We know little about His teachings as Melchizedek, for most have been lost. A few seem to have been committed to memory and then later preserved for us in the Book of Genesis, as is discussed in Ward’s book “Genesis the Accused”, but most of our knowledge of the Way of Salvation comes from His teachings as Jesus of Nazareth, which form the spiritual basis of Christianity.

 

It is because of the importance of His teachings as Jesus of Nazareth that the Summary also acknowledges the key events of that Incarnation of the Salvator, in particular those that proved Him to be more than an ordinary mortal. These include, especially, His miraculous birth, His Resurrection and His Ascension into Heaven, all of which demonstrate his Psychic ability and by their very nature reveal His complete mastery over the Physical world.

 

 

God the Holy Spirit, the Mother of All Souls

 

The fourth section of the Summary considers the nature of the Holy Spirit. In the previous section, we discussed briefly the Last Incarnation of the Salvator when He came to earth as Jesus of Nazareth, concluding with His Ascension into Heaven, and the reader may also remember that shortly after His Ascension He sent forth the Holy Spirit, as He had promised, upon His Disciples on earth.

 

Ward’s theology teaches that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Mother, the Female Aspect of the Godhead and the Mother of all souls, a belief that whilst inherent in Apostolic Christianity has been largely lost in Modern Churches. Most modern Bibles use masculine pronouns when referring to the Holy Spirit, and those who use them rarely give the matter further thought. Ward, on the other hand quickly discovered that this translation is an error. Unlike the English language, many others habitually apply gender to abstract objects, and whilst in English the word “spirit” can apply equally to males or females in Hebrew it is Feminine. It is also Female in Aramaic (Old Syriac) the form of Hebrew that was in everyday use in Christ’s day. In Greek the word for spirit is neuter gender but in Latin, which became the language of the western Church from about the beginning of the third century AD, the term for Spirit is masculine gender. This is why most modern denominations, which derive from the western Church See the Holy Spirit as masculine Ward in his efforts to get back to the teachings of Christ and His Apostles, found this idea quite incompatible with the very Nature of God as the Source of All.

 

There are many indications, both in the Bible and elsewhere that there is a Mother Aspect of God and Ward himself treated it as self-evident and most of the opposition to him and his theology came on other points. It seems that in general the belief that the Holy Spirit is the Mother Aspect of God has only offended those whose basic attitudes towards religion are misogynist.  However, those who wish for a more detailed study of this subject may CLICK HERE

 

Whilst acknowledging the Motherhood of God as a self-evident fact, the fourth section of the Summary is mainly concerned with an outline of the nature of the Work of the Holy Spirit. It reads thus;

 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Mother of all souls, Who descended upon the apostles and disciples of Our Lord in order to institute the One, Holy, Orthodox and Catholic Church on earth, and Who continues to inspire and guide that Church even to this day through the spiritual descendants of the apostles, the clergy, saints and mystics.

 

The most important function of the Holy Spirit within Christianity is epitomised by Her Descent at Pentecost, but in accordance with the Promise of Christ, She has continued to inspire and guide the Church from that day to this. This Inspiration has taken two separate and distinct forms.

 

Firstly; the inspiration and guidance provided directly to individuals through prayer and mysticism. There are many references to such guidance in the New Testament, such as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to Philip to preach to the Ethiopian (Acts 8; 29) and to St Peter about the emissaries of Cornelius. (Acts 10; 19)  This inspiration has been continued through the lives of the Saints and Mystics right up to the present day, when Divine Guidance in one form or another is still sent to Christ’s followers, even if they do not always recognised it as such.

 

Secondly; the guidance granted to the Church as a whole, so that it will not fail in the mission allotted to it. This is given in fulfilment of Christ’s promise to St Peter that “The Gates of Hell would not prevail against it” (St Matthew 16; 18) and although individuals may go astray, in one form or another, the Holy Spirit has always provided guidance to the Church as an Entity. It may not be without error, but as He promised, it will remain ever faithful to the basic purpose for which it was founded.

 

However, the Holy Ghost has also condescended to guide and direct each individual. Through the voice of each individual conscience, She ensures that any truly sincere soul always knows what is right, and one of the quotations Ward provided for use in the Abbey puts it very succinctly; Be very certain you will always know God's Will if you are genuinely desirous of doing it.”

 

This fact of a personal conscience and its link with the Holy Spirit is widely recognised, even among those denominations who do not understand mysticism. They usually acknowledge that Christ referred to it when He told us that “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (St Matthew 12; 31) They usually agree with us that this term refers to any sin that we know to be wrong, and that if we deliberately do something we know to be wrong we are defying our own consciences, the Voice of the Holy Ghost within us. In fact, as Christ puts it, we are committing blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, because we are usurping Her right to determine what is right for us to do. The idea that the Holy Ghost dwells within each one of us is supported by St Paul when he says; “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you” (I Corinthians 6; 19).

 

 

The Spiritual Descendants of the Apostles.

 

However, if each individual can claim the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, how much more true is it of the spiritual descendants of the apostles, the clergy, saints and mystics? In this role, the most important attribute is sincerity. As the quotation says, if we genuinely desire to do God’s Will, we will always be shown what it is and in most cases, we will also be shown how to do it. It is with this end in view that the Church provides advice to those who are truly Seeking – guidance on the mystical Path that has been transmitted from the very beginning by the Apostles themselves to their immediate successors and thereafter passed down from Teacher to Pupil for nearly two thousand years.

 

Not every Church, not even every Church among those with Valid Orders, have this spiritual insight and knowledge which is based on Mysticism, but Ward’s theology both inspires and expects it. He and his co-founder, Jessie must surely rank among the greatest mystics in history, and many of their disciples, who have also dedicated their lives to God’s Service have likewise received personal proofs of the truths which they experienced. Now it is our turn to pass this training and this teaching on to others that when Christ Comes Again, He may find many people ready to receive Him.

 

In this work, the power of the Holy Spirit is essential, and it is through Her Power and only through Her Power, that the earnest Seeker can be trained in this way. Even so, it is not easy, nor will it always prove possible, for unless the Seeker is truly seeking, and is prepared to subordinate all else to achieving that goal, the Mystic Path may well prove beyond him/her. But this has ever been the case; many people want personal mystical proofs of our teachings, but they are not prepared to put in the time and effort needed to obtain them.

 

Before talking with such a person it is important to know whether they are a genuine seeker or one who is seeking only to cause trouble, and often there may not be much obvious difference between them.[x] If they are genuine we should be prepared to explain things to them in as much detail as is necessary, but as St Paul once said, strong meat is not for babes, (Hebrews 5 12- 14) and as Christ said, we must be careful not to cast our Pearls before Swine. (St Matthew 7; 5)[xi]

 

St Peter had to face this very difficulty, probably on many occasions, and the following quotation explains his attitude to the problem. It comes from the Recognitions of Clement, Book 2 chapters 3 & 4; (See also Book 3 Chapter 1)  

 

Then Peter, being pleased to hear that I (Clement) understood the purport of his preface, that he had delivered it for our advantage; and commending me, doubtless for the purpose of encouraging, and stimulating me, began to deliver the following discourse.  "It seems to me to be seasonable and necessary to have some discussion relating to those things that are near at hand. That is, concerning Simon. For I should wish to know of what character and of what conduct he is.

Wherefore, if any one of you has any knowledge of him, let him not fail to inform me; for it is of consequence to know these things beforehand. For if we have it in charge, that when we enter into a city we should first learn who in it is worthy that we may eat with him, (St Matthew 10; 11 – 15) how much more is it proper for us to ascertain who or what sort of man he is to whom the words of immortality are to be committed!

For we ought to be careful, yea, extremely careful, that we cast not our pearls before swine.

But for other reasons also it is of importance that I should have some knowledge of this man. For if I know that in those things concerning which it cannot be doubted that they are good, he is faultless and irreproachable, that is to say, if he is sober, merciful, upright, gentle, and humane, which no one doubts to be good qualities. Then it will seem to be fitting that upon him who possesses these good virtues, that which is lacking of faith and knowledge should be conferred. And so his life, which is in other respects worthy of approbation, should be amended in those points in which it shall appear to be imperfect.

But if he remains wrapped up and polluted in those sins which are manifestly such, it does not become me to speak to him at all of the more secret and sacred things of divine knowledge. But rather to protest and confront him, that he cease from sin, and cleanse his actions from vice. But if he insinuate himself, and lead us on to speak what he, while he acts improperly, ought not to hear, it will be our part to parry him cautiously.

For not to answer him at all does not seem proper, for the sake of the hearers, lest haply they may think that we decline the contest through want of ability to answer him, and so their faith may be injured through their misunderstanding of our purpose."

 

In other words; if a would-be seeker has been living a good life, he is probably genuine and can probably be entrusted with more spiritual knowledge. If not he should be first encouraged to make an effort therein, after which his suitability for instruction should be re-assessed. However,  we should always avoid giving too much detail in front of a large audience lest we be misunderstood by some, and in this website we have tried to follow this principle. However, as St Peter also tells us we should always be prepared, “to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3; 15) and those who seek further wisdom are invited to contact Ward’s successors through the e-mail address provided below.

 

 

Summary

 

The Holy Spirit, the Mother of All Souls, leads and guides all Her children along the Path, but She does so in many different ways and therefore it is important that we are willing to be led and used by Her. For She can only use us to help in that task to the extent that we are prepared to allow Her to do so. The Christian Church came into existence for that purpose and it came into existence through Her. She has continued to guide and direct it from that day to this and we will consider in more detail Her Work in the Church in the next Web Page. To go to it, CLICK HERE



[i]

Please note that in Genesis 1; 1, we read; “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The word for “Heavens” is plural in the Hebrew, and is translated as plural in most other modern translations of the Bible. 

[ii]

Although as yet, Science has not definitively pronounced the Universe to be finite, the general consensus supports this view. Certainly the universe that we know, that we can ever know, must be finite, because light itself travels at a finite speed, and in the twelve to fifteen billion years that science considers to be the age of the Universe, it could only have travelled a finite distance. We could not detect anything beyond the distance that light would have travelled in that time.

[iii]

Note; although this MAY be so, I am not prepared to say that it is so. It is certainly possible that in another Manifestation God would manifest forth differently, but there are sound philosophical reasons for suggesting that if such a fundamental physical law as “Gravity” applies throughout the whole of this physical Universe then such a fundamental spiritual concept as God manifesting forth as the Trinity may also be Universally applicable.

[iv]

See Genesis 1, 2;   “. . .And the Spirit of God moved on the Face of the Waters” and Proverbs 8; 30, where Wisdom (a name of the Holy Spirit) says; “Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him”.

See also St John 1; 3.  “All things were made by Him (the Word; a name for the Divine Son); and without Him was not any thing made that was made.

[v]

In fact, the concept of a Father God, a Mother Goddess and one or more Divine Children is found in most religions even today. Apart from the belief in the Coming Redeemer, it is probably the most widespread belief in Religion, both past and present. In addition to the Christian Trinity, the basic concept is found among Hindus, the majority of Buddhists (Mahayana Buddhism) and a number of minor faiths. Islam is the only major faith which has no Female Aspect of the Godhead, but it still sees what Arabs once called the “Goddess who came down from Heaven” (the Kaaba in Mecca) as Sacred, although no longer recognising the connection with the ancestral Arabian worship of the Mother Goddess.

[vi]

And note I said “most”, not all, for there are systems of thought that are sometimes called religions, but which have no claim to the name, such as Satanism, which is clearly designed to lead people away from God, not towards Him.

[vii]

Sirach was the author of the Apocryphal book of Wisdom, and probably also the founder of the Essenes.

[viii]

One exception is Mormonism, which does claim a new revelation through its “prophet” Joseph Smith. 

[ix]

In saying this Christ was speaking as a Perfect Man, not as Perfect God for He dwelt among men as a Perfect Man, and the fullness of Divine Knowledge could not be held in a human brain. Therefore as Perfect Man  his knowledge was limited, for there are many things that are too complicated for even the most Perfect of men to comprehend. Although in His Divine capacity He could undoubtedly have comprehended the enormous range of karmic permutations involved in determining the instant of His Return, as a Man He could not. Not even an Angel could do so and in the Service that Ward wrote for the Festival in the Christ the King he acknowledged this. The Service looks forward to the Return of Christ, and in it Ward has Christ’s representative (the Messenger) say “The hour is hidden from thee and Me” and even when this was first written Christ had already commenced to descend through the Angelic Planes and so was not even then possessed of the fullness of His Divine Powers, but only of the abilities of an Angel. The fact that Christ veils the fullness of His Divinity when He descends to earth has been known from ancient times and is mentioned in Early Church writings, but was explained in more depth to John Ward in the Fourth Vision of Brother Seraphion. Chapter 1, verses 15-16 read:

‘And I said: ‘Sir, explain unto me another mystery.  How comes it that when the Son of God enters the Plane of the Powers, His glory is less than that which I saw when He was seated beside the Ancient of Days?’ And he answering said: ‘When the Eternal Son of God descended to the plane of the Seraphim, He limited His glory so that He might take upon Himself the Form or Spiritual Body of a Seraph, thereby dimming His splendour, for to the Seraphim He cometh as a Perfect Seraph and to the Cherubim as a Perfect Cherub, and to the Virtues as a Perfect Virtue, and now He hath come to the Powers to show unto them the Way of Perfection for a Power, so that they may advance beyond the state of a Power to that of a Virtue.’

[x]

For even a genuine seeker may become aggressive if he/she thinks he/she is not being taken seriously, whilst a trouble-maker always has this tendency.

[xi]

It is for this reason that neither Ward nor his successors have ever been willing to commit to writing a detailed training manual for mystics, for in this the highest spiritual endeavour of the human state, there are as many roads as there are individuals. Therefore the earnest Seeker on the Mystic Path will always need to seek a Master  in the early stages of their Quest – and if genuine, whether one of Ward’s disciples or not, such a Master will always follow the age-old system of a direct relationship between pupil and teacher. In this system the master can measure the pupil’s progress on a daily basis and provide tailored instruction as required. However there are a few basic essentials of Mystical Theology that apply to all and must be understood by any who would approach the Mystic Path and these are outlined on another web-page. CLICK HERE  

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Christ is Coming
WILL YOU HELP PREPARE HIS WAY?
 
For Further information
Contact:  Rt. Rev. John Cuffe
               St Cecelia's Orthdox Catholic Church
               Caboolture Qld 4510 Australia.
               email orthcathcab@yahoo.com.au
               Telephone  61 7 5495 3393
               web sites: http://Orthodoxcatholicnew.tripod.com