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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 Three (Covering Stanzas 9 – 12)

 

God’s Great Plan

 

This Web page is the third 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. (CLICK HERE)

 

This page expands on stanzas 9 – 12 of the Summary and explores God’s Great Plan for His Creation;  the nature of Sin and Temptation, the Work of the Tester of Men and Angels The functions of Hell and Heaven; the Return of Christ as King and the purpose of Creation

The last four sections of the Summary of Ward’s Beliefs deal with God’s Great Plan – with the whole reason for Creation. It is a massive canvas on which many men have drawn many different pictures throughout the ages. Many great Saints and mystics have sought to depict thereon the concepts and ideas that have sprung to birth within their minds, and ever the ordinary mortal has struggled to comprehend that which they have sought to reveal. The Orthodox Catholic Church has not been devoid of such Saints and Mystics, and in John and Jessie Ward, we have two of the greatest of both, but it is not easy to reflect their knowledge of Spiritual Realities in terms that a layman can understand, ut the Summary endeavours to achieve this. Its ninth section reads thus;

 

We believe that the Tester of Men and Angels has been appointed by God to tempt and test all who seek to follow the Way of Salvation, to ensure that none who are unworthy approach the Throne of God.

 

Many Churches, indeed most non-Christian religions as well, believe in a great Opposer; a being who opposes all of God’s Works and seeks to thwart the efforts of those humans who sincerely try to do Good. Among Christians he is usually represented as a Great Dragon, or as St John describes him “that old Serpent, called the Devil, and Satan” (Revelation 12; 9). To many he is a rebel Angel, who having successfully rebelled against an Omnipotent God, has set up in opposition to Him, and seeks to draw the human race into the conflict on his side.

 

This inherently self-contradictory idea is derived from Dualism, the belief that there is not One God, but Two, perpetually opposed, but so evenly matched in strength that mankind, weak and feeble though he may be, is sufficient to tip the balance between them and therefore both seek to win his allegiance. This and many other Medieval concepts seem to have developed out of the teachings of Mani, the Persian prophet of the 3rd century A.D., who re-invigorated the teachings of the older Persian prophet, Zoroaster. (6th century BC.) His followers (Manichaeans) provided stern opposition for Christianity in the 4th and 5th centuries, and although ultimately defeated they made a number of inputs to the form in which Christianity descended to the Middle Ages.

 

For obviously if there is only One Omnipotent God, no being of even moderate ability would ever be so stupid as to rebel against Him, whilst if one did, the Omnipotent God could certainly destroy it easily and so prevent others being led astray. Modern Christian thinkers have been beset by this apparent incongruity, and several have evolved complicated concepts that seek to assuage the problem. In general, they all founder on the fact that if God is Good He should be expected to oppose Evil, whilst if He is Omnipotent He should be able to destroy it instantly. Clearly the existence of evil in the world proves that this has not happened, and therefore we are left with the question of why a good God would not seek to prevent evil, and why an Omnipotent God has not destroyed it. Clearly this question implies either that God is not Good, or that He is not Omnipotent.

 

But there is another concept which finds its origins in the Bible itself and is perhaps expressed most clearly by St Peter in the Homilies of Clement (Homily 19 chapter 5; 1)

And Peter said: "It is my opinion that, even if it be evident that he (Satan) was made by God, the Creator who made him should not be blamed; for it might perchance be found that the service he performs was an absolute necessity.

 

The Homilies of Clement are deemed to be apocryphal, and therefore this reference is not by itself sufficient to prove the belief that Satan is a servant of God. It does however provide evidence that such a concept was alive and well when they were written, probably in the 2nd or 3rd century. However such a belief is much older than that. It can be traced back in the Bible itself, probably to the time of Melchizedek and perhaps earlier. The most obvious reference comes from the Book of Job, a book that is traditionally ascribed to Moses, or to his father-in-law Jethro, but which may well be even older. In the first chapter verses 6-12, we read:

Now there was a day when the sons of God (Angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.   And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

 

The first bold print part of this passage not only places Satan among the other Angels, as a servant of God, but indicates that like them he periodically presents himself before Him to report and to receive instruction.  The second bold print part shows us how God questions Satan about his work, and in particular in this case about “My servant Job”. God tells Satan that Job is a righteous man, and Satan points out that he has not yet been tested. In the third bold print passage, God not only authorises the testing of Job, He even sets the limits as to how far Satan can test him and in what ways. A few verses later we find that even though Satan tests him as greatly as God has permitted, Job still remained loyal to God. God points this out to him the next time Satan comes to report in Job 2; 1-7;

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.   And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life..  But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

 

Because Job had not succumbed to the earlier testing, Satan demanded an end to the restriction that God had placed on his work, and this time God granted it, stipulating only that he should not take Job’s life. Much of the remainder of the book of Job is taken up with the efforts of Job’s “friends”, who seem to have been trying to help Satan test him. And this often happens today, for many of the hardest temptations that assail us are spoken through the mouths of our so-called friends. Eventually, having survived their repeated temptations, Job asks for God’s help and finally He answers Job, (chapters 38 to 42) who is restored to Divine favour and spends the rest of his long life in peace and plenty.

 

 

What Ward teaches

 

Ward’s theology summarises this position. Satan is not a rebel against God, for God is both Good and Omnipotent and none can successfully rebel against Him. Satan is a great Angel – a servant of God, who has been appointed by Him to a role of testing and tempting all those who seek to draw nearer to Him. Nor is he alone, for God has also appointed many other Angels to assist him in his work. He is in fact the leader of a Host of Darkness, an Angelic Army (Revelation 12; 7) that constantly wars against the Heavenly Hierarchy of Light. Satan tests all, for he is the Tester of men and of angels, but he is not alone in his labours, for God is just. He has many helpers and there is constant conflict between the forces of Light and Darkness – a great War that is fought on every Plane of Existence. However, it is especially vicious on and near the earth and all those who follow the Way of Salvation must expect to be tested, for God is Holy and none who are unworthy may approach His Throne.

 

To us, Satan is like an examiner, who seeks to discover just how well we have learned our lessons, or even like the sparring partner who pummels a world-champion boxer, in order that he may not be unready when he enters the ring to defend the championship. He is indeed the enemy of Man, but he is not the enemy of God. Rather he is His most loyal servant who serves Him in a way that is not only strange to us, but also utterly abhorrent to Satan himself, but it is a form of service that is absolutely necessary to the spiritual progress of the human race. Indeed it is essential to the success of the Divine Plan for all Creation, which, it must be remembered, embraces not only the human race, but also the whole Physical Universe and indeed all the immensity of the Spiritual Realms of Saints and Angels as well. 

 

The Tenth Section of the Summary brings us to a consideration of those Higher Planes of Consciousness. It reads;

 

We believe in Heaven, the abode of the Three Planes of the Saints and Nine Choirs of Angels and that it is the destiny of each Divine Spark to ascend this great spiritual ladder step by step until ultimately it returns to God, the Source from whence it came.

 

The reader may recall that in considering the First Section of the Summary we discussed the Descent of the Divine Spark into Matter. More recently we have considered its progress through the human stage, where it circles for many lives gaining experience, till at length it reaches the standard of a Perfect Man. This section of the Summary (the Tenth) considers what happens to the human Spirit when ultimately it completes its task on earth, as well as on the Astral and Spirit Planes it is found worthy to pass higher. It no longer has a need to return to Physical existence and so it re-enters those Celestial Realms whence it came forth so many ages before. These Realms we collectively call Heaven, and they consist of many divisions – Three Planes of the Saints and Nine Choirs of Angels.

 

Not all of these are of equal size or importance. In fact many scholars consider that all Three Planes of the Saints, together with the Physical, Astral and Spirit Planes should really be considered as merely different sections of one Human Plane, for each of these Realms are in fact Realms of Man. Other spirits dwell thereon[1], but the highest denizens of each are of no more than human status, though on the Planes of the Saints they are Perfected human beings.

 

 

The Saints.

 

It is certain that when compared to the length of time that a spirit spends on the various Angelic Planes, the Planes of the Saints are transitory stages on our journey. As a general guide, most Sparks spend barely 2000 years on the three Planes of the Saints in total, whilst they will spend many millions of years on each of the Angelic Realms. Earthly theologians define the three categories of Saints thus. These are

 

1.      Those who whilst worthy of veneration for their examples when on earth are not yet fully established in Sanctity.    They are usually denominated “Venerable”

 

2.      Those who have indeed received the Beatific Vision – have achieved the end of their earthly quest. They are usually named “Blessed” and are Blessed indeed, but they yet have to bring full proof of their Sanctity to mortals.

 

3.      Those who have produced such proof to mortals, which proof is usually in the form of one or more miracles, visions or messages to a recognised visionary or mystic on earth. In some denominations widespread popular acclaim alone may be sufficient. They are recognised as Fully Sanctified Saints.

 

So the theologians have taught and mystics have indeed confirmed that such divisions exist, though the earthly criteria are not always completely accurate. For the sake of simplicity we keep the three names, but more correctly the three categories can be characterised thus.

 

1.      The Venerables are new Saints just learning to function as such. Rarely do spirits spend more than a couple of centuries on this Plane.

 

2.      The Beatified are those who are fully functional as Saints and have started on their work to aid mankind but usually only as assistants to the Fully Sanctified. Again the time spent on this Plane is relatively short.

 

3.      The Fully Sanctified Saints participate completely in the Work of helping mortals on all three Planes of Men, including those who have fallen into Hell. In addition they are also preparing themselves for Angelhood and spend up to about 2000 years in doing so.

 

 

Angels

 

If they think about it at all, most Christian denominations realise that the Angelic Hosts comprise beings of many different ranks or orders, and though not all list the Nine Choirs of Angels exactly as we do, most acknowledge the same number. In English we generally use the term “Choirs” to refer to these various ranks of Angelic beings a term that probably derives from the traditional view of Angels singing praises to God. The tradition is not wrong, but obviously Angels have many other tasks, at least some of which are linked to helping mortals on earth, and the table below provides details of the most important roles that each rank fulfils.

 

 

THE ANGELIC HOSTS

NAME

Description of most important work

Biblical References

 

 

 

GUARDIAN ANGELS

Lowest rank of the Angelic Hierarchy. Generally known as Guardian Angels, because their duty is to guard mortals. We each have our own Guardian Angel who protects us, and to a certain extent helps to form our earthly bodies. Hence we tend to resemble our Guardian Angels as inferred in Acts 12; 15

St Matthew 18; 10

 

Acts 12; 15

ARCHANGELS

Sometimes used as a general term for any of the greater Angels. More specifically refers to those whose work as Guardian Angels is finished and who therefore take on the role of guiding such Guardian Angels. 

1 Thessalonians 4; 16

THRONES

Angels whose most important task it is to guide spiritual and religious organisations and churches. To assist them in this role they have a special link with the Holy Spirit. This has led some to rank them above the Powers instead of Virtues and vice versa. The order given in Col. 1; 16 supports our view.

Colossians 1; 16

DOMINIONS

Angels who guard and guide nations. This role was recognised quite early and is mentioned in Pseudo-Clement. But it is also inherent in their name. The listing of these four Angelic Choirs in Col 1; 16 may be the basis for the invocation of the Angels in the Eucharist.

Colossians 1; 16

PRINCIPALITIES

Angels who guide whole races, the major divisions of humankind. They also have responsibility for major groups of other life forms.

Romans 8; 38

Ephesians 3; 10

POWERS

The Masters of Fate. It is their role to guide lesser Angels in using the karma incurred by their pupils to help them learn lessons as well as pay off debts. They also take charge under God of whole planets.

Romans 8; 38

Colossians 1; 16

VIRTUES

The role of the Virtues, as their name implies is to diffuse the various attributes of God to all the lesser Creation.

Colossians 3; 14 (NIV)

CHERUBIM

Cherubim are distinguished by the strength of their love and it is their role to bring this love to the lesser Creation.

Genesis 3; 24

SERAPHIM

Seraphim are the greatest of the Angels. They are also the wisest and most knowledgeable. It is their role to show forth the knowledge of God and spread it throughout the lesser creation.

Isaiah 6; 2, 6

 

 

Of the Nine different ranks of Angels some are often mentioned in the Bible. Others are also found in the Bible, though some translations are less explicit than others and some churches interpret the Biblical references to mean something other than one of the ranks of Angel. Nevertheless, belief in Nine ranks of Angels can be traced back to the very earliest Christian writers, most notably to St Ignatius of Antioch in the beginning of the 2nd century.

 

Non-Christian groups such as Jews and Moslems as well as the many minor sects that derive from them also acknowledge the existence of Angels. The word itself comes from the Greek  (aggelos) meaning literally “to bring tidings”, but the concept originated with the Hebrew “Mal-awk” meaning literally “to despatch as a deputy or ambassador ” which also translates as “messenger” and derives from the same root as “Melek” meaning king.

 

 

The Nine Choirs of Angels

 

However the concept is not restricted to religions derived from Judaism. It is also found in other monotheistic religions such as Zoroastrianism, and in some Buddhist groups. Basically in fact even polytheistic religions such as Hinduism classify their Gods into major and minor deities, and the minor ones can often be likened to Angels, but whatever the precise views of other religions, in general, virtually all Christian denominations accept the existence of Angels and most recognise Nine different ranks.

 

Again, although there is some disagreement between denominations about the details, Ward’s basic terminology is not significantly different from that of the other Orthodox and Catholic Churches. It should be noted, however that although most churches with Valid Orders have similar views, there are differences, particularly in the way that specific names are applied to the various ranks and to the exact nature of the work of each. On the other hand most of the members of such churches, and even sometimes their clergy actually have very little knowledge of what their denomination teaches on the subject, or whether in fact it actually teaches anything. Ward in contrast, though his mystical experiences grew to know some of the Angels personally and certainly acquired a considerable understanding of the nature of their work, which is summarised in the table above.

 

 

The Work of the Angels.

 

It lists the names of these various ranks of Angels as we use them, together with their primary tasks and references in the Bible. Together these various choirs of Angels surround the Throne of God and a brief study of this table may be useful in understanding their work. In general it will be seen that the Higher the Rank of the Angel the greater and more responsible the task it is allotted. However it is important to recognise that not all Angels of the same rank do the same work. The tasks listed for each rank are generally the most significant that it performs, from a human point of view, but there are many others, and some of them are plainly unconnected with us on earth and probably quite incomprehensible to our human minds.

 

 

Spiritual Progress

 

We on earth are still learning the lessons of the earth. We may aspire to join the ranks of the Saints once we have learned all that life on earth can teach us and in like manner the Saints will progress until they are fitted to join the ranks of the Guardian Angels. In turn these Angels will eventually climb closer to God, stage by stage, gradually ascending what is in fact, a great spiritual ladder. They will climb this spiritual ladder step by step, even as Jacob saw in his vision (Genesis 28; 12) until ultimately all will return to God. (1 Timothy 2; 4)

 

It must be clearly understood that all the children of God, every single Divine Spark, no matter how far removed from God it may seem, will eventually return to Him, for it is not possible for Him to reject even the most debased sinner on earth. For whether a mere mortal or a Great Seraph, every Spark is a child of God and it is His Will that all will return to Him that, as St Paul puts it, God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15; 26.)

 

 

The Return of Christ

 

Most denominations have a belief that Christ will come again, but they view it in many different ways.

 

        To some it is a spectacularly miraculous event, the “Parousia”[2], which brings to an end all human existence and in the view of many, destroys the whole material Universe at the same time. Those who are worthy will be taken to Heaven at this time[3], and those who are not worthy will be sent to Hell, and that will be their fate for all eternity.

 

        To others it is something that could happen without you even knowing about it. The saved, usually only a few in number, will be removed from the earth, and after being joined together with those from past generations who have achieved salvation, will be taken to Heaven. The rest of the earth will then go steadily on its way to spiritual destruction, perhaps without even realising that Christ has Returned as He promised, but  then gone again.[4]

 

        To yet others, the earth itself will be miraculously transformed into a physical paradise and the saved, both living and dead will dwell here, whilst the rest will go forth either into Hell or into some form of annihilation[5]. 

 

        Again there are those who see His Return as being merely an allegory. They like to think that He will not actually return, in a physical tangible form. Instead they believe that their Church will gradually become ever more powerful and dominant in the world until at length there will come a time that Christ can be said to be reigning on earth, because all obey the precepts that He gave and live as their particular theology directs[6].

 

        Others do look for the physical Presence of Christ on earth even as Ward does, although they tend to think that only their own followers are likely to be welcomed into His Kingdom. They usually consider that all others will either be cast into Hell or destroyed totally, and that His reign will be only a prelude to the destruction of the world.

 

The Eleventh Section of the Summary contains Ward’s beliefs on this subject. It reads:

 

We believe in the promised return of Christ to reign as King over all the earth. That the time of His coming is drawing near and that it is the duty of all his followers to prepare themselves and others for that great Day.

 

 

The Second Coming[7]

 

Christ Himself once said (St Matthew 24; 36) that not even He knew the “day and hour” of His Return, but despite this fact, there are many others who have claimed to have been able to predict it exactly. Probably the most spectacular error was made when the forerunners of modern Seventh Day Adventists predicted that He would come back in 1844, but there have been many others[8].

 

Ward’s theology has never claimed to predict an exact date. Based on the fact that His Coming as Melchizedek was about 2000 years before His coming as Jesus of Nazareth, and that that coming is now nearly 2000 years ago, it expects that He will come back quite soon, but we must stress that there is nothing specific about this concept. Even today scholars are not certain of the exact date of Jesus’ birth[9] in Bethlehem and we are not even sure of the Century in which Melchizedek ruled ancient Salem.[10]. 

 

Through their mystical experiences, however, both John and Jessie Ward were aware, that Christ was descending through the Planes and since their deaths Christ’s progress towards Earth has been made known to their followers by those who received mystical training through them. Thus we do know that Christ’s Coming draw near, but we will not dare to predict exactly when He will actually reach the earth, for as He descends, so the speed of His progress has been gradually slowed by the increasing opposition of the Powers of Evil. Now that He has entered the Planes of Man[11], the opposition is almost at its peak, and we are still not prepared to guess how many years are yet to intervene before He comes to Earth and takes His Power to reign.

 

We do know that He will Reign as King over all the Earth as has been promised since ancient times[12] and we also know somewhat of the Teachings He will give forth at that time, in order that He may lay the Spiritual Foundations of the Age that is yet to be.  He will not destroy the world, for He comes to save it from the self-destruction that men would otherwise bring upon it. Undoubtedly many individual people will be condemned and sent forth into Hell at that time; some will be found worthy to pass to Higher Planes and still others will have the opportunity of serving Him in His Kingdom here on earth, but most will not change into Saints overnight. On the other hand, none will be unaffected by His reign. Those who have been seeking the Spiritual will realise that they have found It, whilst those who have sought only material things, will suddenly discover that such are of little real worth. We do not even know just how long Christ will remain on earth, although the prophesy in Daniel 9; 26 – 27, suggests that it not be any longer that Jesus was here last time.

 

There is much more that could be told of Ward’s teachings about the Return of Christ, but for now we shall pass on to a consideration of the twelfth and last section of the Summary of his Beliefs. This reads;

 

We believe in the ultimate salvation of all Creation, that through sacrifice, suffering, and service all will eventually return to their Source, and the purpose of Creation thus accomplished, God will again become All in All, and ultimately withdraw from Manifestation once again. And that this process has been, is, and ever shall be, continually repeated throughout all Eternity.  AMEN

 

 

Union with God

 

Many Christian groups consider that only their own members can achieve Salvation. They consign all others, however spiritual and praiseworthy to a permanent banishment from God and His Kingdom. Even among their own members, it is only the worthy that are said to be saved[13]; the rest are damned, or else destroyed[14]. Ward’s theology teaches that all will ultimately be saved, but this idea is not unique to him and his followers. Historically it can be traced back to the Apostles, (1 Timothy 2; 4) and today it can be found in many denominations and many non-Christian religions. It is basically a simple concept, but it exists in many different forms.  Therefore before discussing Ward’s theology we will take a few paragraphs to consider these different beliefs on the subject, for they vary enormously, even within Christianity. Briefly, however, they fall into three groups;

 

1.      Those that deny reincarnation, but which also deny Hell and damnation, seeing only a steady progress in the afterlife that eventually leads to perfection.

 

2.      Those that deny reincarnation but accept the existence of Hell and damnation. Unlike Mediaeval Christianity, however, they do not regard either as a permanent separation from God, and allow for Salvation through repentance, even for the damned.

 

3.      Those in which Reincarnation plays a prominent role, and in which Salvation is made possible through steady progress life after life until at length the goal is reached. 

 

The first two groups are found mainly among Christians who have rejected the traditional ideas about Hell, because of their inherent illogicallity, for obviously, if God is good, He would never condemn even some of His children to perpetual torment. In effect the differences between them are more cosmetic than real, and they differ from Ward’s teachings mainly in the area of Reincarnation.

 

Those who believe in Reincarnation form part of the third group and we are by no means the only ones who think this way. Most, though not all, of those who believe in Reincarnation accept the idea that all spirits will eventually Return to God, or else have some similar belief, and although the majority of Christian denominations do not accept Reincarnation, more than a third of the world’s population does so[15]. 

 

In general they see that although the souls may cycle through many lives, they will ultimately attain a spiritual standing that makes it unnecessary for them to continue returning to earth. Some, like Ward, see that as merely the first step on a long journey of ever growing spirituality, whilst others have difficulty in separating perfection as a human being (meaning the End of Earthly incarnations) from total union with God. Sometimes, too, they confuse a mystical union with God, which can sometimes be achieved briefly even here on earth, with the full spiritual union that can never be reversed, and which takes place only in the Highest Heavens and only when the Quest has been fulfilled – the whole Journey completed.

 

 

Ward’s Teachings

 

Briefly Ward’s theology sees our life on earth as being but a tiny fragment of the whole. Even the whole of our experience as Man - Life on the Physical Plane, Life on the Astral and Spirit Planes and Rebirth on earth, repeated over and over again – is but a small part of the whole picture. To him, the Journey began aeons of ages ago, when a tiny fragment of the Divinity, sprang from God, like a Spark falling from out of the Divine Fire. Descending from the Highest Heavens it fell down, Plane by Plane until it found itself immersed in gross physical matter – matter than men on earth call dead.

 

For countless ages it remained trapped in the Mineral Kingdom before eventually being released to begin its long upward journey through the Plant and Animal Kingdoms. After countless incarnations and yet more ages it finally entered the human stage, where it still circles through life after life, gradually learning the lessons of Earth until, when all are learned, it will be permitted to pass to the Celestial Planes.

 

For ages more the Journey will continue, as gradually-increasing experience enables the Spark to undertake higher and higher responsibilities, serving God in ever more important ways. It will pass beyond the stage of Perfect Men, those whom we call the Saints, and eventually reach Angelhood. Still its journey will continue, as it gradually climbs nearer to God. Plane by Plane it will ascend through the ranks of the Heavenly Hierarchy, till at length it reaches the highest Plane of all.

 

From there, its Goal at last in sight, it can prepare for the ultimate end of its age-long Journey and after yet more ages among the Seraphim it will finally be received back into Union with God. When all the myriads of such Sparks have been received back into that Divine Union, then the Creation that we have known will thus be brought to an end, and as St Paul puts it, God will be All in All. ( I Corinthians 15; 28).

 

Even expressed as simply as this, such a concept is often beyond the comprehension of the non-mystic, yet it is a concept that is as ancient as Christianity, and indeed older. Hinduism, the oldest surviving religion in the world, perhaps expresses it best with its famous mantra; “Omm mani padme ommm”, which is usually rendered “The dewdrop falls into the shining sea”. Note that in this simile, the dewdrop is also shiny. It is of the same nature as the sea and forms a part thereof, an infinitesimal part perhaps, but a true part none-the-less. In like manner when the Divine Spark returns to the Divine Fire, it too is a true part thereof, a part that however small is nevertheless, most truly Divine.

 

 

Summary

 

This is the ultimate destiny of Creation. It is a Great Story, a Story that has yet to be told in Full, but a Story that the theology of John Sebastian Marlow Ward is able to bring to the world in more detail than others. No mortal can fully understand it; not even the greatest Saint or Angel, and yet to the extent that the student is prepared to commit the time and effort, to studying and living by Ward’s teachings to that extent and no more will the Story develop within his or her mind.

 

All knowledge is power and all power can be used either for Good or Evil, so care is needed, and even more importantly, integrity. Much of the story can only be understood through mysticism, and not all mortals will make the effort needed to travel by that Path, but to those who will, the rewards are great and for those who desire to do so an email to the address below may well change their lives. For the rest, may this brief outline of the theology of John Ward introduce them to much that will help them along the Path.

 



[1]

Such as animal spirits.

[2]

The term comes from the Greek “Parousia”, meaning “being near”, “Advent”, “presence”, or “coming”.

[3]

This itself is often seen as a semi-miraculous translation called the “Rapture.”  Whilst Ward and his followers believe that most of the saved will die in a normal way, it is certainly possible that some individuals will be dematerialised and assumed into Heaven as happened to Our Lady.  In the Christ the King stories that he wrote Ward refers to some such cases, but indicates that this will be the exception not the rule. 

[4]

These first two types of view are most commonly found among fundamentalist Protestants.

[5]

A few groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the immortality of the soul.

[6]

Many Roman Catholics think like this, and because they call their leader “the Vicar of Christ on Earth” they often speak of Christ “reigning through His Vicar”. But the Roman Church has no official position on this point, and Roman Catholics also share some of the other views described here.

[7]

It may well be asked why we use the term Second Coming, when there is ample evidence to prove that Christ has been on earth at least twice before. Of course it is a fact that many people do refer to His Promised Return as the Second Coming, but as we know that the Salvator has been to earth many times previously, why should we do so. We don’t always, but it is a fact that there is a special significance about His Next Coming. It is a coming that He Himself predicted and so far as we know, He had not previously done so, or if He did the record was not preserved. If the Jewish belief in the Coming of the Messiah was originally based on the words of Melchizedek, we have no record of it, though, according to the Dead Sea Scroll “The Coming of Melchizedek”, the Essenes were expecting the “Return of Melchizedek”.

There is, however, an even more important reason for using the term “Second Coming”.  When the Salvator came last time as Jesus of Nazareth, He was actually “born” as a Babe, from a human mother. He did not just “appear” on Earth. According to St Paul, Melchizedek had neither father nor mother (Hebrews 7; 3) – in other words He was not born at all, but materialised on earth without any earthly parents. Last time Christ came to suffer and die, and therefore He had to be born as a Man and St Paul tell us that this had not happened before (Hebrews 9; 26)  We are told that when He returns He will come “in like manner” (Acts 1; 11) to the way He left us last time (through His Ascension)  therefore in one sense, His return will be a Second Coming of the Man Jesus of Nazareth, who suffered for the sins of mankind, and not “only” a materialisation of the Salvator. The actual term Second Coming is not used in the Bible. However in the above context St Paul does refer to Him “appearing a second time”. (Hebrews 9; 28) and in this context it seems appropriate to refer to His Second Coming.

[8]

The Fore-runners of modern “Jehovah’s Witnesses” thought he would come in 1914, but like Seventh Day Adventists, later claimed that the original date merely marked the time when He “commenced to enter His Kingdom”. Although clearly “cover-ups” such suggestions seem to reveal a glimpse of the concept of a gradual descent to the earth through the various Celestial Planes, such as Ward teaches.  He indicated that Christ first descended to the Plane of the Seraphim in 1929, and since that time He has slowly descended stage by stage. Unlike other religious leaders, however, the Wards never mistook one of these “descents” for His Arrival on earth.

[9]

It was probably in about 6 B.C.

[10]

Probably, but not certainly this was in the late 22nd century BC. According to the Jewish historian, Josephus,  (Wars 6; 10; 1) the City was founded by Melchizedek in 2108BC.

[11]

Christ the King entered the highest of the Planes of Man, (the Spirit Plane) on August 25th 2003

[12]

Psalm 47; 2:  Jeremiah 25; 26:  Zechariah 14; 9:  St Matthew 25; 32; Revelation 19; 15.

[13]

However, in such philosophies, even the saved have a much less glorious destiny than Ward believed that God has given us. They are simply allowed to perceive the Glory of God, and spend their time praising it and can go no further. They do not offer even the possibility of achieving actual union with God. Such a lack is the greatest source of mystic pain to their mystics. It is hard enough for ours, to long for union with God, and know how many aeons must pass before it can be achieved. It is much harder for those whose theology denies them the possibility, even though, or perhaps because, their mystical intuition keeps urging them to seek it.

[14]

Some of the more militant modern sects, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christadelphians, do not believe in the immortality of the soul or in hell. They have mainly been led to these ideas by the illogicallity of a good God condemning even a few souls to perpetual damnation. To them, those who have failed will simply remain dormant after death, but unlike the saved, they will never be wakened. 

[15]

Most Buddhists and Hindus, as well as some minor groups accept the idea of Reincarnation, though the specific forms of their belief systems are often very different from Ward’s teachings.   

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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