Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Esoteric Christianity - closet gnosticism often overt heresy and unbiblical

listening to Psalm86 channel on youtube today, I heard of the Philadelphian Society
and Jane Leade. Probably for the first time. I might have read something decades ago
in a library in the 1960s when I was dithering around but I don't remember.

This has links to articles on the major players related to all this. Wikipedia is often
denounced, but the trick to using it is to check the sources cited and do they seem
credible. Another thing, regarding Wikipedia or anything else, is when it matches
to what you already know, and combines in one place all that stuff, making it a
useful overview.

Leade taught reincarnation, that at the end times the Apostles would be reincarnated
to deal with stuff. This is false, it is ruled out by Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed
unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" and by the traducianism that is
the basis for arguing the superiority of the Melchizedec priesthood to the Aaronic
priesthood Heb. 7:9,10. What is possible is an overshadowing, which is totally
different. it is in this sense alone that John the Baptist was Elijah, just as if a military
commander or a ruler sends someone to do something, it is said that that person or
government which sent the person was active in that place where the person was
doing what he was sent to do.

Elijah after all never died, like Enoch he was translated, taken up alive into heaven.
This was not the highest heaven where God dwells, since Jesus said "And no man hath
ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which
is in heaven." John 3:13.

This statement by Jesus also highlights that while on earth He was also simultaneously
in Heaven, though finite in His humanity His was always and is always infinite in His

Near as I can tell at present, The Philadelphian Society didn't have its name from the
doctrine of the Seven Churches of Revelation referring to seven church ages, but from
identifying with the Philadelphian church in those letters.

This doctrine of stages in the church, with or without overlap, seems to have been
started by Darby, and popularized by Clarence Larkin and William Branham, a
demonized heretic who denied the Trinity (almost all heretics deny the Trinity, either
by denigrating the divinity of Jesus Christ, or the divinity and/or personality of The
Holy Spirit, or even the exclusive identity of The Father - with or without the rest -
as God. Jehovah's Witnesses do the former two, and Mormonism does all of this
apparently and definitely the latter in that a perfected man can be a god just like YHWH
and create his own universe or at least solar system and demand worship, etc.) One
can see all the types of church listed existing side by side today, and individuals who
fit at least one of these. churches and individuals may fit one then another of these
churches or combine features.

instead of starting a new church, Leade started this "society" which of course meant it
could more easily infiltrate the churches the members belonged to.

" At the age of 15 she claimed to have a had a vision during a family Christmas party in
which an angelic voice urged her to give up such frivolity and pursue spiritual matters.
Although she vowed to do so, the next phase of her life was outwardly conventional. She
was married happily to a distant cousin, a merchant, and had four daughters by him. Their
27 year marriage was extremely stable, but when he died she was left utterly bereft and
penniless in London.[1]"

It is very unlikely, given her the timeframe and her apparent backgrouns, that the Christmas party was anything like the frivolous to depraved drunken wild scenes of office "Christmas parties" of today. That this innocent family get together in honor of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be denounced as "frivolity" seems odd. Of course as usual the spirit wasn't tested, she apparently didn't subject the matter to the opinion of clergy or anyone with experience or knowledge of others' experiences.

"It was at this time, however, that she had her first vision of the "Virgin Sophia", the Feminine Aspect of God which is described in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, who promised to unfold the secrets of the universe to her. Leade declared herself a 'Bride of Christ' and proceeded to transcribe her subsequent visions in much the same way as her predecessor, Hildegard of Bingen. Her final output amounted to many volumes of visionary mysticism."

This should have cued her something was wrong. Unfortunately there being a prelest or spiritual
deception (the term includes fleshly self deception as well as demonic deception by false angels)
angle to the tone of a lot of RC visionaries, there isn't much help in looking to their example to
sort things out. A discussion of things with more than one priest or minister and study of the Bible
and those Proverbs verses in context and compared to other Scripture would have been in order.

The end result held a lot in common with other esoteric Christians such as Jacob Boehme the
list with links to articles on them is in the article.

Psalm86 had an informant, who connected all this with kabbalah.

the group believed in the presence of God in all things, panentheism, a term that is virtually
worthless as several conflicted views are under this name. Personal immediate presence is
presumably at issue here. This doesn't identify creature with Creator as consubstantial, but
easily morphs into it. The Eastern Orthodox version based on Scripture doesn't allow for
confusion between God and creatures, or for His active immediate personal presence in anything
but there are like two verses I can think of that speak of God filling all things and containing all
things, a doctrine that though true since God said it, is so easily misunderstood and misapplied
that He did not see fit to dwell on it. In what SENSE He fills all things is another matter. In the
sense of omniscience? of His actions/energies sustaining all things? This is a mystery.

Leade on the other hand held a nondualist position sort of, so that all things are manifestations of
God. (this is not the same as saying that they contain something of in the sense of about God in
them, such as though God cannot be compared to anything, a very loose analogy to a rock can be made in the sense of stability and sureness to stand or build on.)  Therefore she was closer to

Leade figured everyone had The Holy Spirit in their souls, so that virtue and seeking wisdom will
result in illumination. While this might be said of the baptized Christian even lapsed who can
return to Christ, or if not lapsed can grow in Christ, this can hardly be said of unbelievers who
were never baptized.

Leade developed the idea that there was no permanent damnation and punishment, only purgative
punishment after death. Again, a confusion, between possible mix of purgation and punishment
after death before the Last Judgement, and the final condition after that.

The doctrines peculiar to these Christian mystics are often to be found in the ancient heresies,
and don't stand biblical examination when verses aren't taken out of context.

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