The Teacher speaks to God – The spirit is willing but the flesh is strong – No free
will: environment and heredity – Priestcraft corrupts the will of God – Where is
the beginning of wisdom? – Man divided between the spiritual and physical – Even
God was once a man – Man was in the beginning with God – To kill another in God’s
name: abomination – Teaching the beginnings of wisdom – As a man thinketh – Meditation
– In patience you possess your soul – God delights to make himself known
1 Thus spoke the Lord unto Azrael. And the Teacher spoke unto the Lord, saying:
“My Lord, you are great and mighty, and in the hope of your glory do I rejoice. Yet,
my Lord, how shall I do those things which you have set before me?
2 For, behold, the children of men are truly divided one against the other by reason
of priestcraft. Have you not considered how the children of men are divided within
3 As it is written of men: The spirit is willing but the flesh is stronger still.
For the joy of the spirit is made to perish according to the lusts of the flesh.
4 How then shall the spirit of man come to a knowledge of God, seeing that the sensibilities
of the flesh rule harshly over the children of your soul?
5 For man is not free to choose between the good or the evil as many suppose, for
the environment unto which he is born is made to determine all his actions; and in
his heredity is there given no free will.
6 Seeing, therefore, that man is divided in himself between the lusts of the body
and the yearnings of the soul, and seeing also that man is not free to choose between
the good and the evil by reason of his environment and heredity, how then shall I
accomplish the things which you would have me do?
7 For great evil is made to haunt the children of men, and by reason of priestcraft
do the speakers of religion declare that such evils as are made to distress the innocent
come according to the will of God; for God has given into the hands of men some free
will whereby they may do good or evil according to their pleasure.
8 Thus are the children of men made to despair because of the teachings of false
shepherds who have made the God of Heaven to appear as evil and filled with mischief
towards the children of men.
9 Where, Lord, shall be found the beginning of wisdom? Where unto shall the children
of men take refuge, and in the shadow of your righteousness find peace everlasting?
10 Wherein shall the children of men find solace and strength in the day of trouble,
seeing that they are made to despair concerning the God of Heaven by reason of those
false shepherds who, for a pretense, declare your name before all the people?
11 For the children of men are made to lament, saying: ‘The Lord our God dwells
far away, yet evil is nigh at the doors, and our souls are pressed hard by a multitude
12 What shall I teach unto the children of men that they might have hope in the
days of their sojourn upon the earth? How shall I bring unto man the presence of
God, seeing that false shepherds have caused that the children of men should fear
the God who made them?”
13 When the Teacher had spoken these words, the Lord spoke unto him, saying: “Hear
now and understand wisdom. For in the beginning did I cause to dwell in tabernacles
of flesh and bone, the spirit children of Emmanuel, even the creator of all things;
14 That being made to dwell upon the earth in some mortal state, I might test them
to see which of all the spirit children of God shall be worthy of exaltation in the
kingdom of God.
15 For those who would inherit unto their souls the fullness of my glory, have need
of strength wherein righteousness might be made to dwell continually.
16 Wherefore, seeing that man is divided within himself between the spiritual and
the physical, the mortal and the immortal, there exists in man much struggle;
17 That from such conflict might arise a multitude of strength whereby as many as
will, might lay hold to the promise of glory and honor exceeding beside the throne
of the Father and Mother, even God.
18 That as God is, they might become. For the God who determined aforetime that
all men should be in his image is not without understanding towards the weaknesses
of the flesh, seeing that even God was once a man.
19 But unto all is given the promise that as God is, even might the children of
men become if they will but choose to walk uprightly before the Lord in all godliness.
20 Seeing now that the children of men are but Gods in embryo, and that into their
keeping was given so great a hope, it was expedient to send forth unto them one who
was mighty and strong in the knowledge of God, that even he should become as a midwife
unto many, whereby he might deliver unto eternal life, both Lords many and Gods many.
21 Wherefore, seeing that the natural man is not free to choose between the good
and the evil by reason of his environment and heredity, yet is his spirit free to
22 For the spirit of man was in the beginning with God, and by such knowledge as
he shall acquire of his holiness are the children of men able to rise above the natural
man by reason of my own agency, which agency is granted unto all who seek after holiness.
23 Think not, therefore, that such evil as arises from the heart of man comes by
reason of free agency. For such agency as I would give cannot recompense unto any
24 For if the natural man chooses to kill another in anger, shall I, the Lord, be
made guilty of murder because of free will? Behold, I say unto you: No! For at no
time have I commanded that one man should slay another. For this is an abomination
25 Now seeing that I delight not in the doing of evil, why are the children of my
soul made to war continually within themselves? Why will they think to excuse evil
in my name?
26 Whereunto shall the children of men go that they might have wisdom that they
might gather unto themselves, an abundance of joy?
27 Therefore, teach unto men the beginning of that wisdom which I have given unto
all the children of men. For in the beginning did I breathe into man a portion of
my soul that therein they might find both wisdom and joy.
28 Wherefore, it is expedient in me that all men should come to a knowledge of themselves,
seeing that I have placed within them so great a hope, wherein the ways of godliness
might be made manifest if they will but seek that portion of God that is within them.
29 And the way whereby they shall attain unto a knowledge of God, you know. Therefore,
teach unto all who will that in stillness and meditation shall they find unto themselves
an overflowing of peace.
30 Therefore, take counsel from the Lord your God unto the fulfillment of all hope:
Be still and know that I am God. For by the mouth of the Holy One was it spoken truly:
‘Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.’
31 For the law was decreed from the beginning that as a man thinketh in his heart,
so shall he be made manifest before all men; for no man can by any means escape the
desires of his heart.
32 Now let as many as will, meditate in the stillness of their soul; for therein
shall they find springs of living water that in the midst of great want, might be
found an abundance of life.
33 For the peace of God shall overshadow the children of men in the day of trouble,
and the wisdom of his righteousness shall be as a light in a dark and dreary land.
34 Now as many as desire to meditate upon the wonders of that soul wherein a portion
of my glory is made to dwell, let them have faith and steadfastness in abundance.
35 For where faith is not, the glory of God is not made manifest; and except there
be steadfastness of heart, the mind of man shall surely grow weary and sorrow shall
follow hard after him.
36 Therefore, let those who desire to meditate possess unto themselves both patience
and love exceeding.
37 For in patience shall they possess again their souls unto a fulfillment of glory;
and except their meditations be done according to the love of God which is in them,
they shall profit nothing.
38 Seeing now that there is given unto the children of men a way wherein they might
come to a knowledge of the designs of God, let them magnify unto their joy that part
of God which is given unto them.
39 And if they will be faithful to walk uprightly before me, that they be not entangled
again by the sensibilities of the body, then shall I arise from my holy habitation
and I shall come forth unto them and make my abode with them.
40 For I delight to make myself known unto the children of men. Thus was the law
decreed from the beginning that kind should cleave to kind.
41 Therefore, unto as many as shall become as God among the children of men, in
all holiness, unto them shall the Father of Heaven reveal all knowledge and wisdom
until they receive a fullness of Heaven’s glory.”