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The Order of the Kingdom (Part I)
1. In that time after Jesus had risen from the dead he tarried ninety days with Mary his mother and Mary Magdalene, who anointed his body, and Mary Cleophas and the twelve, and their fellows, instructing them and answering questions concerning the kingdom of God.
2. And as they sat at supper—when it was even— Mary Magdalene asked him, saying, Master, wilt thou now declare unto us the Order of the Kingdom?
3. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto thee, O Mary, and to each of any disciples, The kingdom of Heaven is within you. But the time cometh when that which is within shall be made manifest in the without, for the sake of the world.
4. Order indeed is good, and needful, but before all things is love. Love ye one another and all the creatures of God, and by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.
5. AND one asked him saying, Master, wilt thou that infants be received into the congregation in like manner as Moses commanded by circumcision? And Jesus answered, For those who are in Christ there is no cutting of the flesh, nor shedding of blood.
6. Let the infant of eight clays be Presented unto the Father-Mother, who is in Heaven, with prayer and thanksgiving, and let a name be given to it by its parents, and let the presbyter sprinkle pure water upon it, according to that which is written in the prophets, and let its parents see to it that it is brought up in the ways of righteousness, neither eating flesh, nor drinking strong drink, nor hurting the creatures which God hath given into the hands of man to protect .
7. AGAIN one said unto him, Master, how wilt thou when they grow up? And Jesus said, After seven years, or when they begin to know the evil from the good, and learn to choose the good, let them come unto me and receive the blessing at the hands of the presbyter or the angel of the church with prayer and thanksgiving, and let them be admonished to keep from flesh eating and strong drink, and from hunting the innocent creatures of God, for shall they be lower than the horse or the sheep to whom these things are against nature?
8. And again he said, If there come to us any that eat flesh and drink strong drink, shall we receive them? And Jesus said unto him, Let such abide in the outer court till they cleanse themselves from these grosser evils; for till they perceive, and repent of these, they are not fit to receive the higher mysteries.
9. AND another asked him saying, When wilt thou that they receive Baptism? And Iesus answered, After another seven years, or when they know the doctrine, and do that which is good, and learn to work with their own hands, and choose a craft whereby they may live, and are stedfastly set on the right way. Then let them ask for initiation, and let the angel or presbyter of the church examine them and see if they are worthy, and let him offer thanksgiving and prayer, and bury them in the waters of separation, that they may rise to newness of life, confessing God as their Father and Mother, vowing to obey the Holy Law, and keep themselves separate from the evil in the world.
10. AND another asked him, Master, at what time shall they receive the Anointing? And Iesus answered, When they have reached the age of maturity, and manifested in themselves the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit, then let the angel offer prayer and thanksgiving and seal them with the seal of the Chrism. It is good that all be tried in each degree seven years. Nevertheless let it be unto each according to their growth in the love, and the wisdom of God.
The Order of the Kingdom (Part II)
1. AND another asked him saying, Master, wilt thou that there be marriages among us as it is among the nations of earth? And Jesus answered, saying, Among some it is the custom that one woman may marry several men, who shall say unto her, Be thou our wife and take away our reproach. Among others it is the custom, that one man may marry several women, and who shall say unto him, Be thou our husband and take away our reproach, for they who love feel it is a reproach to be unloved.
2. But unto you my disciples, I shew a better and more perfect way, even this, that marriage should be between one man and one woman, who by perfect love and sympathy are united, and that while love and life do last, howbeit in perfect freedom. But let them see to it that they have perfect health, and that they truly love each other in all purity, and not for worldly advantage only, and then let them plight their troth one to another before witnesses.
3. Then, when the time is come, let the angel or presbyter offer prayer and thanksgiving and bind them with the scarlet cord, if ye will, and crown them, and lead them thrice around the altar and let them eat of one bread and drink of one cup. Then holding their hands together, let him say to them in this wise, Be ye two in one, blessed be the holy union, you whom God doth join together let no man put asunder, so long as life and love do last.
4. And if they bear children, let them do so with discretion and prudence according to their ability to maintain them. Nevertheless to those who would be perfect and to whom it is given, I say, let them be as the angels of God in Heaven, who neither marry nor are given in marriage, nor have children, nor care for the morrow, but are free from bonds, even as I am, and keep and store up the power of God within, for their ministry, and for works of healing, even as I have done. But the many cannot receive this saying, only they to whom it is given.
5. AND another asked him saying, Master, in what manner shall we offer the Holy Oblation? And Iesus answered, saying, The oblation which God loveth in secret is a pure heart. But for a Memorial of worship offer ye unleavened bread, mingled wine, oil and incense. When ye come together in one place to offer the Holy Oblation, the lamps being lighted, let him who presideth, even the angel of the church, or the presbyter, having clean hands and a pure heart, take from the things offered, unleavened bread and mingled wine with incense.
6. And let him give thanks over them and bless them, calling upon the Father-Mother in Heaven to send their Holy Spirit that it may come upon and make them to be the Body and Blood, even the Substance and Life of the Eternal, which is ever being broken and shed for all.
7. And let him lift it up toward Heaven and pray for all, even for those who are gone before, for those who are yet alive, and for those who are yet to come As I have taught you, so pray ye, and after this let him break the bread and put a fragment in the cup, and then bless the holy union, and then let him give unto the faithful, saying after this manner, This is the body of the Christ even the substance of God (ever being broken and shed, for you and for all), unto eternal life. As ye have seen me do, so do ye also, in the spirit of love, for the words I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.
The Order of the Kingdom (Part III)
1. AND another spake, saying, Master, if one have committed a sin, can a man remit or retain his sin? And Iesus said, God forgiveth all sin to those who repent, but as ye sow, so also must ye reap; Neither God nor man can remit the sins of those who repent nor nor forsake their sins; nor yet retain the sins of those who forsake them. But if one being in the spirit seeth clearly that any repent and forsake their sins, such may truly say unto the penitent, Thy sins are forgiven thee, for All sin is remitted by repentance and amendment and they are loosed from it, who forsake it and bound to it, who continue it.
2. Nevertheless the fruits of the sin must continue for a season, for as we sew so must we reap, for God is not mocked, and they who sow to the flesh shall reap corruption, they who sow to the spirit shall reap life, everlasting. Wherefore if any forsake their sins and confess them, let the presbyter say unto such in this wise, May God forgive thee thy sins, and bring thee to everlasting life. All sin against God is forgiven by God, and sin against man by man.
3. AND another asked him, saying, If any be sick among us, shall we have power to heal even as thou dost? And Jesus answered, This power cometh of perfect chastity and of faith. They who are born of God keep their seed within them.
4. Nevertheless if any be sick among you, let them send for the presbyters of the church that they may anoint them with oil of olive in the Name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith, and the going out of power, with the voice of thanksgiving, shall raise them up, if they are not detained by sin, of this, or a former life.
5. AND another asked him saying, Master, how shall the holy assembly be ordered and who shall minister therein? And Jesus answered. When my disciples are gathered in my name let them choose from among themselves true and faithful men and women, who shall be ministers and counsellors in temporal things and provide for the necessities of the poor, and those who cannot work, and let these look to the ordering of the goods of the church, and assist at the Oblation, and let these be your deacons, with their helps.
6. And when these have given proof, of their ministry, let them choose from them, those who have spiritual gifts, whether of guidance, or of prophecy, or of preaching and of teaching and healing, that they may edify the flock, offer the holy Oblation and minister the mysteries of God and let these be your presbyter, and their helps.
7. And from these who have served well in their degree let one be chosen who is counted most worthy, and let him preside over all and he shall be your Angel. And let the Angel ordain the deacons and consecrate the presbyters—anoint them and laying their hands upon them and breathing upon them that they may receive the Holy Spirit for the office to which they are called. And as for the Angel let one of the higher ministry anoint and consecrate him, even one of the Supreme Council.
8. For as I send Apostles and Prophets so also I send Evangelists And Pastors—the eight and forty pillars of the tabernacle—that by the ministry of the four I may build up and perfect my Church. and they shall sit in Jerusalem a holy congregation, each with his helper and deacon, and to them shall the scattered congregations refer in all matters pertaining to the Church. And as light cometh so shall they rule and guide and edify and teach my holy Church. They shall receive light from all, and to all shall they give more light.
9. And forget not with your prayers and supplications intercessions and giving of thanks, to offer the incense, as it is written in the last of your prophets, saying, From the rising of the sun unto the setting of the same incense shall be offered unto My Name in all places with a pure oblation, for My Name shall be great among the Gentiles.
10. For verily I say unto you, incense is the memorial of the intercession of the saints within the veil, with words that cannot be uttered.
The Order of the Kingdom (Part IV)
1. AND another asked him, saying, Master, how wilt thou that we bury our dead? And Iesus answered, Seek ye council of the deacons in this matter, for it concerneth the body only. Verily, I say, unto you there is no death to those who believe in the life to come. Death, as ye deemed it, is the door to life, and the grave is the gate to resurrection, for those who believe and obey. Mourn ye not, nor weep for them that have left you, but rather rejoice for their entrance into life.
2. As all creatures come forth from the unseen into this world, so they return to the unseen, and so will they come again till they be purified. Let the bodies of them that depart be committed to the elements, and the Father-Mother, who reneweth all things, shall give the angels charge over them, and let the presbyter pray that their bodies may rest in peace, and their souls awake to a joyful resurrection.
3. There is a resurrection from the body, and there is a resurrection in the body. There is a raising out of the life of the flesh, and there is a falling into the life of the flesh. Let prayer be made For those who are gone before, and For those that are alive, and For those that are yet to come, for all are One family in God. In God they live and move and have their being.
4. The body that ye lay in the grave, or that is consumed by fire, is not the body that shall be, but they who come shall receive other bodies, yet their own, and as they have sown in one life, so shall they reap in another. Blessed are they who have worked righteousness in this life, for they shall receive the crown of life.
5. AND another asked him, saying, Master, under the law Moses clad the priests with garments of beauty for their ministration in the Temple. Shall we also clothe them to whom we commit the ministry of sacred things as thou hast taught us? And Iesus answered, White linen is the righteousness of the Saints, but the time truly cometh when Zion shall be desolate, and after the time of her affliction is past, she shall arise and put on her beautiful garments as it is written.
6. But seek ye first the kingdom of righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. In all things seek simplicity, and give not occasion to vain glory. Seek ye first to be clothed with charity, and the garment of salvation and the robe of righteousness.
7. For what doth it profit if ye have not these? As the sound of brass and tinkling of cymbal are ye, if ye have not love. Seek ye righteousness and love and peace, and all things of beauty shall be added to you.
8. AND yet another asked him, saving, Master, how many of the rich and mighty will enter into life and join us who are poor and despised. How, then, shall we carry on the work of God in the regeneration of mankind? And Iesus said, This also is a matter for the deacons of the church in council with the elders.
9. But when my disciples are come together on the Sabbath, at even, or in the morning of the first day of the week, let them each bring an offering of a tithe, or the tithe of a tithe of their increase, as God doth prosper them, and put it in the treasury, for the maintenance of the church and the ministry, and the works thereof. For I say unto you, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
10. So shall all things be done, decently and in order, And the rest will the Spirit set in order who proceedeth from the Father-Mother in heaven. I have instructed you now in first principles, and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the Age.
From The Gospel of the Holy Twelve
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