On the Gospel of John, Part 9: The World of Salvation
Ancient Gnostic influences adversely infected early Christianity with wrongful ideas that basic words such as seed, father, son, brother, and house, among others, had other than plain meanings when they appeared in Scripture in the prophets or in the New Testament writings, and modern adherents to the organized church institutions routinely cite those writings without giving thought to the actual and literal meanings of such words. This allowed them to accept another false doctrine, which we shall call replacement theology, because the words of all the prophets and apostles could then be corrupted and imagined to apply to “whosoever”, to anyone other than those who are expressly intended by the Scriptures, so that in that manner, anyone who would comply with the church institutions could be imagined to be a party to the covenants which Yahweh had made with Israel. So it is also with another word, world, which they now imagine refers to the entire planet and to every thing in it, yet that concept is relatively new, and nothing could be further from the truth.
One cannot be a Gnostic, and be a true Christian. In order to be a Christian, and truly accept the Word of God in the Old Testament, which is also manifest in Christ, one must accept the meanings of the words of Scripture as they were understood by the writers of Scripture or by those who had spoken those words when the Scriptures were written. Abraham would never have believed in any so-called “spiritual seed”, but rather he was told that his seed would come out from his loins, from where we may expect it to come. To Isaiah and Jeremiah and the other prophets, a son was a genetic descendant, a brother was a man of shared parentage, seed was the collective of a man’s offspring, a tribe was an extended family unit, a father a male ancestor near or remote, and the words never represented a mere group of disparate and unrelated believers. For example, a man who was a son was a son first, and then whether he was believing and acted accordingly so that he would be entitled to an inheritance was secondary to his being a son.
In many ways, Gnosticism is the true basis of the doctrines of the modern so-called Orthodox or Catholic churches. When they make appeals to their traditions found in their so-called “church fathers”, the true foundation of those traditions is very often found in Gnosticism, and sometimes also in Plato or Aristotle, but certainly not in the Christian Scriptures. When the other Protestant denominations followed the Eastern Orthodox by parting ways with Rome, they nevertheless retained Gnostic concepts as the basis of their faith. So if Identity Christians are criticized, it is because we reject Gnosticism. We believe the words of Scripture according to the meanings which they represented when they were written, and in that manner we truly seek to understand and believe the Word of our God. Doing this, we may also attest that the words of His prophets are manifest both in ancient history and in Christian society as it has existed historically.