Joseph Herrin (10-14-2010)
I Thessalonians 5:19-21
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything; hold fast to that which is good…
Some years ago I came across a prophetic word written in 1679 by Jane Leade. The writing had additional comments by Larry Hodges, who enumerated a great many Scriptures in support of the words of Ms. Leade. It was this combination of prophetic word, and Scriptural examination, that made this word attractive to me, and I consequently have shared it and it has been posted on my website for some time.
Larry Hodges’ comments, and abundant Scriptures, add tremendously to the value of the prophetic word spoken, giving us something solid and tangible (the Scriptures) against which to test it.
I have had for some time other writings of Jane Leade on my computer, but had not taken the time to study them at any significant length. Due to an injury to my ribs, I was afforded time this past week. Coinciding with this, a sister in Christ sent me four writings of Ms. Leade in printed form. I considered that the Father may have ordered my steps to be able to investigate these writings further at this time. I anticipated being led to new revelation that might serve in my understanding of the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
I have now spent portions of several days reading Jane Leade’s writings, the result being that a great caution has come over me regarding the source and purity of her revelations. I do not state this lightly. I would not want to be found advising the saints to reject any prophetic word whose origin is the Spirit of Christ. For this reason I have spent much time over the past few days looking carefully into the writings of Jane Leade, inviting the Holy Spirit to guide me, exposing both truth and error.
That there is truth to be found in Ms. Leade’s writings is not contested here. I have found her to espouse much truth. It is the presence of serious error mixed in with the truth that concerns me. In the same way, we can have a full measure of wheat, and there is no disputing that wheat is present. Yet the introduction of leaven to the wheat can change its character completely.
Since finding the snake skins in and under the bus the Father has led me to work on of late, my senses have been exercised to discern the presence of deception more than usual. Shortly after discovering the snake skins I also received these writings of Jane Leade, and although I would not draw any firm conclusions from what could be a coincidence, further testing has led me to believe there may be some connection.
One way in which my soul was alerted to wariness was by an image that was found on the cover of one of the books by Jane Leade that I received. I use the word “alerted” because there are no conclusions drawn from the image, but rather a sense of caution.
Cover of Book by Jane Leade
(Note: All images can be viewed larger by clicking on them.)
Having written in the past about occult matters, and being familiar with certain symbols due to my research and writings, I was struck by the similarity to this cover image and the Sephiroth Tree of Life which is found in the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah is an ancient form of Jewish mysticism that has been in the news in recent years due to a number of famous (or infamous) individuals who have embraced this as their belief system. Among them are Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Paris Hilton, and Brittany Spears.
Perhaps these individuals do not evoke images of Christ’s likeness in your mind. I know they don’t in mine. Yet Kabbalah is derived from studying the hidden mysteries of the Old Testament’s types and shadows. That there are mysteries to be plumbed, and parables to be discovered, is beyond any doubt in my mind. My own teaching is filled with such things. So is Kabbalah.
Yet Kaballah has taken spiritual discovery down a path leading away from God and truth. This is obvious from looking at the lives of its celebrity adherents. Kabbalah speaks much of the meaning of numbers, colors, constellations, days, and an encyclopedic collection of things both material and immaterial. The full teachings of Kabbalah, The Zohar, comes in a 23 volume set costing approximately $500.
Note: The 23 volume set is available on Amazon for $224.00.
I have never read, or studied Kabbalah, or the Zohar. However, I have encountered its influence in my studies of Freemasonry and other occult topics. One image I came across is the Sephiroth Tree of Life.
Sephiroth Tree of Life – Serpent Entwined
The word serpent, and the word sapient come from the same root meaning wise. The Bible tells us that the serpent was more cunning than any other beast. The word cunning refers to a wisdom given over to selfish pursuit. It is wisdom defiled. This is the wisdom of Kabbalah. It is the fallen wisdom of Satan.
Notice the similarity between the image of the Sephiroth tree of life and the image on the cover on Jane Leade’s book. The number of circles differ, as there are eight on Jane Leade’s book, and ten on the Sephiroth. The bottom four circles are arranged identically, and the top four as similarly as the number permits.
After spending hours reading this book of Jane Leade’s I did an Internet search on her name and the word Kabbalah (also spelled Cabala and Qabbalah). I came up with a troubling quote from Jane Leade in one of her writings.
Jane Leade – Excerpt from A Fountain of Gardens: Vol. III, Pt.1, July 31. 1678. “The Seven Counsellors“
“The Word CABALA then much run through me. And I could not tell what to make of it. It continued upon me for a whole Day. But the next Morning pondering upon it, it opened it self thus: That the Word signified to me, the Privy-Council of the Trinity, with the seven Spirits. And Blessed indeed are those that are worthy to be admitted into that Privy-Council; having been for that end admitted into the Refining House, that was shewn me. Which gave me occasion to Pray, that I might find that favour, with some others, that I made mention of, who might be taken into the Divine CABALA. Then it was answered. “So it shall be, when yet more Qualified for it. For know, it requireth special Endowments to make meet for so high a Dignity: which by my Spirit must be performed, to stand in Counsel with me in the inward Court, where the Affairs of my Kingdom are to be determined, and renewed Commands therefrom to be given, with Decrees that my Counsellors (so admitted) shall jointly with me, their Kingly Priest, send forth. For the which consider what manner of Persons ye mutually must be: first in high Sanctity; then, in Wisdom and soundness of Judgment. For ye shall pass Judgment upon all Matters and Things, belonging both to the Old and New Creation-State: And also know things present, and what is yet for to come. For my two great Witnesses shall rest upon you, which are the spirit of Prophecy and Revelation, that shall give Ability, as Princes, to stand in my Council: and therefrom to deliver out my Laws and Decrees. So shall ye be ministering Spirits, to open the Ark of the Living Testimony; that hitherto hath been much shut up. But to the Generations that are, and shall yet be born in the Spirit now in this Age, to whom will be given a seeking and an inquiring Mind, it will verily be opened: to them shall my Secrets be revealed, that is, To such as of the Divine CABALA do stand, with the Ruling Scepter of Faith still in their Hand.” Thus my LORD did most freely commune, and open the Sense and Mystery of the Word CABALA. Upon which obliged we are to attend diligently; retreating therefore from all that Terrestrial is.”
In reading through Jane’s writings I noticed the employment of many extra-Biblical terms and expressions that were used to describe God, or various spiritual principles. The use of extra-Biblical terms is not itself unusual, or necessarily alarming. It is when the terms are those found among Freemasons, Kabbalists, and other occult practitioners that my soul is disturbed. The usage of the word Cabala is one instance, and a disturbing one. Knowing that Satan is the author of the writings which adherents of Kabbalah are devoted to, one might take a very different interpretation of Ms. Leade’s wrods above.
Which gave me occasion to Pray, that I might find that favour, with some others, that I made mention of, who might be taken into the Divine CABALA. Then it was answered. “So it shall be, when yet more Qualified for it. For know, it requireth special Endowments to make meet for so high a Dignity…”
If it is Satan masquerading as a messenger of God, then this discourse takes on a very evil character. There is present in Ms. Leade’s writings a subtle glorying in being qualified to gain entrance to mysteries that comes forth through these words. Did not Satan entice Eve similarly by promising her knowledge that had formerly been restricted?
The usage of extra-Biblical terms that derive from occult sources is not limited to her employment of the word Cabala. I will cite but one more example, though many could be given. In her booklet Laws of Paradise Jane Leade writes the following:
“Which essences, if not stopped, would busily ply thee and so destroy the supernatural property which acts through the all-seeing Eye of Eternity…”
“This “all-seeing Eye of Eternity” as is borne out above, is sometimes referred to as the Globe of Eternity.”
Most people are familiar with the image of the all-seeing eye found on the reverse of the dollar bill.
All-seeing eye atop Egyptian Pyramid on Dollar Bill
You may note the Latin Novus Ordo Seclorum under the pyramid, which is translated New Order of the Ages. On the base of the pyramid is the date 1776 in Roman Numerals. Some may assume this refers to the founding of the United States, but this is actually the year the Bavarian Illuminati was founded by Adam Weishaupt.
Weishaupt had admirers among the founding fathers of America, among them Thomas Jefferson who wrote:
Weishaupt believes that to promote this perfection of the human character was the object of Jesus Christ. That his intention was simply to reinstate natural religion, & by diffusing the light of his morality, to teach us to govern ourselves. His precepts are the love of God & love of our neighbor. And by teaching innocence of conduct, he expected to place men in their natural state of liberty & equality. He says, no one ever laid a surer foundation for liberty than our grand master, Jesus of Nazareth. He believes the Free masons were originally possessed of the true principles & objects of Christianity, & have still preserved some of them by tradition, but much disfigured. The means he proposes to effect this improvement of human nature are “to enlighten men, to correct their morals & inspire them with benevolence. Secure of our success, sais he, we abstain from violent commotions. To have foreseen, the happiness of posterity & to have prepared it by irreproachable means, suffices for our felicity. The tranquility of our consciences is not troubled by the reproach of aiming at the ruin or overthrow of states or thrones.” As Weishaupt lived under the tyranny of a despot & priests, he knew that caution was necessary even in spreading information, & the principles of pure morality. He proposed therefore to lead the Free masons to adopt this object & to make the objects of their institution the diffusion of science & virtue. He proposed to initiate new members into his body by gradations proportioned to his fears of the thunderbolts of tyranny. This has given an air of mystery to his views, was the foundation of his banishment, the subversion of the masonic order, & is the colour for the ravings against him of Robinson, Barruel & Morse, whose real fears are that the craft would be endangered by the spreading of information, reason, & natural morality among men. This subject being new to me, I have imagined that if it be so to you also, you may receive the same satisfaction in seeing, which I have had in forming the analysis of it: & I believe you will think with me that if Wishaupt had written here, where no secrecy is necessary in our endeavors to render men wise & virtuous, he would not have thought of any secret machinery for that purpose.
It was this same Thomas Jefferson who denied the virgin birth and all the miracles of Christ, including the resurrection, but who venerated Christ as one of the greatest moral teachers the world has ever known. The great seal found on the back of the dollar bill, in which the all-seeing eye is depicted, was designed in 1785, during the early years of this nation. Freemasonry, the Iluminati, and the influence of the Enlightenment all entered into the foundation of this nation. It is therefore not to be found surprising that the Sephiroth Tree of Life, found in the Kabballah’s teachings, was deliberately laid out in the street plan of Washington D.C. by Pierre L’Enfant, a French Freemason tasked with the design of this nation which was to be the beginning of a New World Order.
Sephiroth Tree of Life – Street Plan of Washington Mall
Now, I would not read too much into the fact that the image on the cover of Jane Leade’s book resembles the Sephiroth Tree of Life. The image was not created by her. Rather, it was designed by the publisher of the version of the book which I received. Yet, Satan is able to influence minds similarly, and those who examine all things carefully may observe, and be alerted to, the influence of an unclean spirit, both in the original, and latter forms of this teaching. This image merely alerted me to be sensitive to examine all things carefully. In my testing I found other things that were very disturbing.
Jane Leade employs abundant allusions to the types and shadows of the Old Testament. This is both right and proper, for the apostles did the same. Yet Jane Leade does not employ the Scriptures in support of her prophetic revelations in the same what that the apostles did. Rather than opening up the Law and the prophets to the disciples as Christ did to His two companions on the road to Emmaus, she declares mysteries, yet does not substantiate them with sound Scriptural exegesis. This is troubling.
In the book The Wonders of God’s Creation Manifested In the Variety of Eight Worlds as they were made known Experimentally to the Author, she writes the following:
But before I go upon this large and copius Matter, it will be proper to Answer a grand Objection, that is expected to be cast in upon the Reading hereof; Namely, since the Holy Scripture maketh no mention of such Variety of Worlds, how shall we give credit hereunto? In Answer to this, it is given from him, who Was, and Is, and Will be the true Inspirer, to open new Volumes of his Mind, which are not to be less reputed and credited than the foregoing Scriptures: The Old Testament having been appropriated to the Ministration of the Father, the New to the Son; now the Third Day is come, in which the Holy Ghost will have His, which will Excel all before it, to Unseal and Reveal what yet never was known or understood, that will be communicated to, and by such as are in an extraordinary manner sanctified and set apart for this holy Function. For from this Spirits Day, must go forth a New Spring of things yet to be revealed, both as to the Present and Future State, that hath lain hid within these mentioned Worlds. The Account of which I am more particularly to give, according as it hath been shown to me from the Spirit of Inspiration. For I write here from no other Ground, than what the Spirit of CHRIST, in the Glass of Wisdom, hath presented to mine Inward Eye, which pierceth into the Deep of God’s Mind.
To simplify and put this in modern English, Jane Leade is answering those who would object that her revelations are nowhere found in Scripture. Her response is not to demonstrate that they are found in Scripture, but rather to declare that they are new revelations from the Spirit and are to be accorded the same weight as the Scriptures themselves. She further magnifies her own calling by declaring that she has been chosen as one of these high vessels through which these new volumes of holy writing are to flow.
If you think I am reading too much into her statement, you need only read what she has written at the end of the same book.
You must not restrict yourself to any past dispensation or revelation, no, not even to the Scripture record itself. This was given to me as a special charge from the High Court of Eternity…
Later on she adds the following admonishment.
I have been commissioned from the High and Heavenly Court, to warn you to watch against all unnecessary fault-finding and upheavals likely to arise in the mind to oppose the pure inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Throughout this, and other prophetic words of Jane Leade, it is asserted that she is being given revelation on a par with that of the writers of the Old and New Testaments. If we were to treat her writings with the weight which she ascribes to them, we would find it good to simply add her writings to the end of our Bibles, considering them to be as Scriptural as the writings of Moses, or the apostles, and we would be warned (by her) to not find fault with what she has written.
I do not find the testimony of the Spirit leading me to adopt her writings as Scripture. I find it disturbing to read any statement that would discourage the careful examination of all that is written as a prophetic word from Yahweh.
There are many elements of this one writing on the eight future worlds to which she contends men go to when they die, that bear scrutiny. In one place she writes:
This springs up like a metaphor opening from a pure magickal center.
Although Jane Leade was likely intending to express the idea of that which is spiritual, I find her use of the word magical, to be troubling, and a further manifestation of extra-Biblical language that is shared in common with occult practitioners.
In an appended chapter to the same book she shares the following experience:
As I was watching with a friend in a dying condition on October 17, 1695, after some time I found she had passed through the Lower Realm Regions. Then Paradise being opened, I searched for her. After two hours I found her in the Third Degrees of this Heavenly World, wherein she appeared to me in a most lively and angelic countenance. As soon as I had met her, I congratulated her, and said…
Jane Leade goes on to describe a conversation with this friend who had died. Ms. Leade claimed to have the ability to enter the upper regions of the heavens at will, and to go where she wanted. She was in this way enabled to meet with her friend who had died. Such claims are contrary to sound doctrine, and all the experience of the apostles and prophets.
The apostle Paul stands alone in testifying of having been caught up to the third heaven. He did not do so at his own will, but rather at the will of the Father. Neither did he pretend to have the ability to enter that realm at will, or to return when he desired.
Much of what Jane Leade teaches bears a very great similarity to the teachings of what the occult religions call “ascended masters.” In the same book she describes spirit guides which are sent from God to lead the saints into these higher realms. This is a teaching shared by New Age practitioners. For those who would accept Jane Leade’s words as Scriptures, how many are able to discern between the ministers of Satan who appear as angels of light, and those which Jane Leade describes as pure spirits whose origin is in God.
And to the objection that it is the Holy Spirit who is given to lead us into all truth and bring us into perfect conformity to the image of Christ, she writes:
It is true, the Holy Ghost is sufficient for the perfecting and regeneration of the New Creation, as he was so appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ. But what if it be the all-wise design and pleasure of God, in His Eternal Wisdom, to separate such pure Spirits from the center of his own Being; to thereby effect the Counsel of his will regarding his fallen Creation…
These Still Eternity Spirits are most qualified to open the Depths of Life and Truth which lie far deeper than Nature or the Creature; being brought forth even before the Elements. They are for the New Creation of the Inhabitants of the several worlds.
By declaring such things, Jane Leade not only has no Biblical basis for her revelations, but she would lead the saints in a direction that has no precedence in the experience of the early church. There was no mention of spirit guides among any of the apostles, or of Christ. There was only One Spirit guide, that being the Holy Spirit.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth…”
I John 2:27-28
And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
In a closing statement she writes:
Do but study this, and the Eternal Abyssal World will come to qualify with and operate in you from its stillness, in order to bring about the Transfiguration for which you long. Hereby you shall be admitted into all Wisdom’s Treasuries…
Throughout her writings Jane Leade speaks of employing the imagination in order to ascend to a higher spiritual state and be loosed from the bonds of this carnal existence. Christ Yahshua revealed by His own life, and through the apostles, that arising to a higher state, which is conformity to His own image, is not achieved by study of dreams and visions, nor by visualization. Rather, it is arrived at by obedience to the Spirit of Christ and the working of the cross in our lives.
Jane Leade focused upon meditation as a means of transformation, but the true path to Life is not that of the cloistered monk who seals himself off from the world to seek an inward discovery of God within. Rather, it is in surrendering to follow the Spirit wherever He leads.
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Then Yahshua said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Certainly there will be seasons of prayer and meditation in a believer’s life, but one cannot arrive at spiritual maturity through the exercise of the imagination.
I will add one further concern from the life of Jane Leade before I close. Jane Leade was a member of the Philadelphian Society of London which billed itself as a Theosophical Society. Once more an extra-Biblical term is employed. Kabbalah is also described as Theosophy. This term became popular in the 1800s in association with Madame Blavatsky, who was reputedly a Satanist.
The members of the Philadelphian Society chose not to organize themselves as a church. Why adopt a form, and a description, that is not found in Scripture? Why refuse to function as a church according to the pattern of the apostles and early saints?
By departing from Biblical form, there was a corresponding departure from Biblical order and safeguards. There were no male elders to serve as spiritual shepherds. There was no church discipline. There was an overturning of gender roles, which results in dire consequences.
When Adam Pordage, the founder of this London society died, Jane Leade became its central member. Her numerous, and arresting prophetic revelations became the material that the group focused upon. She became their prophet until her death in 1704, after which the group soon dissolved.
To have such an organization where a woman becomes the spiritual leader and central teacher is to overturn divine order.
I Timothy 2:11-14
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
It is my judgment that this group, led by Jane Leade, in violating Yahweh’s governmental order, fell prey to deception. The study of the Scriptures, and an active life of faith in obedience to the Spirit, were de-emphasized. In their place there came an abnormal emphasis on visions and revelations, particularly those of one woman, Jane Leade.
Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind…
I Timothy 4:1
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…
There is much in Jane Leade’s writings that sounds inspired, but we must ask what is the source of the inspiration. Satan once stood in heaven. He had access to the presence of God. He walked among the stones of fire. He had a perfect wisdom, and was the sum of knowledge. Is he not able to appear as an angel of light, and a minister of truth? Will he not speak forth heavenly mysteries, if in doing so he can lead some astray into error?
After examining the writings of Jane Leade over the last several days, I am inclined to provide this word of caution and warning to others.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
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