We are starting a new kind of Church. One that excepts the use of cannabis and people that use it for spiritual healing or any other reason. At our meetings we let everyone learn and share everyone can minister to each other. We have some worship music and time of meditation. Then we talk about the life of christ and how to be more like him. We are in the formation stage of our church and afterwards have discussions about how to build the church and the direction members think we should move in and how we can help each other.
The belief of the church is that God created the earth, and the followers of God and Jesus would want man to be the guardian of nature and what God created. It is our core belief that nature was created for a reason, and it was a plan of God for man to use it wisely for about anything man may need. The earth was designed to provide food, medicine and most all things that man needs. Jesus was born to lead people back to God and reason. Jesus wasn’t born in a country under Military occupation. His ideas and vision was quiet different for the people than the rulers of the world. However he was non-violent and did not believe that force and wanted people to have free choice to follow what he was trying to say. He was focused on helping the sick, feeding the poor and many other things. What would Jesus do today and what would he think of the the world of today?
Our core standards are: End to discrimination - Be a guardian of nature - Healing the sick - Feeding the poor.
As doubtful as the following hypothesis might first seem to the reader, I might as well boldly state my case right from the start: either Jesus used marijuana or he was not the Christ. The very word “Christ”, by the implication of its linguistic origins and true meaning, gives us the most profound evidence that Jesus did in fact use the same herb as his ancient semitic ancestors, and which is still used by people around the world for its enlightening and healing properties.
The Messiah was recognized as such by his being anointed with the holy anointing oil, the use of which was restricted to the instillation of Hebrew priests and kings If Jesus was not initiated in this fashion then he was not the Christ, and had no official claim to the title.
The title “Messiah” is much older than Christianity, as all the ancient kings of Israel are referred to as the “Messiah”. “Christos – Anointed One, a title of many Middle-Eastern sacrificial gods: Attis, Adonis, Tammuz, Osiris. . .”
The ancient recipe for this anointing oil, recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus (30: 22-23) included over nine pounds of flowering cannabis tops, Hebrew “kaneh-bosm” extracted into a hind (about 6.5 litres) of olive oil, along with a variety of other herbs and spices. The ancient chosen ones were literally drenched in this potent cannabis holy oil.
God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth....to you it will be for meat.... And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:29-31)
The Lord said ..Afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches. (Isaiah 18:4-5)
HOW WAS THE MARIJUANA PLANT USED DURING BIBLICAL TIMES?
Cannabis was used 12 ways: as clothing, paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant, incense, food, and in ceremony, relaxation and medicine.
"Cana" got its name from the same root word as "cannabis," indicating that hemp was grown there.
The Three Wise Men who came to witness the birth of Christ are believed to be Zoroastrians, who regarded hemp as a special gift of God.
Although often mistranslated as “calamus”, the word has been translated as “fragrant-cane” in most modern bibles, and specifically designates the fragrant flowering tops of cannabis.
From the time of Moses until that of the later prophet Samuel, the holy anointing oil was used by the shamanic Levite priesthood to receive the “revelations of the Lord”. At the dawn of the age of Kings, Samuel extended the use of the anointing oil to the Hebraic monarchs by anointing Saul (and later David) as “Messiah-king”. These kings lead their people with the benefit of insights achieved through using the holy anointing oil to become “possessed with the spirit of the Lord.”
“Anointing was common among kings of Israel. It was the sign and symbol of royalty. The word ‘Messiah’ signifies the ‘Anointed One’, and none of the kings of Israel were styled the Messiah unless anointed.” The title was clearly only given to those “having the crown of God’s unction upon them” (Leviticus 21:12).
After the fall of the Jewish kingdoms, and the bloody purges following the forged discovery of the Book of theLaw (1 Kings 23), the cannabis holy oil was prohibited as associated with pagan worship. Yet it seems that certain sects retained the topical entheogen, and continued to practice the older religion, silently awaiting the return of a Messiah-king in the line of David.
The ministry of Jesus marked the return of the Jewish Messiah-kings, and thus the re-emergence of the holy oil. Jesus was called the Christ because he violated the Old Testament taboo on the cannabis oil and distributed it freely for initiation rites and to heal the sick and wounded.
Although there is some evidence of Jesus’ use of this Judaic cannabis oil in the traditional New Testament, we get a clearer picture of its importance when we also look at surviving Gnostic documents. The term Gnostic, meaning “knowledge”, refers to a variety of early Christian sects which had extremely different beliefs about both Jesus and his teachings than those which have come down to us through modern Christianity.
WHAT ABOUT MARIJUANA TODAY?
Hemp today has thousands of non-smoking uses. Modern technology has devised many new uses for the helpful hemp plant--like biomass energy, fuel oil, construction materials, plastic, and so on.
It is used worldwide as medicine. It is among the best food crops on Earth, and is a popular relaxant and a spiritual tool.
And people are being put in jail for it, in spite of many government reports showing marijuana is no danger to society, if used responsibly.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT DRUGS?
The only drug specifically discussed in the Bible is alcohol, which is a useful reference. Wine has long been offered to God as a sacrifice in religious occasions such as Passover--the Last Supper of Jesus and His disciples. It continues to be a traditional part of today's church services.
Yet the simple joys of drinking were also sung:
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the seruice of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)
The Bible distinguishes between use and abuse.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. (Proverbs 31:6-7)
Woe unto them that ... follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! Isaiah 5:10)
Jesus began his public life by miraculously turning water into wine at the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-10) when the wine ran out at the celebration.
WHAT DO THE 10 COMMANDMENTS SAY TO PEOPLE ABOUT USING MARIJUANA??
That thou shalt not hold it as a false god, "not lie" about it, "not steal" it and "not covet" it (Ex. 20:1-17). Nowhere in the Bible does it say people cannot grow, possess or smoke cannabis hemp.
HOW DID JESUS SPEAK OF MARIJUANA?
Although He lived among marijuana smokers, He said not to criticize a for their habits.
"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; that which cometh out of the mouth defileth a man." (Mat. 15:11)
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." (John 8:7)
I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of Itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Paul: Romans 14:2,3,13,14,17)
WHAT DID HE SAY ABOUT GOVERNMENT?
He said to keep church and state separate.
render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto God the things which be Gods." (Luke 20 25)
As we have already seen, it was God, not government, who gave man the seed bearing herbs to use.
WHO DID JESUS SAY CAN JUDGE OTHERS?
Jesus reserved judgement for God alone.
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged." (Matthew 7:14)
WHAT ABOUT CRIME AND PUNISHMENT?
Jesus preached love and forgiveness.
"Peter said, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, "I say not unto thee until seven times: But until seventy timesseven." (Mat. 18:21-22)
He warned us about seizure and forfeiture laws.
"Beware of the scribes which ...devour widows' houses.... The same shall recieve greater damnation." (Luke 20:46-47)
The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to euery soldier a part. (Jn. 19:33)
The Bible even predicted prohibition.
In the later times some shall ... speak lies in hypocrisy ... commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (Paul: 1 Timothy 14)
WHAT, THEN, IS THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO MARIJUANA PROHIBITION?
Tolerance, compassion and an unselfish effort to end this persecution of God's children.
Blessed are the peacemakers. (Matthew 5.9)
The Lord. . . hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. (Isaiah 61:1)
Prisons do not save souls. It was God who created hemp. He gave us free will and instructed that mankind use "every green herb" on Earth.
"they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me." (Ps. 119:86)
Nothing in either the Bible or the U.S. Constitution says we can imprison those who follow their conscience and use marijuana in good faith.
Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving.... If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine. (Paul: I Timothy 4;1-6)
Other Christian Sources
For the first four hundred years after Jesus’ birth, the term “Christian” was used to describe a wide variety of sects and a large volume of different documents. Through the acceptance of one of the more ascetic branches of Christianity by the Roman ruling class, Christianity eventually became the state religion of its former persecutors.
In an effort to unify the faith into a controllable mass, the newly formed Roman Catholic Church held a number of councils. These councils prohibited not only pagans, but also differing Christian sects, and edited a wealth of Christian literature down to the few meager documents which have survived as the modern New Testament.
The New Testament in its present form was composed and edited between 367-397AD, about twelve generations after the events in question.
In an attempt to save their manuscripts from the editorial flames of the Roman Catholic Church, certain Christians, now considered Gnostic heretics, hid copies of their scrolls in caves. One of these ancient hiding places was rediscovered in our own century, and the large collection of early Christian documents was named the Nag Hamadi Library, after the Egyptian area where it was found. Prior to this discovery, what little was known of the Gnostics came from a few fragmentary texts, and the many polemics written against them by the founders of the Catholic Church.
There is no reason to consider these ancient Gnostic documents as less accurate portrayals of the life and teachings of Jesus than the New Testament accounts. In a sense, the rediscovery of the Nag Hamadi Library marks the resurrection of a more historical Jesus, an ecstatic rebel sage who preached enlightenment through rituals involving magical plants, and who is more analogous to the Indian Shiva, or the Greek Dionysus, than the pious ascetic that has come down to us through the Bible’s New Testament.
The Anointed One
Contrary to the depiction given in the New Testament gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was likely not born as the Messiah. He received this title through his initiation by John the Baptist, and so it is not surprising that both Mark and John are conspicuously absent of the virgin-birth mythology, and begin their stories of Jesus’ short career with his initiation by John.
Although their version of Jesus’ baptism by John describes it as involving submersion under water, the term “baptism” has connotations of “initiation”, and Gnostic scriptures indicate that the original rite was performed in conjunction with the kaneh-bosm anointing rite, “the annointing taking place either before or after the baptismal ceremony.” Some Gnostic texts also specifically state that Jesus recieved the title Christ “because of the anointing,” not because of a water baptism.
Conceivably, the washing off of the oil with water would have been a means to begin the termination of ritual and the oil’s effects.
The description of the after-effects of the rite clearly indicates that Jesus underwent an intense psychological experience, more than one would recieve from a simple submersion in water.
The reference to a dove may have connotations of the Goddess tradition, which was continued by the Gnostics, who paid special attention to Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom. In earlier times the dove was sacred to Astarts, Aphrodite, Ishtar and other forms of the Goddess. “Gnostic Christians said Sophia was incarnate in thedove. . . that descended on Jesus at his baptism to impregnate hismind.”
Jesus came from Nazareth Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with wild animals, and angels attended him. (Mark 1: 9-13)
It should be noted that the vision and words described were seen and heard only by Jesus, as it specifically states that “he saw”.
The role played by John the Baptist, as priest and prophet, is very similiar to that of the Old Testament prophet Samuel. Just as Samuel’s annointing of Saul and David marked them as Messiah-king, so did Jesus’ initiation by John make him the Christ.
In the events after Jesus’ vision and his overwhelmed recluse into the desert, there are clear parallels with the story of the prophet Samuel’s initiation of Saul with the cannabis-rich holy ointment, and Saul’s ensuing madness in the form of possession by the Spirit, and wandering off to makenabi (act in a frenzied ecstatic manner) (1 Samuel 10).
The tale of Saul’s possession by the spirit is an example of how the ancients interpreted the effects of cannabis and other entheogens. What we perceive as being “high” or “stoned” the ancients called “possessed by the Spirit of the Lord.”
“As a result of the spiritual ‘anointing’ Jesus expected to be different; and he was different. The prophecies had said that the Messiah would recieve from God wisdom and insight, the power to heal and to subjugate evil. The faith of Jesus was so strong that he did not question that these capacities had now been conferred upon him.”
The entheogenic effect of the cannabis annointing oil would have immensely magnified both Jesus’ own expectations, and the ensuing experience with John.
The same proclamation is stated of the Anointed One, or King in Psalm 2: 7.
In some authorative texts of the Gospel according to Luke, after the Baptism the voice of God declares, “This day I have begotten thee.” J This indicates that the event of Jesus’ encounter with John marks the true beginnings of Jesus’ mission and his acknowledgement as the Messiah.
The importance of the anointing, and Jesus’ own acknowledgement of it, is again exemplified in the gospel of Luke.
According to the New Testament Jesus began his ministry in Nazareth, by reading the following passage from the scroll of Isaiah and proclaiming, “today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:16)
The Spirit of Yahweh God is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound… (Isaiah 61:1-2)
The Anointed Ones
Unlike the shamanistic priests and kings of earlier generations, Jesus did not follow the strict Old Testament taboos that limited the holy cannabis oils use to Yahweh’s chosen few (Exodus 30:33), but broke tradition and began to liberally use it in both healing and initiation rites.
Through this open distribution the singular Christ, “the Anointed”, was extended to become the plural term “Christians”, that is, those who had been smeared or anointed. “By rubbing on this divine unction. . . obtained from certain special herbs or plants, they believed they were donning the panoply of God.”
L A similar claim was made about hashish by the medieval Sufi poet Fuzuli, who recorded in his treatise Bang and Wine, the story of Basra, a disciple whose sheik felt that he had reached the ultimate degree of perfection through the consumption of hashish, and that he was no longer in need of further guidance. This story led to Fuzuli’s proclamation that “hashish is the perfect being. . . for the seeker of the mystical experience.” In many ways the Sufi movement can be seen as the phoenix which rose from the ashes of the earlier Gnostics.
As the New Testament’s John explains:
. . . you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. . . . the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him.” (1 John 2: 27).
“. . . the Christian, the ‘smeared or anointed one’, received ‘knowledge of all things’ by his ‘anointing from the Holy One’ (1 John 2: 20). Thereafter he had need of no other teacher and remained forevermore endowed with all knowledge (v. 27).
Kaneh Bosm, documented as cannabis.
“Whatever the full ingredients of the Christian unction may have been, they would certainly have included the aromatic gums and spices of the traditional Israelite anointing oil: myrrh, aromatic cane, cinnamon, and cassia. . . Under certain enclosed conditions a mixture of these substances rubbed on the skin could produce the kind of intoxicating belief in self-omniscience referred to in the New Testament.”
This quote is from scholar John Allegro, whose work I drew from for this article. Allegro was a great scholar of both the bible and ancient languages, and his work broke a lot of ground. Allegro was also the only human secularist on the original team of scholars involved in the translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, so he came to his views through more unbiased anthropological thinking than that of his more “faithful” co-researchers. In The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, Allegro translated the kaneh-bosm reference in Exodus as “aromatic cane”, and I have quoted him here on how the anointing oil “could produce a kind of intoxicating belief in self-omniscience.” Yet Allegro failed to make the rightful connection with cannabis, seeing instead another plant drug at use, the amanita muscaria mushroom. His writings reveal he was extremely prejudiced against cannabis, even going so far with his etymological arguments as to suggest that the Greek term “kannabis” somehow referred to a mushroom. Allegro never smoked marijuana, but his own observations of what he referred to as “the ‘pot’-smokers of today, the weary dotards who wander listlessly round our cities and universities,” caused him to discount any possible use of cannabis as a means of achieving spiritual ecstasy.
The Incomplete Baptism
In the first few centuries AD, Christian Gnostic groups such as the Archontics, Valentians and Sethians rejected water baptism as superfluous, referring to it as an “incomplete baptism”. In the tractate, the Testimony of Truth, water Baptism is rejected with a reference to the fact that Jesus baptized none of his disciples.
Being “anointed with unutterable anointing”, the so-called “sealings” recorded in the Gnostic texts, can be seen as a very literal event. “There is water in water, there is fire in chrism.” (Gospel of Philip).
“The anointing with oil was the introduction of the candidate into unfading bliss, thus becoming a Christ.”
“The oil as a sign of the gift of the Spirit was quite natural within a semetic framework, and therefore the ceremony is probably very early. . . In time the biblical meaning became obscured.”
The survivng Gnostic descriptions of the effects of the anointing rite make it very clear that the holy oil had intense psycho-active properties, which prepared the recipient for entrance into “unfading bliss”. In some Gnostic texts like the Pistis Sophia and the Books of Jeu, the “spiritual ointment” is a prerequisite for entry into the highest mystery.
In the Gospel of Philip it is written that the initiates of the empty rite of Baptism:
“go down into the water and come up without having received anything. . . The anointing (chrisma) is superior to baptism. For from the anointing we were called ‘anointed ones’ (Christians), not because of the baptism. And Christ also was [so]named because of the anointing, for the Father anointed the son, and the son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. [Therefore] he who has been anointed has the All. He has the resurrection, the light. . . the Holy Spirit. . . [If] one receives this unction, this person is no longer a Christian but a Christ.”
Similarly, the Gospel of Truth records that Jesus specifically came into their midst so that he:
“might anoint them with the ointment. The ointment is the mercy of the Father. . . those whom he has anointed are the ones who have become perfect.”
The apocryphal book, The Acts of Thomas, refers to the ointment’s entheogenic effects as being specifically derived from a certain plant:
Holy oil, given us for sanctification, hidden mystery in which the cross was shown us, you are the unfolder of the hidden parts. You are the humiliator of stubborn deeds. You are the one who shows the hidden treasures. You are the plant of kindness. Let your power come by this [unction].
The Gnostics had many levels of initiation, and the mysteries of these different grades were not written down like the more esoteric surviving texts were, but were given verbally at special ceremonies. Elements like the recipe of the obviously psychoactive holy oil were guarded with the closest secrecy, and were known only by the sect’s most trusted initiates. This was a standard mystery school method, as “magic revealed is magic lost”, and such secrets could only be entrusted to the group’s most loyal members.
“Gnostic treatises did not reveal the whole matter. . . the final revelation was only communicated by word of mouth in the body, and by vision out of the body.”
“It is certain that Gnostic texts even in cultic matters favour a metaphorical symbolic manner of speaking and. . . clearly avoided communicating precise details about their ‘mysteries’.”
In 130-200AD, the Catholic Church Father Irenaeus accused the Gnostics of initiating members with “secret sacraments”. In his discussion of Gnostic texts which dealt with the anointing rite, he stated that they were written in an archaic manner, “to baffle even more those who are being initiated.”
We can add to Ireneaus’s comments that the Gnostics likely wrote in such a concealing fashion to “baffle” their persecutors, like Ireneus, whom they feared would find out the source behind the secret power of their anointing oil.
Mysteries of the Faith
Such a hidden reference to other psychoactive plants can be seen in “the mystery of the five trees”, which were used by Jesus in complicated shamanistic initiation rituals. They are described in what is possibly the oldest Christian text in existence, The Gospel of Thomas:
“…there are five trees for you in Paradise… Whoever becomes acquainted with them will not experience death.”
The Gospel of Thomas has an estimated date of composition as early as 40-100 AD, and likely predates the earliest New Testament Gospel, Mark, which is thought to have been written around 60 AD.
In the Gnostic view, “not experiencing death” meant reaching a certain state of interior purification or enlightenment, at which point the initiate would “rise from the dead” and “never grew old and became immortal.” That is to say, he rose from ignorance and blindness, gained possession of the unbroken consciousness of his spiritual ego, and as such realized that he was a part of a larger Cosmic whole, which continued on long after the disappearance of the material body. Jesus referred to attaining this “higher” state of consciousness, as “entering the kingdom of heaven”.
The attainment of this Gnostic state can be compared to the goal of yoga, (which itself means “union”), where the successful devotee obtains “a radical switch in consciousness obliterating the sense of individuation.”
As with the similar goal of yoga union, the “kingdom of heaven” state was not attained instantaneously, but required years of vigorous training. Like certain older branches of yoga, a variety of psychoactive plants were used as aids to facilitate the devotee in attaining this “higher” state.
Although the Gnostic give us some detailed descriptions of these esoteric Christian teachings, it is interesting to note that they are also alluded to in New Testament accounts by Jesus himself:
“To you has been given the secret of the Kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables: so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand. . . ” (Mark 4:11)
The Treasure of Light and the Mystery of the Five Trees
At the turn of the present century Professor GRS Mead summarized a German translation of a surviving Gnostic text, the “Second Book of Ieou”.The text describes Jesus bidding male and female disciples to join him so that he can reveal to them the great mystery of the Treasure of Light.
One of the few that managed to survive the Catholic Church’s editorial flames, without being hidden with the Nag Hamadi codexes.
In order to accomplish this, the candidates have to be initiated by three Baptisms: The Baptism of Water, the Baptism of Fire, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, “and thereafter the Mystery of the Spiritual Chrism [anointing].”
Jesus tells his followers that the master-mysteries of the Treasure of Light are involved with the mystery of the Five Trees, which may mean having knowledge of the magical plants that were used in the ceremony.
All of these mysteries Jesus promises to give to His disciples, that they may be called “Children of the Fullness (Pleroma) perfected in all mysteries.” The Master then gathers His disciples, and sets forth a place of offering, placing one wine-jar on the right and on the left, and strews certain berries and spices round the vessels; He then puts a certain plant in their mouths, and another plant in their hands, and ranges them in order round the sacrifice.
Continuing with the ritual, Jesus gives the disciples cups, along with other articles, and seals their foreheads with a magical diagram. Then, like shamanistic and magical ceremonies the world over, he turns his disciples to the four corners of the world, with their feet together in an attitude of prayer, and then offers a prayer which is prefixed with an invocation, and continues with a number of purifications and into the Baptism of Fire.
In this rite vine-branches are used; they are strewn with various materials of incense. The Eucharist is prepared…
This offering of “fragrant-incense” to the Virgin of Light is reminiscent of the Old Testament offerings of kaneh-bosm incense to the Queen of Heaven (1 Kings 3:3). The Goddess played a paramount role in Gnostic theology.
The prayer [this time, is to]the Virgin of Light. . .the judge; she it is who gives the Water of the Baptism of Fire. A wonder is asked for in “the fire of this fragrant incense”, and it is brought about by the agency of Zorokothora.What the nature of the wonder was, is not stated. Jesus baptizes the disciples, gives them of the eucharistic sacrifice, and seals their foreheads with the seal of the Virgin of Light.
Next follows the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. In this rite both the wine-jars and vine-branches are used. A wonder again takes place, but is not further specified. After this we have the Mystery of Withdrawing the Evil of the Rulers, which consists of an elaborate incense-offering.
The title Zorokothora is likely derived from Zoroaster, an ancient Persian prophet-shaman. Centuries before the Christian age the Zoroastrian Magi were known for their use of “bhanga” (cannabis), as well as a primordial entheogenic drink known as “haoma” or “soma”, now widely identified as anamita muscaria, or fly agaric mushroom. The Zoroastrians had a great influence on Jewish culture during the years of Persian rule. The concept of heaven and hell (conspicuously absent from the Old Testament) is derived from Zoroastrianism. Jesus’ apparent knowledge of Zoroaster, and Zoroastrian sacraments, hints that perhaps amanita was identified with the entheogenic “wonder” filled “five trees” which Jesus used in his shamanistic initiation ceremonies.One of the more significant and widespread Gnostic sects, the Manicheans, were known to use anamita mushrooms, and worshipped Jesus right alongside Zoroaster. The Manicheans survived into the twelfth century in parts of Europe and China, and performed ceremonies similar to the one which Jesus is described as presiding over.
The “wonder” in the incense which so perplexed Mead was presumably a reference to its undescribable psychoactive effects. It’s also likely that the other undefined “wonder” indicates the magical properties of the different plants used in the ceremony.
It would seem to follow that the identity of the different plants, vines, and berries described in the excerpts were identified to the participants as the Mystery of the Five Trees.
At this time we can only speculate what other plants were used in the ceremony. The account of mandrake in Genesis 30: 14-16 and in Solomon’s Song of Songs 7: 13, (which seems to indicate its addition to the holy anointing oil), clearly document the long term interest the Hebrews had with these seemingly magical plantangels.
That the use and knowledge of such plants could have been passed down by certain “heretical” branches of the faith such as the Gnostics seems self evident. The addition of such a powerful hallucinatory drug such as mandrake (or belladonna, which was also popular in the Middle East at that time) would help to explain some of the extreme experiences related to the holy anointings and baptisms described in the Gnostic literature.
Recipes for medieval witches’ “flying ointments” contain cannabis, mandrake, belladonna and other entheogens, and the out-of-body experiences attributed to the Gnostics have many parallels with the Witches Sabat, as do aspects of their cosmology.
The Leaves of the Tree are for the Healing of the Nations
Cannabis is likely the most useful plant medicine in existence, and it has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments throughout history. Few readers will not be aware of the international fight taking place at this time, to get the sick and dying access to the amazing healing and curative powers of the cannabis plant’s leaves and flowers.
As such, it should not be surprising to find that there are numerous references to the early Christians healing with the anointing oil, giving further indication that Jesus and his apostles had begun to freely dispense the sacred kaneh-bosm anointing oil, which had previously been under a strictly enforced prohibition, restricting its use to the Hebrew priests and kings.
Knowledge of cannabis’ healing powers may account for some of Jesus’ healing “miracles”.T The Acts of Thomas specifically invokes the healing quality of the sacred plant into the holy oil: “You are the plant of kindness. Let your power come. . . and heal by this unction.”
The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles demonstrates Jesus’ own view of the importance of this rite, when he gives the disciples an “unguent box” and a “pouch full of medicine” with instructions to go into the City of Habitation, and heal the sick. He tells them you must heal “the bodies first” before you can “heal the heart”.
TLike other ancient historians, Biblical authors had a tendency to magnify historical events and make them appear miraculous. The earliest gospel is thought to have been recorded about 60 years after the crucifixion, and such a text cannot be regarded as an accurate, contemporary historical account. With time, imagination and fancy have a tendency to obscure memory. Yet it seems possible that many of the New Testament accounts could have at their basis logically explainable events, which became shortened and glorified into the unexplained miracles of the New Testament Gospels.
“Knowledge and healing were two aspects of the same life-force. If to be rubbed with the ‘Holy Plant’ was to receive divine knowledge, it was also to be cured of every sickness. James suggests that anyone of the Christian community who was sick should call to the elders to anoint him with oil in the name of Jesus The Twelve are sent out among their fellow-men casting out demons and anointing the sick with oil (Mark 6:13).”8
At the time of Christ, no differentiation was made between medical treatment and exorcism or miracles, all three were interrelated. To cure someone of a disease or to relieve them of an injury was paramount to exorcising the tormenting spirit, or miraculously healing them.
Thus it is not so surprising to find that the anointing oil expelled demons and gave protection against them, correspondingly it cured and dispelled the “sickness” of the soul and body. Exorcism (literally “driving out”) was performed by means of anointing. The ancient magical texts provide abundant evidence for this application of oil.3
The oldest New Testament Gospel, clearly verifies this use of the holy oil early on in Jesus’ controversial ministry:
And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. (Mark6:13)
cleanse the lepers
One of Jesus’ most well known miracles is his healing of lepers, which appears in the first three New Testament Gospels. The term translated as leprosy can actually refer to any number of skin diseases, usually systemic infectious lesions or extreme allergic reactions.
Due to its topical anti-bacterial properties, cannabis has been used to treat a variety of skin diseases such as pruritis, also known as atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin disorder. The symptoms of pruritis are severe itching, “and patches of inflamed skin, especially on the hands, face, neck legs, and genitals,”17 a description that sounds startlingly similar to the skin disease described in Leviticus 13, calledtsara’ath. It is usually translated in the Old Testament as leprosy, but has been noted by a number of scholars to be more likely a reference to a severe form of pruritis rather than true leprosy (Hansen’s disease).
In relation to Jesus’ curing of the lepers (Matthew 8,10,11 Mark 1, Luke 5,7,17), we could have an example of a disease expelled through the use of the cannabis “holy oil”. Besides the anti-bacterial properties of cannabis oil, cannabis has been said to be effective in treating sufferers of Pruritis even when administered through smoking!17
A 1960 study in Czechoslovakia concluded that “cannabidiociolic acid, a product of the unripe hemp plant, has bacteriocidal properties.”18 The Czech researchers “found that cannabis extracts containing cannabidiolic acid produced impressive antibacterial effects on a number of micro-organisms, including strains of staphylococcus that resist penicillin and other antibiotics.
Evidence of cannabis ointment’s topical healing abilities can also be seen in its use as a treatment for the modern “sexual leprosy” of herpes. Sufferers of cold sores and genital herpes have reported succesful treatments by soaking cannabis leaves and flowers in rubbing alcohol and then dabbing the greenish solution on the site of a potential herpetic sore outbreak. “They say it prevents blistering and makes sores disappear in a day or two.”17 Direct contact with THC killed herpes virus in a 1990 research study at the University of South Florida.
“The Czech researchers successfully treated a variety of conditions, including ear infections, with cannabis lotions and ointments. Topical application of cannabis relieved pain and prevented infection in second-degree burns. . . “
heal the wounded
The Gnostic Gospel of Philip makes direct reference to how the holy oil “healed the wounds”, and not suprisingly we find that cannabis was used in salves and ointments for burns and wounds throughout the middle-ages. Cannabis resin was also used for other topical applications, especially in relieving the pain of worn and crippled joints.
The Acts of Thomas specifically states “Thou holy oil given unto us for sanctification. . . thou art the straightener of the crooked limbs.” This medicinal quality of cannabis oil could account for the miraculous healings of cripples attributed to Jesus and his disciples.
“Cannabis is a topical analgesic. Until 1937, virtually all corn plasters, muscle ointments, and [cystic]fibrosis poultices were made from or with cannabis extracts.”
A common and effective home remedy for rheumatism in South America was to heat cannabis in water with alcohol, and rub the solution into the affected areas. In the middle of the 19th century Dr WB O’Shaughnessy claimed to have successfully treated rheumatism (along with other maladies), with “half grain doses of cannabis resin” given orally.
cast out demons
In the ancient world and up until medieval times, the disease now known as epilepsy was commonly considered to be demonic possession, and its victims were outcasts from society. Here again, we could have an explanation for events of demonic exorcism (as in Mark 5, Luke 8), and the demon’s expulsion by the use of cannabis.
Dr Lester Grinspoon and other medical marijuana advocates have offered testimonials from modern epilepsy sufferers, who have noted the profound effects of natural marijuana in controlling their seizures. Dr Grinspoon also points to the positive results of cannabis and synthetic cannabidiol in the treatment of epilepsy obtained in a 1975 report, and again in a 1980 study which concluded “for some patients cannabidiol combined with standard antileptics may be useful in controlling seizures. Whether cannabidiol alone, in large doses, would be helpful is not known.”
Other ailments of spasmodic muscular contractions such as Dystonias, which results in abnormal movements and postures, have been beneficially treated with the administration of cannabis.
Another of the miracles attributed to Jesus was the healing of a woman from chronic menstruation (Luke 8:43-48). Again we find that cannabis has been used for the treatment of such ailments, as the US Dispensary of 1854 listed cannabis extract as a remedy for “uterine hemorrhage”, as well as other maladies.
“The complaints to which it has been specifically recommended are neuralgia, gout, tetanus, hydrophobia, epidemic cholera, convulsions, chorea, hysteria, mental depression, insanity.” (US Dispensatory of 1854).24
Although the Biblical story of Jesus’ cure of the menstruating woman describes this event as a faith healing which results from the woman touching Jesus’ robe, and him feeling the “power” go out from him, an actual remedy seems more likely. That such a medicinal remedy could be considered a miracle is not at all far-fetched.
Although far beyond the breadth or intent of this article to document, cannabis has also been used successfully to treat glaucoma, arthritis, depression and mood disorders, migraines and chronic pain.
In an earlier article the use of cannabis among the Jews prior to the Christian period was documented, and a recent archeological dig in Bet Shemesh near Jerusalem has confirmed that cannabis medicine was in use in the area up until the fourth century. Thus it would seem to stand to reason that it was used for these purposes throughout the intervening Christian period.
In the case of the Bet Shemesh dig, the cannabis had been used as an aid in child bearing, both as a healing balm and an inhalant. Scientists commenting on the find noted that cannabis was used as a medicine as early as the 16th century BC, in Egypt.
This find garnered some attention, as can be seen from the Associated Press article, “Hashish evidence is 1,600 years old”, that appeared in Vancouver newspaper The Province, on June 2, 1992:
Archaeologists have found hard evidence that hashish was used as a medicine 1,600 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said yesterday.
Archaeologists uncovered organic remains of a substance containing hashish, grasses and fruit on the abdominal area of a teenage female’s skeleton that dates back to the fourth century, the antiquities authority said in a statement.
Anthropologist Joel Zias said that although researchers knew hashish had been used as a medicine, this is the first archeological evidence. (Associated Press 1992).
Although the idea that Jesus and his disciples used a healing cannabis ointment may seem far-fetched at first, when weighed against the popular alternative (one that is held by millions of believers) that Jesus performed his healing miracles magically, through the power invested in him by the omnipotent Lord of the Universe, the case for ancient accounts of medicinal cannabis seems a far more likely explanation.
Indeed, it was through the dawning of the Spirit, provided by the entheogenic and healing anointing oil, that the early followers of Jesus came to consider themselves Christians, or Anointed-Ones! Ironically, many modern day Christians zealously persecute marijuana culture, unaware that the name of their faith makes reference to a psychoactive topical ointment that was rich in cannabis.
Adapted from Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible: The Pagan Origins of the Judaic and Christian Traditions (Volume 2, The New Testament and Related Literature). By Chris Bennett and Neil McQueen.
TW Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions. First published in 1882, republished in 1985 by Health Research.
The Nag Hamadi Library in English, James Robinson Ed. Harper Collins, 1978, 1988
HEMP & THE BIBLE: A SUPPLEMENT TO THE TEXT
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Gen 1:12)
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Gen 1:29-31)
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed...
And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. Exod 3:2, 4
He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke. (Ps 104:32)
All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.(Ps 119:86)
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: (Prov 1:5)
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Prov 6:16-19)
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (Prov 20:1)
If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked. (Prov 29:12)
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. (Prov 31:6-7)
Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! (Isa 5:11)
For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches. (Isa 18:4-5)
And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. (Hosea 6:9)
"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also." (Luke 6:27-29)
And he beheld them, and said, "What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?" (Luke 20:17)
And he said unto them, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's." (Luke 20:25)
"Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;
Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation." (Luke 20:46-47)
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:9-10)
"Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?" (Matt 7:1-4)
"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." (Matt 15:11)
Then came Peter to him, and said, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?"
Jesus saith unto him, "I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." (Matt 18:21-22)
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt 25:40)
"And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand." (Mark 3:24)
And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
And he said, "That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man." (Mark 7:18-20)
( Jesus' first public miracle at age 30 was to turn water into wine. Refer to the story of the wedding at Cana. John 2:1-10)
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: (John 19:23)
For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs... Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:2,3,13,14,17)
Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving.... If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine. (I Timothy 4;1-6)
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the rivers.
'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."
Leviticus 25:23 Verse Concepts
'The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me.
1 Chronicles 29:14 Verse Concepts
"But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.
"I shall take no young bull out of your house Nor male goats out of your folds. "For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. "I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
Psalm 89:11 Verse Concepts
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all it contains, You have founded them.
Haggai 2:8 Verse Concepts
'The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,' declares the LORD of hosts.
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. "The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
Psalm 115:16 Verse Concepts
The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, But the earth He has given to the sons of men.
Hebrews 2:8 Verse Concepts
YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET " For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
James 3:7 Verse Concepts
For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
"Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! "And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span? "If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?
"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. "But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!
"For the land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden. "But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.
"It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. "He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.
You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth. You water its furrows abundantly, You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth. You have crowned the year with Your bounty, And Your paths drip with fatness.
The pastures of the wilderness drip, And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing. The meadows are clothed with flocks And the valleys are covered with grain; They shout for joy, yes, they sing.
Matthew 5:45 Verse Concepts
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Deuteronomy 20:19 Verse Concepts
"When you besiege a city a long time, to make war against it in order to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by swinging an axe against them; for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down. For is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by you?
"If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him. "If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying helpless under its load, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release it with him.
Deuteronomy 22:4 Verse Concepts
"You shall not see your countryman's donkey or his ox fallen down on the way, and pay no attention to them; you shall certainly help him to raise them up.
Deuteronomy 25:4 Verse Concepts
"You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.
Proverbs 12:10 Verse Concepts
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
"You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
The LORD then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the LORD. 'Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop,
but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 'Your harvest's aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. 'All of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. 'Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat.
Nehemiah 10:31 Verse Concepts
As for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.