1. Beloved children, my name is (worldly name) and it is my responsibility to take care of you, together with my assistant (worldly name) as you pass through this House of Taphim over the next year. If you have any questions you wish to ask, you should approach one of us. You may ask questions at specially designated periods in the course of instructions or in private afterwards.
2. To begin with, we welcome you to this special temple meeting in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Saviour of the World and who is our leader in all that we do. You have been invited here today and for the next 12 sessions, firstly, to get to know Him better both as your Saviour and as your personal friend, and secondly to begin to gain the keys of wisdom that will help you to purify your lives. As you become more pure or holy, so the Holy Spirit will come and visit you more often until it is a permanent part of your spiritual lives. God created you so that you would be happy and know the kind of joy that He has. Before you were born you existed as a spirit in heaven. A spirit is not like your physical body which feels pain and which will eventually die. But your spirit lives forever -- it cannot die or be killed.
3. Your spirit is made of a substance with is much purer than the physical matter which makes up your visible body. It is a bit like wind which is very hard to see unless there is something moving in it like smoke, or it is blowing on something like a tree, in which case you can see the effects of the wind in the curling smoke or the leaves moving on the branches.
4. Your spirit is therefore a bit like the earth's atmosphere -- hard to see but very important indeed. Just as we need the air in the atmosphere to breathe, so our physical bodies -- the part of you which you can see in a mirror or touch with your hand -- needs our spirit in order to stay alive. When your body dies, your spirit leaves it and returns to God in heaven. Your spirit has the same shape as your physical body but it does not always look the same. If you look at people in the world it is very hard to tell whether they are good or bad. You need to get to know them better to find out whether you like them or not. Sometimes, though, you can feel what kind of a person someone is without hearing, feeling or even touching them. When you have that kind of experience, what you are doing is "hearing", "feeling", and "touching" them -- not with your ears, eyes, or hands -- but with your invisible spirit.
5. If I asked you to close your eyes and then took you into a room full of people you had never met before, and then allowed you to touch them with your hands for a few minutes, you wouldn't get to know very much about the way they looked. Your fingers cannot "see" in the same way as your eyes.
6. You would probably make up pictures of the people you felt in your mind and then get quite a shock to see that they didn't look at all the way you imagined them. You might have worked out how tall they were, whether they were men or women, but you wouldn't know very much about the appearance of their faces.
7. This is because each sense in our physical body tells us different things about the world we live in. When you meet someone for the first time you know very little about them. Quite often you will decide, quite early on, whether or not you like that person. As you get to know the person better you might change your mind about them. Someone you don't like at first might turn out to be really very nice, and someone you think you like at first may turn out to be horrible. Sometimes you can find out things about them very quickly; sometimes it may take years.
8. It is very hard to know what people are like. Some people are so nice that you can tell they are good from the beginning. Others are so horrible that you know they are bad instantly. But most people are not so simple to understand. There are shy people -- people who are afraid to talk to others and get to know them -- and outward-going people who are the opposite of being shy.
9. It takes a long time to get to know someone completely. Sometimes we never really get to know them. And that is because what makes a person what he or she is -- his personality -- is not what you see in the physical body, but what you can't see in his or her spirit.
10. Your spirit, as I said, has the same form as your physical body. The same hair colour, the same height, the same shape of face. But unlike your physical body, which has pretty much the same form from one day to another, your spirit body can change so dramatically that it's hard to recognise it as "you".
11. Your spirit body has got a pair of eyes just like your physical body but most people can't always see through them. Have you ever worn a special kind of coloured spectcales that changes the colour of everything you look at? Sometimes things which you can see without the spectacles disappear altogether when you put them on because they're the same colour as the lenses. Even though you have two pairs of eyes -- two physical eyes and two spiritual eyes, making a total of four eyes -- you can only see one thing at a time!
12. Let me try to explain what I mean. When you go swimming it is best to have as few clothes on as possible because too many clothes are too heavy. It is easier to swim in a bathing costume than everyday clothes. When you go for a walk in winter weather, you usually wear think, woolly clothes to keep warm. It would be very difficult to swim and go for a walk in the snow at the same time.
13. Let's say that it's winter and you're going swimming somewhere. You wear your bathing suit on underneath so that it's easy to change when you get to the pool. With your thin winter clothes on, plus coat and boots, you soon forget that you have a bathing suit on -- it's hard to feel because your winter clothes are so heavy. But when you get to the pool and take those heavy winter clothes off, suddenly you can feel and see your bathing suit. Then you can go swimming.
14. Your spirit is a bit like the bathing suit and your physical body the warm, heavy winter clothes and boots. Because there are two parts of you -- a spirit and a body -- you are not always aware that this is so. Many people don't believe they have an invisible spirit. Just as if you were to go around in a bathing suit for a few weeks with warm, heavy winter clothes on top, without changing, you might begin to forget you had a bathing costume on. Only when you took off the winter clothes would you become aware that you had bathing clothes on too.
15. When you were born into this world, your light spirit put on a thick, heavy physical body. That process started when you were growing in your mothers's womb. For most of you here, that was about 12 years ago. For those of us who are older, that was alot longer ago. And we won't "take" that physical body "off" until we die at the end of our lives. For most, that will be the first time they realise they had spirit bodies all along.
16. But as a Christian who knows that Jesus is the Son of God, and who has been born again by His Spirit, you should become more and more aware of the presence of your spirit. If you carry something heavy like a hammer in one hand, and something light like a feather in the other, and carry them for a long time without looking at them, which of the two do you think you will be most aware of? It will be the heavier object. Try it out sometime and see for yourselves. Similarly, we are "carrying" a light spirit body and a heavier physical one. And the longer we "carry" them without looking at them, the less aware of the spirit we become....unless we do something about it.
17. I have used several illustrations to try and explain to you the difference between the spirit and the body. They are not perfect illustrations but should, I hope, make it clear why so many people are totally unaware of their spirits. Most of the instruction you will receive in the Temple will be to help you become more conscious of your spirit and to become aware of your whole Self. Unless you are aware of your spirit, which is the real "you" and not the heavy physical body you are wearing -- you will never come to know God or find His joy.
18. People love looking at things. Ask people which sense they think is the most important, and most would say sight. For most people being blind is worse than being dumb or having some other sense destroyed in the body. As a result most people live by sight. They want to see something before they will believe in it. How many times have you heard someone say: "I won't believe you until I can see it".
19. Well, the Christian faith is exactly the opposite. We don't live by sight but by something which is called faith. You will be taught alot about faith as you journey through the Temple. Faith is believing something which you can't see but which you will see one day. It is very important if you want to be happy. More about that in a while.
20. Earlier I told you that your spirit has the same shape as your physical body but that it could change in appearance. I will now explain what I meant by that. If you look at someone's physical body for the first time you can't always tell whether they're good of bad. They can look ugly but be really nice. Or they may be really handsome or beautiful but be absolutely horrible. Fortunately when you see a spirit you can tell very, very quickly whether they are good or not.
21. A good spirit shines like a bright light but a bad spirit is dark and made up of many ugly colours. Just as the earth we live on is lit up every day by the sun in the sky, so your spirit has a little "sun" in it that shines all the time. That little sun is called the Light of Christ.
22. When you were born into this world as a baby, you were given this little spiritual sun to guide your way. It is located in your heart. It tells you the difference between good and bad. It's what we call our conscience. This little sun shines in babies so brightly that it's very hard not to love them. Even normally hard people go soft when they see a little baby because babies are so pure. The brighter the Light of Christ in you the more pure you are.
23. But as a baby starts growing up it seems to get less and less pure. They start getting naughty and doing wrong things. They get less and less innocent. That's because they have started making choices in their lives. One of the reasons God sent us down to this physical world was to allow us to make choices. He never makes us do anything we don't want to.
24. We are free agents. We were sent here to earth, with our agreement, to learn to become more like Him, so that we could grow up spiritually. And you can only grow up spiritually if you are given the choice to decide what you want to do. All of us make wrong choices and do wrong things. Every time you make a wrong choice that little sun in you -- the Light of Christ -- grows dimmer.
25. It's a bit like putting a thin cloth over a light. The more cloths you put on the light the dimmer and dimmer it gets until you can't see it any more. Each time we do something wrong the Light of Christ gets weaker. And as it gets weaker so we loose our spiritual protection. Doing wrong is called sin. Sin is rebelling against God. Sin is thinking, feeling, or doing that which is not right. Everytime we sin, we loose a little of the Light of Christ.
26. But because God is loving, he is willing to take the sin away. He is willing to take away those blankets we put over our inner Light every time we do wrong. We can't do it ourselves because the Light doesn't actually belong to us. It's on loan and one day we have to give it back. So how do we get the Light back? Quite simply, we repent. To repent is to say sorry to God for the things we have done wrong and to do everything we can to make things right with anybody we have wronged.
27. If you say something nasty to someone, for example, the Light within you will get weaker and you won't feel so happy. To repent, you must tell God you are sorry and then go and say sorry to the person you said something nasty to. If you do that, God makes the Light of Christ shine more brightly in you and you feel better. To feel forgiven is one of the most beautiful feelings you can have.
28. Someone might do something nasty to you and you may want to react by getting very angry. Even though the other person has wronged you, God has said that you are not to get angry but forgive the other person, otherwise you are no better than him. If you don't forgive but go around feeling bad about him, God will make the Light in you get weaker. Only when you forgive will the Light shine brightly again.
29. You will be taught much about repentance and forgiveness over the coming years. They are very important in your spiritual life. Without them you will never come to understand or see your spirit.
30. When you do something wrong, the Light gets dimmer and your spirit changes colour and appearance. In your physical body you can hide the way you feel or the wrong things you have done. You can keep them inside you as a secret. Like the person wearing the thick, heavy winter clothing, you can wear a clean or dirty -- an ugly or a beautiful -- bathing costume without anyone every knowing because it's hidden. But one day you have to take those clothes off. One day eveybody will see what you are really like inside. You can't hide forever. That day is called the Day of Judgment. And if your spirit isn't clean and beautiful you will not go to heaven. The Bible calls this the Judgment.
31. You can go around in life pretending to be something which you aren't. You can pretend to be good when you're bad, but you can't do that forever. Just like the man wearing winter clothes has to take them off when the summer comes and it gets hot, so you too must let your spirit reveal itself for what it really is. If you want to get close to someone you will have to let them see your spirit for what it really is. And the person who will probably get to know you the best will be the person you marry. The other people who will usually know you for what you really are, are your parents and perhaps your brothers and sisters if you have any. Very close friends will know too.
32. If you go around pretenting to be someone you aren't, you will be very unhappy. There are things about ourselves we don't like and are ashamed to admit. But we can never be happy until we do. First, we have to admit them to God, and we do that by talking to Him in prayer. As you will also discover as you go through the Temple, prayer is very, very important. But you also need to talk with others about yourself, so you will need a good friend. In the Temple you will learn to talk about yourself alot. Everyone here is your friend. That means they will love you, respect you, and help you to get to know yourself and God.
33. Because God is so pure, good and holy, He shines with a light that is more brilliant than a million suns. Only those who are very, very pure can look into His face and live. You may remember that Moses had to turn away when God appeared before him. Even he, a holy prophet of God, could not look at God's holiness.
34. There are many kinds of people in this world and all shine with different brightnessed and with different colours. By now you will probably have a favourite colour. That colour will tell you much about your personality. As you grow up spiritually, you will like other colours too. White, which is the colour of purity and holiness, is actually made up of other colours -- all the colours in the rainbow, in fact. One colour it does not contain is black, which is usually assocoated with evil, though it is not always that.
35. Two very important colours are red and blue. There are many shades of them. Red is the colour of activity and energy. Blue is the colour of wisdom and peacefulness. You will be taught much about colours in the Temple. People who are very active and dynamic usually have red in their spirits. People who are wise and knowledgable usually have blue. Since most people are a mixture of different things, they have many different colours in their spirits.
36. When a person loses his temper and gets angry, his spirit immediately gets dark. Evil people have many ugly colours in their spirits -- a muddy, dark red, often tinged with black, is a very common colour. As your mood changes, so too does the colour and appearance of your spirit. The more evil a person is, the darker he or she becomes. Evil spirits or demons are almost entirely black because the Light of Christ is almost totally invisible in them. Satan has no light at all.
37. Everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Saviour and walks in obedience to His commandments, is "born again" and becomes a Christian. To be born again is to be given a special gift from God. Not only does the believer have his little sun -- the Light of Christ -- in him, but he is given a new companion. This is a spirit-person who is called the Holy Spirit or the Comforter. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead or God Family.
38. The Holy Spirit and the Light of Christ are actually quite closely connected. You will learn much more about both of them as you grow up in the Temple. Unlike the Light of Christ which is in everybody, the Holy Spirit only comes to those who are true followers of Jesus Christ. It comes and it goes according to our purity -- our willingness to be obedient to God's commandments and our willingness to repent when we do wrong.
39. Together with the Light of Christ, the Holy Spirit changes your spirit. Like someone coming into your home to clean and decorate it, so the Holy Spirit enters our spiritual and physical bodies to clean and make them beautiful. This is called sanctification. Again, you will learn lots more about this as you grow up in the Temple.
40. I have now explained to you the difference between the physical body and the spiritual body, and the difference between good and bad spirits. But there's one final thing I must tell you, which is a warning to be very careful. Just as you are able to pretend that you're good when in fact you may have done something wrong and are trying to hide it away, so also there are some wicked spirits who can look as though they are good when in fact they are bad.
41. Satan, or the devil, and all his evil spirits or demons, have great power, even though they are nowhere near as powerful as God or Jesus Christ. Just as you can pretend to be something you aren't, so they can pretend to be angels of light. They can appear in front of you as bright, shining lights. Be careful.
42. As you become more spiritual, so many of you will begin to see spirits. Many evil spirits will come trying to trick or deceive you. If you ever see a spirit, then you must not listen to it until you have tested it or checked it out. All you have to do is this: challenge it, in the Name of Jesus Christ, to reveal its true identity.
43. If you believe in Jesus, as you should do if you are in this House, then the spirit must obey you. If it is one of God's angels, it will stay exactly the way it is. If it is an evil spirit, it will immediately change colour and you will see it in all its ugliness.
44. If that happens, don't be afraid. They have no power over you if you trust in Jesus. All you have to do is command it to go away in the Name of Jesus Christ, and it must obey. You see, the Name of Jesus is the most powerful Name in the whole Universe, and evil spirits must obey it.
45. For most of you this will probably not happen, at least not while you are young. As you grow up, becoming more sanctified -- that is, more pure and holy -- so you will begin to see the invisible world of the spirit. Then it won't be invisible anymore. They you won't need to live by faith, as most of you are having to now, because you will have seen the spirit with your own "eyes".
46. To begin you in your journey through the Temple, you will receive instruction on the Ten Commandments. These are the foundation of a holy life in God. They are the foundation stones of the Temple. What I would like you to do before you come back to the Temple, which will be next month, is to write down the Ten Commandments and start memorising them. You will be given a printed copy of the Ten Commandments which you can put on your bedroom wall where you can easily see them. If you can frame them nicely to hang on your wall, this would be even better. You will be asked if you have done this next time you come. If for some reason you are unable to do this, please speak with me afterwards so that something else can be arranged.
47. The next two temple mettings, which are called sessions, and all subsequent sessions except the last one, will be held in pairs on two consecutive evenings. This means you will complete the House of Taphim in seven months. After that, if you are ready to go into a higher degree in the Temple, you will join the adults in the House of Pethach.
49. We will now have a question and answer session in which you can ask whatever you like about what you have heard today. You should ask all your questions to myself and not talk with others. This is not an open discussion. You should only talk when given permission to do so. Questions will be answered either by myself, my assistant, or by a member of the Patriarchate. If you wish to ask a question, please put up your hand. Do not interrupt anyone speaking. I will now take your questions.