|Exploring Self Denial and Sexual Abstinence||
the Most High God has NOT called you to consider these subjects at this time,
then please DO NOT READ beyond this point.
However, the fact that you have found this page, may be a confirmation that you ARE being challenged to deepen your commitment to Jesus Christ, to come up higher on the ladder to the Kingdom of God.
On this Index Page, you will find links to documents calling followers of Jesus Christ to the Way of Self Denial, the Way of Dying to Self, the Way of Purity and Holiness in all aspects of life. These documents offer loving guidance, experienced counsel, and even warnings to believers warnings to avoid fellowship with, or teaching from, those in the church, who refuse to practice in their lives the required degree of self denial, who take to themselves the accomplishments of Christ Jesus without walking as He walked. These are the false brethren, teachers, pastors, priests, ministers, and scholars, who build a false foundation to lead the sheep astray, who exalt themselves, wallow as swine in their lusts, and divert true seekers by telling them they have already arrived, when they have not even begun their true walk with Jesus Christ.
Our popular, modern, commercialized gospel leaves out the call to deny yourSELF; but the original gospel called for it as a primary requirement. It does make a lot of sense. The hearts and minds of men and women have a finite capacity; if they are full of SELF, then there is no room for anything or anyone else.
SELF likes to be exalted, be pampered, be in control, be paid attention to; SELF likes to call the shots, likes to have its own way, gets what it wants when it wants it, goes where it wants to go, does what it wants to do, makes its own rules, does things its own way. SELF puts its own desires ahead of everything; it is not patient, not tolerant, not long suffering, not kind, not forgiving, not considerate of others unless there is something to be gained. SELF is a master of excuses, always rationalizing, always justifying its position. SELF is partial to its own offspring above everyone else. SELF does not like to be crossed; it can be spiteful, vengeful, angry, resentful, and bitter to those who dare to challenge.
The indulgence of SELF puts a lot of demands on us; it can trap us in all sorts of constraining behavior and circumstances. Once we begin to realize all that SELF demands of our time, our resources, our emotions and our efforts, once we combine that realization with an awareness of all the false priorities and idolatry that SELF requires, it is like finding some pieces to a puzzle that we have been working on for a very long time.
Self Denial is a broad topic; it has many facets; and to fully consider it, we must also recognize that Sexual Abstinence is a part of it. Therefore you will find, included in this Index Page, links to materials which are supportive of the concept that there is another alternative lifestyle ... one to which those believers, committed totally to Christ Jesus, are called to, by Him, in His timing ... a lifestyle that is neither HeteroSexual nor HomoSexual, but one which is Neutral in its sexuality, i.e. NOT (or no longer) sexual in its focus, practice or nature ... just like the example we see in the life of Jesus Christ. In His time on earth, many of His followers and all of the Apostles walked this way; the Scriptures are full of the call to it. We just haven't been taught about it for many, many generations.
Virgin Purity and Regained Sexual Purity
Most all of us realize that intact Virgins, who have never been [or allowed themselves to be] defiled, ... "NoNoSexuals" ...are clearly pointed to by Scripture as highly exalted in the Kingdom of God. But what about those who have become defiled, inside or outside of marriage, who have come to an awareness of their uncleanness and depravity, who have acknowledged their disobedience and impurity, who have confessed, repented and have been forgiven, and who are now committed to chastity and sexual abstinence? These, who are No More sexual ... "NoMoSexuals" ... also have great value in the Kingdom as well; they too can be cleansed, purified and sanctified within, by Christ Jesus. With His help, they too can climb to their highest potential of purity, given the rest of their actions in life. Where, when and how each of these precious souls will be used of God, is His choice and prerogative. The point is, this is a grand option in the service of God and one that will clearly lead to far greater rewards than are available to those who "cannot contain" i.e. those who remain sexually incontinent, who remain active in sexual gratifications and sexual indulgences in any way, after they "accept the Lord".
The Old Testament Prophets, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah and Daniel lived in virgin purity all of their days, and they were hence mightily used as messengers and agents of God. Those men who were used of God, who had known a wife, were always called upon to fast, as much as possible, from all that would stimulate the life of fleshly lust, and to go through mortifications, until the holy fire had purified their bodies from any feelings and operations of that nature. For this cause, Moses was in danger of losing his life by the operation of the holy fire, for attempting to carry his wife into Egypt, where God had designed that he should walk continually in the holy fire, in which the Lord then met him. And many other messengers of God, in the time that they were called of God, abstained from all pollutions of the flesh. Good Simeon and the Prophetess Anna, who first acknowledged Christ in the temple, had prepared themselves by many years of virgin purity. And John, the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, was a virgin all of his days, as was our ultimate example, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, Himself.
There have also been great figures in the history of scientific knowledge, who also closely studied the Scriptures figures who "never married". They achieved an increased ability to focus and enhanced clarity of mind; they had the time to meditate, to study, to do research, to listen; they were able to reveal God's handiwork to mankind in His timing, and they achieved amazing accomplishments. Without family commitments, they were able to consider and work toward the greater good. Some that come to mind are Galileo, Keppler, Copernicus and Newton.
Another example closer to our own time, were the celibate people called Shakers, who were mostly made up of those who had regained their purity; they showed us, first hand, what men and women can do as a group, when they are not wrapped up in family commitments, and they left us many examples of their work and much counsel from their own experiences. The Early Shakers also left for us messages from the Godhead, in their Manuscripts that they, themselves, published to the world, as they were directed by God's Eternal Wisdom. Now, in our own time, those who are sexually continent (i.e. who do not engage in any form of sexual gratification or sexual indulgences of any kind) may not necessarily be found in communal groups, convents, or monastic orders. They can be found anywhere that God has placed them some living alone, or some with others of the same mindset; even former marriage partners who have awakened to this call, now live as brethren, quietly allowing the purging of the dross within and literally keeping the "marriage bed undefiled".
So it seems, there may potentially be great rewards in answering the call to the ultimate self denial, but we should not proceed in self denial for the rewards; that would be a wrong motivation; it would be SELFish. We should proceed because we love God, and wish to be obedient to the call of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to become a cleansed vessel, worthy of our Master's use.
If you have been pressured to choose a lifestyle that is either heterosexual or homosexual, we want you to know there is another possibility. And to support you in your choice, we have searched the Scriptures, the works of early church writers, the Manuscripts of later believers who lived in purity, and writers closer to our own time, who understood the original gospel. In addition, you will find here some contemporary pieces that will be supportive of this alternative choice, as they are found and made available. All of the documents on this site may be printed from your web-browser for personal study.
You might want to undertake this study quietly, with just the Holy Spirit as your counsel. Involving someone else can be a trap; until a seeker's heart is open to this possibility, it could be the cause of so much strife and contention that you could be diverted from your inquiry; you could be distracted from your quest; and the still small voice of the inward teacher could be drowned by those around you who protest too much, because they are not presently being called to abstinence.
May the Holy Spirit lead and guide you into all the truth that you are able to bear at this time.
A list of more than 100 Scripture references are included
in a contributed writing called, "Finding the Missing Parts of the Gospel".
The Epistle of Titus, the Disciple of Paul : Early Church
On the Estate of Chastity
Excerpts from "The Shepherd of Hermas" : Early Church
On Self Denial, Purity and Sexual Abstinence.
Clement, the Disciple of the Apostle Peter : Early Church
Two Epistles Concerning Virginity
Excerpts from Jerome : Early Church
Calling Married Believers to Sexual Abstinence
Cyprian of Carthage : Early Church
Of the Discipline and Advantage of Chastity
Cyprian of Carthage : Early Church
On the Dress, Activity and Company of Virgins
Augustine of Hippo : Early Church
Tertullian : Early Church
On Exhortation to Chastity
Excerpts from "Theologia Germanica" : 14th Century
The Place of Self Denial on the WAY to Union with God.
Excerpts from Hiel : (1520-1594)
On the Necessity of Denial of Self, plus
What and Who Hinders our Dying to our own-SELF?
Excerpts from Valentin Weigel : (1553-1588)
To Break the Ruling Power of the Stars, the Outward Man is to be Denied and Die in Us.
These excerpts are from his work, "Astrology Theologized".
Excerpts from Saint Francis DeSales : (1567-1622)
Jacob Boehme : (1575-1624)
Of True Resignation or Dying to SELF: How Man must daily die to his OWN Will in SELF; how he must bring his Desire into God, and what he should ask and desire of God; likewise how he must spring up out of the dying sinful Man, with a new Mind and Will through the Spirit of Christ; also What the Old and New Man are, and what each of them is in Life, Will and Practice.
Excerpts from "The Heart of Man" : Anonymous : Translated from the French in 1732
A Lament for those Believers who choose to avoid the WAY of Self Denial.
Excerpts from Jane Lead : (1624-1704)
Self Denial and the Mystical Death: A Topical Collection from her Prophetic Revelations.
The Meaning of Christ's Command and the Depth of its Requirements for Those who would answer the Call.
Excerpts from Dr. Michael de Molinos : (1628-1696)
Loving Counsel on the WAY of Self Denial toward Perfection.
These excerpts are from his work, "The Spiritual Guide".
Excerpts from Thomas Bromley : (1629-1691)
On the Necessity of Mortification and Self Denial
Excerpts from Madame Jeanne Guyon : (1648-1717)
Mystical Death and the Separation from Self
Excerpts from Francois Fénélon : (1651-1715)
The Many Aspects of Self Denial Full of Self, Empty of God
These excerpts are from his work: "The Inner Life".
Excerpt from Matthew Weyer : (1700's)
Snares on the WAY to Spiritual Death
Excerpt from Johannes Kelpius : (1673-1708)
Subduing and Mortifying the Inclinations and Affections of the Mind and Senses
William Law : (1686-1761)
The Spirit of Prayer The First Part 1749 : Providing a practical way for a Soul to turn its vain Desires from Self and the Things of the World, back toward God.
Excerpts from the Early Shakers on Self Denial & Sexual Abstinence: (1800's)
20 Excerpts from the publications of the Early Shakers
assembled into 4 documents that may be printed for off-line study.
Back to: Gospel ReDiscovery Index
Printing the Manuscripts: For step by step instructions, how to possibly deal with printer problems, how to customize page headers/footers, suggestions for those with no computer/printer, and more information about the on-line documents at PasstheWORD ...
Please report any typographical errors to the Page Stewards. Although many proofings are done before the documents go on-line, we always appreciate fresh eyes and what is revealed through them. Many thanks and blessings.