“And now we ask again the question: Who were the first Christians? Those who were readily converted by the eloquent simplicity of Paul, who promised them, with the name of Jesus, freedom from the narrow bonds of ecclesiasticism. They understood but one thing; they were the “children of promise”, (Galatians 4:28). The “allegory” of the Mosaic Bible was unveiled to them; the covenant “from the Mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage” was Agar, (Ibid., 24), the Jewish synagogue, and she was “in bondage with her children” to Jerusalem, the new and the free, “the mother of us all”.
On the one hand, the synagogue and the law which persecuted everyone who dared to step across the narrow path of bigotry and dogmatism; on the other, Paganism with its grand philosophical truths concealed from sight; unveiling itself but to the few and leaving the masses hopelessly seeking to discover who was the god, among this overcrowded pantheon of deities and sub-deities.
To others, the apostle of circumcision, supported by all his followers, was promising, if they obeyed the “law”, a life hereafter, and a resurrection of which they had no previous idea. At the same time, he never lost an occasion to contradict Paul without naming him but indicating him so clearly that it is next to impossible to doubt whom Peter meant. While he may have converted some men, who whether they had believed in the Mosaic resurrection promised by the Pharisees or had fallen into the nihilistic doctrines of the Sadducees or had belonged to the polytheistic heathenism of the Pagan rabble, had no future after death, nothing but a mournful blank, we do not think that the work of contradiction, carried on so systemically by the two apostles, had helped much their work of proselytism. With the educated thinking classes, they succeeded very little, as ecclesiastical history clearly shows.
Where was the truth, where the inspired word of God? On the one hand as we have seen, they heard the apostle Paul explaining that of the two covenants, “which things are an allegory”, the old one from Mount Sinai, “which gendereth unto bondage”, was Agar the bondwoman; and Mount Sinai itself answered to “Jerusalem”, which now is “in bondage” with her circumcised children; and the new covenant meant Jesus Christ – the “Jerusalem which is above and free”; and on the other Peter, who was contradicting and even abusing him.
Paul vehemently exclaims, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son”, (the old law and the synagogue). “The son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.” “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free; be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. …Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing!” (Galatians 5:2).
What do we find Peter writing? Whom does he mean by saying, “These who speak great swelling words of vanity. …While they promise them liberty, they themselves are servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. …For if they have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour, they are again entangled therein, and overcome…it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them”, (Second Epistle).
Peter certainly cannot have meant the Gnostics, for they had never seen “the holy commandment delivered unto them”; Paul had. They never promised anyone “liberty” from bondage, but Paul had done so repeatedly. Moreover, the later rejects the “old covenant”, Agar the bondwoman: and Peter holds fast to it. Paul warns the people against the powers and dignities, (the lower angels of the kabalists); and Peter, as will be shown further, respects them and denounces those who do not. Peter preaches circumcision, and Paul forbids it.”
H. P. Blavatsky