25. Exclusive Revelation.
This development is not accidental. A single source of inspiration, a single sonship or a final prophethood, a single Book must lead to the concept of an exclusive brotherhood. A privileged revelation must lead to the concept of a chosen church. But the trouble is that there are many people who continue to claim revelations for themselves or for their teachers. So they have to be be denounced as false messiahs and false prophets. Jesus warned against “many false prophets (that) shall rise”. False prophets are not rare and warning against them is quite in order. But from this, his disciples drew the conclusion that all prophets other than their own master were false. In Islam, any claim to prophethood after Muhammad is punishable with death. Muhammad himself, in his own times, did not look kindly upon rival claimants. He got even those murdered who questioned his prophetic claims. Kab, son of Ashraf, Asma, daughter of Marwan, Abu Afaq, a centenarian, were all poets who put their doubts in verse. They were all done to death by hired assassins.
In contrast, the approach of gnostic religions is universal. Read, for example, the Upanishads, or Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic philosopher. There is no ‘we’ and ‘they’ here. They claim no exclusive revelation. The truths they speak are universal. They are open to all who have the necessary sincerity and seeking and who put in the necessary effort.
They do not ask you to believe; they ask you to investigate, to find out. But if you are not interested or do not care, it is upto you. There is no force, no threats, no sales talk.