The Day When Judgement Comes; The Destruction of Heaven,
The Resurrection of God to Earth, in the Science of God
The “Day” When “Judgement” “Comes”:
“Judgement Day,” and Day of the Lord” –
Is in Part, the Day
When We “Mature”
Beyond Blind “Faith,” and
Fealty to the Lords;
To the “Full”er Science of God;
Ch. 1 False Priests, Molestations, to 38
Ch. 2 The Day: History to 70
Ch. 3 More False to p. 98
Ch. 4 Metaphors to END p. 130, 133
(Add Over-Spirituality, and Intro Sum, to form a book?)
A Glossary of False Things in Every Aspect of Religion p.89?; and
Miracles As Metaphors (p. 148-)
“Dr. Goodman” Ph. D.
Some Bible Quotes on One “Day” Or Another –
Relating to the Day we Become Mature
“One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out” (Ex. 2.11).
“The child grew and became strong in spirit” (of John the Baptist, Luke 1.80; Jesus in 2.40 and his “time”).
“Brethren, do not be children in your thinking” (1 Corin. 14.20).
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child” (1 Corin. 13.11).
“No longer be children” (Eph. 4.14).
“When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Corin. 13.11).
“Be babes in evil, but in thinking be mature” (1 Corin. 14.20).
“Among the mature we do impart wisdom” (1 Corin. 2.6).
“Solid food is for the mature” (Heb. 5.14).
“”When Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed” (Paul, against St. Peter, in Gal. 2.11 AKJV).
“The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus…. Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father… But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons… Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God, through Christ…. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years…. I beseech you, be as I am … even as Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3.24-25, 4.1-2, 5-7, 9, 12, 14 AKJV).
“The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel…. By the time he learns to reject the bad and choose the good … before the child learns to reject the bad and choose the good, the land … will be deserted…. On that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand pieces of silver, shall be turned to briers and thorns” (Isa. 7.14,15, 16, 24 NAB; on King Hezekiah, and later Jesus?).
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.… For you were called to freedom, brethren…. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Gal. 5.1, 13-14 RSV).
“Let no one deceive you with empty words” (Eph. 5.6).
“The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth, and kill him [Jesus]” (Mark 14.1).
“When one of this people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off'” (Jer. 23.33).
“He would not be a priest at all” (Heb. 8.4).
“For with you is my contention, O priest” (Hos. 4.4).
“I reject you from being a priest to me” (Hos. 4.6).
“Now, O priests, this command is for you” (Mal. 2.1).
“Both prophet and priest are ungodly” (Jer. 23.11).
“An abomination is he who chooses you” (Isa. 41.24).
“Reap its harvest…. Bring … the first fruits of your harvest to the priest” (Lev. 23.10).
“And the priest shall value him” (Lev. 27.8).
“Weigh them before the chief priests” (Ezr. 8.29).
“All your offerings, shall belong to the priests” (Ezk. 44.30; cf. 44.31).
“And this was the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN”; NUMBERED, WEIGHED, DIVIDED (Dan. 5.25).
“A holy portion, for the priest” (Num. 6.20).
“The priests shall blow the trumpets” (Num 10.8).
“The priest shall make atonement for all” (Num. 15.25).
“He wrote them in a book and laid it up” (1 Sam. 10.25).
For the Real “Sins of the Church” –
Heaven is Destroyed
“He leads priests away stripped” (Job 12.19).
“More upright in heart than the priests” (2 Chron. 29.34).
“For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4.17).
“Now this is for you, O priest” (Mal. 2.1, paraphased).
“Priests profane what is sacred” (Zep. 3.4).
“All the host of heaven will fall” (Isa. 34.4).
“Wail, for the day of the Lord is near” (Isa. 13.6).
ABSTRACT: One “Day” or another, the Bible says, we are going to see God himself. On “Judgement Day,” or on the “Day of the Lord,” etc.. And on that “Day,” the Lord will at last expose sins in everyone. And will at last punish the bad, and reward the good. But what exactly is this “Day,” that is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible? Here we will look at it more closely. And show that it came from ancient Jewish holy days; like the “Day of Atonement” for example. But ultimately, relating to Jewish holy days, the Christian notion of such a “Day” came from many possible sources; including various days of ritual initiation. When we are declared to have grown up, “mature”d; or to have acquired some new status, often involving new responsibilities, and new legal culpability. But finally and especially, the “Day” derives from some Jewish holy days of obligation, particularly around the Fall harvest. From ritual/legal days, when we are to meet the local lord (representatives of a past holy Lord in heaven); to pay the lord, for his protection and good will. With some portion of our largely agricultural produce. Paying what we owe him – as “sacrifice” or tribute, or tax to him. On the day we present what we have to give to the lord, we are “judged” by the lord, according to our “fruits.” And then we are rewarded, as being good or evil.
Eventually from such sources as these, we will show, there evolved the Christian notion of some ultimate “Judgement Day,” and/or a “Day of the Lord”; a very similar judgement that might however, take place after our death. When we die, but then are raised to life, before “the LORD.” To be finally judged as good or evil. And rewarded with Heaven or Hell. But while this is so, there are some absolutely core features of these days, of the End Time, that preachers to date have not sufficiently understood or noted. Particularly? Preachers have not sufficiently noted that in the end, the Lord is to find many bad things in preachers and holy men, especially.
The core of everyday, popular Christianity, has often been this simple promise or threat: that if we are good, we go to Heaven when we die; if we are bad, we will go to Hell. But also: some “day” after we are dead – “Judgement Day,” God raises us from the dead. To judge whether we were good or bad; and to either send us to Hell or extermination. Or we go to Heaven. This idea was immensely popular, and formed part of the very core of Christianity for hundreds of years: preachers through the 1950’s, loved to deliver sermons reflecting these ideas. These sermons were “useful,” to scare the people into being good – with threats of being punished for being bad, on Judgement Day, with eternal life in Hell. But as pragmatically useful as these sermons were, the many millions of sermons that the people have heard from countless preachers, regarding say “Judgement Day,” often seem confused at times. Seemingly they were intermixed with a “Day of the Lord” for example; and were presented along with a very confused, surreal picture of the End Times and Second Coming. And, confusing as the sermons from all our preachers were, one wonders finally, just how well preachers themselves will do, on Judgement Day. Or the Day of the Lord. And as a matter of fact? It turns out that any final Judgement Day, etc., must involve a very rigorous review and “judgement” on our holiest men and preachers, priests and ministers, prophets and angels. Since we will have found here that “all have sinned” – including especially our preachers.
Many of us will have already noticed, many sins in our holiest things; sins even in our churches and priests. Sins and errors, even in their holiest and most “inspired” doctrines and sayings. So what should we now finally say? Amazingly, we will find here what the Bible itself told us: that one “day” – either Judgement Day, and/or the Day of the Lord, etc. – God is supposed to reveal sins, not just in everyday people … but sins in priests and ministers, and essentially “all” other holy men, especially. Amazingly, as it turns out, there is supposed to come a “Day” of “judgement,” where God is supposed to at last unveil, reveal longstanding sins and evils … in our holiest men and angels. One “day,” we were supposed to discover that some of the greatest evils in life, have come from the very heart, of all the things we were taught were absolutely holy and sacred and true; from the things we “worship”ed (Rev. 13).
And amazingly, what is more, for many of us, the foretold “day” of Judgement, Day of the Lord, begins for many of us in part … today. In our own time, many people have begun to notice, see at last, 1) the newspaper and WEB stories. The stories that tell us there are even today, many huge personal sins, in our highest priests, and bishops: indeed it seems, many priests have been sexually molesting little boys; etc.. But 2) furthermore, actually, that news story on the Church sex scandal, we will show here, is just the small tip, of a much larger iceberg, under the surface of the water. The fact is, the record of sins in essentially “all” our holy men, is finally much, much worse than that. So that finally? It is time for simply, The Last Judgement. Where God finally exposes sins, even in our holiest men and angels, especially. While in part, we can come to a sense – and possibly to the full experience – of that Judgement, even here and now. As we begin to review the fuller record of the sins of priests, ministers, churches, most of the things foretold of the Apocalyptic Day of Judgement, and the related Day of the Lord, etc., are fulfilled. Especially, as foretold 1) God reveals massive sins in our holiest men, and in their “worship”; even in their false vision of “Christ.” In that moment, 2) God shows us in effect that the whole world was deceived, by a false vision of Christ, a false worship, as foretold (Rev. 13). But at the same time? God 3) shows us a “second” and better “appearance,” a Second Coming, of God to earth.
To be sure, the Bible says, no one knows the exact day this happens. In part, no one knows – because no one know exactly when each individual, will personally come to this moment of awful apocalyptic realization – and then liberation from past errors. This day happens not doubt, for different individuals … at different points in their lives. No one can say which will be the “day” that any given individual will “mature” at last; and can “bear” to at last “face” constant “signs” of sin and error, not just in themselves, but also in their holiest men and institutions.
And yet to be sure, though no one but “God himself” knows the exact day, when God will expose, control, and then judge our past sins, and the sins of even our holiest men? And though to some extent, all this can be read as a mere metaphor; for the “day” we grow up or “mature,” and accept personal responsibility for the evil in our lives? Still, it seems that perhaps much of the whole world, may be coming to this moment of maturity, at about the same time, soon enough. Indeed, our own books here, are aimed at helping many readers, the whole world see, simultaneously, what the Lord of the Bible, really thinks about many subjects; and especially, what the Lord finally judges, when it comes to the sins and errors of our traditional holy men – priests and ministers – especially.
In recent years, the whole world has come to hear and read newspaper and Internet stories, about sins particularly, in our Roman Catholic priests and bishops. And those are important – but only as an introduction, to some far, far deeper, systematic evils in “all” our religious institutions. Indeed, we will have been seeing in our own books here that amazingly, shatteringly, there are in our churches and priests, many worse sins and errors, than priests or ministers sexually molesting children.
Recent well-publicized abuses, by priests of the Roman Catholic Church, should not be used to serve as a popular introduction to … the even more shattering exposure, here, of far, far worse sins in essentially “all” our holiest men (“all have sinned”; Romans. “Every prophet will be ashamed of his vision”; etc.). Indeed finally, we might begin with the recent molestation scandal – but only to begin to see it as the mere visible tip, above the water, of an iceberg of sin, that is much, much larger, below the surface. We might begin looking at the molestation scandal … to see much greater sins in our preachers and churches. Sins leading finally, to the collapse of our traditional Heaven itself.
But if we are even now, beginning to see huge sins in our churches? Then there is a positive side to all this; our sins and illusions are being exposed and burned away; in order to see at last, the truth. And to clearly see at last, the second and better vision, the Second Coming, of God, to earth.
In fact, each of us can come at last, here and now, to at least a preview – and perhaps the real, fuller substance – of a view of the Second Coming. And even “Judgement Day.” But this happens, only by at last taking a completely frank look at not just our obvious personal sins and errors, but even at the sins and errors, of our holiest ideas. We can come to see a better “appearance” to Christ; but only when we – and our churches themselves – begin to “face” and publicly and weekly “confess,” countless sins … even in our holiest men and religious institutions, particularly.
To become good at last, the hardest thing to do, is to see and publicly confess, deep sins … even in our holiest ideals. Sins even in our “holy” men. But those who do this? Will be rewarded at last; with a “second” and better vision, of God and Christ.
Roman Catholic Priests Were
Sexually Molesting Children –
And All the Bishops Covered it Up,
And Lied to You, About Our “Holy” and “Perfect” Church
So what deeper sins are there, even in our religions, themselves? Even in Christianity itself? The recent scandal, of child-molesting priests, might serve as an introduction, to far worse problems in holy men and churches.
Shockingly, there are far worse sins, and far deeper implications and outcomes, than what most people have seen or thought of so far, in the molesting priests scandal. Consider first of all, the deeper implications, if many Catholic priests were sexually molesting little boys – even as essentially all the bishops covered it up, “whitewashed” it. Note that most bishops knew about this sin in our churches … even as however, the bishops dishonestly continued to assure us, in countless ways, that we had a “holy” and “perfect” Church. As it turns out therefore, even this particularly egregious sin – priests abusing little boys and girls – is just the now-visible tip, of the huge mass of evil that lies under the surface of our churches. Here, the really bad thing, we should note here, was not even a few thousand – or even a hundred thousand – abusive priests. Actually the really apocalyptic, frightening thing was that … nearly every bishop in America lied to us. As it turns out, nearly every bishop in America had at least one abusive priest in his district or “diocese”; practically every single bishop in America knew (or should have known) therefore about abuses in the Church. And yet, essentially every one of our bishops continued to assure, daily, us that there was nothing very wrong in the Church; every one of our bishops continued to imply, or let stand, the false impression that the Church was absolutely good and holy. So that in effect, essentially all our bishops lied to us. And in particular? They lied about our Church; telling us it was much more perfect than it actually was. As they “whitewashed” or covered up … the “sins of the Church.” (Sins that at most, only one significant bishop – the Pope; the Bishop of Rome – had even begun to prominently confess, previously. In 1998; when Card. Joe Ratzinger – who was to become Pope Benedict XVI – began – and then only tentatively – to confess; in the document “Memory and Reconciliation”; and various other pronouncements).
What is part of the larger, deeper sin in our churches, then? Here we begin to see one of them. In this case we find that … essentially all our religious leaders – in this case, Catholic bishops – lied to the people. Nearly all our bishops lied to us, or played semantic games with us, in the priestly molestation scandal. To be sure, our priests and bishops next generated many excuses, apologetics, sophistical whitewashings, for the sins of the church; claiming that although admittedly, the church “on earth” might be imperfect – however, the church “in heaven,” was fully good, etc.. (Q.v.: see these terms in quotes, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed.; Libreria Editrice Vaticana?, c. 1997-2000. And/or in the Bible itself too). And yet however, we will begin to show here and elsewhere, that none of these or any others excuses or explanations for evil in our churches, are good. For example: if the church “in heaven” is perfect for instance, still that is just a red herring, a mere sleight-of-hand distraction and irrelevancy; because still, whatever the church “in heaven” is like, what we have on earth, is the church on earth. And the church on earth – is corrupt and bad. However good the church “In heaven” might be, that is not really relevant, to what we actually have. The church “in heaven” is at best only tentatively tied to our imperfect religious institutions on earth; and amounts to a red herring or mere distraction, from seeing and correcting priestly errors, in the priests we see around us.
So what do we have, in fact? What are the shattering, larger implications of the exposure of child-molesting priests? The frightening fact is that 1) not only were priests molesting children – but even worse, 2) all our bishops were lying to us.. Especially 3) our bishops lied, when they continued to assure us the Catholic Church was sacred, perfect, holy – even when they in effect, knew better. Our bishops continued to pretend the Church was perfect, or “holy” … even when the bishops knew that thousands of priests were sexually molesting little boys, and so forth. (And even as they knew of many secret marriages, adult heterosexual relationships, by priests?).
Here therefore, we begin come to see a much more serious evil, in our holy men and churches: the fact is that all our bishops were dishonest. And in particular, they were lying to us when they continued to support the Church, as if it was absolutely holy and sacred; when in fact, they knew better. But then finally, all this leads to a further, awful realization: that not only are there sins in our holiest institutions. But indeed, massive lies. Indeed: 4) if all our Bishops, some of our holiest religious leaders, lied? Then note this shattering conclusion: if our Bishops could lie to us about one thing, then they could lie to us about … anything and everything.
After the priestly molestation scandal, it is now time to begin to look at far, far broader and deeper, far more dangerous deceits, deceptions, by our holiest men. If our very (allegedly) holiest men alive today – our priests and bishops for example – could lie to us, then what should we begin to think? In fact, remember that over the centuries, many writers and thinkers and scientists, claimed all along, that there were great sins and deceits in Religion. While indeed finally, in our books here, we are getting beyond these superficial, perhaps “personal” sins of individual churchmen; the personal shortcomings of priests and bishops and popes; now we are beginning to see an even worse, systematic and deadly falsity, deceit, 5) not just in priests and bishops personally,
but also false thing in the most allegedly holy and “inspired” doctrines of the Church itself.
Discovering priests and ministers sexually molesting children, boys and girls, is therefore, just the nose of the camel, under the tent; the rest of a much larger camel is to follow. The revelation of much, much worse evils in all the churches, comes next.
Looking Ahead: The Really Bad Sins of Churches
Specifically, what are the even worse evils in all our Christian and other churches? What are the evils that are even worse, than priests molesting children? Actually we will be beginning to show in our own books, that the corruption, the evil, in all our churches, is far, far worse than a few sexual abuse cases reported in the newspapers. First we will have begun to see, even in the sexual molestation scandals, that 1) the sins of our churches go far, far beyond individual, personal shortcomings, in a few thousand individual priests. Next the problem is that 2) even worse, the church leadership, the bishops knew about these things, but covered it up; so that the church leadership is corrupt, too. The fact is, corruption, evil in the churches extends beyond individual priests and their personal failings … to our highest religious leaders. Who moreover, are now find capable of systematic deceit of the people. And worse? Our 3) bishops knew about failings specifically, in our holiest religious institutions, in the churches themselves. But our bishops covered them up. Or in Biblical language? Our religious leaders “whitewashed” the sins of our churches and holy men.
Our highest religious leaders and institutions on earth therefore, are clearly not reliable. And that leads to the next shattering discovery: 4) therefore, believers, churchgoers, should not be following them so slavishly, so religiously, after all. Which means that … it would seem that our religion was never supposed to have been based on “faith” in holy men. Or in their vision of God. A fact we confirmed at length, in our earlier writings, from the Bible itself.
If even our very highest religious leaders, are normally dishonest, then we should all now begin to take a long, hard look at all of them, and all Christian doctrines. Indeed, we should take the old, Atheist and other criticisms of Christianity itself, a little more seriously. In fact, here and elsewhere, we should begin to look a little more critically not just at contemporary priests and prophets; we should now begin to take a far more critical look at all of historical Christianity. Among other things, we should now begin to take a more critical look even at the first apostles and saints. And at the very core doctrines, of Christianity itself.
Shatteringly in fact, we will have elsewhere begun to do exactly that, in our earlier books. And when we did that? We found that the Bible itself warned, that there are a) deceits in
our holiest men and angels; b) deceits therefore in churches’ insistence, that they themselves were holy, sacred, perfect, or even merely reliable. While in particular, we found c) dishonesty, in our holy men’s ancient promises of miracles. And then too? Since there are many bad, false things in our holiest men, angels, and churches – and their vision of, their sermons about, God? Then clearly d) we should never have had so much “faith.” We should never have had so much faith in holy men and angels, prophets and ministers. In fact, as it turned out earlier, e) since all our holy men are unreliable, instead of stressing faith in them, or their ideas about God, finally, the Bible itself actually told us to turn to, a more critical, science of God. And 5) if all these shattering revelations in turn, seem to shatter our Heaven itself? Then one “day” after all, as it turns out, our Heaven itself is supposed to be “dissolved.” Our traditional Christian Heaven itself, is supposed to be destroyed. In order for God to show us something better, one “Day.” While today, here and now, would be a good time, to begin to fulfill a significant part of that apocalyptic prophesy.
The Second and Better Appearance of Christ
What day is it, today? What should we now think and say and do … when all our holy men and churches, are seen to have been sinning, making fundamental errors, right from the very start? Not just erring in their execrable personal behavior, but also in even their deepest and allegedly most holy doctrines and sayings about God and Christ? Their very stress on “faith”? Then what can each of us do, on our own, to find the truth about God and Good? Obviously, the answer is not what our churches and holy men have always told us; it is not just more and more “faith” in holy men and churches. Or more exactly, is it not faith in the traditional churches’ vision of God. Finally, the real answer? The real answer is to at last, read our Bibles a little more closely. And to come on our own, to a “second” and better understanding, vision, of God and Christ.
And what is that second and better understanding, appearance, to Christ? discover that the Bible itself finally told us not to have so much “faith”; but to begin to learn and apply, a more critical way of looking at holy men and churches. We should all begin learning in fact, a far more critical, Science of God. A method which allows us to scientifically examine priests and ministers and churches, to see if what they claim, is really true – or not.
And so, if Science and common sense tell us there have always been many false things in our holy men? Or if one “day” we ourselves, should at last listen to all the warning “signs” of evil in holy men? Or if one day, we should discover that “all” our holiest men and angels – and even their most Holy-Spirit “inspired” doctrines and sayings about God – often made many mistakes? If one “day” you yourself should begin to suspect that even our holiest men were often even, extremely evil? Then as it turns out, the Bible itself told us that one “day,” we are supposed to discover, precisely that. Said the Bible itself; said God, himself.
One “day” the Bible said, God is supposed to expose huge sins in our holiest saints and angels, on earth, and in Heaven itself. And in the moment, God is supposed to destroy, “dissolve,” our heaven itself. But all in order to show us a “new” and better heaven; beyond even the heaven of the time of Jesus and Peter. We are supposed to see new and better vision of God and Good; one that comes down, to get real, empirically-verifiable results, here, on this material earth.
As foretold, as authorized, by the Bible itself. By God, himself (Rev. 21; 2 Peter 3; Isa. 34.4, Isa. 51; etc.).
Priests and ministers to be sure, may try to pooh-pooh this. But remember: the Bible warned about preachers; about priests and ministers. Indeed in fact, it was the priests who more than anyone, were responsible for having Jesus arrested and killed (on churches of heresy).
So what do you do, when you at last notice many huge evils in our holiest men? Should you just continue to follow them? In fact, you should not. Instead, you should begin to apply a critical Science of God, to see where and how they have sinned and erred. And then you should more on to a higher and better, “second” vision of God and Good.
So finally: what “day” have we come to, even right here and now? As God and growing judgement now reveal, uncover, massive sins in our holiest men and angels? When a growing revelation of judgement, dissolves our traditional Heaven itself; but reveals a new, second and better appearance of Christ? Perhaps this is at least a preview, and perhaps the spiritual meaning – or perhaps it is the very substance. Of, after all, Judgement Day.
Specifically, it is the neglected moment of the End too; when Heaven, not Earth, is destroyed. But if so, then after all, it is a survivable moment. There is no need for physical violence; the “world” or “earth” itself was destroyed once or twice already over, in the Flood, and in the moment Jesus overcame and “redeemed” the earth. While there have already been enough massive wars and deaths – as we will see – from false religion, a false idea of Christ, to qualify the world as having already passed through most of the Apocalypse. So that all that remains for our own time, to all-but-completely fulfill the old prophesies of the Apocalypse, the End, the Day of Judgement? All that remains for that, is our task for today: the revelation of better “judgement”; the revelation, uncovering to the world, by God and the Bible, of sins in our holiest men and angels. And then the revelation of a second, better appearance to Christ. Christ who this time, clearly, does not support much faith in holy men; not much, at all.
If discovering massive sins in our priests and ministers, is an immensely painful, fiery, disillusioning, even heaven-shattering moment? Then after all, most of us can pass through this fire, with only some of our cherished ideas burned off. Protected by the discovery that all these painful revelations after all, were authorized by … the Bible itself. Even as our churches, our Heaven itself, are destroyed, burned down to their foundations, even then, after all, there is a way to learn to face and bear this. On discovering that after all, all this was foretold, authorized, commanded … by the Bible itself. By God, himself. On discovering that even as our churches, our Heaven itself, are exposed, and put to the fire? Still, even as heaven itself is destroyed, the words, of Jesus, of God, are not destroyed (“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” Mark 13.31).
Their true “word”s are not destroyed. But are hereby, simply, fulfilled.
The Solution to Evils in Our Churches,
Mistakes in Our Traditional Doctrines:
Facing This, as Biblically Authorized –
As the “Day” When “Judgement” “Comes”
But to be sure, those many believers, men and women, who have trusted and had faith in their holy men far, far too much? Millions, billions, will have a painful experience; and will need to learn to face some things they have never faced before. Yet the current newspaper stories, are a good introduction to the apocalyptic revelation: the stories clearly tell us that 1) priests were sexually molesting boys and girls; and that 2) essentially, every bishop had at least one such case in his diocese, but covered it up, “whitewashed” it. Our highest religious leaders, our bishops and ministers, knew of these (and other) huge sins in priests and churches … but they covered them up. While they kept assuring us that our churches were holy, sacred, and perfect. But now at last, the secular/lay newspapers at least, have begun to expose that problem, for the general public. (While we and many religious scholars, will have in turn, gone far beyond the news; to uncover even deeper and more serious falsity in our holy men. A falsity that is found not just in present-day bishops and priests … but indeed, in our very holiest men in our very holiest books. As we found in our books on False Priests, etc.. In our other books).
At first to be sure, it seems impossible to face: how can a believer, really face or believe what is happening now? Can it really be that 1) not only are priests sexually molesting children; and not only be that 2) all our religious authorities, like bishops, lied, and whitewashed sins in our churches? And worse: 3) can there have also, always been even worse sins, in all our Christian and other churches? Can this Apocalyptic assertion, the assertion of massive sins in our priests and prophets, be simply faced and accepted? Can millions of believers, today, really find and fact, numerous signs of systematic deception and error … not just in our holy men; but sins even in the very heart of our churches? And then sins in their most revered doctrines? Their very stress on “faith” in holy men for example?
In the past, it was thought by many in the know, that priests and believers could not face this; that they needed to be protected from this knowledge. And indeed, it has previously seemed hard or impossible for believers, the faithful, to face or accept, this Apocalyptic discovery: the discovery of massive sins and errors, deep and widespread, in our holiest men and doctrines. Rather than face this, our preachers have tried to cover things up; to “whitewash” the many signs of such sins. Many millions of sermons in fact, are devoted to – without quite mentioning the problem, and alerting those who had not noticed it already – to supply answers to these problems. Millions, billions of sermons and homilies have been devoted to coming up with clever but dishonest arguments, to try to excuse any apparent failures. With various sophistical, dishonest sermons, homilies, excuses. But we will have found that really, there are no valid excuses. There are no valid excuses for example, for 1) pretending the churches are perfect, when then are not. There are no excuses for 2) asserting that God told us to blind “faith” in our holy men; when God did not say that. There are 3) no valid excuses, for priests promising huge miracles, but failing to deliver them in a timely way. (See Sermons as Excuses).
Priests have spent the bulk of their days, a billion sermons, generating and delivering excuses, for their own failures. Yet finally we will have begun to find that none of their sermons is true or honest. Their whole stress on “faith” for example, was not really what the Bible said. So what finally, should a believer, should the faithful, do? In the past, among other things, our priests assured the faithful, that if it seemed that our priests were not delivering all the material wonders, miracles, that they said God promised? If not, then our preachers assured us that God had also commanded us to ignore all such material “signs” of sin, falsity, inadequacy, in our holy men; and just continue to have “faith.” Yet we have found here however, that the Bible itself did not stress “faith” that much. Instead, the Bible itself told us that if we find that our holy men seem to be speaking falsely – if for example they are promising wonders but not delivering them? Far from continuing to faithfully follow them on the basis of faith alone, instead, we are supposed to simply deduce that those priests were simply the foretold, false holy men. Or bad priests, following “false prophets.” Following a false idea even, of Christ.
Finally therefore, what should a loyal churchgoer say or do? How can a good loyal Christian, face the newspapers? And countless signs of inadequacies, sins, in our holiest institutions? How can they conceptualize, resolve all this? Of course, most loyal churchgoers will still want to hold on to the Bible. And they will only do something that is acceptable to ancient holy books; to the Bible itself. But here and now we will have begun to show that, actually, amazingly, there is a way to face all this, in a way that should be acceptable even to the blindest believer. By outlining a solution that is from the Bible itself.
In fact, it will have been the point of our many books, that there is a Biblical solution to this. But indeed, only one. Though the Bible itself, hinted at many apologetic excuses for failure in our churches, our holy men, we will show that the Bible itself, rejected all those apologetic suggestions. All except for one. Finally in fact, there is only one motif, only one kind of situation and prophesy in the Bible, that really holds up. There is finally only one prophesy, that fully describes the full situation that we seem to find ourselves in; that describes it, and shows us the way out of it. But what is that solution? To be sure, at first it seems impossibly shattering, Apocalyptic. But after all, we will have found it over and over again, in the Bible itself. So let us at last, face the Apocalyptic solution.
When we see countless “signs” of huge sins in our holiest men – and not “just” child-molesting priests, and deceitful bishops? But even more than that? Finally, there is only set of hundreds of prophesies in the Bible, that seem to fit what we see. Finally, there is only one solid scenario that fits all of what we have seen; there is only one that is consistent with a) the Bible itself; and with b) science, or what we we have seen actually “come to pass” in the life around us. Finally, there is only one prophesy or two in the Bible itself said, that really describe all of this. And that is the lengthy, continually-repeated series of warnings, in the Bible itself, that after all, 1) there have always been great sins and errors, even in our holiest men and angels. Along with warnings that 2) therefore however, one Apocalyptic “day,” we are supposed to suddenly see God expose those sins and errors, even in our holiest men, in a dramatic way. While indeed actually, 3) because of these sins, we are supposed to see in fact, our heaven itself spiritually dissolved, destroyed. All 4) in order for God to show us at last, a “second,” “full”er, more “mature” and more functional, vision, Second Coming, of God and good.
Finally it is only that series of revelations, from the Bible itself, that is the only biblical framework, that really seems to adequately fit and describe, what many of us have come to see. If many of us are beginning to notice countless signs of huge sins, even in our holiest men and churches? Even in their most “inspired” or allegedly infallible doctrines? Then therefore, as it turns out, there is only one good way to face this …; only one way that is in fact, indicated by, approved by, the Bible itself, as well as by empirical fact. Finally, we must simply say, that the biblically-approved day of the Destruction of Heaven, and the “day” of Judgement,” is upon us. Even in part, here and now. As you read this very book.
The Bible itself – God himself if you will – told us that one “day,” this is supposed to happen. That one “day,” you are supposed to discover, “see,” many false things, even in the religion the “worship,” that dominates the whole “world” (Rev. 13). Said the Bible itself. One “Day” or another, on a “day” when “judgement” comes especially, the Bible itself said that we are supposed to suddenly see God uncovering sins in our holiest things. Sins even in our holiest men and angels. Sins even in the angels and prophets, in heaven itself.
At first therefore, seeing massive sins in priests and in all religious leaders, seems hard to believe or face. But finally, there is at last one biblical-based way to picture and face all this: relating to predictions of a “Judgement Day,” and a “Day of the Lord.” Today we are experiencing at least a preview – and perhaps the very substance – of these foretold days. When exactly as foretold, as prophesied, we are seeing the exposure of many sins in our holiest things. While many of us see God thereby … beginning to destroy our traditional, childhood Christian heaven itself. But if so? Then after all, the average Christian, and the average priest, should be able to face this at last. On being told that all this does not destroy or attack Christianity; but in fact, fulfills it. And on finding that all this, after all, is in order for us to see something better; to see a “second” and better Coming, of God.
Yet you don’t really see God anew however … until you at last, simply face signs of sins in our holiest men and angels.
Mentioned in the Bible:
What is It?
The Literal/Physical Interpretation;
Including the Destruction of Heaven
The Bible – like many holy books; like the Quran and so forth – is full of references to a mysterious but shattering, Apocalyptic “day.” But what is this “day”? The Bible we will see here, is actually full of references to many seemingly different, but in many ways, related “day”s. But the key day, is known variously as the “Day of the Lord”; “Judgement Day”; the “End”; the “Apocalypse”; the “second” Coming,” etc..
And what is that ? It is a day, a time when, it is said, God or Jesus – the “Lord” – or his representative, is supposed to come to earth again; possibly in person. To 1) to “judge” all people. And to give all people their just reward. To a) punish bad people – and false religion – with “fire” and so forth. But also to b) reward good people at last, with prosperity, and with even an ideal “kingdom.” As part of this 2) some say, God physically destroys much of the physical earth, or world, in a moment of destruction called the “Apocalypse.”
The way our preachers have presented the End, the Day of the Lord, however, was not quite right; did not really get at what the Bible really, fully said. The fact is, our preachers missed something, or could not quite face something. As we have added elsewhere, our preachers have left something out: that 3) God comes to note sins not just in ordinary people; but especially, in our religious leaders; our priests and prophets and angels. Indeed in the End, 4) God comes to destroy not even so much the “world” … as to destroy our religious spiritual “heaven” itself.
Today, many preachers and believers actually seem to look forward to the “Day of the Lord,” Judgement Day; even to the Apocalypse. Preachers sometimes speak as if they will welcome the coming of God to earth again – because many preachers believe that they themselves have been good; and that therefore, on this day, the preachers themselves (and those who followed them) will not be punished, but will be rewarded by God at last. Rewarded with many good things. And yet however, though at times many preachers speak positively about the Apocalypse, the Second Coming, Judgement Day, and so forth … it is time here and now for everyone to take note a part of this “day” that our preachers missed. Or that our preachers have not been able to face, or accurately tell you about. Here and now, it is time at last to note a couple of parts of the Bible, that said some things you never heard much about in church; the parts that warned that after all, when God returns on the “day,” he returns to … find sins not even so much, ordinary, secular people, the “world”; but even more, God comes to expose many false things in our religion, our faith, our holy men themselves. God comes to reveal that much of religion is “deceived,” etc..
Here and elsewhere, we reviewed a few quotes from the Bible, that seem to be related to that awesome “Day.” Note that in them, one of the main events of the “day,” is that there are many reversals; many things that were thought to be good or high, are found to be bad and low. And in particular, amazingly, note in some quotes that first of all, 1) it is not the ordinary, secular people that are to be punished … but rather in part, religious leaders:
“For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4.17).
“Let fire come down from heaven and consume you” (2 Kings 1.10).
“Now this is for you, O priest” (Mal. 2.1, paraphrased).
“Priests profane what is sacred” (Zep. 3.4).
“In that day the Lord will take away the finery” (Isa. 3.18).
“The LORD … has a day against all that is proud” (Isa. 2.12).
“The fool will no more be called noble, nor the knave said to be honorable” (Isa. 32.5).
“All the host of heaven will fall” (Isa. 34.4).
“In that day men will cast forth their idols” (Isa. 2.20).
“Wail, for the day of the Lord is near” (Isa. 13.6).
For some time, many preachers have proudly assured us all that they themselves and their own churches, are of course, true followers of God. And that therefore, when Judgement Day or the Second Coming happens, the preacher himself and his followers of course, we have been constantly assured, will be found among those found to be good by God, and will be rewarded, not punished. But actually, it is extremely important to now note a previously-unappreciated fact about the “day”; a key feature of the day that is found over and over in the Bible itself. Today it is time to note a side of the “Day” that is almost never mentioned by preachers. Note that is, the following: that when the Lord comes to earth to punish the guilty and reward the good, the Lord is actually supposed to … direct much of his energy, at exposing unexpected sins and errors, deep in the heart of …. religion itself. Sin in our holiest men and angels.
For obvious reasons, (vanity, etc.) our preachers always emphasize the sins in everyone else; in “secular” people. And our preachers never seem to adequately note that when God comes to earth again, one “day,” he comes, surprisingly, not to just congratulate our preachers on a job well done; but to expose huge sins in our holiest men and angels. And of course, sins in the preachers and churches that followed them. Sins in people and things, that many have thought were absolutely holy and sacred; sins deep in our priests, ministers, prophets, apostles; sins in our (ideas o?)f “Christ.” Sins even in the angels themselves. Sins even, we will have found, “all” in heaven itself (Isa. 34.4, 65-6; see our Destruction of Heaven chapter).
Preachers and churches have therefore, been very, very “vain” and “proud,” and have missed this side of the day. Preachers have often spoken as if practical, working, “secular” people are bad and evil; while they themselves – preachers, churches – are of course, good, true, complete followers of God. So that preachers have often sermonized that they themselves, and their followers, will of course be found good, on Judgement Day. Preachers especially – who have after all given up their entire lives to following their idea of God – expect that they themselves especially, are to be found to have been truly “wise” and good; and that when the end comes, they themselves will be rewarded by God, for a job well done. And yet however, our preachers have been a little vain and proud; they have declared themselves to be high and “wise” a little too early perhaps. Because, as it turns out here, amazingly in fact, among many other surprising and unexpected things about the final “day,” is that, other things … our preachers and holy men are supposed especially to be examined by God. And our holy men will not necessarily be found to have been as good as they thought they were. In fact, at the very least, our preachers – even the angels and others in heaven itself; the “household of God” – will be found partially bad.
And so, as it turns out, our self-styled religious heroes themselves, prophets and priests and bishops, will need to pass through some painful “refining” “fire,” before they are at last made good. Note what the Bible said is in store for the “sons of Levi” and so forth; the Levi tribe being essentially the hereditary tribe of priests, note:
“But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi [the priestly tribe in Israel] and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD…. Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers….. against those who swear falsely” (Mal. 3.2-5).
“Behold the day of the LORD comes, cruel” (Isa. 13.9).
“For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4.17).
“Let fire come down from heaven and consume you” (2 Kings 1.10).
“Priests profane what is sacred” (Zep. 3.4).
“Now this is for you, O priest” (Mal. 2.1, paraphrased).
Most Follow a False Idea of Christ
Today we see many sins in our holy men. So what should we think?
The Bible warned constantly, of huge sins in our holy men, right from the start; in the times and nation of “Israel” … and in and among those who think they are Christians, following “Christ.” Finally, because there have always been so many sins even in our holiest men, it is not especially regular working, secular people, who are to be found bad in the end: it is religious persons. The fact is, God often reserves his very strongest criticism, not for ordinary secular people … but for ardent believers, prophets and priests; for the very, very religious. In fact, we are beginning to emphasize here, it is they who are supposed to be examined by God in the end … and who are to be found to have been deceived, as it turns out; deceived in their religion. In fact, one “day” we are supposed to find that essentially the whole religious population of the earth, has been deceived in what it “worship”s (Rev. 13). Essentially, the whole earth is to be found to have been worshipping a “False” or “anti-Christ”; or as we call that, a false idea of Christ; an “idol,” and so forth.
Preachers constantly assume that they themselves of course, are reliable; sacred, holy; and that they themselves cannot be deceived. But we need now to look like texts like, say, especially, Revelation 13. Which says, not just the “world,” not even so much secular society, but nearly everyone – including evidently our religious leaders especially – are to be found deceived; since everyone is found to be “worship”ing a false idea of God. To be deceived by a false leader or false Christ. Speaking of one particular beastly, false religious leader that will be found to have deceived the world, God said of it, this:
“It was given authority over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all the inhabitants of the earth will worship it, every one whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life” (Rev. 13.7-8, NRSV).
If what we “worship” is to be found wrong, then of course, the priests themselves logically, must have been deceived too. Confirming this, the Bible warned constantly of bad things in priests, prophets.
To be sure, Revelation 13 for example, does say that there are to be a few individuals, that might not have been deceived; those “written … in the books of life.” But while there might be a very few individuals who are not deceived, no one can be sure who they are; since only God can “judge” in the End. In the meantime, it is “pride” and “presumpt”ion for you, the preacher, to imagine that only you yourself, are immune from error; that you yourself, or your own church, are among the “elect”; among the “144,000, whose “name” is written in the book of the saved.
And indeed, simply following “Jesus Christ,” believing and having faith in him, is no good, the Bible ultimately says. Because, the Bible warns, there have been many “False” or “antiChrists” out there, even from the very first days of Christianity:
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise” (Mat. 24.24, Mark 13.22).
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world… And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4.1, 3).
“As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us….” (1 John 2.18-19).
Preachers have often spoken about, warned about, an “Anti-Christ,” but they did not notice a few logical consequences to this. One of them means there are problems with, sins in, just blindly following “Christ.” If there are many False Christs out there, many false ideas of Christ, then many will be following what they think is Christ Jesus … but they are actually following, a false one. A false idea of Christ.
Therefore, even if you think – as many vainly do – that you yourself and your church, are being very, very “faith”ful, and are faithfully following even Jesus “Christ,” this finally, is no protection; because indeed the Bible warned over and over, constantly, that many who thought they were following God or Christ, will be found wrong; will be found to have been following a false idea of Christ, after all. (While we will also have found, in our sections on priests, churches, alleged special “gifts” and “graces” like “anointing” and “sanctification,” “inspiration” of the Holy Spirit, etc., there is no special gift that absolutely protects us from such sins).
So that finally, there is no group of people at all – even the bulk of Christians – who are immune from error; indeed, their deception, the deception of practically the whole earth, the Bible itself says, was inevitable; prophesied, right from the very start. So that most of the two billion “Christians” on the face of the earth … can be found to have been largely, “deceived.” In their idea of who Christ, Jesus Christ, really was.
Religious Spirits Found False
In fact, we are finding today, that our holiest religious leaders and preachers, have been deceived. Especially, in the vanity of priests. Priests constantly declared, or presented themselves as if, they are the reliable voicepieces of God: they presume to present themselves before us every week, to lecture us in their sermons, about what ultimately truth, God, are like. But this assumes that they themselves know such things, reliably. And that in turn ignores and denies, not only the newspapers; but also those constant Biblical warnings about sins in holy men. The fact is, our preachers have been extremely vain and presumptuous; if they did not trumpet their own virtues, if they seems humble in some ways, it was a false and superficial humility; actually they constantly presented themselves, as our “teachers”; as if they thought that they themselves were better, wiser than everyone else; closer to God. So that we need to listen to their lectures, their homilies. And yet however, we are finding here that God actually tells us that it is often holy men and preachers, even “Christian” ones especially, who are found to have been deceived, even more than others.
In fact, the Bible warned there have been problems even in our preachers’ very “spirit.” The spirit that Preachers follow. Many think they are following the authentic, Holy Spirit. But the Bible warned of sins, deceits, even in spirits. Warning in effect that often what a preacher thinks is the Holy Spirit, is really a “false spirit,” posing as Holy. While here and there we will have found yet another error in our even “spirit”: our preachers were often very “spiritual,” and taught that in the end, we are to be judged according not to our literal, material “possessions” and “rich”es, but according to our minds or spirits. And yet we find now, that they are supposed to evaluated, according to the real material “prosperity” they created; not even primarily “spiritual,” but real material “fruits,” “works,” (as we found in our writing on the Science of God).
And indeed, today, here and elsehwere, we are seeing some amazing reversals, from what our very spiritual preachers taught us. Amazingly in fact, those allegedly holy men whose words did not lead to real, material fruit, a real material prosperity here on this earth … are actually not supposed to be rewarded, but are to be punished, and found false. They are in fact, to be cut off and “thrown into the fire”:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world…. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4.1, 3).
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits” (Mat. 7.16, Revised Standard Version of The Holy Bible, “RSV”).
“The fruit of your body and” (Deut. 7.13 RSV).
“The fruit of your ground” (Deut. 7.13).
“Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit, is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3.9; Mat. 7.19; Luke 3.9; not Gal. 522, spirit, but Gen. 1.12, Deut. 7.13, “fruit of your body and the fruit”, Josh. 24.13, Lam. 4.9, James 5.7-18).
“For the LORD has a day of vengeance” (Isa. 34.8).
“A fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire” (Heb. 10.27).
“Behold, the days are coming says the LORD” (Jer. 7.32).
“Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire” (Isa. 33.14).
“Who can endure the day of his coming…?” (Mal. 3.2).
“…The eyes of the blind shall see…. And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will accept instruction” (Isa. 29.18-24).
Amazingly then – and against what we heard in church from preachers all the time – in point of fact, in the end, amazingly, we find that it is 1) not even ordinary “secular” people that are to be found bad and evil or deceived; 2) it is in fact, our religious leaders. Even those billions a) who sincerely thought they were Christians, following Christ, will be found usually, to have been following a false idea of Christ; a “false Christ” (q.v.). While b) furthermore, following the “spirit,” being “spiritual” is no protection; many “err in spirit.”
So we find that “spirituality” is not quite as important or infallible as our preachers thought; since one can err after all, even in spirit. While c) in fact in any case, we are all judged not even so much by our “spirit,” but by what we have “done”; by the real physical, material “prosperity” we have created, and so forth.
In the End, Those Thought “First” in Religion,
Are Often Last
On this “day” therefore, on the day when “judgement” comes, it is not even primarily, non-religious people who are found bad; but indeed, it is more than anyone, our priests and ministers; the very, very religious and “faith”ful and “spirit”ual. (See also, “be not righteous overmuch”).
Our preachers and very strong believers, the very, very faithful therefore – who deep down were very, very proud, and thought that they themselves were good, because they were very, very holy, very “spirit”ual and loyal to the “Christ” – will be surprised to find out, this very “day,” that things are often the exact opposite of what they themselves thought. The fact is, preachers and believers are to discover that they themselves were among the worst sinners.
In the end indeed, today, the Bible warned, it is precisely those who are proud, and who think of themselves as better than others, who are to fall. And if in the past our preachers often told us that this meant that proud, wealthy, “secular” and “world”ly people, who seem “first” in this “world,” would fall, actually we now find this is really about preachers and deeply faithful people especially. To be sure, there is a superficial and misleading, false humility in the very religious; but it is purely superficial and misleading. Deeper down, our religious followers are very, very proud: they in effect, proudly think that they are more religious – and therefore, better than – others. Many even secretly think, deep down, that they must be “first” with God.
Yet indeed, in the end, our holy men – who secretly, deep down, really thought they were “wise” or “noble” or honorable, who thought they had a secure place in heaven itself – are to suddenly find out, that they themselves, not everyone else, were in fact, “last”; are “fools,” and so forth:
“The fool will no more be called noble, nor the knave said to be honorable” (Isa. 32.5).
“If any one would be first, he must be last of all” (Mark 9.35; 10. 31).
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise” (1 Corin. 1.19).
“Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (1 Corin. 1.19).
“Be not wise in your own eyes” (Prov. 3.7).
“Let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Corin. 3.18).
“For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4.17).
Most preachers have sermonized constantly, that they themselves are exempt from the negative judgement of God; exempt from being fooled. They have constantly, proudly implied that it is only secular persons, or people from other religions, other churches, or everybody else, whose “wisdom” is to be found to have been fooled, to have been lacking, on the “day.” But in fact, our priests deep down think that they themselves are truly “wise.” And so indeed, on the “day” that judgement comes, we are finding here that it is especially priests themselves – the “tribe of Levi” – that are to be found to be wanting.
The Destruction of Heaven
In the end in fact? In the end, even more catastrophically, it is not just priests and bishops here on earth, that are found evil and mistaken. But finally, even essentially “all” the host of heaven itself, are supposed to be exposed as evil, by God himself. So that finally, even “all” those in heaven itself, are to fall.
Finally in fact, heaven itself and “all” in it, are supposed to be found to be largely bad; and are supposed to collapse:
“On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit…” (Isa. 24.21-2).
“All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree. For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgement…” (Isa. 34.4-5).
“When he opened the sixth seal,… the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winder fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place…” (Rev. 6.12-13).
“The fool will no more be called noble, nor the knave said to be honorable” (Isa. 32.5).
“And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire…” (Rev. 20.10).
“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time” (Heb. 9.28).
“Judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter. 4.17 NRSV).
Seeing all this, seeing sins in our priests, and even in the angels in Heaven of course, must also be the end of traditional Christianity. Not only because of 1) direct indications of sin, in daily observation of priests. But also 2) by association, with a corrupt Heaven. What priest or minister could ever be judged good … when amazingly, his heaven itself – and “all” in it; including our greatest saints and angels and prophets and apostles; all those figures the preachers followed so faithfully – are supposed to be found partially bad? And are to destroyed? How could any Christianity at all be found perfect, and survive unscathed … if the very heaven itself that it followed, was imperfect and false?
Apologetics, Sophistries, Sermons,
Attempting to Escape, Deny, the Destruction
To be sure, those few Christian ministers who have previously noticed this catastrophic event, usually try to find ways to suggest that they themselves, and their churches will escape this judgement. Among many other apologetics arguments (see Destruction of Heaven; Sermons as Excuses), preachers often say for example, that they themselves, are among the few good and reliable leaders. But we find here after all, that no preacher can be wholly good … when the Apostles themselves often admitted that they themselves, the authors of the Bible, made “mistakes” as James said; and were not yet “perfect,” even when the wrote the Bible, as Paul noted. How indeed can any believer on earth, be all that good – when the very saints and angels and holy men or “shepherds” that they followed in heaven, itself, were themselves bad? (As we found earlier. So that oddly it is not those who thought they were adamant “believers” who are among the few who are found good; nor unbelievers exactly; but perhaps the knowledgeable).
It is hard to imagine how anyone who followed the holy men and angels in heaven, could be good, when those in heaven themselves are found to be partially bad. Still to be sure, our preachers will still be found continually trying to say that they themselves, and their own followers, will have escaped being bad, according to this or that different argument.
Indeed, to assure themselves and their own churches that they themselves will escape the “fire,” and escape Hell, preachers have in fact, dozens of arguments. But we have found all of them false. (See our Sermons as Excuses). Among other sermons for instance, preachers will often say that, say, if there is a destruction of heaven, will have happened a) some unspecified time in the past. Or especially, b) many theologians might think the references say, to the destruction of heaven, referred to the changing of Judaism and its heaven, by traditional Christianity; that the destruction of heaven, referred to the changing idea of “heaven” or God, in the transition from Judaism, to Christianity. But c) actually, while parts of the Bible spoke as if the “day,” the destruction of heaven, had begun in ancient times, other parts of the Bible make it clear that the expected day was not “full”y completed in the past at all. Rather, the Bible finally spoke of the end, the Apocalypse, the Day of Judgement, as something yet to come.
Judgement day, the end therefore, may have begun in ancient times; but it was not fully completed in the past. Though parts of the New Testament spoke of Jesus in himself as bringing something “new,” beyond the Old Testament it seemed, many ancient people in the Bible clearly and rightly spoke of the great “day” of change in religion indeed – and especially, of the destruction of heaven – as something yet to come. Or at least, yet to be completed; to be completed in the era after the New Testament.
And in fact, the “heaven” that is destroyed, for example, is not just the Jewish one; actually, as parts of the Bible make clear, it is the traditional Christian one; the heavens that were “present” for Peter, for example:
“The present heavens … have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgement’ (2 Peter 3.7 NRSV).
“Judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter. 4.17 NRSV)
John too also for”saw” a “new heaven” arriving, in a vision, some only timeafter Christ and early Christianity:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21.1).
“And the former things shall not be remembered” (Rev. 65.17).
So the destruction of heaven is not something that was completed in the past; in the transition say from Judaism to Christianity. It is not the destruction of Judaism. Instead, it is a moment that happens after Jesus, to the who Judeo-Christian heaven.
And so now finally, we come to the startling conclusion of our present book(s). Everyone has previously heard of the “Apocalypse”; the end of time, the end of the “world”; the “second” Coming. And some have heard of the “Day.” But until now, no one has really known or publicly said, what these days are all really about. Most believers have thought these are the moments that God comes down from heaven at last, to congratulate believers, priests, churches, on a job well done; and punish everyone else. But our books here, are destined to reveal, clarify, a startling and unexpected side of the “day,” of the Apocalypse. The moment that nearly all our preachers missed, or could not “bear” to face: the moment where 1) God uncovers sins not only in the “world,” but when God also …. exposes sins in our holiest men and angels; even “all” in heaven itself. Followed by the moment when then, 2) because of great, longstanding sins in all our holiest things, God himself destroys not even so much the “world,” (which was already destroyed in Noah’s Flood; then again redeemed by Jesus); but when God destroys … heaven itself (Mark 13.31; Isa. 34.4, 65-6; 2 Peter 3; etc..).
Ministers neglected or denied this critical moment. All our preachers have talked constantly about the sins of the “world”; and talked about (and often looked forward to) the destruction of the “world.” But actually, it is time for all our priests and ministers to now face at last, the true, key moment in the history of mankind: the “day” – which in part, comes in our day – when God unveils sins in the holiest men and angels in heaven itself; and when God therefore destroys … not so much the world, but rather, heaven itself. In order for God to show us something better, “higher than all heavens.” A God that “fills all things; heaven and earth.”
The Metaphorical Meaning of It All;
Growing Up Beyond Blind Faith;
To the Science of God ?
What is the end like, exactly? Some Christians have noticed parts of this moment; but they have thought that the End, was mostly about 1) simple physical destruction; a) mainly of the “world.” In the past, most preachers have concentrated just on the possibility of b) gigantic, physical damage; literal “fires” and so forth; especially, great physical destruction on the earth; or of the “world” of Jesus’ (and then Nero’s) time. But 2) the main message of our books here is in part, that the important moment in the End, is not the destruction of the “world” or the “earth”; a moment that we regard as probably over already in any case (the “world” having been destroyed twice over already; once in the flood of Noah, then again “overcome” and “redeemed” once more, by Jesus). Instead, the absolutely critical key to the rest of history, is the side of the Apocalyptic end, of the day, that our preachers have never really noticed: the destruction not of the “world,” but of heaven itself.
The destruction of heaven, not of the world, is in fact the heretofore missing or neglected key to the future of Christianity, and all of humanity. But what is it about? Many might think the destruction of Heaven means a physical destruction of the heavens; of the literal stars, say. But let’s look at the likely metaphorical /mental (or if you must, /”spiritual”) meaning of this.
In a way, perhaps there is really nothing to fear: the destruction of heaven is 1) approved in the Bible itself, after all. And 2) then too, perhaps the Apocalyptic destruction of Heaven, can be read as a metaphor, a symbol; as a “parable,” or as a “figure” of speech. As a metaphor for especially … the moment when believers see the sins and errors of their childhood idea of God; and then grow up or ‘mature’ in their understanding of religion, of God, at last. In fact, the “day” of the Apocalypse, of the destruction of heaven, we say here, is for now best read as a metaphor for … the shattering, apocalyptic moment, when we grow up.
Yet what is growing up? In the past, preachers have often thought this is “growing up in your faith.” That this is 1) the moment we grow up from the materialistic God and earthly “kingdom” of Judaism and/or the “secular” “world,” to the “spiritual” God and Heaven of Christianity. 2) But actually, we will have noted earlier that a) much of the materialism of Judaism and secular culture, is one of its better features; part of the science that God wanted us to have. While then too, b) there are severe sins in “spirituality” itself.
So that therefore, 3) here we now offer a very, very different idea of religious, Christian “matur”ity, growing up. We are not growing up “in” the faith; but rather, growing up past blind faith; to the fuller science of God. Indeed, growing up, maturing, is the moment a) we acquire adult, rational “judgement”; when we b) grow up … past our blind childhood faith in religious authority. It is the moment when we at last understand c) that after all, even our holiest men and preachers, were all too human; that they often erred, even in the words they attributed to the Lord. Particularly, religious maturity is the moment when we noticed that our holy men were false, sinned, when they promised us “miracles” (and later, spirituality.)
To be sure, this kind of maturity, is painful; d) here, we see not only our childhood world – but also especially our heaven, our faith in authority and miracles and so forth- destroyed. And yet after all, aa) painful, Apocalyptic as this is, finally, here at last we are seeing, admitting things as they really are. Here at last we are acknowledging what all the “signs” were telling us; that our holy men were flawed; that our holy men were just not good enough; were just not producing all the wonders, miracles that they all-too-often promised. And furthermore, there is a great reward for finally passing through the “fire” of the self-criticism of Christianity at last; because, bb) after having thus “confess”ed our sins – especially the sins of Christianity; the sins of the Church – finally, having brought these particularly devastating sins out into the open, we can clearly see, isolate, and destroy them. In order also, to make way for cc) the day when we are initiated into a “second,” more “mature,” more adult state of mind. The “day” then, is the moment we mature in our sense of religion. The day when we begin to advance beyond blind faith in all-too-fallible historical authority; to the at-once fuller, but also more humble, science of God.
That finally, is the real, “spiritual”/metaphorical meaning of the “Day”; it is the day when we grow up beyond blind faith. Which is in part a different day for each of us; and yet the same day for all. A day that comes to different individuals at different times (so that no one knows when the day is, exactly); but perhaps after all, many all over the world, are about to wake up and see this, soon enough.
What is the “day” of the destruction of heaven, then? It is the day when we grow up in our religion. But it is not “growing up in our faith,” as many say. Rather, it is rather the opposite of that; it is the day we cease to have blind, childish faith; the moment we grow up enough to see the massive and physically deadly sins and errors in our highest religious authorities and churches; the moment when we case faithfully following false prophets after all; but instead, begin to examine everything carefully, with judgement, and science
This day, this moment to be sure, of course, is not a purely negative moment; it is not just destructive. Since, by virtue of the very intellectual abilities that noticed the flaws in our old priests, our old heaven at last, we are also now, in partial possession of a science; and a superior, “second,” “full”er, more “mature,” understanding of God and of good. We are even now in fact, coming into possession of the science of God; the fuller knowledge that at last, knows enough about heaven and earth, to begin to “make the world a better place” as they say in modern Judaism; to in fact, begin to create the foretold heavenly kingdom, on earth. In flesh. On this world. As foretold.
Biblical References to False, Bad Things, in the Heart of
Judeo-Christianity’s Holiest Things.
The Bible therefore, warned that there have always been huge sins in our holiest men and preachers. But one “day” or another, God is supposed to expose all that. While here and now, we can begin to see those errors exposed. In particular? Priests always just read or emphasized misleading parts of the Bible to us. Particularly, they read the parts that seemed, taken by themselves, to stress the eternality of Heaven, and the reliability of preachers and apostles. But here and now? We begin to see that indeed, exactly as foretold, all our holiest men and angels were often deceitful.
Our preachers have always been deceptive, particularly in this way: they have always read to us just parts of the Bible; the parts that seem to tell us that our preachers and holy men are all but absolutely reliable and good. But our preachers left out, or “twisted” or “whitewashed,” seventy or a hundred parts of the Bible … that warned that there would always be bad and “false” things in all holy things, even in Christianity, even after Jesus and so forth. Bad things to the End of Time … and/or until the Apocalyptic coming of God’s science.
For a look at the whole side of the Bible, of God, that priests denied and hid and twisted, for seventy or a hundred or more scriptural, Bible references to bad things in religion, including Christianity – and the desirability to use science to find out what they are – here is a good biography:
For scriptural references to false and bad things in religion, even in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition: the Bible itself says, there are sins, errors, in effectively “all” religion. “All have sinned,” (Rom. 3.23); “if we say we have no sins, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1.8); “if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar” (1 John 1.10).
Indeed, as we will see here, even “all” our religions – including Christianity – are full of bad, “false” things; “false prophets” (Jer. 23.23 ff, etc). Even the angels and saints in our “present” Christian heaven itself are bad (Job 4.18; 13.4; 15.15; Rev. 12.7, etc.). “All” have sinned. And “all” in heaven are to fall:
“All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree. For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgement…” (Isa. 34.4-5).
“The heavens … that now exist have been stored up for fire…” (said Peter, in 2 Peter 7.7).
Indeed, we will find, sins in “all” means … sins in all our priests and religious leaders today, too. Even saints and angels in heaven. That is why finally, our childhood, naive sense of religion – our heaven – is being destroyed, for bad things in it. In order to show a more “mature” “knowledge” of God.
Then note specific criticisms – of first, of bad things in angels: “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven” (Rev. 12.7-8 Revised Standard Version); “Even his angels he charges with error” (Job 4.18); “all the host of heaven will rot away” (Isa. 34.4). and “God did not spare the angels when they sinned” (2 Peter 2.4); “To what angel has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand’?” (Heb. 2.5). “It was not to angels that God subjected the world” (Heb. 2.5). “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corin. 11.14). “Neither death, nor life, nor angels” (Rom. 8.38). “To the angel of the church … I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God” (Rev. 3.2, also 2.4, 2.13-14-16, 2.18-20; 3.14-19). When someone bows down to an angel, the angel himself says we must not do that; he is just a fellow servant: “Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades…. Worship God! (Rev. 19.10). This indeed is the key problem: people worshipping messengers, angels, and their messages … not God himself.
See also warnings about false “apostles,” plural; more than a) Judas (John 21.20-24). Shockingly, shatteringly, b) St. Peter once told Jesus that Jesus was wrong in something, “rebuking” Jesus (Mat. 16.22) … and c) then Jesus called St. Peter “Satan,” in Mat. 16.23: “He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance [“stumbling block”] to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.'” Then d) St. James then admitting of himself and other apostles no doubt: “we all make many mistakes” (James 2.2). Then e) St. Paul admitting he himself, at the time when he wrote his part of the Bible, was “not … perfect” (Php. 3.12). . Regarding “James the son of Zebedee, and f) John his brother” (Mat. 10.2), “the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him and asked … ‘Command that these who dons of mine may sit, one at your right hands and one at your left, in your kingdom.’ But Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking …. to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant.'” (Mat. 20.20). Confirming Jesus – who called Peter “Satan,” and noted he would “deny” him many times – Paul too noted problems with St. Peter or “Cephas” as well: “‘Cephas’ (which means Peter)” (John 1.42); “But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he … acted insincerely” (Gal. 2.11, 13). While indeed, all the disciples fled and abandoned Jesus, when the Romans came to arrest him (Mark 14.50). At times, preachers will try to say that churches and others “test”ed apostles, and found out all that were false, and left them or books attributed to them, out of our Bibles: as when Revelations congratulated those who “tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false” (Rev. 2.2). But even those churches who did such “test”ing were themselves, Revelations itself notes, not perfect in every way; Ephesus which did the testing is supported in some ways. But then opposed in part: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love that you had at first” (Rev. 2.4); while other elements of other early Christian churches were also not “perfect” in every way (Rev. 3.2). While indeed, even those of the Twelve Apostles who were accepted, who were canonically accepted into our Bibles as authors of the gospels … are often found false by Jesus, God, above. And if the Twelve Apostles themselves were unreliable, then …? Who which preacher today is better than them?
God also warned believers and congregations to look for false things in themselves; criticizing others for the “speck” in their eye … while ignoring the “beam” in their own eye (q.v.). Though many think they are good, many who think they are “first” in the eye of God, are “last” in the End; and though many “judge” others to be bad, they themselves will be judged. And ultimately, only God himself knows who is good and who is bad; only God judges in the Last Judgment. While even the “household of God” itself is bad (1 Peter 4.12-17). Though priests say others are worse, God himself did not say that; it was only speculated, as a question. And congregations (Titus 1.12-13; Gal. 1.2-8). “False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect” (Mark 13.22). “If some one comes and preachers another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough” (2 Corin. 11.4).
Priests often claim that they themselves, or congregations, if they quote Jesus, his “name,” are protected from sin or error (after 1 John 4? Acts. 2.21); but … Jesus said many would call “Lord, Lord,” and yet still be wrong (Luke 7.21). And (Luke 6.46, 13.25), it is not just because they say the name, but don’t do the deeds; it is also … because most who thought they were following God, will be found to actually have been following a “false christ.”
While indeed there are many bad, false boasts and claims in religion (Isa.15.6).
See warnings about false or “anti” Christs too (1 John 2.18-4.3). “False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect” (Mark 13.22). “If some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough” (2 Corin. 11.4). There are warnings about false christs, and surprisingly, warnings even of Jesus himself (Gal. 3.13; “Christ redeemed us from the cure of the law, having become a curse for us – or it is written, ‘Cursed be every one who hands on a tree'”). By Jesus himself in (Mat. 19.17: “Why callest me good” KJE? ; etc.). Indeed, many false or “anti-Christ”s has already come, even in the time of Christ or John: “many antichrists have come…. They went out from us” (1 John 2.18,19). And if John thought they were “not of us,” with John and true followers, it is presently impossible to know which are the true followers of John; indeed, Christ himself would not promise any particular status to John, when his mother asked for that. Regarding “James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother” (Mat. 10.2), “the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him and asked … ‘Command that these who dons of mine may sit, one at your right hands and one at your left, in your kingdom.’ But Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking …. to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant.'” (Mat. 20.20).
Most priests and churches will insist that they, or their church, have weeded out any false things. But related to the above and below, there are things even in the first, holy Christian churches overseen even by apostles in person
(Rev. 2.4, 2.20, 3.2; all of Galatians, etc. “To the angel of the church … I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God” (Rev. 3.2, also 2.4, 2.13-14-16, 2.18-20; 3.14-19).
There are bad “counselors” (Sirach 37.8).
And false gods (Isa. 41.23-4 etc.).
There are even bad things in heaven itself; indeed to the point that heaven itself is to be destroyed; citing mainly Jesus in Mark 13.31-2; then 2 Peter 3.7-14; Isaiah 34.1-10 & 24.1-21; Rev. 6.12, 9.1, 8.12, 12.4, 21.1; Mat. 24. For Muslims: Koran 11.108, 14.48. See also the literally hundreds of references in the Bible, and Quran, to a “day” or “fire” and “judgment”; the day when the Lord comes to earth, to judge and destroy evil; the Day of the Lord; Judgment Day; the End Time; the Apocalypse. Including Isa. 2.2; Mal. 3.2; Mat. 24.22; Mark 13.31; Acts 17.31; 2 Peter 3.8?
Indeed, as some in the book of Job asked, who can be considered good, next to God himself? And so finally, “all” in heaven are to fall (Isa. 34.4); all the “host of heaven” (Isa. 24.21). Even the greatest Christians saints like St. Paul, admit they themselves are not “perfect”; Paul said, regarding perfection, that he had not yet “attained” it (q.v.).
Bad things even in the best religious kings (like Saul; even David); bad things in leaders (Isa. 3.12).
False things in religious, even Old Testament “law” or the “Torah” (Gal. 3.13; 2 Corin. 3.6-7), and outdated “old covenant”s or contracts between God and men: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished” (Mat. 5.17-18); but after all… “heaven will vanish like smoke” (Isa. 51.6). “Sinful passions aroused by the law” (Rom. 7.5, 3.20); Christ is the end of the law” (Rom. 10.4); “a man is not justified by works of the law” (Ga. 2.16, Gal. 3.2-5; “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse” (Gal. 3.10; “self-control; against such there is no law” (Gal. 5.23); “the law made nothing perfect” (Heb. 7.19); “the law has but a shadow of the good things” (Heb. 10.1). The “perfect law, the law of liberty” (James 1.25). “The written code kills” (2 Corin. 3.6). “Jesus the surety of a better covenant” (Heb. 7.22). “A new covenant” (Heb. 8.8, 12.24); “even the first covenant was not ratified” (Heb. 9.18). See especially God saying he made bad ordinances and laws, earlier:
“… I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD” (Ez. 20.25-26).
See also Isaiah, “behold, you are nothing”; “A former commandment is set aside … for the law made nothing perfect” (Heb. 7.18-19); “We serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit” (Rom. 7.6).
There are bad things in promises of miracles: “There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD hearkened to the voice of a man” (Josh. 10.14). “Do all work miracles? … But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way” (1 Corin. 12.29-31). See false promises, false prophesies … which are often false promises of miracles after all. So that finally, we are to ask those who promise them, to actually produce them … or be called an “abomination,” a hopeless bad and evil and false religious leader. (See Science, below).
Bad things in patriarches (criticism of Moses by Paul; Rom. 10.5; see also “dispensation of death” 2 Corin. 3.6-15; Rom. 7). “The written code kills” (2 Corin. 3.6). “The dispensation of death” (q.v.).
Bad things even in the “perfect“: “O Tyre, you have said, ‘I am perfect in beauty…. The east wind has wrecked you (Ezk. 27.3, 26). If “the law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul” (Ps. 19.7), “I have seen a limit to all perfection” (Ps. 119.96); “if perfection had been attainable … what futher need would there have been for another priest” (Heb. 7.11). “For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man .. .But no one can tame the tongue – a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3.2, 8). To the Christian churches: “I have not found your works perfect” (Rev. 3.2). “The law made nothing perfect” (Heb. 7.19). The perfect does not come till the end of time: “when the perfect comes” (1 Corin. 13.10). The only perfect law is the law of liberty: “The perfect law, the law of liberty” (James 1.25).
Even prayers have problems (Josh. 10.14; see Jesus or Paul on public prayers with “vain repetitions”). “There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD hearkened to the voice of a man” (Josh. 10.14).
Then look at specific references to: bad things in priests and priests without “knowledge,” (Isa 5.13, 28.7, 45.20; Jer. 8.10; Lam. 4.13; Mal. 2.1-8; Heb. 7.11; Hos. 4.1-6; Jer. 14.18, see also 23.25; Ecc. 7.12). These were warnings not just about old Jewish or other priests; but those in Christianity too: “The high priest then questioned Jesus” (John 18.10); “And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him [Jesus] by stealth, and kill him” (Mark. 14.1). “He would not be a priest at all” (Heb. 8.4). See the priest vs. the Good Samaritan (Luke 10.31). “With you is my contention, O priest” (Hos. 4.4). “I reject your from being a priest to me” (Hos. 4.6). “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?” (Jer. 5.31). “From prophet to priest, every one deals falsely” (Jer. 6.13). “Both prophet and priest are ungodly” (Jer. 23.11). “If perfection had been attainable … what further need would there have been for another priest” (Heb. 7.11). “This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests .. They wandered, blind, through the streets” (Lam. 4.13-14).
Bad things in prophets (Jer. 23.15-40 & 27.16; Isa 28.7; Lam. 4.13; Ezek. 13; Zech. 13; Deut. 18.20; Mat. 7.15 & 24.11-24; Mr 13.22; Lk 6.26; 2 Peter 2.1; 1 John 4.1). “Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity” (Lam. 2.14). “This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests .. They wandered, blind, through the streets” (Lam. 4.13-14).
Bad things in shepherds too (Zech. 1.4-13.7; Ezek. 34).
False religious “teachers” or rabbis (James 3.1 etc; John 1.28-49). False churches (Mat. 12.6; 1 Corin. 4 14 ff; Gal. 1.6-3.1; Eph. 4-5); false apostles (including St. Paul himself – Phil. 3.12; 2 Corin. 11.16 – Peter in Mat. 16.23; Mat. 26.34).
False Day and other stars (Isa. 14.12-21). “I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star” (Rev. 22.16); but “How you are fallen from heaven, O day Star, son of Dawn! … You are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble'” (Isa. 14.12, 15-16).
False leaders from the house of David; “pegs” that give way (Isa. 22.22 ff). False, blind “servants” of God (Job. 4.18, Isa. 42.19 etc; even the saints, apostles, “all” in heaven are bad (Job 15.15 KJE; “holy ones” RSV).
There are bad things even in scripture, written “law,” “gospels,” sacred “word”s and “sayings” (see below).
And especially, false “spirits” (1 John 4.1): “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” “A spirit of jealousy comes upon him” (Num. 5.14). “An evil spirit form the Lord came upon Saul” (1 Sam. 19.9). “How did the Spirit of the LORD go from me” (1 Kings. 22.24). “The spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27.3) … but “The breath of our nostrils, the LORD’S anointed, was taken in their pits” (Lam. 4.20). Even good spirit can be taken; see too bad spirits: “the unclean spirit” (Mat. 12.43, Mark 1.23, 6.7; Luke 8.2-29, 9.42, 11.24). You are not good “unless one is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3.5); ” gave them a Spirit of stupor” (Rom. 11.8).
Reputed wise men are really “fools”; “honorable” men are really bad “knaves” (Isa. 32.5).
Written laws, code, are wrong and fatal: “Not with ink but with the Spirit” (2 Corin. 3.3); “The written code kills” (2 Corin. 3.6).
Bad Things From Magic
Probably every aspect of Judeo-Christian religion, short of God in himself, can often go wrong., the Bible warns. Then, outside the things in Religion proper … check the Bible on the various elements of things that would infect Religion and Christianity. Consider especially the elements of Magic that, we were warned, would infect religion, including Christianity. From related persons, magician-priests, like …. astrologers (Dan. 2.27); augurs (Deut. 18.10), enchanters (Ps. 58.5; Isa. 47.9-12; Dan. 1.20), fortune-tellers, magicians (Dan. 2.27; cf. Magi?), necromancers, soothsayers (Deut. 18.10), sorcerers (Deut. 18.10), witches, wizards. Or related “wise men” (Dan. 2.27).
These – and others like “false prophets” – cause: false promises, empty words, illusions, delusions (2 Thess. 2.11; Isa. 41.29, 19.13, 44.20; Jer. 10.15, 51.18; Ezek. 13.8), lies, enchantments, false dreams, false images (Isa. 40.20; Jer. 50.38; Dan. 3.10; Rev. 13.14 ff), empty consolations.
Bad Things in
Scripture, Religious Writings
Is Scripture, or the Bible itself, reliable? If functionally all those involved in religion can be false, then are their writings – scriptures – good? In a sense, “the Bible” is never mentioned in the Bible. But for references to problems with, changes in, holy “scriptures,” scribes, books, letters, empty words, promises, prophesies, or East “wind,” things “written” in stone, sayings, things that are said, language – including often, the New Testament writings of Christian saints and Apostles, like Paul, too – see our Scripture chapter. Citing, especially, John 5.39; Jer. 8.8; 2 Corin. 3.6-8; Gal. 3.22 NRSV; Rom. 7.6; Heb. 7.18-19; Ez. 20.25-26. Then: Gen. 11.9 ff; Job 13.4, 13.1 ff; Isa. 6.18, 34.4; Ez. 20.25-22.28; Jer. 8.8, 23.23-31; Lam. 4.13-19; Prov. 1.4-6; Wis. Sol. 19.14-18; Ecc. 3.1-6; Zeph. 3.9; Mat. 3.7, 5.17-18 vs. 2 Pet. 3.10, 7.21 ff, 9.16ff, 16.19, 13.10, 13.33-35, 13.52, 23.14, 23.23, 23.1; Mark 2.7-20-22; 4.11-20; Luke 16.1-25, 10.1-20, 16.25, 21.25; John 3.39, 10.6, 16.12-25, 21.25; Acts 9.18; Rom. 1.14-15, 2.14, 2.29, 3.20-23, 7.6-10, 12.1-2, 14.4; Heb. 7.18-19, 11.19; 2 Corin. 2.15, 3.3-8, 4.2-4, 10.10, 12.17; Gal. 3.13-22, 4.24; Phil. 2.12-13; 1 Thess. 5.21; 2 Thess. 2.2-15; 1 Peter 2.13-17; 2 Peter, 1.9, 3.15-18; 1 John 4.1-3; Rev. 6.14, 2.2. Vs. John 10.35; Rom. 15.4; 1 Tim. 4.13; 2 Tim. 3.16, 4.16; 2 Pet. 1.16-18; Rev. 22.18-19. Specifically: false or inadequate or suspicious gospels: (Gal. 1.6-8). False letters purporting to be from Paul, (2 Thess. 2.2.) “Not with ink but with the Spirit” (2 Corin. 3.3); “The written code kills” (2 Corin. 3.6).
Many preachers try to say that our scripture, our Bible, could be perfect, even though written by imperfect men, because the Holy Spirit came into them, and made them perfect, “inspired” them, while they were writing scripture. Thus, according to this doctrine of “inspiration,” imperfect or bad saints and holy men, could become good temporarily, could write perfect scripture. However, we say, no one can know when someone was inspired by the real, holy spirit: God warned there were “false spirits” (1 John 4; Isa. 29.24); and that sometimes very bad things disguised themselves, as very good things; “Satan” himself comes to us disguised as the “angel of light” (q.v.). Therefore, we cannot be sure whether saints really were hearing the Holy Spirit … or a false spirit, posing as the Holy Ghost.
Priests, apologists, theologians, have always covered all this up, or “whitewashed” it. They have hidden this side of the Bible – that warned about priests, apologists, churches – from themselves, and from the people, the churchgoers. But now they should read this; including warnings about apologists, who are “whitewashers” of errors in religion (Job 13.4).
Our preachers and churches have always covered this up; or denied and tried to “twist” all this. Yet indeed, there are warnings about numerous false things throughout religion, especially Christianity: false Christs, churches, and even scripture. Even “all” scripture (Rom. 3.23; John 5.39; John 21.25; Jer. 8.8). Even prayers have problems (Josh. 10.14; see Jesus or Paul on public prayers with “vain repetitions”). For that reason, the Bible ultimately did not stress “faith” in religious leaders, churches, or their pronouncements, sermons, about God. Instead, the Bible itself told us to “test everything” in religion, even the holiest scripture, with “science”; to find if it gets real material results, wonders, “fruits,” or not. And if not, we are not supposed to follow it, but reject it as a word that God did not actually say (Deut. 18.20 ff).
For biblical references to the command, by God, to found religion on science, more than faith, see our Chapter 3 – Science-Based Religion, was Ordered by God; Not “Faith-Based”; “Test Everything.” Because there are always false and bad things, even in our angels and saints, as God said, to find the truth, we were not supposed to “faith”fully follow anyone on earth, or follow church or holy man, just on faith. (James 2.14 ff; 1 Thess. 3.10; 2 Peter 1.5; Rom. 4.14; Rom. 14.1; 1 Corin. 13.3 ff; Gal. 3.12). We are to have no more faith than a “grain of mustard seed” (Luke 17.6).
“As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him” (Rom. 14.1).
“Faith , hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest … is love ” (1 Corin. 13.13).
“Your faith is in vain” (1 Corin. 15.14-17).
We are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corin. 5.7).
“The law does not rest on faith” (Gal. 2.12).
“Supply what is lacking in your faith” (1 Thess. 3.10).
“Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2.17, 24, 26).
Those who “walk by faith and not by sight,” are, note, far from the Lord. Those who can “see” God in real, material things … are much closer to God.
In fact, religion was never supposed to be “faith-based”; religion, Christianity, is supposed to be science-based (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE; Deut. 18.21-22; Mal. 3.10, etc.). Perhaps we are not to “tempt” God. But we are allowed, even commanded, to carefully, scientifically “test” everything” in life and religion (1 Thess. 5.21; Mal. 3.10; 1 Ti 3.10; Gen. 42.15; Ps. 11.5, 66.10,; Ecc. 7.23; Jer. 9.7, Lam. 3.40; Dan. 1.12; Zech. 13.9. Cf. “thou shalt not test” vs. other translations, not “tempt” Luke 4.12 RSV). Test with, as it turns out, real “science” (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE, Deut. 18.20 ff; 1 Kings 18.21-39). Examine the real material “prosperity” that comes from each saying attributed to God; its real material “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs,” here on this material “earth,” as “observ”ed and “test”ed with “science,” and observation of what or what “does not come to pass” (Deut. 18.20 ff), here, on this earth, in a timely way; “soon,” “at hand,” “presently,” the “time is near,” “quickly,” in at least a “generation.” (While rejecting St. Peter’s suggestion that soon might mean thousands of years; since Jesus called Peter “Satan”). In this way, we use God’s Science; and in this way we next find, the better outline of God, and Truth; of what is Good.
For Biblical commands to follow “science” Dan. 1.14-15 KJE; “put me to the test, saith the LORD,” Mal. 3.10 RSV; “test everything,” 1 Thess. 5.21. Indeed, we are to examine everything in religion to see if it is really from God or not … by using science, the observation of how things work out or “come to pass” here, on this material, physical earth:
“How may we know a word the LORD has not spoken?’ – when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him” ” Deut. 18.21-22.
“Beware of false prophets …. Thus you … know them by their fruits” (Mat. 7.15-20). Then Ps. 139.7; 1 Kin. 8.23-9.2; & St. Paul; italics, mine.
Note that Jesus’ apparent injunction not to “test” God, is often better translated “tempt” God in better translations; as in the phrase the “Temptation of Christ.” Since indeed, we are even commanded to “test” religion, God, in Malachi:
“Put me to the test says the LORD” (Mal. 3.10).
“Test everything” (1 Thess. 5.21).
At times St. Paul seemed to attack attention to “things on this earth” (Col. 3.1-3); but for the importance of using material evidence from the “earth,” and science, to discover what is good, see also Gen. 1.10; Isa. 1.18, 1.21-24, 6.3, 26.9, 29.4, 42.1-5, 65.16; Ps. 37.3, 104.24; Ps. 115.6; Ps. 115.16; Job 28.2-25; Sirach 37.27; John 12.25 vs. 12.47 & 3.16; 1 Corin 1.28, 10.26; Col. 1.16-20, Col. 1.19-20; Rom. 1.20; Ps. 37.11; Matt. 8.3-4, 6.33.
“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” Jer. 23.34.
“In him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” (Col. 1.16).
For more on the supreme importance of knowing God through observation of nature, knowing God through looking at material things, and sometimes specifically through “science,” see: Job 28.2-25; Jer. 31.35-7; Prov. 1.22; Prov. 25.2-3; Isa. 7.10-14, Isa. 1.21-24; Mat. 7.20; Mark 2.10-12; Luke 21.24, 21.25, 21.27, 21.29; 1 John 4.1; John 10.17-18 NAB, John 14.10-12; Rom. 14.1, Rom. 8.28 NWT, ref. Ps. 145.17; John 9.3; Rev. 2.2, 11.1; Titus 2.16. And technology and practical knowledge, in Catholic Bibles: Wis. Sol. 1.1-7; 7.16-17; 8.5-17 vs. 13.1-14.7; 16.17; 19.11-21. Also 1 Kings 4.29-33; Dan. 2.60-81. For a more complete survey, see our entire chapters on Science, Asceticism, and latter, Matter.
For scriptural references finally, to the final destruction of heaven, and the appearance of a “new heaven,” see our first chapter, the Destruction of Heaven; citing mainly Jesus in Mark 13.31-2; then 2 Peter 3.7-14; Isaiah 34.1-10 & 24.1-21; Rev. 6.12, 9.1, 8.12, 12.4, 21.1; Mat. 24. For Muslims: Koran 11.108, 14.48. See also the literally hundreds of references in the Bible, and Quran, to a “day” or “fire” and “judgment”; the day when the Lord comes to earth, to judge and destroy evil; the Day of the Lord; Judgment Day; the End Time; the Apocalypse. Including Isa. 2.2; Mal. 3.2; Mat. 24.22; Mark 13.31; Acts 17.31; 2 Peter 3.8?
These are just a few of our seventy and more references from the Bible itself, to false and bad things in religion, even in Christianity especially. Then references to God’s command to use science, to find out what the bad things are.
The Destruction of Heaven, the “Day,” as Now
So where are we in biblical History, today? This question was often asked by priests; and different churches came up with different answers, different schools: “millennialist” vs. “dispensationalist,” vs. “post-millenialist,” etc.. But the many churches suggest that we are in the End Times; which began to be sure, even in the time of say, John; as narrated in Gospel of John; and Revelation. But which have continued to our very day. More exactly though, we suggest that perhaps the “day” is always near for each of us; since any one of us can at last discover, “see,” any time the sins of our churches and priests; experience the Destruction of Heaven for ourselves. And look for a new and better heaven. Though perhaps to be sure, there will be a moment, around now, when not just a few individuals, but much of the whole population of the world, will at last see those sins. And experience this apocalyptic moment, of radical change.
What is the “day”? A very large part of the “Day,” the End, consists in the seemingly very negative moment, that we at last see sins and errors in our holiest men and angels. All this, furthermore, is happening increasingly, to more and more of us, today; as recently, increasingly, science and the experience of what really “comes to pass” in our churches, have exposed one sin after another in our churches. As this happens, increasingly, our old heaven is being demolished, even now, for more and more of us. But now at last, believers can face and accept this; secure in the awareness that after all, amazingly enough, all this is in fulfillment of God’s plan; all this is approved, commanded, by God himself. This indeed, is the key part of the foretold “day.” The day we “mature” in our religion; and witness the intellectual/spiritual bankruptcy of our childhood vision of Heaven.
So what indeed are we finding out, to”day?” As we “mature”? We are finding that our Bible is true; but that it was true in a way that our preachers have not, until now, understood. The fact is, just as the Bible warned, our ancient holy men and angels themselves, made many, many mistakes. They sinned first of all, when they Proudly thought too much of themselves; and presented themselves, or allowed themselves to be popularly perceived, as being more authoritative than they actually were; as being the reliable voicepieces of God. The fact is, our Bibles warned, our ancient and holiest men and angels, made many, often literally, physically fatal mistakes, in their understanding of God.
Yet while our holy men, our religious “teachers,’ have made countless mistakes? If they have been captivated, under their superficial humility, by a devastating vanity and pride? Then after all today, here and now, we are beginning to “see” through the deceits; to see some of the many, many sins in our holiest men.
But what specifically, have the great sins of holy men been? First: 1) preachers often told us that they and their traditions are absolutely holy and sacred and true; and that if we follow them, with total “faith,” we will get amazing miracles, and go to an “eternal” heaven. And yet however, we are about to find out here, while parts of the Bible seemed to say that, that is not really what the Bible itself finally said, overall, ultimately. Actually, we will find here, the Bible told us over and over that there have always been “false” and bad and “deceit”ful things and “sins,” , even in nearly “all” of our holiest Christian holy men and angels.
In fact, our preachers made many mistakes. And the first, was their Pride; when they radically over-stressed their own authority; when they told us we must have total “faith” in they themselves, or their idea of God.
But now we are beginning to see the mistakes of our holy men; first, we see that they over-stressed their own authority. And next, related to that we have seen that 2) our traditional holy men over-stressed “faith.” Whereas in fact, because as the Bible said, there are almost always sins in our holy and sacred things, we are not supposed to have total “faith” in our traditional religious leaders, or their ideas about God; but instead – as we will be seeing in our many books here – we are supposed to “test everything” (1 Thess. 5.21), with “science” (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE). To see if following given sayings attributed to God, are really from God or not.
When all our holiest men and angels fail us … then how do we know which words really were scripture; really were from God? And which were not (Deut. 18.20 ff)? How are we and God to separate the a) wheat from the chaff; the b) sheep from the goats; the c) living branches from dead wood; real Christianity from false? Actually, finally, God himself told us we are to observe which sayings bring God’s promised real, material, physical “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs,” “prosperity,” here on this material “earth,” in a timely way. To find out which ancient and modern words are really from God, we are to look to see whether following them brings the material, physical benefits promised – or not (Deut. 18.20 ff).
The Crucial Moment:
Revealing at Last,
the Real, Devastating, Fuller
Sins of the Churches
The Bible therefore, warned over and over, that there will have been great sins in our holiest men and angels – and what is more, here and now, we are discovering, seeing what some of the sins of our holy men are. First 1) our preachers presented themselves as all-but-absolutely reliable authorities on God; but that was a lie. The fact is, the Bible told us our preachers and churches would often make many “mistakes”; even in their allededly “inspired” moments and doctrines and so forth.
And then, related to their Pride, 2) our holy men made their third great mistake or sin: they told us that they, and/or their “heaven,” were “eternal.” Whereas we have clearly seen here, that heaven itself is to “perish.” (The only heaven that lives on, is God himself).
Then, related to the above too, our preachers made 3) their third great mistake or sin: they over-stressed “faith” in their authority, instead of the critical science that God actually wanted us to have.
Then in particular, 4) out of this neglect of respect for the Science of God, our holy men committed their fourth great sin; they continued to promise supernatural-seeming “miracles”; even though the signs that such promises were false, were immense.
To prove all that, of course, takes even more than one book; most these points were made elsewhere in our series of books. But here we are probably supplying at least an adequate outline of the first two sins of priests: their 1) pride. Seen in their insistence that they are holy, or authoritative. Which is seen to be false, when we compare their proud self-proclamations … to what we see in the newspapers, and what “comes to pass” in real life.
The Apocalypse, Today
Today therefore, we are seeing countless sins in our holy men. But how can believers face or believe this? Finally, there is only one solution, one prophesy to invoke here, that really guides us through this: the Apocalyptic, and Second Coming prophesies; including warnings especially of a special “day.” God warned that one day, we would “see”; we would see God more vividly again; in and among the things of this earth.. While specifically, we are to see God exposing the sins in our holiest men and angels. Just we are seeing them today.
And so, what should we say now?
We should say that the foretold “day” is already in progress, for many of us; many of us even now are seeing God expose sins in our churches and holy men. While even now, our childhood heaven is collapsing down around our ears. But if so, then after all, if this at first seems impossible to face or believe, we should at last have the conviction and courage to face this; on discovering here that after all, 1) amazingly, this finding is authorized by the Bible itself; and commanded by God himself.
Facing, confessing signs of sin in our churches, should now be possible last, even for preachers; even preachers should be able to at last face this; on finding out that after all, furthermore, 2) all this is to the good; all this is to help clear the way, cleanse the temple for at last, the foretold “second,” new, “full”er, more “mature” vision, Second Coming, of the Lord, and of good; to this material earth again, at last (2 Peter 3; Isa. 34.4; Mark 13.31; Rev. 21).
Today indeed, many of us are already, here and now, finally seeing many sins and errors in our holy men, until today. So what should we say? Finally, we should not reject or flee from this shattering moment … but embrace it; since all this can be justified biblically after all, here and now, finally. What we are experiencing might relate somewhat to what has been called the “dark night of the soul”; a moment when we cease to believe in our childhood religion. But more exactly, we can describe and justify this in more Biblical terms today; by saying that many of us are in effect, just passing through the Apocalyptic Destruction of Heaven; even now. A moment that was, ironically, amazingly, justified, commanded, even by … the Bible itself. By God himself.
When many of us come to doubt, notice sins in our holiest men, then, finally, we don’t have to flee from this moment; but should see it as fulfillment of prophesy. In fact, it is the foretold Destruction of Heaven – and indeed, the Apocalypse; the foretold destruction, can be read as a metaphor. A metaphor indeed, for the moment we “mature” in our sense of religion; of God; of priests and churches. The moment when we become adults, with good judgement; good enough to begin to notice sins in those adults we thought were infallible and perfect, when we were younger children.
But note this carefully: the old preachers’ phrase, that Paul told us to “grow up” in “our faith,” is not quite right. The fact is, what God really wanted was not for us to grow larger just “in our faith”; but rather, what God really wants, we have found here, is for us to grow up … beyond faith. To the science of God. Which has long since begun emerging after all, in scholarly Theology and Religious Studies.
This then is the metaphorical meaning of the Destruction of Heaven, and of the “Day”: it is the moment, the “day” when we at last acquire adult “judgement.” When we begin at last, to see sins and errors in our clerics, our priests, our holiest men. When we begin to see that their promised of miracles for example, were not entirely true; or were at best, only half true. But this is a moment of great progress; because, when we see what does not work in our faith, then we can begin with God, to at last cut off and “burn” the dead”wood,” the “unfruitful” “branches” of our religion; to let the fruitful ones grow more fully, at last.
And so let us begin indeed, to do exactly that. Let us begin to publicly, repeatedly, expose the sins of the churches and holy men; especially let’s tell everyone, that traditional holy men sinned when they promised us miracles. But then next, let us also publicly offer our preachers a chance to at last, be “refine”ed; and join the true tradition; of the science of God. To grow up, and learn some serious, scholarly, scientific Theology; or Religious Studies.
Once we have seen this, the painful foretold Apocalyptic day is more or less over; and in fact most of us could now end reading this book here; and simply go on to more serious, scientific Religious Studies. Which are numerous, already.
However, for the sake of anyone who does not know what more serious religious science, scholarship, looks like, we might go on next to say, a fairly simple but reasonably objective historical survey, of the historical roots of the whole idea of … the “day.” With the idea henceforth, that we will try to be as objective as we can; but knowing of course, that ultimate reality and God, are infinitely complex; and will never be described with absolute fidelity. Knowing that we are doing only, the best a human being can do; using the humble science that we know. A science, like all sciences, that is always open to revision; but also sharing with other sciences, large and “prove”n accomplishments, “fruit”fulness, after all.
Science and technology, in spite of occasional misuse, having proven enormously “fruitful” after all; and having proven themselves to have been from God in fact, rather more reliably than the vast bulk of “religion.”
Indeed, many of us are now beginning to see sins, errors, deceits, in ancient religious promises of “miracles” and “spirit”uality. But also, many of us are now moving on to the foretold “second,” “full”er, more “mature” vision, Coming, of God and truth as well. As we acquire greater “secular” knowledge … which turns out to join in with religious knowledge to become, actually, the fuller knowledge, science, of God, of good. Even now, many of us are passing through the intellectual/spiritual destruction of our traditional heaven of “miracles,” to see at last, a “second,” more practical, workable, more materially “fruit”ful idea of Religion and Christianity; one that at last begins to show if not “miracles,” then real natural, technological “wonders” … and at last, “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs.” Proofs even, we will find, of a real, scientifically-verifiable immortality; a real resurrection.
We can and in fact are coming to a better age. Yet to be sure, before that, essentially all our holy men, preachers – and all believers, male and female especially – have to pass through a moment of painful disillusionment, “fire,” criticism. Says the Bible itself; from God, himself.
One “day” or another – Judgement Day, the Day of the Lord, etc. – God, Christ, is supposed to return to earth. On a day relating to what is variously called the “Second Coming,” the End Times,” the “Apocalypse,” and so forth. But what exactly happens at these End Times? And specifically, what is the nature of, what is so important about, these “days”? In particular, we see the exposure of the sins of holy men, in this time.
Preachers and our religious Right, have been far too smug about The End. Typically some preachers all but look forward to the Apocalypse, the End, the “Day.” because they believe they themselves are better than others, better Christians; that they know and follow Christ better than non-believers and so forth. And in case, preachers want others to follow them – so they assure others that 1) their preacher at least, is good and true. While related to this, preachers often tell their congregation – that 2) the Day God comes to judge humanity, will be good for our preacher and his congregation. Because, the preacher assumes and says, it is only everyone else that, the other churches, that are deceived; while they themselves of course, they assume, are good. So that – as preachers constantly assume or even explicitly sermonize – God of course, then, is merely coming to earth, to congratulate and reward our preacher and his congregation at last. To reward their church … and punish everyone else.
But, we note here and now, this is presumptuous. The fact is, all our preachers should know, here and now, that 3) God constantly warned against such “presumption” and “pride”ful thoughts: that they themselves are for sure, good, or better than others. As above, he warned that many who thought they were following God, or a “Christ,” “Lord, Lord,” would find they were wrong.
So that 4) there is something our very pious did not expect, that happens in the Last Judgement: when God comes, not just to affirm that this or that belief or congregation is right. Indeed, actually, God arrives … with some things unexpected among preachers:
to expose, uncover (“apo-calypse”) that there were many, many false things in essentially almost “all” our faiths . Including even a “False” or “Anti-Christ,” too. So that indeed, God doesn’t come to congratulate our preachers; but 5) God comes to uncover the fact that nearly all our preachers and churches were themselves, deceived, or deceitful. As Rev. 13 said, nearly all peoples are found to have been deceived, to have been “worship”ing a false idea of God or Christ, one day.
As it turns out, therefore, nearly all our preachers have been far, far, far too egotistical, smug. And so they have committed among many other sins, the sins of being “pride”ful and “presumptuous.” Today especially, our preachers know something about the Apocalypse, the End, the Day. But the vast majority of our churches and congregations and preachers, have been all too proud and confident about themselves. They have been hugely over-confident that on such a day, it is everybody else, all the other churches, that will be proven to have been deceived. But in fact, the Bible warned us to be “humble,” and before making such assumptions of our own wonderfulness, we should look for the “beam in our own eye.” The fact is too, that God himself told us that one “day,” we would discover that essentially the whole earth, all “nations” tongues” had been deceived, under a “strong delusion” – even in its religion; even in its faith; even in what it “worshipped.” And if there are any to escape this massive deception … only God himself can judge who they are; not mere men. As we will see. Or at most, only the fuller, second understanding of God, the Science of God, is allowed to have much of a say, here on earth.
Preachers constantly assume or lecture, sermonize as if, they themselves are reliable; sacred, holy. But we need now to look like texts like, say, especially, Revelation 13. Which says, not just the “world,” not even so much secular society, but nearly everyone – including evidently our religious leaders especially – are to be found deceived; to be “worship”ing a false idea of God. To be deceived by a false leader or false Christ. Speaking of one particular beastly, false religious leader that will be found to have deceived the world, God said of it, this:
“It was given authority over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all the inhabitants of the earth will worship it, every one whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life” (Rev. 13.7-8, NRSV).
Essentially, then, it is actually the whole earth that is deceived; even our preachers, and our religion. (Since what we “worship” is false).
To be sure, Revelation 13 for example, does say, that there are to be a few individuals that might note have been deceived; those “written … in the books of life.” But if there might be a few individuals who are not deceived, no one can be sure who they are; only God can “judge” in the End. In the meantime, it is “pride” and “presumpt”ion, for you to imagine that you yourself are immune from error; that you yourself, or your own church, are for sure, among the “elect,” the “144,000, whose “name” is written in the book of the saved.
Indeed, many will be following a Christ … but a false one. This means then that many who thought they were following God or Christ, will be found wrong.
Your preacher then, when he assured you or implied, that he himself or his doctrines were reliable enough to listen to and follow faithfully … has been far, far too presumptuous. Far too arrogant also in assuming or asserting that it is only everybody else that is deceived. There are seventy or a hundred or more warnings throughout the Bible, that nearly “all” will be deceived; and it is presumptuous and Proud, we find here, for anyone to assert confidently that he himself is for sure, among the few who are not deceived; only God knows, will ultimately judge that.
And this means there is something more wrong in our churches today; and that as foretold, 6) there is a strange reversal in the End; when we find that things thought “first” are found “last,” and so forth (As in Mark 9.35 ff; or Mat. 19.30, 20.27; not Luke 14.18):
“But many that are first will be last, and the last first” (Mat. 19.30).
“They had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, ‘If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all'” (Mark. 9.34-25).
And 7) this means there is a great nasty backlash or downside to “faith.” Most churches presently teach, that the key to being good, is faithfully following God … God, as our church depicts him. So that on the key “day,” it was said that God does comes to earth again; to vindicate the faithful, or to show and reward which doctrines and followers, were true and which were not. And our preachers have tried to say that this means merely that those who follow the preachers in their deeds and their heart, will be rewarded; and those who do not follow the preachers, will not be rewarded. But in fact, many will be punished by God, not for not following a preacher, but for following one. Since, the fact is, the Bible actually warned that most preachers and churches and doctrines, would themselves be at least partially false. Which means that if you “faithfully” follow many a preacher, you will have been following a bad or false leader; following a “false Christ,” a bad preacher, “false prophets,” and so forth. Thus “faith” is not the answer; indeed, it is the problem. The more faithfully you follow a bad leader, the worse things get for you, in fact. The more faithful you are, the more you will be punished.
Here then indeed, is the great mistake that most believers and preachers have made: most stress faith; and think that if they follow this or that “tradition,” a church, a pastor, and follow them loyally, then they will be found by God to be good, in the End. But the fact is, it is one of our major points here that in fact, most people will be punished for following this or that leader, all too religiously, all too faithfully. Because the Bible told us that most of us are to be found to have been deceived, even in what we “worship”; that many that thought they were faithful to God, were deceived; were following, especially, a “False Christ,” or, a false idea of Christ, we might say more moderately.
Therefore finally, there are some unexpected twists and turns, to the End of time, the Last Days, the Apocalypse, the Second Coming. Though almost every preacher seems to assert Proudly that he or she of course – and their congregation, their church – will be among the few not deceived, indeed, this is a very, very Proud and vain boast. Because indeed, there are so many, many warnings that for all practical purposes, nearly “all” people on earth are deceived, “all nations,” “all tongues,” even in what they “worship” (Rev. 13). So that finally, no one on earth – no preacher or leader of “worship” especially – should ever be entirely confident in, and proud of. his church. No one should ever be so sure that he or she, and his entire church or denomination, has not been mislead; mislead by a false idea of Christ, and false doctrines. And indeed, no one should ever again follow anyone at all, quite as “faith”fully as our preachers demanded for so many centuries. Since we can never be quite entirely sure who really is from God and who is not.
8) But if indeed, the whole world has been deceived in these and so many things, then finally in any case, even now is a good “Day” to begin to fix all this. Indeed, for many of you, today perhaps, is the foretold Day. As we even here and now, begin to show … what the Bible was really about; to dispel ancient “illusions” and “delusions.” And to reveal at last, in the end, a “second” and better, “full”er, vision, “Coming,” of God and Good.
Indeed, there is supposed to come a “Day” when God comes to earth, to reward the good, and punish the wicked; and to throw false traditions into the “fire.” And the Bible warned that “all have sinned,” suggesting that perhaps no one really gets through this fire unburned; (no one today is quite as good as Shadrach and company, passing through a mere literal fire, but not this spiritual fire). But today nearly every preacher, almost every church is Vain and Proud; and proudly assures its followers that they themselves, are good enough; and that they (even alone?), will be found to be among the churches that are not deceived. Yet in point of fact, there is no way anyone should ever say that. The fact is, the Bible itself constantly warned of massive sins, even in our holiest men especially. While in our brief review here, we will have begun to see one or two of those sins, already: in particular, preachers and churches radically, proudly over-represented their own authority. Thus our holy men committed the sin of pride, and vanity. Of presenting themselves as reliable “teachers” or ministers; when in fact they were never nearly as reliable as they often explicitly claimed. Or as reliable as they implicitly claimed, by presenting themselves to us each week, as our teachers, our preachers, our authority.
The fact is, the Bible warns that “all have sinned”; and that essentially anyone and anything in Religion, even in Christianity, can be wrong. For that reason, we will begin to see in our series here, that finally God commands us to use science to examine … each and every aspect of Religion, of Christianity; every church and every doctrine and every preacher. With the understanding that nothing at all is ever to be taken to be absolutely holy, just based on faith or tradition; instead, everything must be evaluated by science, and “prove” that it is materially “fruit”ful; if not, it must not be followed “faith”fully; but instead – and against what we were always told by our preachers – it be declared false, and useless. So that it (and they?) should be “thrown into the fire.”
Historical Origins of the “Day”
Here we will have begun to show a few of the main events that happen on the “Day” of Judgement, the “Day of the Lord.” Especially, there are the days we begin to notice sins in our holiest men; sins in even our religious heroes or role “models.” But now we need to look at another side of these “day”s. We need to look at the probable Jewish and Old Testament sources for the Christian New Testament traditions of the “day.” So that we can also understand its origins; from an Old Testament, historical perspective.
We suggest here, as our historical hypothesis, that there are probably many different traditions, “days,” that feed into, the discovery here (and elsewhere), of a key “day” in Religion; a day when many traditional ideas even in religion itself, are exposed as “false,” “deceitful,” and are partially reversed. This final, more definitive notion of the day, represents the culmination of many other related traditions.
As it turns out here, various smaller parts of the “day,” were previously known to many believers and churches. In particular though, the tradition of 1) a special “day” of shattering discoveries, shattering judgement, comes from other special “days” … like Passover (“what is so special about this day,” as they say on that day). A day when we are asked to be loyal to the true sense of religion; or if not, then great penalties or even death, are levied against those who refuse. Also related to this day is no doubt, the 2) day when a few reasonably good or loyal Levitical tribesmen, defend the true lord (Moses and his God); and are thereby considered anointed as priests; the day they are said to enter the priesthood of Moses. When they attack and killed heretics in the desert. (Q.v., Bible).
These were “days” of severe “judgement” in fact. But all this, though, is in turn related to, usually, more gentle days. To 3) perhaps, various days of initiations, within various ancient tribes. In many ancient tribes, there were many days of initiation into this or that lore; moments which often a) involve telling this or that person, or anointing or marking him somehow, as a recipient of some of the tribal secrets, or “mysteries.” (See the Mystery Religions). Related to this, were special days b) like the day one is initiated into the tribe; in part, in Jewish culture, from about eight days after birth, when a male child underwent circumcision; thus symbolizing and initiating the baby partially, into the human community; marking him as one of the tribe.
All these traditions feed into and finally result in, the final notion of an Apocalyptic “Day.” But there are also many other, probably even more closely related days, feeding into this Day: including c) something like an ancient Bar Mitzvah; another day, which is essentially a typical tribal puberty ritual; which is intended to acknowledge, formally initiate the male, into adult status. And to teach him some of the responsibilities of his new sexual maturity, and social responsibilities. d) All of which is related finally, to various initiations we find in many cultures; rites related to those rituals that celebrate – or try to help develop – an individual’s growing “matur”ity. A moment alluded to by Paul (“be mature”); and closer still to the core meaning of how we see the “Day” here.
There are many, many ancient rituals that were intended to mark and assist individuals to ascend from one level or status, to something better; as from “child” to “mature” adult. Beginning with those rituals that mark puberty. Or some other marker of adulthood. And these were no doubt in the back of Paul’s (note, multicultural; Jew and Roman, etc.) mind, when he began to speak of such things. Beginning perhaps with those rituals that mark puberty. But even more important than those, no doubt, are similar rites and “days,” in many tribes (like those of Israel/Judah/Egypt), of say, e) emancipation, from bondage or slavery. To becoming a free man.
Or then, e) there is also the initiation as an “elder,” say. Often, around the age of 55 or so, one is considered mature enough, to be allowed into the local ruling counsels; being further initiated into the even deeper mysteries and secrets of the tribe, while assuming more and more responsibilities and powers too. While finally, beyond even that, there is f) the “christ”ening, g) anointing, into this or that position of responsibility; finally the h) enthronement, of say, a “king” or “Lord.”
There are many “days” of initiation rituals then; days of initiation into progressively higher and higher secrets, mysteries, and/or status in the tribe. Which were no doubt, a large part of the tradition that fed into, created, the idea of a key, shattering, disillusioning but enlightening “day.” No doubt.
But then too, there were some other very important kinds of days too: Deut. 16, including “Passover,” “the feast of booths,” and the “feast of weeks.” But especially, 4) the Jewish “Day of Atonement,” or “Yom Kippur.” Which is today the day when we say, were are to atone for the sins of the prior year. Historically, it is in part from the time that the people of Moses were found praying to false gods (the golden calf); a time when we are to sacrifice various animals as offerings to seek forgiveness; including the “scapegoat” and so forth. Many Jewish scholars perceptively suggest that Christian references to a “day” of the Lord, and Judgement day, are extensions, extrapolations, from the “day” of Atonement (see “Day of Atonement,” by Ben Zion Wacholder, p. 156 in The Oxford Companion to the Bible):
“Day of Atonement. Known in Hebrew as yom (ha) kippur(im), the Day of Atonement is the most solemn festival in the Jewish relgious calendar. It is celebrated on … October/November… The name is found in Leviticus 23.27-28; 259, and is explained in Leviticus 16.30: ‘For on that day the Lord will make atonement… for you to purify you from all your sins…. In antiquity as well as today, Yom Kippur was considered a festival of spiritual accounting….
Jewish tradition regards Yom Kippur as the day of judgement. On this day God passes judgement on the past deeds of every individual and decrees who shall live and who shall die during the ensuing year. The judgement process actually begins ten days before Yom Kippur, on the first day of Tishri, or Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and reaches its culmination on Yom Kippur.
Even after the early Christians ceased to observe the day of fasting, some of the symbolism of Yom Kippur was retained in certain formulations. Note, for example, such New Testament expressions as ‘the blood of Christ,’ or ‘the day of judgement,’ as well as the parallel make in Hebrews 9.1-14.”
It seems almost certain that it was in very large part the Jewish/Old Testament references to the “day” of atonement, that became the basis of the later Christian idea of a “day” when God comes to judge us; the “day of judgement.” Though 5) likely there was a related idea from ancient cultures, including Jewish culture, that was in effect, about settling our debts to the local lords; who were assumed to be ideally, representatives of the Lord in heaven. Indeed we suggest here, the origins of the “day” of Judgement and the Day of the Lord, were especially, in a moment around harvest times especially; when we paid our debts to the local lord, by giving him a portion of our crops, or “fruits.” Especially important in traditional Jewish culture, was not only a) the Jewish New Years celebrations, the ten days before Yom Kippur, and then Yom Kippur itself, the Day of Judgement; which is usually in September/October, or around Thanksgiving or harvest times.
But especially another day around fall harvest, in September or October – five days after Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement – was also important: b) Sukkot; the harvest festival; the Festival of Booths or of the sukkah, booth. Its relation to harvest, is seen when we see it was also called “Chag Ha-Asif,” the Festival of the Ingathering. It seems related in turn also to the succeeding holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah; described as a joyous time of feasts and celebrations, though containing serious elements. The month of harvest in general – the time of both the Jewish New Year, then Yom Kippur, then Sukkot – including much celebration, but also solemn moments of accounting too. Harvest was undoubtedly a convenient time to meet or speak with the local lord. And in agricultural, land”lord”/tenant-farmer cultures, right after Harvest, was probably a time when we, farmers, are supposed to use often, our fall crops, in part, to settle our debts and obligations, sacrifices, taxes, to the local “lord” or god or ruler. Giving the local lord (and/or his idea of God; his temple) part of our crops, “fruits” as payment due, insofar as we are able. And then, significantly, standing before him to have our “fruits” “judged” by him; as sufficient or insufficient to settle our debt with the Lord. And then be rewarded by him if our fruits were sufficient; or punished, if not. In some cases, on these or some related days, it might be that some people in many cultures, were able to buy their way out of various obligations; forms of indenture; slavery.
So the whole idea of the “lord” judging us by our “fruits” – key motiffs in the Christian Judgement Day – were likely, we suggest here, derived from Fall harvest moments, of tenant farmers and herders, not only feating, but also in the more solemn act of settling their accounts, their debts, with local lords, and/or the priests and their “lord”; by giving the Lord a portion of their fall harvest. Related to that, there were always threats and predictions, in many cultures, that if we followed the local lord or god, (and particularly, paid him taxes, tithes, tribute, whatever), then one “day” or another, the lord would reward us. With money, land, whatever. Or conversely, if we did not meet our obligations, then the lord would punish us, one day. Either that very day, or “soon”er or later. No doubt in fact, we suggest strongly here, 6)
these Fall harvest days, were the major source of what later became the Christian idea …. of the “Day of the Lord.” When the Jewish states collapsed, and there was no Jewish Lord to give our fruits to, it came to be said that probably however, such a Lord would return; some future “day” at last a “Lord” or “king” or a God, would appear, to at last judge us by our fruits; and to deliver promised prosperity to the good, while delivering his punishments to the evil, who could not present good fruits.
These occasions, we suggest here, are the major historical source of most Christian ideas of a special “day” of the “lord,” and “judgement day,” both. Eventually, it was these and other Jewish (and other) traditions, especially around the time of fall harvest, and relating especially to special days for standing before the local Lord. and offering him tax, tribute, sacrifice, developed into in fact, several “day”s, that Christians now believe in. Traditions in Christianity related to harvest payments, probably include the “Day of the Lord”; and 7) “Judgement Day”; but also the 8)
“Apocalypse”; or 9) the End Time; or 10) the “Second Coming” of the lord to earth; or 11) the day of the destruction of the World.
These pastoral/agricultural/proto-feudalistic aspects of the “Day,” may already be partially known to some scholars. In any case however, we now add here that another really important key to the “Day,” is an aspect of all this, that eventually seems to have developed deep in the whole mainstream as well. That aspect is that there are provisions for a sort of judgement even against Lords and so forth. After all, the whole basis of our following the Lord, was that not only do we have to show fruits; but also, in the various “covenants,” the Lord also has to help produce prosperity for us; we follow him, we give him a portion of our fruits, because the local lords and so forth, in turn promise to use their resources to protect us from invading armies; to use his granaries to help us in times of drought; and so forth. So that both sides of the contract or covenant, are supposed to furnish something; even the Lord, and/or his clerics, are supposed to give us something, in exchange for our payments. But this means also, that there is a moment in these various judgement “day”s, that our preachers and lords did not notice, or did not tell us enough about, earlier: the 12) moment, the a) “day” when even our highest lords and their clerics, are themselves, also supposed to give us, what they had promised to the people in turn. And b) if they do not? Then they are to be pronounced “false” and “deceit”ful. And thrown out of office. As false religious leaders; false priests, following false prophets, following indeed, a false “lord” or lord “god.” And furthermore, in this moment too, c) we the people are commanded to use objective science, especially; to see if our religious and other rulers are giving us the prosperity they promised … or not. And if they are not? Then we are no longer obligated to follow them “faith”fully and loyally. But instead indeed, we “rebuke” them as “false” and “deceitful”; and throw them out of the temples, out of office (cf. Democracy). Or even, we will see, out of Heaven itself.
Most preachers and ordinary people, do not really, fully know – or do not want to tell anyone – about this absolutely essential aspect of the “Day.” Yet today, most people think of the “Day” mentioned in the Bible, in these terms especially: most ordinary believers know well enough that one “day,” there is supposed to be a “day” when God is supposed to comes to earth again … to indeed, note, reward, vindicate the faithful, and prove them right; and to punish those who were bad, or who were deceived.
So what are our “Judgement Day,” and “Day of the Lord” really based on? What is their real, historical meaing? Most Christian people today, only have very vague “knowledge,” about these “days.” But we are noting here, first, that our Christian priests’ ideas came basically from the above, Jewish historical sources, that priests don’t know much about. Those sources including first, various rites of initiation, like those noted above; … and then second, from a sort of tax day, or day of debt settlements. One day or another, among many such days possibly every year, when both sides of the social contract or “covenant” – both follower, but also the Lord himself – have various obligations to meet. First, the common farmer and others, are supposed to bring their payment to the Lord, in exchange for the Lord’s protection: bringing crops, “fruits,” to the local court or “Lord,” or to his clerics; to have their fruits judged as adequate or not, to pay to the local Lord “what is owed” to him (as Jesus noted of “rendering unto Caesar, what is” his). But furthermore though, here is the critical aspect of all this, that our clerics today do not quite adequately emphasize: the “covenant” or contract with the Lord, is a typical contract after all, with obligations binding on both parties of the contract; we are offering something, some good … in exchange for other goods. In this case, all the many things that we give the lord, are d) given by us …
in exchange for his – the Lord and/or his clerics -extending various services to us.
Contracts or covenants, usually involve obligations on both signatories. In this case, we agree to follow the Lord … but lord or ruler, in exchange, promised many things in return: extending loans to us; extending to us the protection of his army; extending protection from starvation by access to a granary and “bread”; and so forth. (See Malachi 3; and the Pharaoh’s dream to Moses; etc.). Indeed, this e) obligation on the Lord in fact is so binding, that it is often described as a “covenant” or contract. And f) furthermore, we will have found, the things given to us by God, in return for our obedience and payements, are supposed to be timely;
“soon,” “at hand,” “quickly,” without “delay.” (See Science of God).
Most preachers today, know something about the “burden” the Lord puts on us; they love to spend sermon after sermon, demanding that we give our preachers “contributions” in their collection baskets; and “sacrifice”s in our daily lives. But there is another side to the covenants with the Lord, that don’t want to acknowledge: the obligations in turn, on they themselves, and/or their Lord. But in fact, those obligations are there. Indeed, we have found here in dozens of different ways, that in effect the arrangements we made with lords, kings, were often even formally contractual (see also informal contracts, in the manorial system; fiefdoms; etc.). And so, if often there were traditions where the Lord was to judge us, and our fruits at the same time, we – and God himself – are supposed to continually evaluate even the highest kings and prophets and angels; to see if they are honoring their side of the contract, the covenant. And in a timely way. (Though St. Peter opined that “soon” might mean thousands of years, Jesus after all called Peter “Satan” in Mat. 16.23).
Related to this, among other things, we have noted here that we are supposed to use science, to look to see what material goods – “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs” – our holy men and rulers have given us.
And if our priests and prophets were not quite delivering as many fruits as they promised; so that the “day” often involved …. great and sudden and drastic reversals of status, in even our highest clerics, or priests. And if our rulers are dead, and presumed to be in heaven? Then they are supposed to thrown out of Heaven itself; and/or out of places of honored “memory,” in our History “book”s.
So where did the popular Christian idea of a special “End Time,” of a “Judgement Day,” a “Day of the Lord,” a “Second Coming,” and so forth, historically come from? There are no doubt, many Biblical and other historical references, to various related “days” like this. From which the legend of the “Apocalypse,” and the “Day,” probably came from. But among the more important traditions that feed into and create the popular notion of a Judgement Day for example, as we are about to see here, were probably at least three major traditions: including 1) special days of initiation into the tribe, or into special status within the tribe. Which would include among other things, a) the day of circumcision, eight days after birth; then b) the day of the Bar Mitzvah. And perhaps a c) day of initiation or acceptance as an elder, or high priest with great authority over religion (see Hebrews; esp. 3.7-4.7-5.8).
But then too, there was yet another major type of cultural phenomenon contributing to all this: 2) tax- and debt- and other obligation-settlement days; like the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. A day which, we might suggest, was related especially to a sort of Tax Day. A day once a year, around the time we had our harvest, when we met with local leaders – or “lord”s – to settle our debts, our taxes, as far as we could; showing the lord our (in the case of the 95% of the population that were farmers), our literal “fruits”; and then giving the local ruler or lord or landlord, his due portion thereof.
Holy “days” of obligation then, were almost certainly, from this historical root. Which was a major part of the origin and end, of the various legends of a particular “Day”; the day when we meet our maker, our Lord, and we are judged by our “fruits.” (Though among many similar days, is the holy day or Sabbath too, by the way). In such days, one is supposed to meet with, and pay, a “Lord” or his representative clerks, clerics – and then be at least tentatively judged; as having been good or bad, as having met our obligations or not; as having paid or contributed various things to our lords, including taxes, required “sacrifices,” “fruits,” and so forth.
All of these “days,” we suggest here, are interrelated; and all of them are parts of the historical roots, and deeper meaning, of the “Day of the Lord.” They are essentially days when we are initiated into, brought into the deeper tribal culture and rules and knowledge – and especially, responsibilities. Learning to pay what we owe to the local “lord” or ruler for example; or even giving as a gift. (As Abraham did, even for Pharaohs and so forth; as the secret of his success, in fact).
This side of the day is well known and often repeated by priests. Though to be sure, at the same time, according to many ancient contractual agreements – or “covenants” – with the lords and his clerics, while a) we owe things to the local lord, at the same time, b) he and his clerics, also owe things to us in return. Like protection from our enemies; extending food from the granaries, in time of starvation; extending education to the people; furnishing municipal works (like clean water supplies); and so forth. And so, these days, our agreements or covenants with the lords and clerics, are not one-way affairs; in exchange for us giving the lords all these things, they are supposed to furnish certain goods and services to us, in turn.
While finally, in fact, we are noting here especially, if our rulers, lords do not deliver material services in turn, then at last, the “day” of judging fruits, can be turned against the clerics and priests themselves, after all; if they promised more than they delivered. If they are found not to have been representing a lord or god that really delivers real results.
To be sure, our preachers have been eager to try to disprove this; so that they themselves will never be judged or found to be inadequate or false. Preachers want to be able to endlessly promise us huge miracles for example … and never be called up short, and asked to put up or shut up. Never held to the contract. And so, priests eventually developed dozens of arguments, apologetics, to try to excuse what lawyers might call their own “non-performance of contract.” Yet we will find, that their many arguments, sermons, are all false (see Sermons as Excuses). As we will be seeing, priests really are obligated to deliver real material results, and in a timely way … or else be simply declared to be false priests, following false prophets. Or a false idea of the Lord, or God. A False Christ.
More on this later (in Sermons as Excuses). In the meantime …
The Ritual Day, Rite of Initiation
Into the Tribe;
The Briss, or Circumcision
To more fully understand the meaning of “Judgement Day” and so forth therefore, we need to consider first, many related key moments, “days” in tribal cultures. Especially, let’s consider first, days of say, religious initiation, in Judaism. Beginning with say, the “day,” eight days after birth, when a male child his supposed to be circumcised, as the first phase of his initiation into the tribe:
“Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and … every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day as God had said” (Gen. 17.23).
This would probably be the first day we are examined by authorities, and are deemed acceptable or not; when we are tentatively judged, and are initiated into the tribe, accepted by the Lord, or not. (Some might not have been; if they were found not to have been from Jewish mothers, or some such).
But then too there are many other significant “day”s as well, of course, in the Old Testament. There were special days in history when the Lord did something special. And those days came to be celebrated on “holy days,” holidays. Like perhaps, some of the following:
“A memorial day” (Ex. 12.14).
“This law which I set before you this day” (Deut. 4.8).
“This is the day in which the LORD has given” (Judges 4.14′ Ps. 118.24).
There are many such holy “days” and holidays – and days of initiation – in Judaism and other religions. But prominent among them, we might note, is the day when the male “child” of 13 years of age or so, is examined, to see if he is fit to be declared an adult member of the tribe; when he is examined for the “knowledge” that an adult is required to have. This day is today called the “Bar Mitzvah.” It corresponds to many similar rites of “initiation,” as Anthropology calls them, in many ancient tribes; which often have similar initiations, in puberty rituals and so forth (cf. the day you are “made a bear” in ancient Greek culture).
A Special Initiation “Day”
Into the Secrets of the “Mature,” Adults,
Significantly though, note that in many (even most?) rituals, initiates are often instructed in certain secret teachings, or “mysteries,” that only adult members of the tribe are supposed to know. For various reasons, not all tribes want everyone to know everything about them; and so many bits of history are kept secret. But eventually, for those who are in the tribe, and are “mature” enough to “face” them, knowledge of these secret teachings, is thought to help inform you better. And also to define you as making the transition from being a “child,” to being a “mature” adult. And so in most tribes, there were special days of initiation, when you are told about various secrets of the tribe that you did not know about as a child, or as someone outside the tribe; or outside the circle of those initiated into the secrets.
One would think that Christianity itself doesn’t have any such days; since it often claims to have told everyone all the “mysteries” and so forth. But significantly the New Testament, while at times appearing to claim that it is keeping no secrets, that it is revealing all “myster”ies, does also however refer to readers as “children.” While hinting at a day (cf. “judgement” day), when you are to be said to perhaps, at last, meet a “father” or a “LORD,” even “face-to-face”; and be instructed or judged by him. A day after which, you are said to have acquired “judge”ment, and are to be thought “mature”:
“Let the children come to me” (Luke 18.16).
“So with us; when we were children” (Gal. 4.3).
“Their fruit does not mature” (Luke 8.14).
“Let us … go on to maturity” (Heb. 6.1).
“In thinking, be mature” (1 Corin. 14.20).
“No longer be children” (Eph. 4.14).
“When the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in pat; then I will know fully …. And now faith , hope, and love abide….” (1 Corin. 13.11-13 NRSV).
“Among the mature we do impart wisdom” (1 Corin. 2.6).
“The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face” (Ex. 33.11).
“I will enter into judgement with you face to face” (Jer. 20.35).
“Then the king commanded his palace master … to bring some of the Israelites of the royal family and of the nobility, young men without physical defect and handsome, versed in every branch of wisdom, endowed with knowledge and insight, and competent to serve in the king’s palace” (Dan. 1.3-4 NRSV).
“Please test your servants for ten days” (Dan. 1.12 NRSV).
“So that we may no longer be children” (Eph. 4.14).
“But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire” (Mal. 3.2).
Initiation into the Priesthood?
There are also, of course, many parts of the Bible about “anointing” and initiating people in the priesthood particularly (q.v.). Though to be sure, even “anointed priest”s can “sin,” the Bible assumed (q.v.).
Other Related Days?
The “Day of Atonement,” or “Yom Kippur”
What is the nature of the “Day”? Finally it is best seen finally, as a day of reckoning, of maturation, of attaining your majority, “matur”ity, the age of “judgement.” When you are at last told that after all, our holiest things were not quite as perfect as they told you, as “child”ren.
But there are many roots of Judgement day. But in passing …what were some of the other roots of the “Day”? Of say, Judgement Day? Consider the “Day of Atonement.” What we have today, is just a vague general idea of “atoning” spiritually, making mental peace, with others. But like many religious stories and traditions, what they originally described was a fairly concrete, materially functional aspect of a religious state. Specifically, the day of atonement, was almost certainly a sort of ancient “tax day” and contractual settlement day; a day for literally giving money or goods to the local lord, in exchange for his services. We give money – taxes, “sacrifices” – to the local governmental powers or “lord” or “god”; and in exchange for that, he does not kill us; lets us use the land for farming; and often protects us from enemies with his armies.
The “Day of Atonement” – Yom Kippur – then, is particularly important. It is considered by many to be the primarily holiday in Judaism. As we now reconstruct its origins, it was probably originally a day, around the time of harvest, when believers are supposed to give to the local lord, what is owed and due him in taxes, tribute, etc.. (“Give unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s).
The real root and meaning of the Bible, is to outline an early form of Feudalism, or Manorialism, or serfdom; the basis of civilization. Basically, the idea is this: ancient rulers, powerful men – or “lord”s – and their households, or “house”s, essentially ran early tribes, or later villages, regions. They were the intelligent, educated persons of their day, who had the knowledge to run a house, a village. And many people would swear fealty- or “faith” or loyalty – to the local “lord.” In order that the lord would not harm them; and would guide them to prosperity; and protect them with his armies and so froth. But for the local lord to do that, he needed recourses; and so the local serfs, peasants, peons, people, often had to, give something to the Lord. In exchange for the benefits of the Lord – military protection; use of his granaries and mills and blacksmith shops and roads and temples – the ordinary person have to give some kind of service, “sacrifice,” “tax,” “tribute.” Give the Lord money, and time, or goods and services. In the religious version of this, one gave the temple and its “Lord,” or “God,” “sacrifices,” or contributions, “tithes.” Which gave the Lord in turn – or his chosen representatives – the resources to support themselves … but also the granaries, the armies, and so forth. That finally indeed, brought “prosperity” to the people. Thus, sacrifice to the Lord, brought prosperity.
So see indeed, 1) how the great father of Judaism, Abraham, succeeded: essentially Abraham succeeded, by giving various forms of tribute, sacrifices – even his own wife – to local lords. Basically, indeed, we all succeed often, by giving gifts, tribute, taxes, sacrificed good, to those powerful people around us; by doing that, we invite them to think favorably of us, as a friend and co-worker and contributor to the larger culture, city, civilization around us. Encouraging the local Lord not to think of us as an interloper, trying to steal or poach on their land.
This kind of thing that we see as the heart of Christianity – “faith”fullness and “sacrifice” to the “Lord” – therefore, we assert here, undoubtedly goes back to the origins of civilization itself. It came merely to be more formally codified, secularized, in many cultures, in the time of the fall of the Carolinian empire, of Charlemagne, from c. 800 to 1100 AD. At this time, it came to be known under various descriptions, relating to “vassal”ages, “serfdom,” “feudalism,” “tribute,” payment of “tribute,” or “tax” to the local “lord,” or to the local religio-political ruler. (Religion and secular life were often mixes, when local kings and Pharaohs were known as “gods,” “lord”s). Eventually these kinds of relationship with a local lord, though, were formalized in modern life, in two different ways. First, as a) formal systems of central government, supporting itself by taxes. Or b) in religious governments, a central temple supported by “sacrifices,” and so forth.
Indeed, the more fruitful and realistic avatar: we pay the local government “tax,” in exchange for whatever services it gives us; like schools, military protection, food when food is in short supply, etc… order for us. And this began to emerge even in ancient Israel itself. As noted indeed in scholarly texts like People of the Covenant; or Social World of Ancient Israel, p. 188, this indeed was almost certainly the real meaning and function behind most ancient “sacrifices.” Which indeed, linguistics confirms:
“The terms employed for sacrifices in the Bible … and those which appear in tax records, are remarkably similar”; Levine 1989 xxiii). For instance, the word for a grain sacrifices .. is the same as the word for a tax collected by a monarch….”.
Not doubt, if tax collectors – like the Apostle Matthew – were not well loved in general terms, and not even the Bible (by Pharisees?), probably that was just a general complaint about anyone who demands our money; or especially non-Jewish collectors, for non-Jewish causes. But finally, Jesus himself accepted a tax collector as one of his disciples; and many Christians after him called for sacrifices to their churches. While Paul noted that those things sacrificed to the Lord, in church or temple, were used in part by the preachers, for their personal needs. (Just as giving “money to the Lord” in the collection plate, is largely used to take care of the expenses of maintaining the church buildings, and feeding the minister, among other things). Though these are said to be ultimately, serving a larger lord.
Specifically, 3) what was the “Day of Atonement” then? It was probably a day, around the time of the Fall harvest – just before Succoth, the harvest festival of “booths” – when you bring part of what you have harvested, to the Lord, the temple … as “sacrifice,” “tithe,” tribute, or tax; to pay the Lord for what is owed him. In ancient times, normally, the “Lord” was a king or noble, a real, living, actual person, living in a Lord’s house. And he delivered real, actual services.
Originally then, most of the things we now think of as “religious” and vague, spiritual … were concrete, practical, material institutions. Over 4) time though, the original function and sense of them was lost; particularly when Israel was overrun by other powers, and its governmental institutions and tax system were partially replaced by other lords, gods, rulers, empires. In such a time, when we no longer had our original, say Jewish, “lord,” as a real physical person, when he had been deposed or executed by invading armies and empires, and his house or seat left empty (as the mercy seat in the sanctuary?), then the old social support system degenerated into a mere “shadow” or faint memory of what they once were. A sort of “shadow government” at best. Or even less than that; as a vague memory or longing for our own home rule, our own “kingdom” again, a real lord, some “day.”
Today 5) indeed, all this is interpreted, remembered, alluded to religiously but vaguely … as a sort of vague sense of general obligation; to not so much to real powers here on earth, but to reality, or God, or an ideal. But that “religious” sense of things, our clerks pious but only half-comprehending attempts to keep the past alive, lost the original, material sense of it all. Which was that in ancient times different individuals probably had specific contracts and obligations to meet, as regards whatever particular loans and so forth they had borrowed from the Lord. And so once a year or so, after the harvest – when you were in a position to pay for debts, with your crops – you would go to the local lord, to pay or sacrifice part of what you had. At such time, appearing with your (often literal) “fruits,” you were “measured” and found good, or wanting. And then you are rewarded, or punished, according to your deeds and “fruits.” According to whether you have enough fruit or not.
Indeed, 6) the institutions today that most closely follow and obey the old rules, are not churches … but good governments; to which we pay a portion of our income, in tax or tribute; in exchange for government functions like better roads, schools, help for the poor, and so forth. Local governments also give us Criminal and civil law … that provide for the settlements of debts to other citizens too. Though not necessarily on a particular “day” of the year anymore.
And so this is the probable origin or essentially functionality of indeed many ancient “days,” like the Day of Atonement. All this also sounds rather exactly like – and became part of the more general notion of a – Judgement Day, or the Day of the Lord, or the “Day.” In general, the idea was that we often owed the local “lord” or ruler, landowner, landlord, some things for his services; what he gave us. And the idea was to pay him, often on a particular day. In particular, the time around Fall harvest, was convenient in ancient times, when 95% of the population were farmers; the Fall harvest was the time when they had the most goods, their crops. (Though continuous payments, including “first fruits” of the season, were also demanded). And of course, when such things were due, if we gave or sacrificed to the lord what was asked, then he would favor us; but if not, if our “fruits” were insufficient, then … the lord would probably punish us; on that day, “the day of the Lord.”
Various harvest-time tax days, then, are undoubtedly a major part of the root meaning of the “Day of Atonement,” and of most of these holy “day”s or holidays, as a matter of fact. But then in turn, they are really part of the root meaning and origin of “Judgement Day,” and the “day of the Lord.” A special day when we meet our Lord, and are judged as good or bad, by him. According to our “fruits” and so forth. But it is important to note that the generalized notion we have today of this, from vague religious recollection, is indeed, just a vague “shadow” (as Hebrews Platonically called it), of acts and institutions that were once, very real, material, and functional.
More; We Can “Test” the Lord Too:
Our “Contract” or Covenant
With God – And
What He Owes Us
And oddly enough, such contracts – or “covenants” – that are made with any lord, like most contracts, work two ways: we agree to give the Lord something … in exchange for something he agrees to give us. And indeed, if the lord or ruler does not give it to us, we are not supposed to always simply, blindly trust and follow him … but instead, are supposed to accuse and convict him of violation of contract. These are days when not only does the Lord access us; we also evaluate our Lord too; when we give the Lord sacrifices, we are to see if he gives us things in return, too:
Indeed note, the lord promised to give us many wonderful things. And we can see that – and the very concrete way it once operated – in such passages as this one:
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts; see if I will not [then] open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. I will rebuke the locust for you … and your vine in the field shall not be barren” (Mal. 3.10-11).
So when a religious organization makes a “Contract with America,” for example, normally we should read it, and make sure it is promising something concrete … and is delivering it. If not, then we can sue … for nonperformance of contract.
Indeed, contracts or “covenants” – like the covenants made between the Lord and us – usually work two ways. We agree to give the Lord something – tax, tribute, sacrifices, our devotion – and then in exchange, the Lord promised to give us many things … like “prosperity,” protection from enemies and invading armies, help for the poor, and so forth.
And so contracts, our religious “covenants,” work two ways. And though our priests constantly tell us what happens if we do not deliver on what we promise, it is time to tell our priests, what happens to them, when they do not deliver on what they promise. Indeed, what happens if our Lord, or his clerks, do not deliver? At first, Satan suggested in the books of Job, that the Lord might legitimately withhold his blessings and benefits to “test” others. But we will note here, that this idea was so different from the theology and contract of the vast majority of the Bible, that indeed it could only be tentatively and conditionally presented in the Bible … as indeed, an idea, a theory not from God strictly speaking, but as an idea or concept presented, literally, from Satan, (Job 1.8-11). The fact is, the Bible is firmly contractual; and the contracts involve obligations on both sides. So if our clerics do not deliver on promises made in the name of the Lord, they are simply in violation of contract. And must be found to be “false,” “liars,” bad evil people. Since we gave them our first fruits and so forth .. but then they did not deliver what they contractually promised us.
Today, our preachers like to say they are furnishing intangibles; or will give us what they promises some day “soon.” But … they are far less reliable today, than ordinary signatories on a mere secular contract. And should a thing from God be less reliable than .. a furniture company?
We are noting here, then, that there are many sacred “days” when we are all to be “judge”ed, accessed, measured; eventually we suggest, these many days, evolve into a legend of what we now call “Judgement Day,” and the “Day of the Lord.” Eventually these and more all come together: old traditions of say, 1) a special day of devotion to, payments to, your ruler or God, (including cleansing ceremonies); and 2) a day of being examined, then settling debts with the lord of your territory. Merging along with the 3) “day”s when you must demonstrate knowledge of the Lord, and are initiated into the secrets, “mysteries,” and responsibilities – of the tribe, the “day” when you “mature” or are “judged” or acquire “judgement.” .There are therefore, many traditions of days when we are supposed to meet with our lord, and be judged according to our knowledge and fruits. All 4) these combine, and eventually transform to the “Day of the LORD,” and “Judgement Day.” The root and final idea being that one “day” the Lord would settle with us; and would give us punishments or rewards, according to our “fruits.”
But 5) to be sure, let us now consider a special aspect to all this. Specifically, our obligations to the Lord were in part, often formal and even contractual; the Bible notes many formal “covenants” or contracts between our Lord God, and his people. In general, the agreement was this: the Lord sets forth his rules; including the amount of tax or tribute or sacrifices, we are required to give him every year; and if we follow and obey these requirements, then the Lord God in turn agreed … to “prosper” us. To use his granaries to feed us in times of famine; and to use his army to protect us from enemies, and so forth. SO that our relationship with the Lord was not all just one way; not only did we have obligations to the Lord, but he had obligations to us. Yet to be sure, in real life we often found that our sacrifices to the local LORD did not get us all the promised rewards. Often we would take our taxes or harvest tribute to our local leaders … and yet however, their granaries would run out, in times of famine. Or our Lords would just eat them up, and leave none for us. Or finally, often our local lords were defeated in battles with more powerful empires on their borders … so that our enemies overcame our lord, and us.
So at times in fact, our local Lords and their clerics failed us; failed to deliver on their end of the contracts or covenants we made with them. And indeed, this was the root of our problem with our specifically religious clerks, our clerics, too. In essence, they are the modern heirs of the old system described here; they speak in the name of the old lords; now generalized as “The LORD God.” We follow the “covenant” or contract, and we give them sacrifices, “tithes,” “contributions,” in our churches. And if we give what is due, if our fruits are good enough, then in exchange, our Lord God promises us that he would protect us, and guide us to prosperity and so forth. And yet however, indeed, it seems at times as if … now and then our clerics and Lord, fail us. As Job for example found for a time, you could follow and obey the Lord, and be “righteous” according to his rules and contract … and yet still, in spite of that, bad things might happen to you. Job was good and righteous and followed the Lord … and yet still, the Bible itself says, Job suffered poverty and disease for a long time (if not forever).
Sometimes our local lords – and for that matter, our cosmic LORD God – it seemed to many, did not deliver on their end of the contract; their obligations. And so, what did many people conclude? Many indeed came to say that if – as time often proved – your Lord had never yet quite delivered on all his end of the deal – if his promises of reward, and threats of punishments if you did not measure up, did not appear – then what should we say? Under these circumstances, many said that the old rules and covenants were … being broken by the Lord himself; or were in effect, discharged, or false, or unreliable. That the Lord was either false or dishonest, or was not even really there at all. In the time of Moses, it was said this was answered … when the people asked this, the Lord showed up and produced miracles. Yet we don’t see that happening so often today.
Today, our clerics want us to believe that, even in the days of Democracy, the old sense of obligation to ancient rulers, to the ancient “lord,” are still useful. And our clerics either cannot face or don’t want to admit it, when these old rules seem to fail; when we seem to sacrificed to them and their rules, and yet we are not rewarded. Our clerics do not want to face the possibility that perhaps their Lord is long gone; or that he is powerless; or some such. Or that his role has been taken over by more modern governments. Or perhaps after all, we need a Christ who is also a practical “king” again.
Over the centuries, our clerics tried to develop hundreds of sermons, excuses, as to why they would promise so much – even firmly, contractually, on a stack of Bibles – and yet, they were not delivering on their end of the deal. Among thousands of now all-too-familiar sermons, our clerics tried to say that if their now-idealized, generalized, cosmic “Lord God,” the empty seat in the tabernacle, did not meet their obligations, if they did not furnish the promised wonders, protections, miracles, on an average day, then our clerics simply came to generalize the old promises … and suggest that there would be at least, at last, some time, at last, eventually, one special “day”; a Judgement Day, etc.. Perhaps at the end of time. Or one “judgement day.”
Do we accept this excuse? That our priests, like Wimpy in Popeye cartoons, will pay us Tuesday, if we give him a hamburger today? Or in heaven, if we give him something now? If we accept that here, we accept it only in part – and with the stipulation that 1) real religion is supposed to be closer to government, and give us at least lots of real material results, “prosperity,” here and now, in our own lifetime; and 2) if a very few results are deferred to later, to our descendants, then we might allow that to a degree. But we note that 3) a) those who promise pie in the sky, pie someday in heaven, are foretold to fall; that b) Judgement Day is predicted to go not just against certain laymen … but just as much against priests and angels (the “household of God,” etc.). Indeed we would say here, ordinary taxpayers are much closer to the original sense of the Bible and its sacrifices than priests; and the startling reversal of high to low, first to last … is that ordinary good working people, who produce real material goods, are now found to be better, closer to God, than priests.
In ancient societies there were many agreements, contracts made between a people and their ruler. In general the idea was that if you followed a lord and gave him some of your goods, your harvest fruits, then he would give you things in turn; one day a year or more. But if our Lord did not come up with the promised rewards in some cases – as say Job complained – then our clerics came up with a number of excuses or explanations. One was that – as in the case of Job – it was said that even if the Lord had not given us the things he promised or prophesied, still eventually he would give us such things. As indeed, Job was said to have been rewarded, albeit later in life. But then our clerics and people found that sometimes, often, one would follow them and their rules from their Lord all one’s life .. and yet, even die of old age … without having received all the wonders and miracles they promised. And so, to try to answer this objection to they themselves and their Lord, they borrowed on ancient traditions and days … to claim that they promised not any immediate payments, but some kind of ultimate settling day, even after death; that one “day,” perhaps at the End of Time, our Lord would give us the things he promised.
And so we have the probably origins of the “day.” Originally, we were supposed to get real and timely protections from our lord God, in our own lifetime, here on earth. But at times, our clerics and their idea of the Lord, was not quite a productive as they claimed. And so to try to explain away their apparent failures and shortcomings, our clerics enlarged, generalized, abstracted the old days of payments, settling of obligations. To hypothesize or speak of some kind of eventual, cosmic “Day.” When at last, the LORD your God would show up and deliver what he promised. Then at last it was said, our Lord would no longer “delay” giving us what he promised us, prophesied, in exchange for following his rules. After what appeared to some to be many interminable delays and non-performances of contract, our clerics came to claim that the old books promised at least, one final “day” when our Lord would show up, even in person; even “face-to-face.” To at long last punish the wicked and those who had not given him tribute … and to at last, reward those who had followed his rules.
So indeed, we suggest here, the major origin of the Christian tradition of a “Day of the Lord,” a “Day” of judgement and so forth … is a sort of generalization of days when contractual obligations were to be met, by both farmer tenants and the Lord himself. Note however, that originally, such obligations were supposed to be met in a timely way, by both parties. When we signed the contract with the Lord to follow him, we agreed to give him some things … while in exchange, he agreed to give us things. And in a timely way too. Here on earth, and in our lifetime. To give us a peaceful and prosperous kingdom. “Soon”; “at hand”; “presently,” “quickly,” and so forth.* And a) if St. Peter was to opine that “soon” might mean thousands of years, Jesus himself was to call St. Peter unreliable, even “Satan” (Mat. 16.23). While 2) indeed, if any priest today tells you that “soon” can mean thousands of years, record that … and tell him then, that you will send your contributions to him, “soon.” Then ask him to wait until after you are dead to pay him. And 3) furthermore, ordinary contractual law, or simple common honesty, should not allow anyone to play such language games, semantic tricks, as that.
So finally, various “days” of judgement, atonement, work two ways: we are to give the Lord what we promised .. and he is supposed to give us what he promised. And not just at the “end of time,” but in a timely way, today. For our clerics to today sermonize, say, that such things are supposed to happen only eventually, is not quite honest; not quite true to the original contracts. And finally, there are no excuses: if our priests promise many things – like miracles – but did not deliver them in a timely way, than instead of being obligated to follow them endlessly, with total faith or credulity … instead, we are supposed to simply judge them to be in violation of contract; to be false priests representing a false sense of God. We are supposed to call them an “abomination,” and then move on. To another, second, better sense of God and of good.
In the end, as we attain better “judgement,” when we see the science of God at last, and the importance of the “Logos,” of Logic and Reason, then to be sure, we find many things wrong, in our ancient clergies.
One Key Big Promise:
An Ideal Kingdom
There is no doubt: many huge promises, prophesies of miracles, were made to us, in the name of Jesus. By millions of preachers – quoting parts of the Bible itself. But there were many complaints even in ancient times, that our preachers were not delivering all the wonders they promised. And so preachers began assuring us that even if God had not delivered all the promised wonders in the past, he would deliver them soon (“the check is in the mail” as they say). And if he had only partially delivered, and only now and then, on the huge promises of priest, then it was said that God would however deliver finally, one “day,” all his promised threats and punishments and rewards, all at once; in an ideal “kingdom.” An ideal kingdom, in which there was to be no more “pain,” no more “tears,” and so forth.
Finally then, when the many things promised by clerics in the name of God did not appear … they told us that even if God had not always delivered the things promised in his name in the past, he would deliver them, one special “day” of the Lord; when God himself would appear, to punish the wicked and reward the good, at last. Yet many ancients thought and said that this or that “kingdom” or so forth, was the promised “eternal” kingdom at last; yet history showed that one after another “eternal” kingdom was struck down. So that there were problems delivering the promised ideal kingdom too.
For a long time, Jesus was thought to be the promised Jewish king, that would deliver the promised Jewish homeland, kingdom; but while much of the Bible speaks this way, many later came to feel that even Jesus did not “full”y deliver on the old promises; did not for example deliver on the “full” ideal “kingdom” that was promised. Because indeed, it would be hard to deliver any place as good as what was often promised: place in which all the old promises and threats are at last fulfilled … and then some; a place where there is to be no more tears, no more pain.
Though much of the New Testament speaks as if Jesus was delivering the promised kingdom … many people – and most scholars – now feel that the first coming of Jesus didn’t quite deliver the “full” ideal kingdom, that was often described in the Old and New Testaments both. Since indeed, no place on earth, not even the church, has ever been quite as good as the kingdom with no “pain” at all; no “tears,” or predators; where the lions would eat straw with the ox, and the “wolves” lay down with the sheep (Isa. 11, 65-6; Rev. 21).
Indeed though, the Bible has held out the possibility of a better, even ideal kingdom showing up in the future.
Though to be sure note, this happens only when we begin to expose some evil things even in the midst of our religion itself. So that punishment for some religious people, as well as rewards, are due:
“Ah you who call evil good and good evil” (Isa. 5.20 NRSV).
“The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days… that day” (Isa. 7.17,18).
“What will you do on the day of punishment” (Isa. 10.3).
“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and calf and the lion and the fatling together … and the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isa. 11.6, 7).
“Wail, for the day of the LORD is near” (13.6).
“All the host of heaven shall rot away, the skies roll up like a scroll” (34.4).
“I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall be the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress”(65.19-20).
“The wolf and the lab shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (65.25).
“I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of nations” (Isa. 66.12).
“And God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21.4).
Many huge wonderful things were promised us by our holy men, in the name of Jesus – and when they did not come true, eventually among other explanations, our preachers came to suggest there would come an omnibus day, when at last all would be delivered. So that there came to be the biggest series of promises of all: that God had already, or was about to, come to finally punish the wicked who thought they were “Good”; and reward the truly good at last; with an ideal “kingdom,” where there was no more pain or tears; where all is incredible “prosperity.” Much of which was promised “soon,” “at hand,” “quickly,” the “time is near,” in a “generation,” two and even three thousand years go.
Much was promised us. But has there ever been anyplace on earth quite as “full”y good as what was promised us? Some parts of the Bible hinted that Jesus had already delivered, “fulfilled,” all the old promises. Yet after all, there was still pain and death even after Jesus; Jesus himself was crucified, painfully; and many of his followers martyred. Indeed, though many churches and so forth claimed to be the ideal kingdom promised, there was still war, pain, death; even in the Vatican itself. As recently as 1983 or so, the Pope himself was shot; and presumably felt some “pain.”
So while many have claimed that Jesus had already brought the promised ideal “kingdom,” and all the promised judgments, and rewards, in fact, most people today intuitively feel that though Jesus brought much, he did not bring fully “all” that was promised. That no place on earth was ever quite as good as what was promised in Isaiah and Revelation, etc.. So that therefore, most of Christendom came to assume, that it will take another,
“second” coming of God, before all that was promised to us will be accomplished, take yet another coming of God to earth. In a “day” now simply called 1) the “day”; or 2) the “Day of the Lord,” 3) “Judgement Day,” the 4) “Apocalypse,” the 5) “Second Coming.” Today, most of Christendom (and for that matter, Islam) believes that not all that the old holy men promised was ever delivered; so that we need this second “day,” before “all” the old rewards – and punishments – that our holy men promised, are actually, finally, delivered.
Where did this legend come from? In part, we will note in a long study of the “day,” it came from various “days.” But in general, it came too from a general phenomenon in ancient histories: 1) if you look at ancient history and its inscriptions, you will find that often, many ancient kings, Pharaohs, had their own kingdom declared “eternal.” And 2) so scribes would situate themselves imaginatively in the past, and declare that in the past, it was foretold that this or that present-day king would come and create an eternal empire. But 3) as it turns out, there were later problems with this. Since the fact is, the subsequent actual history of the world, the record or book of what actually “came to pass” in real life, showed that one after another, allegedly “eternal” kingdoms were mostly overthrown. Indeed, 4) following this pattern, the leaders of the Jews too, had often promised themselves and others, that their lord was setting up an eternal kingdom – especially the kingdom of David and Solomon, c. 1200 BC; speaking of a “king” of the line of David; David being a “shepherd,” born or based in “Bethlehem.” While the Psalms perhaps trumpeted the alleged achievement of an eternal kingdom with David; the first strong Jewish kingdom in fact. And yet however, a) the Bible itself admits that David himself was not morally perfect; he set up the husband of a woman he wanted, for death. While further, b) the kingdom of David and Solomon, began to split apart already, in the time of Solomon’s son, Absalom. While c) secular history confirms that the Assyrians destroyed Israel proper, the northern ten tribes, and the “First Temple,” in 722 BC; then the southern two tribes in Judah, were overrun by Babylon, 586 BC. So that the old proclamations of an eternal kingdom … were proven false.
But 5) with the old proclamations proven false, the people, the priests, simply turned them around … and said these proclamations must have been therefore, for yet another kingdom to come. And so the old traditions persisted in slightly modified form; and they came to become a generalized promised that some “Lord” or God “himself,” and his chosen representative, would yet, some “day,” come to earth and set up an ideal, “eternal” kingdom, an “immovable tent,” in Jerusalem; a real actual physical kingdom (cf. Isa. 65-6; Rev. 21). Here, on earth. An ideal kingdom where there would be no more “tears,” or “pain”; where the “wolf” would lie down with the “sheep” and so forth. To happen “soon,” “at hand,” “quickly,” and so forth.
Yet 6) that was fully two thousand years ago and more. And no such kingdom as good as what our priests promised, has appeared. Actual history, outside the Bible, reminds us that Israel, Judah, Jerusalem, were actually, defeated and overrun by one foreign empire after another. Israel proper collapsed, was overrun by Assyria in 722 BC; Judah in 586 BC, and its “first temple” destroyed. Eventually in most kingdoms, the people of Israel and Judah were killed, or taken prisoner, or reduced to vassals, by a series of other, larger empires; including a) Assyria, b) Babylonia, the c) Egyptians, the d) Greeks, e) the Romans, the f) Turks, the g) Crusaders of Europe, and the h) British. So that, though it was often predicted to become an ideal kingdom “soon,” for the vast majority of its history, for two thousand years, Israel did not even exist as an independent kingdom at all; but was occupied by foreign powers. In spite of promises to the contrary, of an idea and “eternal” “kingdom” headed by its own God, Lord, visible on earth, in Jerusalem especially.
Indeed 7) at the time of Jesus, Jerusalem was not free; but was occupied by Rome. It had a Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, with a half-Jewish puppet king, Herod. To be sure, though there were many possible Jewish lords, princes, contending for the throne, it was thought that either God himself would come to earth and rule (as above); or someone like Jesus, would be a Jewish, “christ”ened leader or “Christ,” who would restore Israel to Jewish rule. But instead of that, Jesus himself was killed, executed by Rome. 8) Then it was thought that finally an eternal lord or kingdom would appear with Jesus’ resurrection; but Acts tells us that Jesus was on earth only 40 days after his resurrection, and then disappeared into the clouds. Then, 9) it was thought that some other manifestation of God would rule (the Holy Spirit; the “Counselor”) and create an ideal kingdom right after Jesus; but while some followers of Jesus, bishops and popes and apostles and churches hinted they were achieving that, still, no place on earth was ever quite as good as the kingdom promised. While indeed, secular history tells us that Jerusalem (and the “Second Temple”) was destroyed by Rome in 70 AD.
Indeed, though many promises were firmly made of wonderful benefits to the good (and punishments to the bad) were made in our holy traditions – and often “soon” – in the fully two thousand years since such things were promised, probably no place on earth has ever been as good as what was promised. No place on earth was so good that there was no “pain,” no “tears”; even as recently as 1982 or so, a Pope was shot … and probably experienced some “pain”; while others were in “tears.”
So that 10) many preachers came to suggest that our ideal kingdom existed only in our Platonic ideals, or in “heaven.” Though to be sure, the Bible clearly promised a kingdom on earth, often. So that 11) in the latest variation of the old promises, today, Christians are expecting that the ideal eternal kingdom promised “soon,” “at hand,” “quickly,” in a “generation,” or already declared to be “all around you,” two and even three thousand years ago, is still about to arrive any second, in the eternal “soon”; expecting a second arrival of Jesus, in what is now called the Second Coming. Believing that Jesus specifically, perhaps accomplished all that was promised; or expecting that Jesus is to come and finally realize even more; deliver the full “day” of judgments, rewards.
Indeed then, many huge, wonderful promises of miracles were made to us – culminating perhaps in the promise a miraculous and ideal “kingdom.” These promises were very firmly and solemnly made to us by clerics. Yet history – what has “come to pass” – in the years since these promises were repeatedly made, shows that though many such promises were made to us over and over, no place on earth that was ever quite as good as ministers, clerics promised, did arrive in any timely way, “soon.” While many might not buy Peter’s semantic, word-twisting attempt to assert that “soon” might mean … thousands of years. Since indeed, Jesus himself had sometimes indicated that Peter was good … but other times, called Peter “Satan” (Mat. 16.23).
Indeed, 12) many rational people, now simply feel that history has proven that indeed, our old religious tradition was Satanically deceptive, false, and wrong; that it constantly made false promises. Given the historical failure of so many prophesies to come true in any reasonable time frame, many rational and intelligent people, have simply come to believe, see, that most of the old prophesies of our alleged holy men, were simply, false.
At first, this seems impossible. And no religious person today faces or believes this; indeed, all have been systematically taught to ignore all this, and to continue on with total “faith.” Yet 13) amazingly enough, we have found here that actually, the Bible itself began to doubt “prophets,” often (if not always); to warn of “false prophets,” and indeed many false things in even our holiest traditions; even in the holiest prophesies. While indeed, the Bible itself began to look forward to a “day” that would not just partially vindicate some in religion … but, we are noting here, would also expose and demolish many things, even in the midst of our holiest traditions. Though most of the faithful, believers, priests today, believe or think or speak as if, God will come to earth one “day,” …. to simply congratulate them on being good; since most believers feel their have been following God better than others. But in fact, we have found here, that actually, the Bible itself told us that … a) there have always been grievous sins and errors, even in the midst of essentially “all” our religion; even in our highest saints and angels and apostles in heaven; even in all churches and their most “inspired” “doctrines.” And that therefore, b) on the foretold “day,” there are some huge unexpected turnarounds; those churchgoers that thought they were “first” turn out to be actually, “last”; c) while indeed finally, the thing everyone thought was the highest good – heaven itself – is to be destroyed (2 Peter 3; Rev. 21; Isa. 34.4, 65-6; Mark 13.31). Because the holy things we thought were absolutely good – even our highest Apostles and their writings – were actually, false. (As we found in our Destruction of Heaven).
Indeed, many huge and wonderful, Big Promises, prophesies, were made to us by religious leaders, lords and their clerks, clerics, in the past. Like the promise of an ideal miraculous “kingdom.” Yet time after time again, those promises seem to have not “come to pass.” For that reason, it would seem reasonable now to say that, just as foretold, many of the old traditions were simply, false; even by the Bible’s own standards; since they did “not come to pass” in any timely way, here on earth, as promised. While indeed, the Bible itself predicted there would be false things even in our own holiest traditions.
Yet the possibility that there were false predictions, false prophesies, false promises – of an ideal “kingdom” for example – in our own traditional Christianity, is a shattering, impossible thing for many people to “face” or “bear”; people trained from infancy to absolutely trust and believe and have faith in the Christian apostles, saints, priests, church. For most churchgoers, it is impossible to believe that it might not be somebody or everybody else, that is to be found bad and deceived … but they themselves and their very own tradition. That their own ancient Judeo-Christian promises of “miracles” – like an ideal “kingdom” “soon” – might be false, for example, is something almost impossible for our very, very proud holy men and priests and churchgoers, to “face” or “bear.”
Indeed, our priests typically tell us that they, or their church, or its “inspired” “doctrines,” are all but absolutely “perfect.” But then our preachers have had a practical problem: there have been many people, who persistently say, that they themselves have been good, and did what our clerics told them to do … and yet, they did not get all the wonderful benefits the preachers and holy men promised them. History, what “came to pass,” told us that many millions, billions of people, prayed, and were good enough – and yet did not get all the wonderful “prosperity” and “miracles” that were firmly, solemnly promised to them, on a stack of Bibles.
Indeed, our holy men and preachers often made huge, spectacular, incredible promises to us: they told us that if we were good, and followed the rules, followed what our priests told us the Lord said, then God would give us huge, amazing, spectacular miracles: we would get 1) the power to move real, literal, actual, material “mountains”; 2) make bread appear out of thin air; 3) walk on water; 4) all the “works” that Jesus did, and 5) “greater works than these.” Indeed, 6) we were promised we would get “whatever” we “ask.” Yet when the average churchgoer – or even the very best preachers – try to do this, it seems such things do not come true; do not “come to pass.”
So what should we say? Many intelligent people would simply conclude, that however good our priests were, they were partially, wrong; false.
Yet to be sure, this is a conclusion that our priests themselves do not want to face, or publicly admit. Perhaps because they believe that even without miracles, still there is something good in religion. And so, rather than simply face or confess any serious shortfalls – or better, signs of falsity – in themselves and their own tradition, instead, our preachers have, for thousands of years, delivered dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions of different kinds of ways to try to explain … how either 1) miracles actually are arriving in some unexpected way. Or 2) our preachers have delivered dozens, millions of sermons, for thousands of years, to billions of people … which try to explain any lack of prosperity and miracles, in many different ways.
Indeed, we are about to see, our preachers have never wanted to face or admit many sins or errors in themselves, and their own tradition; the “beam in their own eye.” Instead, our holy men have generated dozens, hundreds, millions of sermons, attempted explanations, excuses, rationalizations; that would try to show that there really is no critical shortfall or failure or falseness in their own religion; that for example, either miracles are arriving all the time, as advertised … or if they are not, then they will arrive “soon”; or if the miracles they constantly promised “soon,” are not arriving, then it is everybody else’s fault; not the priests or prophets themselves.
Our preachers still believe there are miracles; or that they can explain any shortfall in them. And they insist, therefore, that they or their tradition are all but perfect; or good enough to be followed with total “faith,” “religiously.” They have made no false promises or prophesies … even when they historically promised “miracles.” But while this has been the situation for two and three thousand years now, we have been finding, here and now, that actually, the Bible itself told us that there would be, actually, many “false” and bad things, even in our holiest men and angels, priests, churches; even the highest apostles and doctrines in heaven itself. And therefore, rather than simply trust and believe and “have faith” in them, instead, we are supposed to actually … carefully examine all our holiest men, and their claims; and their sermons. To see if they are really true … or not. (As we found earlier).
So indeed, let us now say that many, many people now feel that there are definite, numerous “signs” of something false in our old religious traditions. And therefore, we are commanded by God … not to have total “faith” in our holy men any more, but instead, to carefully examine them. To see if their promises – and excuses – were really good … or not.
Specifically, it is time to examine a few dozen of the most common sermons, that attempt to explain, or excuse, any lack of big huge miracles, or prosperity. Let us look at the most common sermons we heard in churches for years; which told us that miracles are arriving in ways we can’t see; or that try to explain the lack of miracles; or that tell us that we are supposed to ignore such problems, and just have total “faith” in our preachers, ignoring all the “signs,” “proofs,” that such promises are not working, are not “coming to pass,” are not bearing real material “fruits,” “works.”
The Bible in fact, constantly warned us there one “day” we would find that there were many, many false, bad, evil things, right in the heart of all our holiest things. And it told us that therefore, we should not totally trust or have faith in them, but should instead, very, very carefully examine our holiest men, and their holiest promises and statements and doctrines, sermons … to see if they are really true and materially fruitful – and therefore from God – or not. So let us in fact then, now take a very, very, very long and hard look, at particularly, our holy men and their … promises of miracles. Or more specifically now … let us take a very long hard look at all the most common sermons that they delivered, to assure us either that 1) there was nothing at all wrong in our religious tradition; that miracles were arriving just as the old books promised; or 2) told us there were good reasons, explanations, for any lack of miracles; that told us especially that if miracles were not arriving, it was not our priests’ fault, that they made false promises; but the peoples’ fault, that they were not good enough.
Indeed, let us look at our preachers’ most common sermons. And when we do, we will come to a shattering conclusion: that almost none of the sermons you heard over and over in church, are really true; not even true to the Bible itself; much less true to the honest reason and logic and science that God told us to follow.
The fact is, there are few if any miracles …. and there are no valid, sound excuses for that. No explanation, except to say that, as foretold, essentially all our preachers and holy men, were simply … “false prophets.” The whole world followed false religious leaders who promised miracles, but could not deliver them.
There are no miracles – and there are no valid excuses or explanations for that, either. Finally though, the Bible tells us now to face this: by knowing that 1) one day we were supposed to find false things even in our holiest traditions. While 2) the Bible itself told us that if we face this, then we will be also coming to see, a “second” and better vision, coming, of Christ or God, or of truth. A view of God beyond “miracles” and “spirituality.” A God that gets real, material results, here on earth, at last.
We can indeed, come to see the first signs of the Second Coming of God, as we might say now to believers. But to be sure, exactly as foretold, to get to that point, first we have to pass through the exposure of the “naked”ness and inadequacy, of our preachers’ traditional vision of a God that promised “miracles.” So let us do that, now.
The Day: A Day of Startling Reversals, in Religion Itself
“Day of the Lord … The God of Israel, having created his people by sealing covenants with them, retained authority to set a term to the period when their truancy or faithfulness would be disclosed. Typically, he would choose a time that would surprise them, whether earlier or later than they expected. His verdicts also would be surprising, often condemnation where approval was expected, or vindication where the penitent expected punishment” (Paul S. Minear, “Day of the Lord,” Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 157).
For many centuries, for two or three millennia, the Day of the Lord, or Judgement Day, has been said to about to happen, “soon.” Some preachers and congregations almost look forward today, to “Judgement Day,” or even to the “Apocalypse”; in the proud expectation that they themselves of course, have been following God better than anyone; that they are in effect “first” with God; and that they at least, will be of course, among those rewarded by God for their loyalty and faith, in traditional ideas, religion. But what we are finding here, is that none of our traditionalists should feel quite so over self-confident or sanguine about what will happen to them in the end, or what the Apocalypse is really like; because indeed, the Bible itself told us there would be many unexpected wrinkles, in The End. That there will have been hidden sins and errors in almost “all”; and that many who thought they were following Christ, will be found to have been deceived; to have been following a false idea of Christ, “worshipping” false prophets, and following false priests. So that indeed, the more loyally, “faith”fully they followed them … the deeper their sin and error. Since they were merely following false, bad shepherds … further and deeper into a pit.
In the end, most of the most religious persons, followers of Christ … are to find indeed, that they have been deceived. And indeed, we are finding here that nearly all today, have been largely deceived. Since they have believed that 1) the Bible told them to follow priests, ministers, and/or their idea of God faithfully; whereas we found that actually, the Bible constantly warned that there have always been great sins and errors in nearly all our priests; and 2) therefore, religion is not supposed to be “faith-based,” but science-based instead. Then next, we found that 3) our preachers promises us miracles, and 4) “spirituality”; but we have found that both of these were at least partially false … and indeed, even often dangerous, physically fatal. While then too, 5) the whole world has believed that if it is good, it goes on to an “eternal” “heaven” – but we found here that in fact, heaven itself is supposed to be destroyed.
This no doubt seems too unexpected, 6) too painful, to believe. But if this seems impossible to face, because of the painful consequences of it, we should note here and now, that there are a number of ways to at last come to face this. By noting that after all, this is not really a ” strange new doctrine,” or against the Bible … because we now find the Bible itself said it. So we are not really disproving or contradicting the Bible itself … but proving the Bible to be true. Albeit in a way that our priests never, until now, understood. And then too finally, 7) this should be easier to face or bear … on being told that after all, those who pass through this, will by virtue of the very growing mature knowledge or science that seems to demolish our old sense of things … are also acquiring the knowledge or science that guides mature men and women to real “prosperity” at last.
Then too we might note 8) we can read the Apocalypse – and especially our major concern here, the part of the Apocalypse we call the Destruction of Heaven – as being not a physical destruction; but a metaphor, for a moment of mental destruction … and growth. For the moment you grow up. Not grow up “in your faith” as they say, but grow up beyond your faith. To see the higher science of God. And while to be sure, there is pain in growing up – the pain of disillusionment; of discovering sins in your “child”hood “visions,” “dreams,” misunderstandings – those who have passed through the “fire” or “light” of intellectual growth, to discover science and practical reason, logic, are indeed now being initiated into a new and better version, understanding, coming, of God and good.
No doubt our preachers have been secretly very, very proud of themselves; to present themselves as the voice of God. But finally …
“The LORD … has a day against all that is proud” (Isa. 2.12).
“In that day the Lord will take away the finery” (Isa. 3.18).
And right now is a good time, for that.
Is Just Sunday, the Full “Day of the Lord”?
At various times, various theologians and churches have declared that every Sunday, is really the “Day of the Lord.” To be sure in fact, in some ways, the average Sunday service fulfills at least some of the requirements for the foretold “day.” In Sunday services, we are to 1) meet the Lord or his clerical representative, when we go to church; we 2) give him a portion of our fruits – when we drop a dollar in the collection basket. Then, especially after confession or communion, we are often 3) judged good or bad. And in some churches, in effect, we are then 4) consigned to Heaven or Hell. Though it is hoped that all will be saved by the church service.
Sun”day” therefore, might seem to be a partial fulfillment of the promises of a “Day of the Lord.” Yet to be sure, the average Sunday service, even with things like confession and absolution, even with all the various liturgical graces and sacraments of this or that church, does not quite fully deliver all that was promised in the Bible, for the full, real “day.” So that although many churches often try to suggest that very Sunday is the only “Day of Lord,” most churches acknowledge that there is to come yet another, far more dramatic “day” or two. A truer, fuller “Day of the Lord,” and/or “Judgement Day.” Some time in your own life. And/or in the Second Coming.
While indeed, there is in particular one feature of the “Day” that priests neglect in the average Sunday church service: the moment when God exposes huge sins in our holiest men … and priests. Priests do not adequately stress their own fallibility and culpability; instead they present themselves every Sunday, as sufficient good authority, to lecture us all on what is good, and what is from God. So that here in particular, Sunday services do not by any means, completely fulfill all that is supposed to happen, on the Day of the Lord.
Elements of Paul to be sure, seem to play with the idea that the old ideas of a “Day of the Lord,” might be construed by some as being say, 1) the “day” a good Jew like Paul, suddenly sees the light of Christ (Col. 1.6-10). In that moment, his former Jewish structure (if not Heaven) is dissolved. And indeed, this sense of a break with a past religion or priesthood, seems germane. But 2) even Paul and Peter both knew that even their own Christian “knowledge” and “prophesy” and heaven, were not yet entirely “perfect” (q.v., Philippians 3.12, etc.). To be sure indeed, many early Christians often suffered apocalyptic suffering (2 Thess. 1.5 etc.); so that the notion that the Apocalypse had already begun even in the time of Peter and Paul, of a “fire” on the Household of God, is somewhat defensible. But indeed finally, the position of say the Church, is that the End might have begun in such a time … but it was not yet completed. In neither its full negative, nor full positive kingdom, either. In some sense, a kind of “fullness” was found already in the First Coming of Christ (Col. 1.19). Yet both Peter and Paul spoke finally of the full demolition of heaven, and the second coming, as something that only would or “will” come, some time after Peter and Paul (Col. 3.17). And finally Paul spoke of the “day” as something yet to come; and only after we “test everything in our religion, after all, to expose false things, and do useful work (1 Thess. 4.14-5.1-21; 2 Thess. 1.7-2.11-3.10). To some extent, the “kingdom” was already evident; yet even it perhaps was just – as Paul says in language reflecting Plato’s Theory of Forms – a “shadow” of the idea forms or “patterns” (Gk. “paradigms”?) in heaven (Heb. 8.5-7, 9.23, 10.1 etc..). Finally, Paul and Peter spoke of the Apocalyptic second coming as something yet to come, after them. (Speaking moreover of a moment when God “abolishes the first in order to establish the second” Heb. 10.9). To some extent, the new Christian religious worship set up by Paul and others – including say Christianity’s new Sunday, replacing the Sabbath (Col. 2.16) – has seemed like a partial fulfillment of ancient End Time prophesies. But most are agreed that they were not completely fulfilled; Paul himself admitting that he and others “saw only in part,” as if through a mirror, darkly; that his own “knowledge” was imperfect, and so forth. While looking forward to a better day, some day in the future.
The first coming of Jesus, and the establishment of Christianity therefore – and even our average Sunday say ?- began to fulfill some of the old promises and threats of a “day” of judgement. But nearly everyone agreed finally, that not all the things promised by God have arrived, even to this very day. So that yet another, bigger, “second” coming, or Day of the Lord, and/or Judgement Day, will be required. Before all is fulfilled.
The Historical/Anthropological Origins of the “Day”
What exactly was the historical, Old Testament basis of the promised “day”? And what is it to look like, as it arrives?
The old legend of an “Apocalypse,” and a “Day of the Lord,” or a “Judgement Day,” was usually presented to us in church, implicitly, as a day when priests, churches are vindicated; proved right. And only bad “secular” people are punished. But here we will have taken another look. In particular, we are focusing here on a very concrete moment or “day” or two in ancient societies, that all our preachers neglected or misunderstood; though these days are in fact, the missing key to understanding the End Times, and even the main message of the Bible (cf. a “Roman a clef”). Biblical rumors of a special “day” when the Lord acts powerfully, destroying some things, and rewarding others, probably come from two main sources. In part, probably from 1) ancient days of initiation; like Bar Mitzvah, or puberty rituals. When you were said to have become an adult … and are initiated into the secrets of the tribe, and its religion. Or related to this, there were days when you become an “elder” of the tribe, and so forth. And are told some tribal secrets.
In many cultures, a typical Day of initiation, is often deliberately Apocalyptic; we are being told tribal secrets, in order to be more fully advised, more mature, and more effective in leading the tribe as an elder. Which sometimes involves facing some sins and errors, even in some allegedly sacred things; or certainly in our childhood ideas about God or Good. Indeed in effect, a typical Day of initiation, can expose and destroy our childhood heaven, our childhood vision of things. Today, most of us don’t really have any particular ceremonial day when this happens, in modern societies. But most of us grow up rather dramatically one day or another. And it is often painful; as on the “day” we discover that there is no Santa Claus, say. When we are told – or finally figure out on our own – more complicated, truer things about our tribe and its beliefs.
So legends of an Apocalyptic “Day” therefore, probably come in part, from ancient initiation rites, rites of passage. Relating especially to puberty rituals, or initiation into “elder” status, and so forth. Such things cme from nearly all ancient cultures, tribes. And from say, the ancient Mystery Religions. But then too, legends of a “day” probably come also from 2) the “Day of Atonement.” Or some similar day. Which we suggest, was originally something like “Tax Day.” Some old words for “sacrifice” were the same as “tax”; in effect, sacrifices to the local “Lord” and temple, were more like tax payments to him; to keep him and his institutions (temples, palaces) running.
In ancient time, there was probably often something like a day a year, when a farmer went into town, to the temple or palace, to settle your debts; to pay your sacrifices, taxes, tribute, to the local “Lord” and temple. A good day to do this, was usually after the Fall harvest (in Israel, just before “Sukkot”); when a most farming, agricultural community had the most barter good, “fruits” – his harvest – on hand. A serf or slave or simple farmer – which would be 9/10 of the population in ancient times – would come into town, to the temple or palace … with his harvest; to sell and trade, and use to pay debts … and taxes, tribute to the local Lord (see Abraham paying voluntary tribute, giving gifts; the root of his success). Bringing literally your “Fruit” to the “lord,” at this moment, the Lord “judges” you and your “fruits”; as having enough fruits to meet your taxes, tribute, sacrifice obligations, as having obeyed the lord and given him your fruits, what is due to him … or not. At which time, you are rewarded, or punished.
Thus some kind of after-harvest, tax/tribute day – related probably to the “Day of Atonement” or something similar – is probably the root of the legend of a “Day of the Lord,” and “Judgement Day.” But 3) to be sure, often in ancient times, the local Lord and his temple were overthrown by one invading empire or another; and could not collect dues. And/or could not deliver in turn, the protections and rewards of the Lord: the protection by his army, against enslavement, or being killed, by other rival nations; the protection of his granaries, in times of famine; and other wonders that were promised by the Lord and his clerics. And so often payments, sacrifices, were sometimes made to whatever clerics or Temple that remained. Yet especially in times when there was no local Jewish “lord,” payments to local Jewish clerics say, were not always totally effective; promised benefits were not always forthcoming; neither rewards nor punishments were meted out, in exact proportion to one’s merits. So that many ceased to believe or follow the Lord. Here though, in order to forestall the general abandonment of their leadership – because sometimes they were not furnishing rewards, or punishing enemies – eventually, our clerics developed dozens of various apologetics arguments, excuses, for the apparent failure of the Lord. And among thousands of other apologetics, preachers have asserted that one special “day” at last, the Lord would return. And then he would deliver on old threats and promises. That he would deliver those who followed him, from “slavery,” and punish their enemies and unbelievers. (See the people vs. Moses). So that in effect, the old “Day of Atonement,” or Tax Day, became generalized, metaphoricalized; as one special “Day,” someday; when indeed, we are to come before the great Lord, and he is to supposed to access reveal and “judge” our sins and errors, our “fruits,” or lack of them. And reward those who followed him loyally; while punishing those who did not.
For some time, most everyday Jews and Christians have been reasonably well satisfied with this reading of the “day.” But 4) to be sure, when often the local Lord could not deliver on promises or threats, when even the promised “Day of the Lord,” “Judgement” Day, was promised “soon,” “at hand,” and “quickly,” and yet did not arrive in any timely way? There came to be often, a perception, among our more educated clerics and others, that none of the “days” promised, were really working out well. And so we find here, eventually even many of our preachers, saw to it that even our holy books themselves, began to hint at some problems with the old formulas, the old promises. Though the Old Testament seemed to condemn those who said the “Lord,” our local God, was not quite good enough, by the time of the New Testament, Paul began to try to move beyond the Old Testament; and to question promises of “miracles” especially (“Do all work miracles”? q.v.). While those clerics who were in charge of our Bibles, saw to it that the Bible clearly warned that there might, after all, be sins and false promises, in our holiest men; and their promises even of a “day” of the Lord. So that, if there was to be any Day of the Lord at all, it came to be said – as we are now noting here at length – that there would be some ironies for preachers, on that “day.” Since – as the Bible began to say, over and over – when the real Lord really shows up, he will be examining and then revealing not just sins or shortfalls in ordinary people … but also, sins and shortfalls, even in our clerics, our prophets; and all other alleged voicepieces for the Lord, our god.
But how can we be sure our preachers are good, or false? Simply, by their fruits;
the things they give us. Here it is important to remember that the “covenant”s or contracts that we signed with our overseers, conferred benefits and responsibilities, on both parties: not just on followers, but on the Lord himself. Remember that our lord often promised material rewards to us, for following him. And even demanded that he and/or his alleged representatives, should be judged as good or not, real or not, according to the material benefits we get from following the Lord (Mal. 3.10; 1 Kings 18.21-39; Dan. 1.4-15 KJE; Ex. 7.5-8; Isa. 41.24; cf. Mat. 25.15). So indeed, the “covenant” is a two-way street: not only are we supposed to give things to the Lord, but the Lord is supposed to give wonders and other things to us. That is the central message of most of the Bible; the basis of a series of contracts or “covenant”: be Good, follow the Lord .. and get rewards. And most importantly? If you do not, get such results, then … you have the right a) to ask if the “Lord is among us or not”; whether you have a real lord and god, or a false one, or no god at all. Or at least b) ask whether our local clerics are making it all up, or are “under a strong delusion,” or whether our clerics in any case, are not adequate representatives of the Lord; since they are not making good on their half of the contract; they are not delivering the promised benefits.
Here finally, we see a final, more Democratic step in the whole process of “day”s, that our preachers did not notice – or that they want to adamantly deny: the moment when not just everybody else and their fruits, but preachers themselves, are judged, according to the material fruits. Here, God constantly warned about false things in holy men – and told us, the people, to act for God; by carefully examining all holy men. Finally, we ourselves, the people, are supposed to more carefully examine even our highest religious heroes and saints and apostles and holy men and their clerics. To see if they are producing the promised benefits or not. And then we the people, acting with and for God, as his agents, are then to mete out to our preachers, rewards … or punishments. As they deserve them.
We “give unto Caesar” and the Lord – what we owe him; and then … he gives to us what he owes us. If we are good and follow the Lord, he is supposed to reward us. But if he does not? Then, rather than follow him endlessly, faithfully, forever, instead we are supposed to simply deduce that … he was a false Lord; and/or our clerics and prophets were simply, false. They did represent a true, real, powerful, efficacious Lord at all.
Reaching this shattering conclusion, coming to this aspect of the “day,” is not easy for Christians to believe or face. And yet? We have found this consistent message, throughout our entire Bibles. To be sure, to see this aspect of the “day” come, is Apocalyptic, shattering. But to be sure, the Bible itself allows, and even commands us to face even this painful, apocalyptic, heaven-shattering moment. This aspect of the “Day of the Lord”: the moment when God reveals sins not just in ordinary people, but sins in our holiest priests and prophets; and sins, false things, in their allegedly holy words, about God and Good.
This is an aspect of the “Day” that preachers do not like to tell you about; or indeed, they find it impossible to believe or face. And so many sermons and homilies, will have been generated to try to disprove this moment. Yet? It is there, after all. And only those priests and lay persons who face this, rather anti-clerical aspect of the day, of the Bible, will be able to see what is false in religion; and then discover what is really true, as well.
This is not easy. But the rewards are great. So let’s be prepared now, to face this final aspect of the Day, at last: seeing and facing failures, even in our priests’ allegedly holiest ideas of the lord. Let us simply face all this .. so that we can next move on. Move on to a “second,” new and better, fuller, more mature understanding or vision of God, and of Christ. The understanding, the coming, that can produce fruits for us. By introducing us to science and technology; that history has confirmed, when properly used, bring us massive powers, and massive amounts of prosperity.
The Bible it seems, contains many layers of meaning. Here we might suggest that the main layers, in chronological importance, are 1) the Old Testament theology; which was essentially a deification of early, rather scientific/materialistic, proto-serfdom, proto-feudalism. Or the foundation of the modern social contract. Here, we and tenant farmers and herders, agreed in one or more the many “covenants” or contracts, to follow the “lord,” the owner (some said maker) of the “land,” and his rules or “law”s; including giving the LORD or his clerics or people, tribute, sacrifices of various kinds; usually some part of our agricultural produce, our “fruit”s. In exchange for that, the LORD promised he would “proper” us, by assisting our agricultural and other efforts; so that our “vines” would not wither, and so forth. This contract was so firm, was said to work so well, that we could determine who was good or bad, who was following the right lord god or not … by looking to see who was getting good fruit, good produce, and who was not. (Here we see the foundations of the Science of God).
That was the first or primary promise, theology, of the Bible: the core promise of God. However 2) to be sure, over time, even some believers in the Bible complained that the promises of the Lord were not being fulfilled … not just by the people, but even by our lord. So here, our clerics entered an “apologetics” phase; they needed to come up with explanations as to why our lord was at times, not fully delivering all the material prosperity he promised … even to our very dutiful priests and so forth. In this Apologetics phase, found prominently in the – albeit usually unreliable – (Job 42.7) friends of Job, and then especially in the New Testament, priests in the Bible tried to come up with explanations, as to why this basic idea might seem to fail at times. Here, our priests and prophets hinted at hundreds of possible explanations, excuses, apologetics. The a) main apologetic for a long time, was simply that if we were not experiencing wonders, prosperity, it was because we, the people of Israel or Judah etc., were not really following, obeying God. But were following foreign invader “lords,” of “Baal” and others; and other gods than God himself. Yet to be sure b) Job complained – and God himself admitted – that Job himself was following God, loyally; and yet he was still not getting the goods God promised:
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God…. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you not considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?'” (Job 1.1 – 8 RSV).
For many, the old covenants or contracts with, promises from God, seemed to be breaking down: because some were good, and did follow God, like Job … and yet still? God allowed them to suffer. And to experience poverty and disease. Even though he had earlier promised not to. So in this second major theme in the Bible, our holy men – or rather some unholy ones, like the two unreliable friends of Job, and even Satan himself (Job 1.9ff) – began to try to generate countless explanations, excuses, apologetics, for why even the lord himself, might not be making good on his side of the covenants or contracts; on his promises.
This in effect, is a second layer or theme, in the Bible (not to be confused however, with our “second” voice of the Second Coming). And here, the voices, the proposed explanations of dozens of persons for all this, found their way into the Bible. Including the explanation that God was temporarily withholding his promised benefits from even good persons like Job, to “test their faith,” as preachers said until recently. God was withholding his promised, contractual promises … in order to see if we would follow him just out of loyalty or faith, even when he was not fulfilling his promises, and was not giving us material things. And this apologetic or modification of the contract, was to be accepted, and was to dominate Christianity for two thousand years; even though however, it was proposed not by God himself, but literally, by Satan himself (Job 1.9 ff).
The first phrase of the Bible then, was the social contract: follow the “Lord” or his local representative, and you would get physical rewards. But when there were problems with, failures in this? Failures that cannot always be firmly blamed on the people themselves? Then we see a second phase in the Bible therefore; where various alleged holy men – including various alleged prophets, and even the sometimes-angel, Satan himself – try to generate sermons, excuses, blame-laying. To explain why the old contract might not be working; to generate any explanation except the real one. And thus a whole layer of sophistical apologetics was deposited in the our holy books. Yet to be sure, we will have been noting here and elsewhere (especially in our writings on Sermons as Excuses for the lack of miracles), that while dozens, hundreds of such different apologetic excuses were proposed in the Bible, they were all proposed, advanced, in a tentative way – with a red warning flag on them. The whole idea of God “testing our faith” for example, is tentatively advanced in the Old Testament – but it is presented with a flashing red light all around it: it is advanced in part as an idea of the unreliable companions of Job; and indeed in part, as an idea literally from Satan himself. Note that it is literally “Satan,” by name, that proposed the whole idea of a great stress on “faith”; of a test of faith (Job 1. 9-12 ff). While likewise? We show elsewhere that none of the dozens, hundreds of apologetics for the failure of the contract, stands up to closer inspection (as we begin to see in our closer examination of the most common two or three dozens apologetics; in our writing on Sermons as Excuses).
Indeed, the “Apologetics” voice in the Bible, was dishonest; it used lying, sophistical arguments. And even the Bible itself often warned about it: presenting the “faith” apologetic, in fact, as being literally, an idea of Satan himself.
3) But these many false apologetics arguments, including especially the stress on “Faith” and “spirituality,” were to dominate and define what came to be called “Christianity” for fully two thousand years, it seems. Particularly, the idea, relating to “faith,” of “spirituality,” was presented in the New Testament: the theological theory that God was not delivering physical, material things … because God had actually, never really promised physical wonders, at all. The rather Platonistic, word-“twist”ing hint was systematically introduced, in the New Testament, that if God had ever appeared to promise physical things, those promises were best taken to be mere metaphors; for spiritual wonders. If Jesus himself was pictured delivering physical things – like real, actual, literal “bread” to eat, in what was called the “miracle of the loaves and fishes,” at the same time, another voice appeared in the text; presenting an alternative, priestly/ spiritual reading of this. Jesus was presented as speaking as if his act of sacrifice, or his words, were “bread indeed.” While Paul began to speak of “fruits of the spirit.”
So if our religion, our “Christ,” never delivered on their seeming absolutely firm, physical promises? That didn’t matter, it was claimed; because a) probably those things were never really promised at all; the promises were just metaphors, for priestly, spiritual things. Or b) in any case, physical things were of no importance; compared to the wonders of the “spiritual” life; and the promise of immortality, in a spiritual Heaven.
4) Yet to be sure, even many priests were rather suspicious of the apologetics layer in the text; which indeed seems to violate the original promises from God. So that eventually? A third or fourth layer of subtle criticism of apologetics, and an increasingly massive, general criticism of most holy men, prophets and angels, began to build up. Even in the Bible itself. The founder of “faith” after all, was named “Satan” in Job 1. And the defenders of faith, like especially Paul, were found to confess that they were not “perfect,” and were even perhaps the “worst of sinners.” Indeed, Peter, right after expressing “faith” in Jesus, was called “Satan” … by Jesus himself (Mat. 16.23). While 5) over and against apologists, elements of the Bible reaffirmed that the old God, his old promises intact, would return, in a Second Coming. On a “day” of the Lord, a “day” of “judgement.” And on that day? He would “judge” even alleged followers; even the very “household of God” itself”; even the angels and apostles. And he would judge them, in classic form: not just by their words, their thoughts, their inner faith: but by their objective material, physical “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs”; as produced in a timely way; and as “observe”d by expert, “scien”tific “witnesses,” with their literal physical “eyes,” and other scientific means.
6) And if on this “day,” we should firmly see that many centuries of traditional, alleged Christian holy men and priests, even angels and apostles, were largely false? Were following a wrong, apologetic idea of Christ? Indeed, there is one, constantly repeated Biblical prophesy here that really holds up, and that is hereby fulfilled: we must simply find that – exactly as foretold – we have seen that the whole world was deceived, even in its idea of “Christ,” even in its “worship” (Rev. 13, etc.). Specifically, all our traditional “Christian” apologists, all our priests, with their many sermons, their “windy words,” were simple false, lying, deceived, deceptive persons, following a false idea of God. Then after all, one “day,” this day was supposed to come, all along.
While 7) indeed, we have come today, here and now. To show, reveal, and assist, the return, of the original God himself. After all. Showing that the very first promises from God – the original contract for timely physical rewards – were the firmest and best and truest word of God himself. And/or that even our holiest men should now be henceforth evaluated by the science that relates to, derives from, those original promises. Finding that this or that idea of God, is to be said to be true, or simply false; from God or not from God. According to whether it produces real, timely, physical, rewards.
This vision, this return of the original, true God or Lord? Is of course, shattering; apolcayptic. Specfically: exactly as foretold, two thousand years of unreliable priestly apologetics, two thousand years of especially faith in a spiritual “Heaven,” collapse. Here and now.
But while this is so? Then after all, one “day” this day was supposed to come. The Bible is not destroyed, but fulfilled. And those who at last learn to see and follow this? Will, overall (all other factors being constant), experience much greater prosperity, than otherwise, or formerly. Will experience the promised material wonders of God.
The Uses and Abuses of This –
And The Final
To be sure, we will show that many false and exaggerated physical promises were made too; promises of regular, reliable, physical “miracles” especially. So that we will have to find that even some physical promises were not entirely reliable; or were mis-read, misinterpreted, by preachers, as being more magical, surreal, miraculous, than they really were. Rather instead, we find that most of the wonders offered by God, came about mostly not out of thin air, but by the help of natural agencies; like the “work” of our “hands” and so forth. And the help of practical work, in technology and science. Which over the centuries, have proven themselves to be far more “fruit”ful than praying for miracles.
To be sure, therefore, there were failures, even in the material, physical side of the Religion given to us by priests. And therefore, rightly, over the centuries, many poor Christians (and Muslims) come to feel that some aspects of the Religion given to us by priests – the old promises – are false. Since like Job, many have been loyal to the old rules – but are still poor; they still do not have all the physical rewards promised.
When some physical promises failed, what did the clerics say, again? Since many believers often have followed the Lord as described by priests, but have not gotten the rewards due them? Many were often tempted to simply abandon their Religion, to rebel against their Lords. To prevent this, the local lords and their clerics, preachers, developed and promulgated, through millions of churches, a number of apologetic ideas or excuses. And among them was the good true idea: of a “day.” Yet to be sure, even this true idea, was often bent. It was sometimes said that the old rules, the old promises were still true, in some general way; that even if the poor did not get the rewards, still the (local and/or cosmic) Lord promised that one “day,” sooner or later, those promised rewards would be delivered at last. So that those believers who were not getting the promised rewards, could however look forward to a special “day,” in the future. Here it was said that even if they experienced the trials of Job, even if they suffered poverty, disease, or slavery for a time, still, if they continued on, in spite of difficulties, to follow God faithfully enough? Then one “day” at last the Lord would finally show up. To at last punish and reward people, according to their merits or demerits. In the case of Job though, notice that these promised rewards still came … in the natural lifetime of the Believer: Job suffers for a while … but in the end of his life gets “twice as much as he had before” (Job 42.7-12).
But here is the problem that many preachers faced: what about the many, who thought they were “good,” and were following God or “Christ” … and yet who did not experience the promised prosperity, even in their entire lifetime? What had happened, when the “good” still died in disease and poverty? Were the old promises still good? Here, the notion of a “day” was simply … extended in time: it came to be said that even if we did not get immediate, timely rewards for being “good,” defined as following priests? Then after, it came to be said, all those who are true believers, will eventually, at least at the end of time, be rewarded. On the “day” when God returns or comes in a special visit to earth. The day when their Lord at last appears again. And actually delivers; delivers the physical “prosperity,” punishments – and miracles? – promised in his name. By so many prophets and apostles and clerics.
This strategy – the promise of eventual rewards, at the End of Time say – has been fairly effective. For many years, much of the population of the earth, has remained meek and docile, following and obeying local authority – even in hard times. Even when the promised rewards did not come. Because almost the whole population of the earth was taught to believe that eventually, even after death, there would be this final reward; on for example, what is sometimes called “Judgement Day.”
And yet however note, that there are some reasons to doubt even this or that element of, even some traditions associated with even the “Day.” First of all note, that 1) this tradition, of “Judgement Day,” a “Day of the LORD,” later in time, at the End of Time, is a slight change of – and some might say a corruption of – the original “days,” just noted. Originally, the “day”s referred to several days of very normal year; especially around the time of yearly harvest; when we used our crops, our “fruits,” to settle debits with the Lord; and to distribute our surplus, as charitable gifts of food especially. Though to be sure? It seems that reasonably reliable elements of the Bible itself, agreed on advancing the idea not only of a) yearly days, of settlement of debts, including a tax day in effect. But also b) other, more remote days. When, it was said, the Lord would at last give whatever he still owed to us. Though we will note that even those more remote days are still timely; offered mostly in our lifetime. Even “soon,” “at hand,” “quickly,” the “time is near,” and so forth. While the Apostle Peter’s opinion that “soon” might mean in effect, tens of millions of years? Seems like an unreliable example of word-twisting, by the apostle that Jesus himself, at first seemed to support – but then at least once called “Satan” (Mat. 16.23).
How reliable were promises of 2) a “Day” therefore? Here we firmly support them overall. But were there unjustifiable corruptions, even in the tradition of a “day”? Were later ideas of the “Day” always, in every respect, true to the original promises? Here again we must always keep in mind, that the Bible itself noted in effect, that at times, the apparently old promises, even those issued in the name of the lord, were not being firmly kept. Over and over, recall, the Bible itself began to suggest that some of those prophets and clerics and even Christs and Lords and Gods who claimed to speak truth, and issue firm promises…. might be unreliable, or false. Finally, 3) even some physical promises might seem false: in particular, promises of giant, timely physical “miracles” – “all” and “whatever” and whenever we “ask” – might seem false to many, today.
So what is the truth of the “Day”? Clearly, the very, very strong emphasis on rewards, primarily on some “day” after our death, has not been fully true to the Bible itself: the Bible we will see, promised “day”s of substantial, timely settlements, every year.
So 4) what should we finally say and do? Ultimately, one strong, reliable voice in the Bible, began to simply warn that there will always have been “false” things in our allegedly holiest traditions about our Lord God, our religion; false things even in the “promises,” “prophesies,” alleged to have come from our lord. And even some elements of, or extrapolations from, the “day”s spoken of in the Bible, can be false. Specifically? We will find that any very, very strong departure from reasonably timely settlements, too much emphasis on an infinitely remote “day,” is not entirely true to the original intent of the Bible and of God. And if anything therefore? If there is to be a special “day”? It is the day that … were see that most of the promises – and even some of the legends relating to the “day” – were false.
Today in fact, the best Biblical hints as to what the “day” is, what the “day” should best be construed as? Would be the thousands of suggestions, throughout the entire Bible in fact, that 5) it is simply the “day” we grow up or mature; and notice sins and errors – false promises especially – in our childhood heroes; especially sins in the saints and angels and prophets and priests. Even in some of their exaggerated promises of a special “day.”
What finally, is the best understanding of the Bible – and especially of the “Day” – therefore? More specifically, though many preachers now take this “day” as genuine, and many all over the world now believe in it, many elements in the Bible itself came to suggest that there have been some shortfalls in many, many traditions said to have been from the Lord, or said to be ultimate truth. So that the final and best reconstruction of the “Day”? It would be in part, a) to sanctify tax days and so forth, in effect. But b) it is especially, the “day” we grow up … and notice errors in our holiest men, and all their promises.
Or 6) finally, so far as any possible ultimate time or “day”? Here, our best construction is this: in part, it is an historical day, when not just a few isolated individuals, but finally millions, billions, see at last, the second fuller vision of God. God revealing to many of us simultaneously, God causing for many millions, a moment of maturity. A particularly spectacular “day” – when “suddenly”, in a flash or “twinkling,” the whole earth sees that it has long been deceived, even in its religion, its “worship” (Rev. 13); its “Christ” or “Lord.” A moment when at last the real Lord reveals himself; and much of the whole world sees that it has been following after all, a false Lord.
In the end, on this “day,” many, many prophesies of the Bible at last make sense … and are fulfilled. Precisely as foretold: many who thought they were good believers, who thought they were following the true LORD, will find that they have been “deceived”; that they have been following a false Lord. Say, a “false Christ,” a false idea of Jesus, an “enchanter,” or “sorcerer,” or “soothsayer”; a “false prophet.” A false “Lord.” An “Anti- Christ.”
While 7) at last, many see the truer vision, coming, of God: God, Christ, advocating not blind faith, but science, for example.
An Early Conclusion? On “Judgement”
For many centuries, for thousands of years, our clerics insisted that all of their “tradition,” was all but perfect and true; and that we should follow our priests and their tradition, with total faith. But the Bible constantly warned there would be false things, even in our holiest Christian things, and promises and prophesies; that many things that our clerics wrote “the LORD said,” or “said the LORD,” might not have been from an authoritative and true source, after all. So that in the End, what we would discover, what comes to us, will not necessarily be what we expected. Indeed, we were told that many who thought they were following God, the true Lord, and were crying out their loyalty to the “Lord, Lord,” will find that they have been all too loyally, all too faithfully, all too religiously … following a false sense of God, a false Christ, a false Lord.
Or even, we might find, many aspects of even the “Day of the LORD” might be false. Indeed, as we examine promises of the Day of the Lord, we note that many things were promised “soon,” “at hand,” “presently,” “quickly,” in a “generation, ” etc. * … fully two and three thousand years ago. And yet the promised day, did not appear, that gave us all that was promised (the ideal “kingdom” of “peace,” where the lion lies down with the ox, and there is no more pain, no more tears, etc.; as in Isa. 65-6, Rev. 21, etc.). Or perhaps after all, the Day of the Lord is best presented today, as the day when … you yourself begin to see sins and errors and shortfalls, in many of the old promises. And begin to see another, new and better, more mature mental picture of what is true.
There are many scholars today who feel that many old promises in the Bible, like promises of miracles, and even of the “Day of the Lord,” Judgement Day, is a scam; a lie; some feel that it is the “strong delusion” that was promised would take over religion, and the world. Christian heaven. In which case, perhaps we need to redefine the “day”; as a “day” of disillusioning initiation; the “day” when we are judged mature enough to be told, that an old childhood belief was false, a fairy-tale, an “enchantment,” a “lie.” And amazingly in fact, there are parts of the Bible itself that suggest this.
Some 6) scholars indeed think that the Bible is a “Roman a clef”; a sort of allegorical writing, with a special hidden message; and that the final message that it delivers, is that it is itself, false; or that major promises even in itself, are false prophesies, delusions. And the day you are smart enough to read the text well, and discover this yourself, is the day of the “Apocalypse,” but also the day you “mature.” The Bible self-deconstructs, as they might say today. Specifically, a) for and to simple people, it appears on the face of it to advance a (at times, fairly) simple set of rules; blind faith in authority; and simple promises of miracles as a reward for following them. On the other hand though b) as you yourself “mature” and advance in your knowledge, you are supposed to begin to often, become a sort of authority yourself. On that “day” you will begin to notice problems, sins, in earlier authorities. And your childhood heroes will dissolve.
But if so, then as foretold there is a reward. At the same time as you see various shortfalls in the old promises, still, by virtue of the clearer understanding you now have, you will have reached a more mature and humble and productive understanding of God and good.
So that you can pass through this painful, disillusioning, ideal-shattering “day.” Knowing that amazingly enough, the Bible itself wanted you to do beyond the simple lessons you learned as a child in Sunday School and church. And knowing that you are even now, being initiated into a more mature and productive and true, vision of the Lord. A vision that sees that our “lords” in the past, were never quite as good as our clerics sometimes over-stressed. Though to be sure, they were not always so bad either. Though now it is time for many of us to be educated, and become local authorities or potentates on our own. But at such times, it is well for us to be humble, and remember that even many former lords, were not able to furnish as many benefits as they had thought or claimed.
To be sure, indeed, often we have rules from lords that were fairly good … but not totally effective. For that reason, we should allow some slack here; allow the people some individual “freedom” and latitude; especially when they are better-educated, mature, and can exercise good independent judgement.
While, as for what will prove to have been best, in the End? Perhaps it is best to remember the words of Ecclesiastes, and not be too final in our judgments:
“Never be rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be quick to utter a word before [for?] God, for God is in heaven , and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few” (Ecc. 5.2).
Just exactly what the true words from God were, we will not know except as we see various ideas tried out in history; as we observe what “comes to pass”; as we observe which rules were “fruitful,” and which were not.
And of course, the best way to find out which words and thoughts and rules, were really from effective lords, and which were not, which were worthy of a cosmic ultimate LORD, and which were not, which were “fruitful” and which were not … is to use science. To see how well people fare, materially, following one rule, versus another. Only then do we know.
So that indeed, judgement day might well be the day we acquire good, scientific judgement. When we learn to see the fruits of different deeds and rules. The day indeed, we acquire “judgement” and “discernment.” And can use practicality and science, to determine which rules are fruitful, and which are not. In that moment to be sure, we find many old rules false; but new ones, true.
And so it is.
No doubt to be sure, even science at times has made mistakes. And so we should not go with entirely new, speculative, or fad science. But only with classic concepts well proven. Here indeed, our naturalistic understanding of miracles, say, was already partially embraced rationally, by Plato, by 350 BCE (in his remarks on Boreas, in Phaedrus?). While today, such ideas are commonplace in intellectual circles … and even in many churches. Indeed, many churches, preachers, secretly ceased to believe in say, miracles, long ago; so that in effect, many of us – most of us? – are already, long since, through much of the Apocalyptic revelation. It is only a matter now, of solidifying gains, and moving on to a higher consciousness of all this. So that all can be “mature.” And finally, prosper.
But Therefore Finally;
Giving Priests and Others, An
Initiation Beyond Ordinary Priesthood?
Into High Priest, Papal, and Higher Offices?
How a Mortal
Justifies Appearing as a God; in
The Book of Hebrews
“Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God” (Heb. 5.1 NRSV).
There are in fact hints that in some churches, there have been secret and semi-secret initiations, in fact, into our sense of things here; that Judgement Day is basically a metaphor, for the day that you grow up beyond blind faith in authority; becoming a knowledgeable and responsible adult, having good “judgement” at last. And thus being qualified to stand in the company of leaders, “lord”s (Dan. 1).
Is this said in the Bible itself? See Daniel 1.
But in particular, the book of Hebrews as a whole, makes much sense here … as a possible initiation manual into yet another higher office or status or mystery; higher than ordinary priest; to a high priest or Pope; or even to a status higher than the status of “lord.”
First, to be sure, it seems like an attempt to justify and set up a specifically Christian priesthood, as opposed to the hereditary Jewish priests; Levites and so forth. But on the way to justifying that, the text opens the way up to quite a bit more authority than even that; giving great authority to a “man,” or Man in general. Enough to even edit or change the words attributed to the Lord, or God?
The immediate problem Hebrews seems to address, is how to set up a specially Christian priesthood; a problem which was not otherwise firmly or explicitly established by Jesus himself, other than by his own example; Jesus 1) having trouble with the priests of his day, who in fact, had him arrested and executed. While then too, 2) Jesus at times seems to assume that he himself, and his priests, are Jewish; Jesus – many scholars say – didn’t really think about setting up a separate, new religion: Christianity. With its own priesthood. Though finally Jesus did say negative things about Jewish rabbis and so forth at times, still, it was left to Paul to set up a more specifically Christian priesthood, it seems. In the book of Hebrews for example.
Hebrews began by addressing the problem of trying to set up a priesthood that was increasingly, departing from traditional Jerusalem, and Judaism; and following specifically, the newer figures of Jesus. This 3) Paul did in many ways; in a) part by suggesting that Jesus was equal to God, or his son; the “God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways … but in these last days … by a son” (Heb. 1.1-2 NRSV). Therefore, the implicit conclusion is, as son of God, Jesus had power to do whatever he wanted; including setting up a Christian priesthood. While Paul added many other arguments; b) suggesting Christianity could have its own “laws,” a “new covenant” with God; etc..
But c) then Hebrews has to deal with the problem of a Christian tradition that often, didn’t like traditional priests much; after priests executed Jesus. Hebrews dealt with this, by aa) insisting that Jesus himself was a priest; while bb) dealing with the problem of an apparently non-hereditary priesthood in Christianity, or of some discontinuity with Levites and so forth … by noting that one earlier priest/king, “Melchizedek,” who was not hereditarily a priest, had simply been made a priest, after all (7.16).
Then in other books, Paul gets rather explicit about setting up churches, and church hierarchies.
So that finally, there is developed a day of initiation into the priesthood. Including various “anoint”ings and so forth.
But next, is there a moment of initiation into something, a tradition, higher than a priest? Or into a tradition that … began to show problems, sins, inadequacies, in our holiest men and priests? That notes sins and errors even in priests … and then shows a “higher,” more “mature” way yet? Higher than the priesthood? Indeed in fact, one of the points of our present books, has been to show in effect, such a tradition; written throughout the Bible itself. And it may be that there is even a special day of initiation into this status, as well.
There are many such possible initiation days; including initiation into the status of Bishop; but then even “anointing,” into a “kingship”; or even “Christ”ening, into a “lord”ship.
In any case, no matter what position they lead us to, it is one of the main points of our books there, that there indeed was a strong Biblical tradition, that at the least, noted the inadequacies of priests. And that therefore, implicitly, invited us, and some priests, to something higher and better than an ordinary priesthood.
Interestingly, for present purposes … Hebrews often seems directed at, say, intellectual Christian priests; who have come to doubt aspects of Christianity; to “harden” their “heart”s to its claims (3.7). Who had perhaps come to perceive all-too-human failings, and lack of divinity, in their own Christian institutions; and who are now “rebellious” and in danger of being shut out, or punished (3.14-19). Who have seen beyond the veil, perhaps – and are disillusioned about the priesthoods and so forth; even about all religion. Perhaps such priests are not even believers any more.
What can be done with those who know religion, the priesthood, all too well? Well enough to see it warts, sins, and all? To know where the skeletons are buried? Hebrews suggested that it is “impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have … fallen away” (6.4-6).
But then next, we suggest, Hebrews begins to suggest a new, higher position; to suggest that it is possible to move up to “solid food” and to be “mature,” (5.14) … and to simply face some of these things; face the sins of our priests and church. In part, to go on, suppressing doubts, with “faith” … and under threat of punishments; but also in the hope that after all, some good is done by religion in spite of internal sins and errors. But then to perhaps, go beyond even excessive, blind faith. To see things realistically; though with some hope of course, for the world of the future.
And one “day” in particular, a priest who has faced such things, might be rewarded with a very high position in the church; even high priest or higher. Even “today” …
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in rebellion, as on the day of testing in the wilderness” (Heb. 3.7-8).
“Again he sets a certain day – ‘today’…” (4.7).
No doubt some more educated priests, scribes, inevitably become aware that they have great power behind the scenes, to present, even change holy things (as when they translate and edit holy books like the Bible, for instance). Or to start a “New” Testament; over and above the Old Testament of the Jews. Or to start a new religion, a new Christianity. But in that moment, many no doubt, come to worry that after all, they don’t have the authority to do this; because they are merely men, not God himself. Yet here Hebrews reassures them; assures them that even Jesus, who had authority even over angels, was after all likewise just a “man” or mere “flesh” in some ways too. Indeed, God gave man great authority; the Bible asking God:
“What is man that thou are mindful of him” (Heb. 2.6 NRSV).
“Or mortals, that you care for them? You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet” (Heb. 2.5-8 NRSV).
“For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters” (Heb. 2.11).
We are all sons of God (paraphrased from where in Bible?). Some parts of the Bible even suggest that we, “you are all are gods,” some say (q.v.).
Many Christian theologians no doubt liked to use these and other passages, as giving them authority all but equal to Jesus himself; the power and authority to even change holy words, perhaps. While today, humanistic theologians, also such words to suggest that mere men are after all, given great authority by God.
Perhaps at one time, this message (or others like it; see Mat. 16, etc..) was intended mainly for future Popes and other very high officials only; intended to be read and interpreted to them privately; to show that they had the power and authority … to change, edit, even very holy words previously attributed to God himself. In this case, such excerpts, texts, form a semi-secret initiation, into the responsibilities of being the “lord” himself, in a sense.
No doubt to be sure, there is great temptation to Pride here, however. Yet ideally, there would be humility too; in knowing that after all, all our thoughts, even the ones we once thought were sacred and divine, are merely human. And all of them are potentially flawed. So that great humility is required, especially in religious things; dogmatism is not allowed.
The Day Summarized
There are, as it turns out, various hints in the Bible, of invitation a higher and better understanding or status; indeed the “Second Coming” itself, no doubt, is supposed to correct many earlier misunderstandings, and give us a new understanding of God; especially too, the “Day of the Lord.”
Regarding finally, the nature of the “Day” especially? Summarizing what it means? Originally, 1) the Old Testament referred to many various special “days.” But especially the key “days,” related to the facts of being a subject of a lord or landlord; being a farmer or shepherd, working on a lord’s land. In effect, what we had was the basic social contract, of early proto-serfdom: the vast bulk of people lived on land, mostly as farmers and herders and hunters; land controlled by a local Lord, and his tradition. The Lord and the people on the land, in effect signed a contract, or “covenant.” In which the Lord agreed to supply occasional assistance to those on his “land”: he helped establish “law” and order; who did public works like aqueducts that gave us “living” or running “water”; and sometimes food from his granaries, and “bread”; and protective armies and for forth. The Lord gave us the wonders – some said miracles – of central administration, and civilization. And in exchange for that? The people of the Lord god, a) listened to the lord, and his rules and “law,” as recited to the illiterate in temples by his clerks or clerics or priests. And b) on certain prescribed “days” – they gave the Lord a portion of whatever produce they produced; a portion of their “fruits.” As “sacrifice” or tribute or payment to the Lord. In appreciation/payment, for the Lord’s protective services. (Though we are allowed to ourselves eat a portion of our produce, some went to the priests and Lord themselves, to pay them, and maintain them and their administration). And the Old Testament notes some specific “days” on which we are to present ourselves to the Lord or his clerics, to pay the lord with contributions, “sacrifices,” though (as in Deut. 12.1-5-8-11-13-17, for example. Or better, Deut. 16.1-16.22-17.5-9-18.1ff). This was often a “day” of anxiety however; since at times subjects came up short, on payments or “fruits.” And then too, perhaps they had committed some sin. So that when they presented themselves and their sacrifices to the lord and his clerics? Sometimes punishment would follow. So that the “day” of the “lord” was in part a fearsome day; in which punishments from the lord might be involved.
That, we suggest here, was the real, material, factual, historical basis, for Judaism and Christianity. Basically, the real foundation of Jewish and Christian religion, was all about the basic foundation of civilization, the basic social contract; people agreeing to follow and give to a central leadership or lord; in exchange for the Lord’s administrative services.
And that foundation was productive and real enough. But to be sure, 2) there were often problems on both sides, with fully fulfilling the terms of the contract. In particular, there were often problems with in the land; droughts and wars and so forth. So that sometimes, the lord did not furnish all or even most, of what was promised. Especially when clerics exaggerated the Lord’s powers. Or especially when say, the local Jewish kingdom was overrun by another neighboring army … and much of this system of support, collapsed. And another rival lord or god or governor, demanded payments, to he himself and no other. In such situations, some of the local clerics of Judaism might remain however; offering a partial shadow government under whatever rulers where there. And they would continue to demand sacrifices, contributions … even though they were not able to deliver many services in return. In such times? People often complained about the “burdens” heaped on them by ineffectual shadow “kingdom”s, or memory of a past kingdom – or religion as it came to be called. And people would begin to complain that their Jewish clerics were not as productive or protective or impressive; that their invocations of an absent “kingdom” and invisible “lord” were ineffective. In such times, priests it seems, tried to offer many defensive arguments; apologetics, sermons. To try to explain and excuse, any signs of inadequacy in they themselves, and/or the only semi-effective “kingdom” that they represented; a kingdom with often, no present, physical king in evidence, on earth. Among dozens of other sermonic apologetic excuses for their non-performance, clerics asserted that if not now, then “soon” – or one “day” – the Jewish Lord God would return. And then at last, make good on his promises, his covenant: and punish the bad, and reward the good. Especially he would smite non-Jews it seems. But even among those who thought they were reasonably good followers of God, would be called up short, it seems. So that even many believers and so forth, might expect some punishments.
And here again, we see the anxiety associated with the Christian extrapolation from this Jewish tradition; the Christian idea of Judgement Day or the Day of the Lord. Because after all, perhaps none of us is entirely good; and many are clearly bad, lawbreakers and so forth. So that if and when a Jewish Lord finally appears again, and begins to reward and punish, perhaps none of us can be entirely confident that we ourselves and our “fruits” are good enough. Indeed, ever the clerics of the Lord, the keepers of the dream, will often be found wanting. And can expect reprimand/re-education/ “refining” by “fire.” Or expect in effect, painful correction – and even firm punishment.
These were the first two basic foundational, historical substrata, or foundational layers, for Judgement “Day.” And Day of the Lord. Basically, the idea was this: we as tenants on the land, are to follow the Lord and his representatives, the local lord and clerics; and give them a portion of our crops, our fruits. While in exchange the Lord gives us his protection. But 2) at various times, either the people, but often even the clerics and their lord, seemed to fail us. And our clerics began to offer excuses, explanations, sermons, apologetics, for their own failure. Including, among dozens of other excuse sermons, the idea that even if our system, our god, was not delivering on his ancient promises (and threats) today, he would however, return one “day.” To reward the good and punish the evil.
This was the foundation of civilization; and specifically of Judaism and Christianity; and it worked rather well. But 3) eventually, our more educated and wiser clerics (like Ecclesiastes? And the editors of the Book of Job? The “wisdom” books?), began to note some apparent problems with, flaws, false things, sins in, the basic foundation. The problem was, that it overall worked rather well – but did not work perfectly. In fact, already, in the second formulation of the “day” when the Lord “appears,” we see … our religion trying to deal with signs of failure in our kingdom, in our religion, and in our clerics. Specifically the problem was this: huge wonders had often been promised to us, in exchange for our following the lord; but now and then, those promised wonders from the Lord, were not forthcoming, in any timely way. Either a) because of a recalcitrant nature or “world,” which handed us plagues and famines and droughts and so forth. Or b) because of enemies. But also because of c) inadequacies in even the alleged followers, people of the Lord. As our priests loved to say constantly.
Indeed, clerics have often blamed everyone else, for problems in our religion; especially they tell us every week in church, that wonders do not come to us, because we are not following the cleric’s ideas of God well enough. But finally, we have come today to note that this is not quite fully, what the Bible said. We have come today to note what our preachers never quite really publicly faced or confessed: noting yet another source of error, another part of the equation, that often failed us. As we have begun to show here that the Bible itself constantly warned that when our religion, our Lord does not deliver on its physical promises, it is not because of evils just in the people; but especially d) because of inadequacies, sins … in the priests. Sins in our holy men. Sins our own churches. Errors our own priests and prophets, saints and angels. And 4) furthermore: if our holy men were often wrong? Then no doubt they often presented a false picture of Christ; a False Christ. (While eventually? Some of our intellectuals began to suggest that there is a fourth reason for apparent failures in our religion: if all our holiest men and prophets have sinned, then – 5 – likely their very picture of God himself, the Lord himself, is wrong. Is a false God. So that in effect, our very religion itself does not deliver on its promises … because our religion itself is partially wrong. And our “Lord” is a false projection, an illusion, a false religion, a false god).
In our present books here, we do not go quite as far as many atheists do. Here, in order to reach believers, we follow the Bible itself. And present it and its doctrines as authoritative and correct. But to be sure, we find that amazingly, the Bible itself presents a side, a voice, a side of God, that clerics and preachers always suppressed. And that preachers did not obey. A voice that firmly said, over and over, that if there are problems in our society? If the old teachings and promises, do not deliver on promises of material success? Then after all, the problem is often, especially, not the fault of the ordinary man or woman; as much as the blame is to be laid on the door of … our priests, ministers, churches; even on the very holiest prophets and angels. “All have sinned.” (Or “Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly” Job 4.18 KJV. Also: “Why doth thine heart carry thee away? And what do thy eyes wink at, That you turnest thy spirit against God…? … Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight” – Job 15.13-15).
Our traditional religion, our vision of the Lord therefore, has been passed on to us … by unreliable intermediaries. And even their invocation of the “Holy Spirit,” did not actually guarantee anything at all. Since even those who had spirit, often had a “false spirit,” posing as the Holy Spirit. And even those who once had the real Holy Spirit? Often lost it.
For all these reasons – because of constant warnings; and real evidence – of critical continuous failures in every aspect of our religion and worship? Finally it seems clear that 6) the more honest and aware clerics in charge of our religion, of the Bible itself, at various points began to … make sure that our holiest document, the Bible, contained, deep within it, on nearly every page … a constant voice. Warning of sins not just in unbelievers; or even in ordinary believers; but sins and errors in our own holiest leaders, priests and prophets. Sins and errors in they themselves personally .. but also in many of their most “inspired” ideas of what is holy and good; in their very idea, presentation, of the Lord God. Here and now to be sure, we have supported the Bible itself, and regard the Bible as authoritative enough. But for that matter, we find the Bible itself, to be a far more self-critical, self-deconstructive document, than most people know. The Bible itself constantly delivering a self-critical, sub-text, a message that most people not trained in language and textual analysis, never quite hear well enough: the Bible contained a massively extended warning, about its own holiest men and angels.
Possibly our major point in our books here, in fact, is that our holy men don’t really know, or accurately quote, the real, fuller message of the Bible; preachers have not honestly told the people, that the Bible warns constantly about false things in preachers, in our holiest men and Christians; possibly the Bible even warns about itself. Yet to be sure, we ourselves would not want to end here, on such an entirely negative note. Because after all, 7) on the positive side, the Bible contained the outline of the basic foundation of civilization; of the social contract. And as part of that, what should we should finally show? Ultimately the Bible, actually criticized most of what ordinary people and preachers thought or said Christianity is about; and in the end, the Bible self-deconstructively demolished its own traditional Heaven itself. But after all that? After all, that was to “free” us from bondage to childhood disciplines; and open up a freer life, to those with mature consciences. Indeed finally, the Bible began to reveal the outline, of a “second” and better vision of Christ; a second and better, “fuller” view of God and Good. It offered a view of Christ that does not stress “blind,” childlike obedience to simple rules; but offers a God that allows at least a cautiously experimental science of Religion. One that allows our knowledge even in religion, to cautiously, slowly, progress.
Yet to be sure, this second appearance of Christ, has quite a bit of authority, and power; to expose and rule holy men and churches especially. As foretold, the second vision of Christ we now see, the Science of God, science-based religious study, comes not to simply congratulate all our preachers on a job well done. Instead, God comes in part, even here and now, to … continually put all our preachers and religious leaders, to the test; to a test of fire. The Science of God comes to examine, to “test” religious statements and dogmas and orthodoxies and sermons, with hard empirical tests. To look to see if following the words, the doctrines said to be from God or some ultimate Good, actually produce real, physical, material good, here, in a timely way, on this material earth, in front of reliable scientific witnesses – or not. And if any given preachers’ doctrine does not produce fruits? Then we are to at least verbally “burn” it. To discredit and eliminate at last, the foretold religious false illusions and delusions and lies. Finally it is necessary to strongly criticize our preachers. And destroy their illusions. To burn them off. Burn off the chaff. In order to reveal by contrast, at last, the various parts, the real core, the “full”er and better vision, “appearance”/parousia, of God.
No doubt, learning to face all this, is a particularly painful moment for most preachers and believers; since they have been so sure of themselves, so proud and vain about their religion. No doubt, this will still be hard for many believers and even theologians, who often reviled Reason, and Science (even out of proportion to the errors of early, cruder science). But if all this is painful, “fiery”? Especially for believers, preachers? Then after all, that is to exactly fulfill the prophesies of the Bible itself; of God himself. All that is exactly as authorized, commanded, in the Bible itself: exactly as foretold, especially, our caustic testing, public revelations of sins in holy men, their pain from this chastisement and correction, comes even “first “of all, not so much to ordinary working people. But to the priests and prophets; to the very “household of God” itself. To the priests and religious leaders, themselves:
“For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4.17).
“God opposes the proud” (1 Peter 5.5).
Regarding this end, preachers have always willfully misread the part of Peter, of course, that asked, if even preachers, believers, who allegedly at least tried to follow God, are found bad, then “what” would be the end of those who did not try as hard to follow. And yet here again, our preachers have misread their Bibles; they have failed to note that after all, here the Bible merely asked an open question, and did not make any very firm statement at all: “what” it asked, might be the fate of others. The Bible did not really firmly tell us in 1 Peter 4.17, what the fate of others might be. All that it very, very firmly declared here? Was that after all, judgement comes first of all, “begin”s with, “the household of God” itself. (Which in other parts of the Bible, is described as his priests and ministers, in part).
Many preachers in fact, already intuitively know parts of what we are revealing today. Today, many priests already partially, secretly recognize many of their own sins; and even the sins and errors of holy men and of religious traditions. Yet they continue to support the old illusions … because they believe that they are a “white” lie. They believe that the people are children, incapable of governing themselves; and so the people must be given an over-simplified vision of the Bible and of God; especially a vision that seems to demand what many mothers demand from their children: total, blind obedience and faith in authority, in the rules. But while many preachers continue to insist on a view of Christ, that demands total blind faith? If many preachers do not believe that the people in general, are ready to face a more open, even cautiously, conservatively experimental science of God? If so? Then we are here in part to let these many patronizing, presumptuous, and supercilious religious leaders know; know that after two or three thousand years of civilization, today the world is, the masses are in fact, by today, civilized, educated, and self-controlled enough, “mature” enough. So that even a below-average citizen, is ready to move beyond a few all-too-simplistic rules. Indeed, the average 5-year old is probably capable of learning the basic rules; but then too facing the discovery, that even his or her mother and father, at times made some mistakes, even in their rule-making (as some research suggests). Today, even a 5-year old can probably at last simply face discovering warts in our religious heroes and saints and apostles. Even a 5-year old is probably capable of making the transition: from all-too blind faith and obedience in all-too-fallible religious leader; to a still- somewhat respectful, but rather more critical or cautiously experimental approach, to life and authority.
If an average 5-year old can learn this and face it? Then likely indeed, probably about half of all preachers today, are already secretly aware of much of this. In spirit of their constant vociferations of their own holiness, or the holiness of the rules they teach, most preachers today are at least aware of a) some sins in themselves, personally. While more importantly, by now, b) many of those who went to a good seminary, are aware of much theological discussion of likely sins and errors, even in their most sacred/sacrosanct, religious Traditions. For this reason, painful and disillusioning as all this may be for some? Surprisingly, many of even our preachers at least – especially the more intelligent and/or knowledgeable, educated ones, theologians – are probably already long since, prepared to face all this.
Even publicly. Even … right now. Even to “day.”
The Moment of Awful Realization
Real Humility … Even About
Our Own Holiness
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5.5).
In the daily life of the ordinary preacher, surely there must come many humbling moments or “days”. Moments when the lord shows even a priest, that he is not as good as he thought. Moments when the priest tries to work miracles, and literally walk on water – but finds he cannot. Moments when a pastor comes to see that 1) he himself – and 2) even his highest superiors – are all too human; “we all make many mistakes.” Just 3) as James confessed even of himself, an apostle. And of 4) “all.” Including all those around even an apostle, a saint, and an author of a book in the Bible itself. Even if a minister never really faces the critical parts of the Bible, still just in real life, in daily experience, there would have to be moments when a priest notices some inadequacies in himself, and even in the doctrines he was told are absolutely holy and true: doctrines that promised physical miracles, for example. No doubt, one day or another, nearly every pastor at some point, hopes and prays for a miraculous power, the power to walk on water … and yet, he or she finds that in real life, he or she cannot walk on water, that day. Such moments might bring doubts, and/or humility. And yet this very humility, is useful and necessary. A great deal of humility – not just regarding one’s self, but also ones tradition – is actually necessary; necessary for anyone who would present him- or herself, as a ruler of a congregation. Indeed, great humility is necessary even especially, for the very, very highest holy men and leaders; for the highest rulers of the largest churches. And humility is required of course, for those who rule on, edit, ideas attributed to God, too. As a religious leader or Pope might.
Many Popes are very highly thought of; some are all but regarded, as being God on earth again. Even the average priest is often seen as acting in “persona Christi” (SP?); or as or for “the person of Christ.” While indeed, working closely with biblical texts, and becoming familiar with one’s power over how they are presented, perceived, must surely make some clerics aware that often, some percentage of what they say in the name of God, at times comes – inevitably – from they, themselves. Though many like to think, things come with the aid of the Holy Spirit or some such; still, it is in part, from us.
And at times, a Pope or other authority, is asked to say what God said about this or that subject … on which God has not explicitly spoken in the Bible itself. So what does a ruler do in such occasions? No doubt often in the past, he simply assumes the mantle, the facade, of God. He tries to say as best he can, what he thinks God would say; and his words are often taken by many, to be the word of the Lord, of God himself. Even as he or she knows that she is not quite worthy of that status.
No doubt, this experience is difficult for many. And therefore, there is always a need for texts to transition ordinary people into the priesthood; and then ordinary priests into the Papacy; into such a position. And indeed some scholars might see the text of Hebrews, as developing out of old initiations; initiations that introduce and elevate priests to something higher, with even more authority to change things once said to be the word of God; or even elevated some kings to godhood (cf. Julius Caesar). Some would say, such words are initiation rituals, or an education process, for someone being considered for elevation to high priest, Pope; or “lord.”
No doubt, there are one or two difficult transitions that happen sooner or later, in the career of a priest. In that a) at first, he feels humble; that he is a mere man or child. But b) then, as he becomes at last a priest – and beyond that, “high priest” or Pope or some such – he assumes an office … in which he will be regarded by simple people, as almost a god or God himself; a “living” representative, almost a “living God” (4.12) or “Lord.” Many become Proud here. But c) others feel it is a status which he does not deserve.
Indeed, many a good priest should probably be
offended, at the over-lionization of him by ordinary people, when they become priests. Indeed, humble seminary students should typically see himself and others, as obviously flawed mortals assigned to such positions. Having worked behind the scenes, seen behind the veil partially, seen priests in daily life at the rectory and so forth, a future priest should have seen himself and others, as flawed, human. Yet what then happens when he becomes a priest? Suddenly these people he knows to be merely human … are lionized, idolized, by the common man. Are suddenly regarded as the voice of God, no less. While it would seem no mere mortal deserves such a status.
In this situation – in which he is now regarded as “sacred” or “holy” – a truly humble man would be offended. Because he now sees himself and people like himself – that he knows to be flawed from living among them – are now falsely regarded as being perfect, holy. A humble man will rightly feel that he himself does not deserve this honor. (Especially considering too, as we found here, that there is no magic or miraculous quality, that protects him from error). Such a man would feel embarrassed for himself and others, at his sudden new status; and may also feel too that he and probably almost all holy men and representatives of God, were really poseurs, cheaters, “deceivers”; fooling the people into thinking they were better, more reliable leaders, than they really were. Especially if and when our priest is a) really humble; and then too, b) finally reads all the warnings about sins in priests and holy men (here). Or c) reads higher criticism, and its findings of sins in priests.
Indeed finally, a really humble and honest priest should come to suspect that most priests are merely falsely pretending to be faultless representatives of God. And in such a position, a common dilemma appears: our priest or candidate might feel like exposing much of religion, as a fraud. Or at the very least, many would simply leaving religion behind.
Others might try to humbly assume the status, of speaking for God, however? Believing that all other words attributed to God after all, were from mere men too?
Priests Murder Priests?
For Exposing Secrets of the Church, Papacy, “Heresy”
What happens to those who, from within the church, begin to notice the sins of the church? Probably today, there is 1) simply a general and tacit admission of mutual fallibility in most church hierarchies. Many church leaderships no doubt know that their own rules are often flawed; but they believe that appearing to be an authority to the rest of the world, is ultimately helpful to everyone; that any leadership, even a flawed one, is better than no leadership at all, say. (See also “White Lie” theories of Religion). And so the leadership keeps a conspiracy of silence, regarding their knowledge of their own flaws.
Yet if this is the case, then after all, there will be some priests often, who will notice sins in their profession – and then, not want to keep silent about it; who will want to tell others about it. But we don’t hear much about these. So what then must the other priests do to such a person? With a person who knows our churches are fallible … and who wants to expose their priestly mysteries, secrets – and especially, their sins – to the people?
In this case, the book of Hebrews … we will read here, as an attempt to deal with precisely, this critical problem: what to do with a priest who feels that 1) there are many obviously human sins and errors in all holy men; that 2) neither he nor any other priest or religious leader, therefore, is really good enough to present himself as the voice of God; as a priest or holy man. And who 3) therefore, wants to expose any secret sins of his fellow priests, and church.
What does the church do with those who begin to notice sins in holy men?
1) Amazingly, the Book of Hebrews can be read, with remarkable consistency, as a text, that would be given to such maverick doubters. Mostly, it is not reassuring them – but seemingly, threatening them. Hebrews is a text that outlines several strategies for dealing with doubters (see also our Sermons, Miracles: how the church deals with those who complain about the lack of miracles). Here, typically, Hebrews stressed “faith.”
But 2) then, Hebrews tries another tack too: it also utters a few threats
about those who leave and talk: about a “living God” or “lord” – God or his living representative on earth (other priests, etc.)? – who have a “sword” (4.12). While things that go bad are also “burned” (6.8). Noting too:
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10.31).
“See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking” (12.25).
“For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire” (10.26).
“Vengeance is mine” (10.30).
No doubt indeed, as we find in History, and heresy trials and punishments etc., our high priests and lords, “living” representatives of our traditional values, have often had very real material powers. Powers to punish – jail, execute – those who tell secrets, or who get out of line (cf. Opus Dei). It is therefore better to be one of these powers, than oppose them, perhaps many would say. Or not to tell the “secrets,” the “full” “mystery.”
Yet aside from threats and enticements against any prospective high authority expressing doubts about holy things, their godliness, there are in Hebrews better approaches, to be sure.
3) In fact? There are parts that acknowledge the validity of doubts; that many people, in such situations, felt unworthy, (or railroaded, or dishonest?): noting that even Jesus himself “suffered” with in effect, doubts (5.7; “why have you abandoned me?” Etc.). So we are consoled by finding our doubting situation was not unique; that others have passed through a similar moment of fiery disillusionment or doubt.
4) Then too, we are told informally by others, that indeed, there are a few – High Priests especially – who have seen more than other priests; seen “behind the veil” or behind the second “curtain” as many say. And perhaps after all, seeing all this, is part of that. Thus the text partially acknowledges that there might be some secrets, special initiations (cf. the “elect” etc.).
5) But if some of us have now some special insight, then too we are warned, are we allowed by the priesthood (if not disallowed by God himself, we would say) to tell the a) “secret” or b) “mystery”? The text at any rate c) recalling various “oath”s of allegiance made, which make us a priest forever (7.21ff). And which might not allow us to leave, by exposing the priesthood or otherwise.
6) Indeed here there are perhaps threats against those who do try to expose the priesthoods, the churches. First, there are threats about unbelievers in general; about those who do not give a signal of acceptance of Judaism or Christianity. Who were killed for example, by “angels” they say, on the first Passover day. Then killed by priests, Levites, the day they were found worshipping the golden calf.
7) So that eventually, in actual practice, to deal with those passing through the “day,” priests have often just killed them. They assumed that on the “day,” everyone but priests would and should be killed. But let’s continue to look closer at this day.
Passover Day: Murdering Heretics?
8) To be sure, there were some remarks in the Bible, that many took as hints that on the “day,” God punishes everyone but priests and traditional believers.
Traditionalists of course, d) often just threaten those who expose or do not follow them, with death. Intermixed with all these “days” are threats of days when we must comply with the priest and his idea of the lord … or else, simply be executed. That if we do not follow the Lord, then there is often a day when God or the Lord will slay us. On the first Passover day for example, it is said that Moses demanded that all those loyal to him, mark the top of their door still with blood, to indicate their loyalty to Moses and his God; then it is said that the Lord’s “angels” went from house to house, killing the firstborn of all those who did not have this mark of loyalty on their door. In this way, those who were loyal to their lord, and Moses, were “passed over” by the mass murderers/”angels”; who slew only those not loyal to Moses and his God.
Priests typically gloss this over, as being simply a supernatural act. Yet it, since we don’t see many angels anymore, it seems likely to many, that the “angels” – a word that means “messenger” in any case – were simply loyal but human followers of Moses; followers who simply murdered all those who did not follow Moses (and/or his god).
In any case, a pattern of humans executing/murdering “heretics” and non-believers, was to persist in much of religion and Christianity; whose various “pogroms” and other “ethnic cleansing” often attempted to systematically punish other religions, and even kill many, even all, of those who believed in a different god or lord.
Moses himself often killed many people; along with or in the name of his God. Beginning with Moses aa) personally killing an Egyptian he saw beating a Jew; to bb) asking the Lord to murder all first born of Egyptians; to cc) cooperating with the Lord killing all those Jews who did not honor Passover; to dd) murdering about “three thousand men,” his apostates or rebellious people in the wilderness (indeed the tribe of Levi was “ordained” as priests, when they did this; Ex. 32.26-29). To then ee) attacking and murdering Cananites when he took over their land. Then ff) God and Moses levying the death penalty for those who didn’t follow the lord’s laws. Then gg) killing those in the wilderness who craved meat of quails.
For these and other reasons no doubt, hh) St. Paul and others called the letter of Mosaic “law,” “death.” Since the old God often killed so many people.
So that behind all these “days” is a powerful and real threat by much of Religion: that if we are not loyal to traditionalists, one “day” – like Passover – God and/or his representatives will simply, kill us. Which fits in finally, with the judgmental side of the Apocalyptic day; where God after all, judges and punishes alleged non-believers.
Yet much of that tradition comes from the more severe Old Testament, and its very severe “law.” So what did the kinder, gentler New Testament say?
A Better, Non-Violent Priest;
Like Jesus and Beyond?
Those who noticed problems, shortcomings in our holy men, were often simply executed, murdered. But is there a better, alternative fate, for those who notice problems – like “hypocrisy” and so forth – in religious tradition?
9) Some might become like Jesus. After alternating consolations and threats, finally there would seem to be a sort of offer here; a chance at ascending in authority, by virtue of this very disillusionment. Jesus indeed noted sins in the “scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of his time“; and though executed, his memory was later vindicated by some.
10) Does the text of the Bible allow for a tradition of some special person; one who is humble, and sees sins in holy men; who however does not speak about it, or who even continues to deceive the people … and is given high authority. A special one who was a) allowed behind the veil, the curtain, to see things other priests did not see (9.5-7-9). A high priest indeed. One who is given great powers. Or special knowledge, in some churches. So that there are many who are allowed to live, simply deceiving the public; perhaps because they believe that parts of their religion at least are essentially true; b) true enough to continue an imposture.
c) And indeed, after having been embarrassed by killing Jesus himself, perhaps indeed, some churches now prefer a leader who is smart enough and honest enough … to know that a church is always less than advertised; such a man is at least humble.
d) And such honesty is necessary. Indeed, our Catholic Bishops for example, often knew there were homosexual child molesters in their Church … and yet continued to tell others the Church was holy. Obviously we need someone to tell the truth.
11) But finally there is also offered a more legitimate power, for those who can grasp it and evade counter-reaction: the power to f) go ahead and expose falsehood in churches. And g) set up something better.
Especially valuable is this power; the authority to at last, simply move on past the old false and bad things in Religion. The text refers after all to the power to aa) make a new “covenant” (9.15). While indeed bb) there is to be even a “second” coming (9.28); when a newly reconstituted Jesus or high priest, “abolishes the first in order to establish the second” (10.9). Which tends to happen on particular “Day,” again (10.25). A day when the Lord at last reveals, unveils the sins of a false “worship” not just to a few, but to the whole “world.” And thus frees them at last, from deception, illusion, delusion, a false idea of Christ.
12) As we might even now, expose as false the common idea of a Christ that aaa) proclaimed himself God (whereas Jesus normally, merely asked others “who” they thought he was); bbb) promised miracles (whereas Jesus we will find worked natural wonders & metaphors); and ccc) spirituality (whereas we find that real religion is supposed to deliver real material results.
We might now simply expose that – and help others rediscover a true, honest, humbler, “second” vision of Christ.
13) Or perhaps finally, it is even time for the end to ideas of perfect saviors; and perfect heroes and gods, after all. To look for a good man to lead us who, as foretold, himself knows he is a man; a “son of Man.” Or, as this phrase is often translated, a “mortal.” Who therefore does not pose as God, or even perhaps a “son of God”; or as an infallible voice of God; or priest; or anything so exalted as all that, after all. But who merely at most, appears maybe, as a mere “counselor.” One among many, no doubt. Like a simple secular leader.
14) Or a Pope that would accept a tradition that would allow Religion, Christianity, to at last simply criticize itself; to see the “beam in its own eye.” A church would not simply execute all those who opposed it as enemies, or heretics; but who would love their enemy, and listen … and learn. That would see massive sins finally, in itself, and its own preachers. And then go on to improve itself. Instead of perpetuating ancient confusions.
15) All these various days and roles above, we suggest, regarding the exposure of false things in “believers” and “holy men,” were the real root of the now-familiar but simplistic tradition, of “Judgement Day,” “The Apocalypse,” The “Day of the Lord,” the Second Coming, and so forth. When God is said to come to earth at last; to a) punish the wicked, and b) reward the good, as promised. But note that finally, there are some unexpected reversals in exactly who this day would expose. Traditionally, believers and churches assumed this day would expose … everybody else, outside their church. But actually? Here we begin to find that judgement comes first of all, to the very “household of God” inside the church itself, after all. Who is more “blind” than the “servant of God” himself?
The Unexpected Reversal of Priest’s Ideas,
On Judgement Day
16) Indeed, our point here is that there are some unexpected developments in these last days: traditionally, it is assumed that traditional ideas about God are right; and those who hold to traditional ideas, religion, will therefore be rewarded; while those who moved on to something else, will be found bad, and punished.
Indeed, note there are some unexpected twists in this day. Particularly, many thought to be “first” are found actually, to have been “deceived”; and to be actually, “last.”
17) Including, we now add, our priests: who after all, deep down think they are first with God. (Or else, why would they presume to preach and sermonize at us?).
18) While furthermore, one of the main unexpected developments of this “day,” we are noting here, out of all these related “days,” there is to be an initiation to a very real – indeed core – tradition in the Bible, attached to the “day”: the tradition, we are revealing here, that one “day” we are supposed to be initiated into the deeper secrets of the tribe; and among other things, allowed to see the sins and errors, in our priests. In a) our low priests; and b) even in our highest priests and holy men.
19) Which is related to the moment, the day, we “mature.”
20) Or perhaps are initiated into the tribe as elders.
The “day” when sins are exposed therefore, is hard … on believers themselves. Many will find this hard to believe of face; this is a painful, even Apocalyptic moment. And we should also note that typically, to be sure, that “day”s of initiation, or of seeing our “Lord” a little better, are very difficult, and often disillusioning and painful. First, a) such days were often physically painful (as was circumcision). But then too, b) often they were mentally painful. Not only because we had to pass this or that “test”; but c) often they were painfully disillusioning. As when Dorothy sees that, behind the facade of the great Wizard of Oz, is just an ordinary man pulling levers.
21) In fact though, this key “initiation” rite, is the initiation into adulthood, or adult – or, as is said in the Bible, “mature” – status in the tribe. In this rite, often we are examined by other men to see if we know not just the standard, public knowledge about our tribe … but the deeper truths and “mysteries” and “secrets.”
Often for example, you are told that some of the major ideas your tribe – of especially the priests – that you had as a child, are lies, illusions or half-truths.
The “Day” therefore, does not just simply reassure us all that our traditional holy men were always holy and perfect; far from it. Indeed, a major element in the Day … is the exposure of sins specifically in the things we were taught were holy.
And so indeed, our main point is that things in the End are not like what our preachers said; that the Lord, the supreme Nature, often comes to examine and punish … even especially the faithful, even the very “household of God itself, in “fire”:
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove [test] you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as your share Christ’s sufferings…. You are reproached for the name of Christ” (1 Peter 4.12-14).
“But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness” (Mal. 3.2-3).
“For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God (2 Peter 4.17)
“The fire of God fell from heaven” (Job 1.16).
“For behold, the LORD will come in fire…. His rebuke with flames of fire” (Isa. 66.15).
“Fire is in Zion” (Isa. 31.9).
“They are like stubble, the fire consumes them” (Isa. 47.14).
“Heard his voice out of the midst of the fire” (Deut. 5.24).
“As for prophesies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease…. For we know only in part …. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith , hope, and love abide” (1 Corin. 13.11-13).
“Fire will test what sort of work” you have done (1 Corin. 3.13).
Incredibly, in this moment, Heaven itself is found wanting, and is destroyed:
“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement” (2 Peter 3.7).
“And the heavens will vanish like smoke” (Isa. 51.6).
It seems impossible. And yet indeed, passing the many tests of life, becoming an adult, learning to be “mature,” “fac”ing hard things, giving up “child”hood things (like belief in miracles, and magic?) is hard, even shattering, even Apocalyptic, even today.
But the Bible said, referring to the process of maturation, facing hard things, we need to get beyond “milk”; and face solid, hard facts, solid food:
“Solid food is for the mature” (Heb. 5.14).
There are many “day”s that are important if difficult and painful, therefore. And note by the way, that discovering more than “part” of the truth, is important; note that we are supposed to come to a “full”er understanding of our Lord, one day. When we are at last qualified to stand or be in his temple, his kingdom, and stand before the Lord. Rather as Daniel stood before a Lord at last; but note it is only after he had qualified, been found expert in fact, in practical thought, in “science” (Dan. 1.4-15 KJR). When he had gone beyond blind “faith” in the word of his local lord and so forth, and began to actively, scientifically examine all beliefs. And find some wanting. No doubt too, those who go to live and work with a local, “living” lord, the local leader, need to have a sense of that even the lord is human and makes mistakes; and our job is to help him.
No doubt, not all of us should spend all our time actively testing all old ancient ethical and cosmological beliefs, and trying to come up with new and better, nontraditional answers; many of us have only time enough to follow simple rules, and get on with other jobs. But all of us should in fact, be open to the finding that now and then, we are supposed to grow, “mature” ourselves, in our understanding of our own religious tradition. While indeed, at least every few hundred or thousand years, our religious experts, are to come up with a valid “new” idea; or criticism of “old” things in religion.
There are many things in our tradition itself that authorize that.
There are in any case, many traditions in the Bible itself, things even in classic tradition, relating it seems, to a “day,” when your perception of oldtime religion is supposed to change. When you are told some painful truths – some would say, “secret”s, “mysteries” – of your tribe; the truth of your religion. At this time, you are to be confronted by, see, an examining “judge” or “father” or LORD; who will “test” you to see if you know the truth. And/or who will actively tell you some painful truths, if you did not know them already.
Such “day”s we would not say here, are not just referring to such days of initiation, public or secret, like the Bar Mitzvah or other puberty rituals or initiations into adulthood. Or even to whatever rites there were to initiate the “mature” or even the “elect,” the “elder”s, and even the “judge”s and “king” and “lord” himself, and so forth. Finally, all these days in turn are, to be sure, part of the root meaning of even, say, “Judgement Day,” and the “Day of the LORD,” and the “Day of Atonement.” The Day when we meet our “Lord” – found now to be perhaps a mortal or “son of Man” – “face to face.” And acquire “judgement” at last.
And finally, there is a surprising reversal in this Day: something thought “first” that is now found “last.” Finally this is a day when … we are told that … our very religion was not entirely as good or holy as we were taught by priests.
As indeed, many of you are finding out, here and now; as you read this very text. Which could be understood to be in fact, an initiation manual, for those who are now being qualified to move on, to the “second,” better, more “mature” understanding of God and Good and the Lord. The more mature understanding that sees our old religion, even our Lord … warts and all.
No doubt, God himself, is perfect. But perhaps almost none of his human representatives and “angels” or “messengers” are. And if the messengers are not reliable … then we can never be sure until the End, whether the messages we got, allegedly from the Lord, were really from God … or not. We cannot even be vaguely sure, it now is evident … unless we examine them with science, to find out if they are materially fruitful or not.
And when we do that, no doubt, we will find many ideas thought to be from God, were not really from God at all; were not true, were not “fruit”ful. And so they are dead “branches,” that need to be lopped off.
The Day as The Day
Of the Apocalyptic Revelation
That Our Lords Were Not
The best interpretation of the Day, and indeed of the Apocalypse, then, is to see them as in effect, metaphors. Metaphors for … the day when we become adults, and mature … and see sins and errors in some of our old lords, our old values, sins in our holiest things. And move on to something new and better.
Could so many of us – even our clerics; even the whole world – have been wrong in the past, about what we thought the best lords or LORD said? It would seem hard to believe that something believed in by so many preachers, and by the whole earth, could be partially wrong. Especially in our religion; in what they have been taught over and over, by clerics, to “worship” as absolutely holy and sacred. But in fact were here find that the Bible itself actually taught – in the finer print especially; in the parts they didn’t tell you about or didn’t understand in church – that there will have been sins and errors in even our highest and best traditions; that all the world can be and has been often deceived, even in what it worships. So that even Christians are deceived:
“All have sinned” (n.p.).
“And authority was given it over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, all whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb” Rev. 13.7-8).
“God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false ….” (2 Thes. 2.11).
So finally, there is one more – perhaps good – explanation, as to why people that feel they are good, who are following their idea of God and the Lord, are not getting rewarded: it is because … they were all-too-faithfully following … a false leader; a false priest; a false prophet; a false vision of Christ. They thought they were good, because they were following a preacher or church; but the problem is, their leader himself was bad. So that the more faithfully they followed him, the further into sin and error they were led. (See the blind leading the blind into a “pit,” etc.).
Indeed the Bible itself warned that those who said – and we add, even genuinely thought – they were following God, the right LORD, Jesus, will have been deceived. So that even those who think they are following God, will unexpectedly find punishment, not reward.
“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers'” (Mat. 6.21-23).
Indeed, to think that one is oneself, one of the few undeceived persons, is to be “proud,” and “first” with God. While indeed finally we were warned that in the end, those who thought they were “first” with God, will be “last.” Preachers often try to say that this means that the presently “rich” are proud and will be found to be last; but our preachers in effect secretly feel they are “first” with God; as did some apostles (see discussion on John Zeb., etc.).
Finally then, no one but God knows, who is following the right, true idea, vision, of God … and who is not. But we might say here that of all the visions of God, the one that proved to be most materially fruitful, and that corresponds most closely to what we see coming to pass, was the vision of God … that embraced science and technology; which were extremely fruitful.
So that finally, we should say that the best interpretation of the “day,” is one developed (though not originating) here: that the “day,” referred to in the Bible, is the day you are initiated into the “mature” level of the Bible; the level where finally, the Bible begins to modestly defer its own authority, and to note problems, even possibly with itself, and with Christianity itself. The “day” begins, when you finally read and understand, the parts of the text they didn’t make clear to you in church; the parts where the Bible says that a) a true Christianity, criticizes itself. The parts where b) the Bible itself issues warnings about even itself. Where c) it says that there are sins in each and every element of religion, and Christianity. “All,” from prophets to the angels in heaven itself, are often bad and err. The “Day” begins, when you suddenly realize … that all those warnings about “proud” and “deceived” persons who think they are “first” with God, apply not to everybody else and everybody else’s church … but, if you are dogmatic and certain that your own church is good, they apply therefore to your yourself, and your church, your Christianity. The “day” is the self-deconstructive moment in Christianity … when it reveals to you, its own flaws.
The “day” referred to in the Bible, is the day – for many readers, even here and now – is d) the day when you suddenly see that, as foretold, the whole world – including most of Christianity – has already long been deceived in what it “worship”ed. Especially, and specifically, e) when you find that nearly all our own Christian preachers, and prophets and so forth, who told us that they themselves are infallible or even very good leaders, spokesmen for, the voicepieces of God, were by virtue of that very claim, very proud … and deceived. It is the f) day you see too, another specific mistake they made: that the Bible did not stress “faith” as our preachers said, but instead stressed “science”; actively “test”ing authority, to see if they are materially good or not.
Indeed, it is the “day” when g) you then finally apply science at last … and see that thereby, that there was yet another false element in religion, Christianity: its promises of miracles.
It is the “day” when you discover that h) since our preachers were mistaken about the real message of the Bible, and our preachers dominated the earth, therefore, at least one prophesy has come true: as foretold, the whole world was deceived, has already long since been deceived, even in itself religion; even in what it “worships” (Rev. 13). By i) indeed, a “False” or “anti-” Christ. Specifically, by a false picture of Jesus Christ. The picture we got of Jesus Christ in church; stressing “Faith,” and “miracles,” (and we will see, “spirituality”).
In fact, the Bible mentioned an Apocalyptic “Day,” when we see that the whole world has been deceived by a false Christ. And here and now we are seeing it: it is the traditional picture of Jesus stressing “faith”; and as we will see, working “miracles,” especially. This was a False Christ; the fact is, Christ actually, warned constantly that there have always been sins even in our holiest Christian things; and therefore, Christianity is not supposed to be faith-based, but science-based; based on constantly questioning, examining, religious ideas.
That is perhaps, the best way to read Biblical references to the “day.” But j) if this day – when you after all, “mature” – seems too painful, too disillusioning, even heaven-shattering, then after all, we can find the strength to “face” and “bear” this … on find here, that the Bible itself supports all this. The Bible itself told us that one “day,” this is supposed to happen to us. We can face this knowing that amazingly, this day was supposed to come. Among other things k) the Bible itself told us that one “day” our vision, understanding of God is to change, in that it is supposed to “mature.” And furthermore, l) it told us that there were bad things in heaven itself; and that therefore, our heaven itself and “all” in it, is supposed to “dissolve.” As indeed, it dissolves in our mind’s eye, as our confidence in its solidity and truth now dissolves.
Then too, we can find verification of this vision, from the Bible – and strength for this day – on knowing that k) the Bible not only called for this day, but finally also noted rewards for having the strength to begin this process. As it noted that those who pass through this painful experience, will get a reward: they are thereby “refined.” Indeed, l) even as one heaven is demolished, a “new” and better heaven is revealed; one that comes down to earth, to get better results at last, here on earth (Rev. 21). Here our heaven is now populated as much by scientists and practical workers, as much as by saints. (While admission to the new heaven is easier than some thought, in some ways too: you no longer need to be “perfect”).
This is the best interpretation of the “Day” therefore: it is the day you yourself, and/or the mass of humanity, are shown, initiated into, the more “mature” level of the Bible’s text; the part where it is no longer addressing itself to “child”ren, asking for blind “faith” in authority, and promising “miracles” if you do that (bread out of thin air; magical powers to move mountains; talking donkeys, and so forth). It is the day when you are told about a higher, better, “second” vision of God, found in the Bible itself. One which advances beyond blind “faith” in fallible authority, clerics … to acquire the higher, better – and infinitely more fruitful, “second” vision Second Coming, of God. Specifically we have shown, that second and better vision, is revealed, as we discover at last, the parts of the Bible our priests did not tell you about: the parts where God tells us that we are not supposed to be too “Faith”ful to authority, but are supposed to adapt an open-ended, Science.
The “day” happens, when you suddenly see that there were problems, not just in everybody else’s church, but in your own. When you see that the all-too-simple vision of Christ and truth offered to us in church, as children – blind faith in adult, “father”ly authority; in “miracles” especially – was all too simple; and simplistic to the point of being false in fact. It is the moment when we discover sins and errors, even in our own childhood, our own churches and pastors. But then, are rewarded for our paints …. by advancing at last to a higher, “full”er, better, “new, “second” vision, coming, of God and truth: our vision here, culled from the Bible itself … of the side of Jesus, that advocated not faith, but instead, science. The science in effect, of Theology; the science of God. Which enshrine the Science and technology and practical “logic” – that have proven already, historically, to be extremely “fruit”ful; far more fruitful than just prayer and faith.
To be sure, it is hard, painful, to grow up. And cast aside childhood ideas; ideas about God from our own childhood, and the childhood of our species. Indeed, the day that we cast aside “idols,” when we find our own “Christ” was a “false Christ,” is extremely difficult and painful. When our old vision of heaven crumbles. And yet however, we can find strength at last not to go into Denial and Rationalization about this, but to actually accept and “face” and “bear” it; on discovering here that amazingly enough, even as it seems the Bible is being disproved, actually, the Bible is being confirmed. Since indeed, the Bible itself
told us over and over, this day should come.
So that finally, we can get through this moment, this painful “day” of growing up not even “in our faith,” but beyond all blind faith. Helped by the awareness that after all, the real core of our religion, is not being debunked, but realized, found to be true. The Bible itself warned us not to be “proud”; it warned us there would be sins and errors in “all,” even in our own highest saints, angels, churches, and their “inspired” doctrines. And furthermore, even if this seems impossible to face at first, finally, there are great practical rewards. Indeed, as we learn to stop following authority blindly, we learn to think on our own (or with a more open-ended God’s science); and as we learn science and technology, history shows that we became more fruitful, and at last get more “prosperity.”
Knowing all this, then, knowing at last the truer nature (or foreshadow?) of the “Day of the Lord,” of the “Apocalypse,” of the “Second Coming,” let us again look at – and learn to fully “face” – the many sayings on this awful moment of realization. Let all of us learn – even priests – to face the day in which even priests – in Israel in part, the “sons of Levi” – are to be found bad. And when even our highest saints and angels and prophets too. We can face this, on finding out that oddly enough, the Bible itself told us this. Of a time when:
“All the host of heaven will fall” (Isa. 34.4).
“In that day men will cast forth their idols” (Isa. 2.20).
“All have sinned” (q.v.).
“Though they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down (Amos 9.2 NRSV; cf. Jacob’s ladder).
“Wail, for the day of the Lord is near” (Isa. 13.6).
“On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven” (Isa. 24.21).
“But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD…. Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers….. against those who swear falsely” (Mal. 3.2-5).
“Judgement to being with the household of God” (1 Peter. 4.17 NRSV).
“The present heavens … have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgement’ (2 Peter 3.7 NRSV).
“Behold the day of the LORD comes, cruel” (Isa. 13.9).
“Let fire come down from heaven and consume you” (2 Kings 1.10).
“Now this is for you, O priest” (Mal. 2.1, paraphrased).
“Priests profane what is sacred” (Zep. 3.4).
“Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit, is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3.9).
“For the LORD has a day of vengeance” (Isa. 34.8).
“A fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire” (Heb. 10.27).
“The light of Israel will become a fire” (Isa. 10.17; 31.9).
“Weeds are gathered and burned with fire” (Mat. 13.40).
“To hell, to the unquenchable fire” (Mark 9.43).
“On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month …. the word of the LORD came to Zechariah ….; and Zechariah said,’I saw in the night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse! …’sent to patrol the earth'” (Zech. 1.7-8, 10; see Rev.).
“Behold, the days are coming says the LORD” (Jer. 7.32).
Preachers have tried to evade this fire, this moment of awful revelation, disillusionment, in the past. Because many of them were absolutely committed to, believed in, the simple level of the text. But they neglected to note that if only “child”ren get into the “kingdom” and “heaven,” then one day heaven itself is to fall; and we are supposed to grow up, “mature.”
Our preachers are often among the last to see all this. And part of it is their own Vanity and Pride. They thought that they themselves, were better than others; that they already had the truest vision of what God and Good were like. But this was only their own Vanity and Pride; and in believing this, they deceived themselves.
And then they deceived their followers: have tried to tell everyone in their own flocks, that they of course, they themselves, are alone good, and can survive the Apocalypse, the “fire,” the Second Coming, the Last Judgement, Judgement Day, etc.. So that their flocks never had judgement, never really learned the self-critical Christianity, the higher and better, more “mature” second vision.
Among other things, our preachers assured their flocks, that they alone are the one true church or some such; and that they will live through the fire. Like especially, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego”:
“But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods” (Dan. 3.25).
Seemingly every preacher on earth, has read this specific passage to his or her congregation or Sunday School classes; to assure them that the preacher and his followers, at least, will get through the “fire” of Judgement, untouched. Yet we have found here that 1) for anyone to assume or think firmly, that her or she is, himself, among the few who were not deluded? Among the few who will pass through the “fire” untouched? Is “proud.” And pride of course, is a sin. When then too, 2) to do that, is specifically, to think one’s self, one’s church, to be in effect, “first” with God. While actually the Bible warned, in the end those who thought they were first, will be found to be “last.” As indeed, in many respects, nearly all our preachers are the last to understand the practical side of God and Good.
In the past, our preachers have tried to assure that they themselves will be immune from deception. Proudly ignoring the fact that 3) the Bible itself that even the highest saints were often deceived, wrong (Mat. 16.23, etc.). And ignoring the fact that 4) additionally to think that their own sense of God is better than others, is among errors, to “judge” others. While many parts of the Bible tell us not to so judge.
Then too, 5) we might now add that the Bible consistently does not really say, who will be judged good, in the end. First of all, it sometimes (if not always?) suggests that only God himself knows that. While 6) more importantly, it never quite firmly assures, in definitive statements, even Christian priests, preachers, congregations; that they will be found better than others, even secular non-religious people.
In the past, our preachers have often interpreted the following parts of the Bible, as firmly assuring us that even if God might find some things wrong in religious people, he will find even worse things, in non-religious persons, non-preachers. But finally, let us re-read the old passages a bit more closely. In case after case, quote after quote – in a) Malachi (3.2), and b) Peter, just as parts of the Bible tell us that no one can “judge” finally, until God, at the End of Time, c) the Bible does not present any firm statement about this. Looking more closely at these passages, we find that the whole matter is framed, semantically, grammatically, not as a statement, but still-open question. For example in say, Isaiah, the Bible does not here firmly, definitively say, that preachers and religious people, even if they feel some “fire,” will definitely come out better in the end; less singed. Rather instead, the text itself leaves that open: only asking”who” will be found good, and who evil:
“For the time has come for judgement to being with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel…?” (1 Peter 4.17).
“Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire” (Isa. 33.14).
“Who can endure the day of his coming…?” (Mal. 3.2).
Most preachers have presented these three quotes, as if the were firm, declarative statements, that firmly tell us that even if preachers and religious believers might be bad, and are to be under painful “judgement,” then surely, those who were not preachers and believers, will of course, be found to have been so much worse. Indeed, 6) millions of preachers for thousands of years in millions of churches, billions of sermons – have “twist”ed these open questions; presenting them as if they were closed, definitive statements; statements that they said, firmly say or imply that God will of course, find preachers and very religious people to be better than everyone else. But we were warned that preachers could be bad. And now we find one of their sins: these preachers misrepresented the Bible itself. They missed – or hid from us, or “twist”ed and “whitewashed” – a second, subler voice, in the text. They ignored a semantic nuance in all these related passages: that strictly speaking, none of these quotes is a declarative statement at all; all of them end with a question mark; all of them are not statements of any position at all, but only open questions.
This pattern is striking, and quite consistent; it appears in one quote after another, on this same subject: the Bible is not firmly saying anything at all, here. The Bible is only speculating, and offering questions on this all important question: will religious believers really be found better, in the end, than even some non-believers? In point of fact, 7) the Bible even elsewhere considered the possibility that non-Jews, non-Christians – like “Samaritans” for example – might often be better people, even in the eyes of God, than most Jews and believers. As was noted in the incident with the Good Samaritan:
“Jesus replied, “a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stipped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by change a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levi, when he came to the place and saw him, passing by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he say him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds… Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him ‘Go and do likewise'” (Luke 10.30-37).
Thereby, the Bible itself, did not make any firm, unequivocal, unambiguous statement to the effect that religious people, preachers, would of course, for all their sins, fare better than others, in the final judgement. Actually, the Bible itself reserved final judgement not for priests and saints, but for only God himself. Leaving it all an open question. While even suggesting again, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, that even a Samaritan – who was normally regarded as bad, even by Jesus (Mat. 10.5, John 4.9) it might seem – could be a better person, a better “neighbor,” than even, explicitly, a “priest,” even a “Levi” or Levitical priest.
And now we add: a good and moral scientist or practical secular man, will often be as good as – indeed, far better than – even a priest or minister. Since the scientist and practical man always intuitively, by nature, followed science, as advocated by God … whereas the typical priest or minister were never good at science and practical knowledge at all.
Our book could end here. But suppose we go on?
Priests are eager to bolster their own authority; they like others to respect them and follow them with total blind “faith.” And so they twist and bend the Bible, to make it seem to support the claims of religion and priests. Typically, they quote to us only the parts of the Bible that, taken by themselves, seem to tell us to follow religious things faithfully … while neglecting to mention the other parts, that tell us exactly opposite things. And then too we now find. they “twist” by oversimplifying, the subtler semantics of the Bible; and try to present open questions about how good priests are, as firm statements of support for priests. When in fact, the Bible itself, God himself, did not make any such firm, unequivocal declaration, in these quotes; nor in the rest of the Bible, taken as a whole.
No doubt, 8) many scholars theorize, the Bible was written as a two-layered document; on the one hand, on the surface, it presents a simple text for simple people and children: telling them to follow and honor their fathers and mothers, and priests and authorities, faithfully, loyally; even when you do not understand the reasons for what adults and authorities say. If you do that, you get miracles. But this level of the text, though, many say, is a “white lie”; it is presented only to stupid and crude people, to get them to be good and follow the rules, until they understand the reasons for things. But then finally, some versions of this theory of the Bible goes, as we mature and learn to read the Bible itself, ourselves, we are probably mature enough to pick up – or be initiated into – a higher and better vision; one that offers us far more “freedom,” from authority; that offers us more personal freedom, and individual digression; freedom to try different things, and even pass beyond our priests and holy men.
In ancient times, much of the world was very crude and simple; and perhaps it needed this kind of simple religion. But today finally, the world is far better educated. And it is time finally, to reveal the “second,” more “mature,” “fuller” vision, voice, Christ, in the Bible. The one that was not quite so fixedly dogmatic; the one that admitted that even our highest authorities often make many mistakes; the one that admitted that only God himself knows who is truly good; and only God himself will judge us in the End. The level of the text, the second picture of Jesus Christ, that allows that even some visions of Christ might have been wrong; and so we need to use science, our own experience, to come up with a more “refine”d vision of Good and God.
In the meantime, those preachers who mis-use statements from the Bible, to assert that the Bible firmly says anything at all – or especially, supports “faith” and “miracles” and “spirituality” – actually misrepresent and oversimplify and misrepresent the Bible itself; and thereby, actively hold back the development of churchgoers. Which leads us to remind preachers that indeed, the Bible accused preachers of being bad; and would not firmly say that preachers would be considered better than others, in the End. That indeed, the Bible warned that there are many false things in preachers; and that preachers, “teachers” of religion, Rabbis, would be “judged” even more firmly than others, in the end (James 3.1-2). Suggesting that if anything, the fate of preachers will if anything, perhaps be worse in the end, in the Final Analysis, the Last Judgement, than ordinary secular people. Especially since secular people usually know and respect science and practical Logic; whereas priests have usually, chronically neglected and even attacked “Science” and “reason.” Though the Bible itself is now found to say that science is the better part of Religion.
The Bible itself does not firmly say who is better here; it only asks this, as an open (if leading) question. But we ourselves in fact will find that ironically, just as the tale of the Good Samaritan hinted, many ordinary secular people, are far better and more honest and fruitful, and favored by God, than very religious people and preachers. Partly because most secular persons, have some sense of the ethics of the Bible, like priests … but also have a better appreciation of science and practical knowledge; which most priests today do not. So that ironically, many “secular” persons, have the better, fuller vision of God, Good, already. Better than priests. And therefore, many secular persons will need far less “chaff” and false ideas, burned off … than most preachers.
Indeed, we might say, 9) one prophesy at least in the Bible is true: a day of “judgement” and “fire” is to come; is coming even now, for those who can “see” it. But it is not coming just to “secular” people or other religions; as foretold, it is coming even to our holiest Christian angels, and even churches, and priests; even to the “household of God.” And even to “all” those in our Judeo-Christian heaven itself.
And indeed finally, the Bible got beyond open questions … and even rather firmly
declared that many holy things – like heaven itself – had been bad; and would therefore be destroyed:
“All have sinned” (q.v.).
“The time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4.17).
“The heavens … that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement” (2 Peter 3.7).
“The heavens will vanish like smoke” (Isa. 51).
These 10) insights to be sure, are extremely shattering; they are “bitter” pills for traditional believers. But one day, after all, in the End, we are to read the “bitter scroll” after all. (Rev. 10.9; 2 Sam. 2.26; Prov. 5.4; Jer. 2.19; Num. 5). And perhaps indeed, you are even here and now, reading this writing, reading part of the bitter scroll; or a commentary on it. Even … here, and now. As you read … this very writing. The writing that indeed, partially precipitates the key part of the Apocalypse; the part our preachers missed or denied or “twist”ed or “whitewash”ed: the moment when someone begins to reveal to the masses, the hidden, denied “second” part of the Bible; the part where the Bible questions itself and its own holiest fixtures; and where therefore our heaven itself, begins to dissolve in front of our own eyes. But if so, then 11) we should at last here find the courage and conviction to face this … knowing that this is the real, deeper message of the Bible; and when we see it, we get a reward: a “new” and better vision.
And by the way, once again, all this too, this sudden emergence of a new and better vision of God, seems to be associated with a “day” in the Bible itself:
“Shall a land be born in one day” (Isa. 66.8).
“I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day” (Zech. 3.9).
“In an instant, suddenly” (Isa. 29.5, 30.13)
To be sure, 12) many preachers and apostles thought and taught, that a) this day of destruction of the old, and then the presentation of a new heaven, was already being fully realized with Jesus. In part, because he was associated with Jerusalem, and seemed to be offering something “new”:
“I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion; my house shall be built in it, says the LORD of hosts, and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem” (Zech. 1.16).
But b) while parts of Christian dogma, seemed to assert that the first coming of Jesus, and/or his first resurrection, completely “fulfilled” all of ancient promises, other parts suggest that not all was fulfilled, and would not be until, say, a Second Coming.
While 13) indeed, we are even here and now, beginning to offer a “second” and “full”er vision first, of a) the Bible itself; then b) of God and good. By revealing, unveiling at last, the real, more “mature” vision of God, found under the “child”like promises of “miracles” and so forth.
And it is a vision that is not religious or secular, but both it seems; uniting religions and science. And it is not uniquely Jewish, or Christian; but for “all nations” and tongues and religions:
“For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues” (Isa. 66.18).
Many will fear this. But we note that it seems the violence, the “fire,” are really metaphorical, spiritual only. No doubt too, there is to be some compassion and forgiveness on the day, when the LORD comes, and judges, and finds that all have sinned; even our highest priests and churches. Dogmas might be tossed into a “fire”; but not individuals. Individuals should be submitted only to the metaphorical “fire” of critical examination; and they are given a chance to be “refine”ed after all; to convert to, come to accept, the second but better, fuller vision, coming of God. Which is partially revealed in our “science of God,” as we call it here.
To be sure though, we may need to pressure our preachers to learn to read their Bibles more fully, and to see and understand and obey these parts of the text at last. To expand their vision, their idea of Religion … so that it is occupied indeed, not primarily by blind “faith,” but even more, by science. To do this, they need to study the parts of the Bible we quote here, carefully. And when they do, they should find too, that many things they thought were outside of Religion, and “secular,” and secondary in importance – like science – are in fact, the truer heart of real Christianity and truth and God.
Indeed, our priests will need to be far more humble than they have been; humble even about their former certainty of their own idea of God. So that they can be refined at last. But this should be easier for them to “face” or “bear” … on being taught, here and now, “refined” in such a way to see that God himself, the Bible itself, bids us not to be proud, or to be very sure we are good. That the Bible itself demands reform, not just from “secular” congregations, but from the holiest religious leaders and priests:
“Now this is for you, O priests” (paraphrased).
“The time as come for judgement to being with the household of God” (1 Peter 4.17 NRSV).
“I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him. For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophesy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching …; he who contributes, in liberality.…” (Rom. 12.4-8; Italics, mine).
“You, the judge, are doing the very same things” (Rom. 2.1).
“Then let us no more pass judgement on one another…. Nothing is unclean in itself (Rom. 14.1-5-10-13-14-22-23).
“As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him…. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls…. One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind…. Why do you pass judgment on your brother?…. (Rom. 14.1-5-10-13 …).
Our preachers have been overly dogmatic, about their own goodness. But good “mature” judgement requires not only science, but also some humility; some consideration that after all, “we all make mistakes,” as one saint said of himself; even of the saints themselves:
“Let not many of you become teachers, my breathren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness. For we all make many mistakes” (James 3.2).
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory” (Rom. 3.23).
“If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar” (1 John 1.10).
Let few of us to be sure, become teachers or priests – and fewer still, judges. But finally, those few who might be said to attain some allegedly “good” judgement at last, who become our temporal judges, should remember … “love” and humility and compassion. And remember indeed, their own sins. Indeed, often those who condemn this or that sin, will be found to have committed it, themselves (above).
Indeed, we add, no one, no church, is really wholly, “full”y good, says the Bible itself. At least, until “refine”ed after the Second Coming, the Apocalypse, the Destruction of Heaven. Even then, our science of God, scientific religion, scientific Christianity, has humility built into it. The same as any real science; we know that all our theories and descriptions are only theories; theories, fallible ideas that might be found partially false; though in the meantime, they are the most materially “fruit”ful ideas we have.
Coming to see sins in themselves, and not everybody else, will be hard for preachers and churches. But remember that Jesus warned this day would come. And he told us it would be painful. Indeed the Bible said, Jesus has some hard things to reveal to believers; their own sins in fact. Things they could not “bear” to hear years ago. Yet the Bible will guide us all through this, after all; the confession of sins in the churches themselves:
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…. He will glorify me …” (John 16.14; not just foreknowledge of crucifixion.).
And what hard truths, hard of “face” or “bear,” was Jesus hiding, not saying, long ago? In part, he was saying them; not quite fully saying, fore-grounding some things like this. Things that indicated sins, even in the holiest things; even at times, the holiest of the Judeo-Christian tradition:
“The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are confused with wine …. they err in vision, they stumble in giving judgment” (Isa. 28.7-8).
“Even in his servants he puts no trust, and his angels he charges with error” (Job 4.18 RSV).
“Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?” (Rom. 14.1-5-10-13-14-22-23).
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged…. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? … You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see” (Mat. 7.1 -5).
“We are like dead men” (Isa. 59.10).
“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name…” (Jer. 23.25).
“From prophet to priest, every one deals falsely” (Jer. 8.10).
“Behold, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who use their tongue and say, ‘Says the LORD.'” (Jer. 23.30; Ex. 13.7).
“… Every spirit which does not confess Jesus, is not of God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already” (1 John 4.1-3; also 2.18ff).
Yet if there have been many sins even in our holiest men and angels, there are many ways to fix them. Beginning with science; and with a purging “day”:
“When he opened the sixth seal,… the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winder fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place…” (Rev. 6.12-13).
“Worthy are those to take the scroll and open its seals” (Rev. 5.9).
“Then I saw another mighty angel…. He had a little scroll open in his hand…” (Rev. 10.1-2). “Then the voice which I have heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, ‘Go, take the scroll…. Take it, and eat…. It will be bitter…. Then I was given a measuring rod…'” (Rev. 10.8-11.1).
“Then deep from the earth you shall speak, from low in the dust your words shall come…” (Isa. 29.4).
“And in an instant, suddenly, you will be visited by the LORD of hosts…” [or armies?] (Is. 29.6).
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war…” (Rev. 19.11)
“..The eyes of the blind shall see…. And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will accept instruction” (Isa. 29.18-24).
“The fool will no more be called noble, nor the knave said to be honorable” (Isa. 32.5).
“On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit…” (Isa. 24.21-2).
“The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and asked …. ‘Declare that these two sons of mine [St. John and?] will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in our kingdom.’ But Jesus answered, …. ‘to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant (Mat. 20.20, 23; note in the Bible, in places when chapter and verse numbers are the same, it is usually a warning about false things in religious people).
“He was teaching his disciples…. On the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelves, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of” (Mark. 9.31, 35; not Mat. 19.30, 20.8).
“And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire…” (Rev. 20.10).
“… And books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the book, by what they had done… and if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20.12-15).
There is much pain associated with discovering sins and errors in ourselves, and not just everybody else; the “beam” in our own eye. In our own religious traditions, our own heaven. But finally, if all this seems too disillusioning, too painful, there is to be a reward at last. A “new heaven” among other things, and a “new earth”:
“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time” (Heb. 9.28).
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21.1).
“And the former things shall not be remembered” (Rev. 65.17).
The science of God offers the first glimpse of all that; of the second and new and better vision, coming, of Christ.
Summary of Our Work Here
Originally our holy books were likely, quite simple, and dogmatic and certain about themselves and our holy men or local lords, and gods. But over the ages, even our lords themselves, lawmakers, found that at times, they had to overrule previous lords. Discovering in effect that many ancient holy things were not always quite eternal, or eternally true. And for this reason finally, our lords in the interest of honesty, and educating future lords a little better … began to insert into even our holy books, some fine print qualifications and amendments. Some fine print that would allow those who had the education and intelligence to read it, to read various escape clauses from rigorous obedience to the letter of religious law. To read admissions of possible errors, even in our first holy men and lords. And allowances for “new” and different thinking, improvements.
Most preachers and churches today, either ignore or are unaware of, this second, deeper message in the Bible. Or they feel that the people would be ungovernable if they gave them any freedom, or admitted any flaws in themselves. And so our preachers nearly always, proudly assure us that they are good leaders; that they already adequately know God and Good, all but “perfect”ly; and that there is no need or opportunity for change or progress in religion therefore; that getting along in life, means just totally trusting and following our preachers, and their pictures of God. If we just trust and believe and follow them – or their picture of God – with total “faith,” then our preachers and churches tell us or imply constantly, then everything will go well for us; our preachers will bring us to prosperity; even to “miracles” and wonders. But we will find here, that is not what the Bible itself really said. Not in the fine print.
Actually, if you are able and “mature” enough to read it, discover it, the Bible finally admitted that, “all” our holiest men and angels and prophets, sinned, both in person, and in their “inspired” doctrines. Therefore, furthermore, the Bible itself actually told us that Religion itself was never supposed to be “faith-based”; based on total or “blind” faith in religious authority. Instead, Religion, Christianity, was supposed to be science-based (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE; Deut. 18.20 ff; 1 Kings 18.21-39; 1 Thess. 5.21). There will be many “false prophets” and even “false Christ”s, said Jesus himself; therefore, do not trust their mere words and promises, but observe their actual material “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs”; as “observe”d by real actual “test”ing and “Science.” Though some translations of the Bible told us not to “test” God, this is better translated as telling us not to “tempt” him with immortalities; since otherwise, this prohibition on “test”ing would conflict with the Science God advocated; and parts of the Bible where God told us even “put me to the test says the LORD” (Mal. 3.10).
And in fact science and practical knowledge, have already shown great “signs” of being in fact, part of the real knowledge of God – by its many “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs.” And so indeed, science, not “faith,” is the better part of religion. Amazingly then, one prophesy is coming true: prophesy of Rev. 13. As foretold, the whole world was wrong, “deceived,” in its earlier vision of God and Good and Christ; Christianity and religion, were never supposed to be faith-based, or authority-based; they were supposed to be based on real science; based on constantly questioning, examining, all the claims of religion with real science. And furthermore, it is only when you pass through the “strong delusion” of an “eternal heaven” based on “faith,” and “miracles,” and “spirituality” – and move up, now, beyond blind simple faith in religious authority, to the higher, better, “full”er, more “mature” “science” of God, to real contemporary science-based Theology and science-based thought – that you begin to get the fuller rewards – the “second” and better vision of God and Good; the “prosperity” – that the holy books promised.
The fact is, you can get to the world, the “kingdom” of “wonders” the old books promised. But to get there to be sure, first many believers must pass through a “fiery,” devastating moment; through the shattering, Apocalyptic Destruction of Heaven. Through the discovery that … many things we heard in church – like the stress on blind “faith” and “miracles” and “spirituality” – were not quite true. The fact is, we can get to prosperity … but first, we have to pass through the “fire” of discovering that the whole world was, as foretold, deceived partially, in what it worshipped;(Rev. 13). We have to discover that many of our holiest ideas, said to have been handed down to us “from heaven,” were actually from “false prophets,” bad false leaders; or a false idea of Christ; a False Christ. We must pass through in fact – exactly as foretold – the Destruction of Heaven itself; heaven and “all” in it (Isa. 34.4). Even those standing next to God himself; a false “shepherd” or “Christ” or two (Zech. 10.3 – 13.7).
The fact is, one major but neglected prophesy is now being shown true, herein and now: “all” our preachers and holy men “have sinned,” or erred; and now we must all pass, one “day,” through the intellectual/”spiritual” demolition, “dissolving,” of our childhood vision of a “heaven”; our heaven full of allegedly “perfect” holy saints, angels, apostles, shepherds; out heaven of “miracles,” accessed only by “faith,” spirituality.” We must pass through the intellectual/spiritual destruction of all that, by Theology, the science of God. Before at last, we begin to see the foretold “new,” “second,” “full”er, more “mature” vision, of Good and God. Before we see the scientific, practical vision … that alone, allows us to achieve the “prosperity,” the “wonders,” that the old holy books promised.
The Destruction of Heaven
Our preachers taught us that their lessons, their heaven, were absolutely reliable – holy, sacred – and eternal. But in fact, our preachers were deceivers or fools; that isn’t really what the Bible taught us, overall. Actually the Bible, deeper down in a (“coded”?) part of the text our preachers could never discover, allowed that 1) there have been sins and errors even in our holiest saints and prophets. Even the highest fixtures in heaven itself. And 2) one “day” we are supposed to see this; while 3) in the moment, our childhood heaven itself is supposed to collapse around our ears; but 4) all in order for us to see a more productive, “mature” vision at last. And in fact, we are all overdue for a huge change, advance, in our religion, our heaven; it is overdue time indeed for a key moment in the Apocalypse, in the Second Coming, that our preachers never really noticed; though it is the key to it all: it is time in fact, for the foretold, apocalyptic Destruction of Heaven.
Our preachers have always taught us 1) that our heaven was “eternal.” As part of the following things: 2) that, folloing eternal true men and prophets and angels in heaven, our own holy men, preachers, on earth, repeat to us the infallible, eternal word of truth, the word of God. And 3) we were told we must always simply follow and obey – and have “faith” in – what religious authorities tell us that God said. If we 4) have faith in our religious authorities here on earth, then, we were assured, our lives will be wonderful: we will get a) “prosperity,” b) “spirituality,” and even, c) huge, wonderful powers, and miracles; even “whatever” we “ask” for. Including d) “everlasting” life, in an “eternal” “heaven” or “kingdom,” or “world to come.”
Our religious leaders therefore, were very very Proud; they assured us that they themselves were all-but-“perfect” representatives of absolutely holy truth, and an eternal kingdom. But now it is time to reveal that pride comes before a fall; that what we usually heard in church, from our religious leaders, was not really what even our holy books themselves really said. To say nothing of what science and experience taught us about are all-too-flawed priests and prophets.
First, 1) far from consistently telling us to absolutely trust and believe and have “faith” in our religious leaders, and their picture of God, actually the Bible itself told us – in parts of the Bible our preachers didn’t really accurately present to you in church – that nearly “all” our holiest men, have sinned and erred; they, and their holiest “inspired” doctrines. And so, therefore, 2) the Bible itself actually said, a) we were never supposed to have total or blind or strong “faith” in religious leaders. Indeed, b) instead of being “faith-based,” in fact, real religion, the real search for truth and good, is supposed to be based on constantly questioning our religious leaders, with “science” (Dan 1.4-15 KJE; Mal. 3.10; Deut. 18.20 ff; 1 Kings 18.20-39; 1 Thess. 5.21).
Our preachers therefore were too proud, and thereby, deceived. The fact is, the Bible itself did not tell us overall, we will see, that our preachers would be perfect. Or even that their heaven was “eternal.” God himself might be “eternal in the heavens,” but strictly speaking in fact, God warned there are so many evils even in our holiest things, that 3) while God himself might live on, still, as for Heaven itself … it “will perish” (Ps. 102.26 NRSV):
“The heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish” (Ps. 102.26).
“Heaven and earth will pass away” (Mark 13.31 NRSV).
“The heavens will be set ablaze” (2 Peter 3.12 NRSV).
“All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree” (Isa. 34.4 RSV).
“The heavens will vanish like smoke” (Isa. 51.6 NRSV).
This is the great key to everything; one overlooked by preachers. Preachers often tell us the “earth” or the “world” will pass away. But they have neglected to note the amazing, central importance of the moment, when the Bible said, heaven itself, passes away.
And 4) so, we note here, if science and practical experience and Theology, tell us that there were bad things in religion, even in our traditional apostles and doctrines in heaven itself, and if intellectual thought seems to dissolve, destroy our heaven itself … then after all, to be sure, the Bible itself authorizes, even commands this. They are doing the work of God. If we scientifically examine our traditional sense of God and churches, and find them full of “false” things, then after all, this is fulfillment of prophesy; in fact, the Bible itself warned that there have always said that there were bad and false aspects even to all holy things; and that because of this, indeed, one “day” our heaven is supposed to be destroyed.
And furthermore 5) all this is to the good; all this is – also as foretold – in order for us to see a “second,” “new,” “full”er, more “mature” vision, “Coming,” of God and good. (2 Peter 3; Mark 13.31; Isa. 34, 65-66; Rev. 21). To see a better, scientific sense, vision, coming, of Good or God; the vision that is alone good enough, to finally show real “signs” of producing the “prosperity,” the wonderful “works,” the “kingdom” that were promised.
Finally, then, what the Bible actually said, deep down, was quite different from what you heard in church. Our preachers read misleading, misrepresentative parts, fragments of the Bible to us; parts that seemed to stress all but “blind” “faith” in religious authorities, like themselves; while promising us eternal heaven and “miracles,” if we just believed and trusted and followed them blindly. But in fact, though parts of the Bible seemed to say that, when taken by themselves, that is not what the overall Bible finally said. Actually the Bible told us that there were many bad things in holy things; and that rather than have total faith, we are supposed to have no more faith than a “grain of mustard seed”; and allow that grain to grow, only if … science and what “comes to pass” (Deut. 18.20 ff) confirms that this or that religious saying or doctrine, attributed to God or “the Lord,” really bears real, material, physical “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs” … or not. And if a given word does not bear real material results – not in heaven, but here on earth, and in a timely way – then, far from continuing to follow it faithfully, we are supposed to deduce it was simply, “false.” Bad. Not really from God at all.
And if we notice say, that our preachers today are not working the “miracles” the old prophets often promised? Or if we notice their ascetic “spirituality” is often literally physically fatal (James 2.14)? Then indeed, we are actually expected not to continue to follow faithfully; but to deduce that our holy men were “false.” As foretold. Indeed, one Apocalyptic “day” we are supposed to “mature” … and notice that even our highest holy men were flawed, false; even the angels in heaven. While, just as the Bible said, it is only when we, here and now, begin to see beyond what we learned in church, when we learn the “full”er message of the Bible – and its advocacy of applying science to religion, the Science of God; a science-based, contemporary, postmodern Theology – only when we discover that, do we “mature,” and see ancient prophesy fulfilled. We 1) discover indeed, sins and errors in our “child”hood “faith” in a “heaven” of “miracles” and “spirituality”; but 2) then we begin – by way of more rational thought, science, real Theology; the “Science of God” – to see bits of the foretold “second,” better, higher, “new,” “full”er, more “mature” Coming, vision, of God and Good; the Second Coming of God.
The good but “secular” working man is closer to God than the priest. As opposed to those who pray endlessly for “miracles” that never arrive, or spiritual ascetic monks that sit with their hands folded (Ecc. 4.5), and starving themselves and others to death (James 2.14 ff), trying to live on mere “word,” thoughts, “spirit,” we outside our dysfunctional priesthoods acquire practical and scientific knowledge; thus we become rational practical adults; who alone show “signs” of being truly materially “fruitful” While in contrast, if our priests are to become half as good as they proudly think themselves, they need at least, a “second” and better vision of God and Good. Which has always been half-seen, by those religious persons with practical “gifts,” knowledge, science, and “work.” A vision which is also appearing perhaps even more vividly say, even now, in preview, thanks to scholarly science-based Theology; the Science of God.
As foretold, there have always been problems with our priests, and holy men and angels. And therefore it is time to talk about one old prophesy or saying or two – in fact a few hundred sayings – that they didn’t tell you about in church. The 1) “seventy,” a hundred or more quotes where the Bible warned there have always been bad things in essentially all our holiest men, angels, prophets; even those in Christianity; even those in heaven. It is time to mention the 2) prophesy in the Bible, that told us that because of longstanding sins in our holiest things, one “Day,” heaven itself and “all” in it are supposed to be destroyed. It is time to mention the frequent statement that only when we have seen and confessed this, and passed through the spiritual/intellectual destruction of heaven – the heaven of “faith” in “miracles” or even “spirit”uality – only then, finally, do we see the foretold Second, better vision, Second Coming, of God and Good. The vision that alone brings the fruits, the prosperity, that was promised to those who after all, are truly good; who really found God, or Good; who found the truth, and not delusions, illusions, and lies, and false promises of miracles.
In the past, our preachers have often suspected that there was something wrong in their religion; but they could not “face” it; and so held that they were commanded by “faith” to simply continue to follow, even in spite of things. But today we can at last “face” and “bear” even this; knowing that after all, the Bible itself commanded it; and since we know now that even as Theology destroys our first childhood heaven, we are also beginning to see, as foretold … the prophesied “new,” “second,” “full”er, more “mature” vision, Second Coming, of God.
As we are about to see in part, here and now.
It is hard to “face” or “bear” wisdom’s, experience’s, the elite’s, Theology’s, science’s …. demolition of the all-too-simple ideas, the vision, the “heaven” that we all-too-faithfully memorized as children in church. Yet even now, many people have already moved past the too-simple proto-theology, the old “faith” and “heaven” and “miracles” they learned in church; to the “full”er understanding of science and practical reason. The Science that reveals a “full”er, more “mature,” “second” vision – indeed, the Second Coming – of God. The science that, at last, is even now allowing many people to realize a measure of the promised “prosperity,” the “kingdom,” the “Second Coming,” that was promised “soon” so long ago.
As it turns out, most of our preachers misunderstood, or misrepresented, the Bible. What the Bible really said, did not stress total “faith” in “miracles” and “spirit”s or spirituality, at all. Instead, the Bible warned that there have always been sins and errors in even our holiest things; even “heaven” itself is fated to fall. And therefore, instead of blindly, faithfully following our religious leaders, we are supposed to “test everything” (1 Thess, 5.21; Mal. 3.10), with “science.” To find out what was true or really “from God,” and what was not. By observing what is materially fruitful, and what is not.
Finally, even the very “heaven” that was pictured to us, is wrong. So as it turns out, the old religious legends – of a Second Coming; of an “Apocalypse” – are true enough. Indeed, our first heaven is even now being found false, and is being intellectually destroyed; by Theology, the more mature vision, coming, of God. But finally, the Bible itself is true; albeit, true in a way that our preachers and churches have not, until now, understood. The Bible itself after all, told us that there have always been sins in our holiest things; but that one “day,” we would get a second and better vision, coming, of God; that would destroy, punish, falseness; and reveal and reward at last the righteous, better, truer vision of God.
And indeed, even now the old delusions are being mopped up. And now real wonders, a second coming – even a scientifically-verifiable immortality; a resurrection verifiable by the “science” – can come to us.
God, Good, prosperity, can come to you and all the world. But first to be sure, to get to that, we each have to pass through a moment our preachers have not been able to “face” or “bear: – though it was mentioned in the Bible over and over: we must pass through the Destruction of Heaven itself. Through the intellectual demolition of the too-simple vision of a God or heaven of “miracles” and so forth, that we were taught as children or innocent adults, in church. The demolition of that too-simple vision, by contemporary, Postmodern Theology; which turns out to be justified finally as part of the foretold “second” arm, the more “mature” “full”er understanding or vision, coming, of God. Which demolishes at last – as foretold – the too-simple ideas, the cartoon “heaven” we got in church; but then too gives us, at last, the foretold more adequate, “fruit”ful, “full”er understanding. The more productive vision that at last, takes us to the promised “prosperity,” “fruits,” and ever closer to the foretold ideal “kingdom” of “peace” or “prosperity.” And even, we will see, to a scientifically-verifiable resurrection, and immortality.
But first to be sure, we must pass through an Apocalyptic “day” of initiation to a higher, more “mature” understanding; one that is far less proud that our preachers; that admits sins and errors even in our highest saints, apostles, prophets, angels.
So let us begin to move on with that initiation project, now. In fact, we have already found many serious sins and errors in our traditional preachers and their inspired doctrines. First 1) our preachers always presented themselves as absolutely holy and reliable guides to God and absolute truth – whereas in point of fact, the Bible itself warned that there have always been sins and errors in even our holiest things. Then 2) our preachers told us that (in part because they themselves were so allegedly perfect), God wanted us to follow them and other holy men, with total and perfect “faith”; whereas in point of fact, the Bible itself clearly said that because there were so many bad things in our religious leaders, religion should not be based on simple “faith”; blindly trusting and believing and following our religious leaders, or their picture of God. Instead, we should be constantly questioning and examining our leaders, to make sure they really are leading us to the real material, timely prosperity that was so often promised; examining them even with real science.
Then 3) our preachers assured us that if we followed them, even if we didn’t get prosperity here on earth, we would get it after death, in an “eternal” heaven. But we found here that what our preachers told us, was not really what the Bible said. That actually the Bible itself told us that because there have always been sins and errors in all our holy books, finally, one “day,” of the Apocalypse, heaven itself is supposed to be destroyed.
So, just as foretold, we have even now, just discovered three major sins or errors in our holiest men. And now we are about to discover a fourth and a fifth. Since, 4) when we at last perceive God’s command to use science, and then apply it further, to the old traditional beliefs – like especially, ancient promises of miracles – we will find that those promises were either not true to the Bible itself … or were in any case, simply, false.
So that as foretold, we will be seeing here yet another major sin or error in our holy men: their false promises of miracles. While later on, we will uncover a fifth major error: their 5) stress on “spirituality.” Which turns out to be literally, fatal. Because, as St. James noted, a religion that merely takes care of mental or “spiritual” things, but not material food for example, that absolutistically claims to be “all” we need, but does not make realistic provision for the physical side of life, literally leaves us physically starving to death.
But while our religion has made many errors in the past, many of us are now sufficiently prepared at last, today, even for an albeit unsettling “day” … of discovering the science of God … and then of to-some, startling, even shattering re-assessments of traditional religion. So let us next in fact, use science to take a long look at one of the old doctrines that indeed, now appears clearly false: the old promises of “miracles.”
As we will see in our many books here, God told us to honor science. But ultimately, science really says there are no miracles as many priests conceived them in the past. Then worse, we will confirm that the science of God says that not only promises of miracles, but also an allegedly “higher” spirituality, is largely wrong too. Even according to the Bible itself. But while this is so, then we can now all get past this … to see something new and better. The foretold “second, “full”er, more “mature” vision, coming of God and good. Visible through the rational science of God. A more mature vision that at last, finds the scientific basis of resurrection for example. Demonstrating indeed, the rebirth of God and Good … in a way science at last, can confirm.
As foretold, authorized, by the Bible itself. By God, himself.
SUPPORTING THE METAPHORICAL
AND SYMBOLIC INTERPRETATION
OF THE BIBLE
God warned there have always been sins in our holiest men and angels. And that one “day” we would see them. While we are beginning to at last see them, in the newspapers – and here and now. But what specifically are the sins of priests?
What are the sins of preachers? Some might say their great sin is 1) their false promise of physical “miracles“; the huge promises they make … but many say they do not deliver.
But if so? The root sin 2) is their Pride and vanity. Which in turn causes them to assume more authority, than they deserve; to assume they are better than they are. To make bigger promises than they can deliver on. So that they ignore the many times God warned about priests and churches; and instead constantly assure us in church, that God supports “faith” in them and their church, faith in their ideas about God. But the sins of preachers are countless. So what is another major sin of theirs? Out of their pride and vanity, they promise huge, giant “miracles.” “All” and “whatever” we “ask” (citing misleading fragments of the Bible).
All the “wonders that” Jesus did, “and greater things than these”: the power to walk on water, and make bread appear out of thin air. Yet we find today, that though we were promised such things, these specific miracles – walking on water; making bread appear out of thin air – are not seen today, at all.
What are the great sins of priests? Among others: priests proudly promise us giant powers and miracles. But it seems clear to many of us that they cannot deliver the specific miracles promised; not regularly, or reliably. Now and then a televangelist claims that he prayed, and a sick person got well. But it is not even sure this is a miracle: often the sick person was under medical treatment … which might have finally kicked in, to heal the sick person. Or some ailments are psychological, psychosomatic; cause by our minds, after all. While then too, often bodies natural immune systems and so forth, heal us. So that it is not sure that “healings” are miracles at all. While in any case, we are not seeing the huge, spectacular miracles that were specifically promised to us: walking on water, making real actual literal physical “mountains” fly through the air. And so forth.
For many, many centuries to be sure, our holy men promised us huge, spectacular miracles. And their “histories” recount many such things. But as time went on, many of us – and even many priests it seems – came to doubt whether our priests (and their vision of God) were as good as they proudly proclaimed. Because today for example, we don’t see many people walking on water; or making bread appear out of thin air; or making actual “mountains”. And indeed, it seems, eventually some holy men and priests themselves came to doubt the old promises of physical miracles: “Do all work miracles?” St. Paul himself once asked. And so here … a bit of self-criticism by priests, creeps in.
Indeed, by the time of Rome and Jesus, and the New Testament especially, it seems that many civilized, educated people began to doubt the existence of gods, or miracles. And while they were not quite ready to give up on the existence of God, to be sure, still many of our clerics, thinkers, began to try to back away a step or two, now and then, from promises of supernatural miracles. By various means (Sermons).
Indeed, by various and many ways, even some of our holy men, began to offer an alternative to promises of physical, material miracles; including the suggestion that after all, religion should not be about physical material things, but “spiritual” things instead. While suggesting that the old promises, if not simply false, could and should be read, as being not “literal,” but metaphorical. As being metaphors for spiritual things, especially. If at times for example, we thought Moses or Jesus were making real, actual, physical bread appear out of thin air, at the same time, Jesus was made to deliver speeches that gave all that a metaphorical interpretation: Jesus implied that he, or his ideas and spirit, were the real “bread” from heaven. And eventually in fact, the New Testament in effect offered metaphorical interpretations or variations, of most (even all?) of the major miracles of the rest of the Bible. Leaving it open to us, it seems, to take the old promises of miracles literally, as promises of physical things. Or take them .metaphorically. As metaphors especially, for spiritual things. If we thought that even Jesus at times, made literally blind people see, at the same time, this was also given a metaphorical variation: people who didn’t understanding something, were said to be metaphorically “blind”; and when God helped them to understand, then they were said to “see.”
So eventually we will see here, the Bible itself offered a voice that allowed us, it seems to many, to not take promises of miracles, prosperity, literally, but to take them as metaphors only; especially metaphors for spiritual things. But as we look at this, and agree that parts of the Bible at first seemed to allow this metaphoricalization, and spiritualization of the old promises, we need to ask next: is this “spirituality” especially, really the last word in theological sophistication? In religious history? As we will find here and now in fact, 1) the Bible told us itself, that many thing in the Bible – like its promises of miracles – can be taken either literally, or symbolically: the Bible explicitly allows – even commands – us to read promises of miracles as symbols for something else; as metaphors and symbols: as a) “figures” of speech, b) “parables,” c) “allegories.”. While indeed, 2) sometimes things can be taken in part, spiritually. But 3) finally, everything in the Bible is about something physically real; even spirit is as real as our minds, as operations in a computer. So that finally in fact, ultimately things in the Bible are not best seen as being about a) “miracles,” or b) metaphors for “spiritual” things. But as metaphors in effect, for … natural history. For some things now confirmable, and better described today, by science.
As we will see, indeed, the miracles in the Bible are better taken as metaphors. But not as metaphors primarily, of spiritual things. Because indeed, the Bible and common sense, told us to honor science. And science tells us there are problems with “spirits” and spirituality too. While science offers better interpretations of old wonders. So that therefore, mysterious things in the Bible, we will find now, are now better read not as a) symbols for “spiritual” things; but b) symbols for things confirmable by Natural History. Things in nature and technology, that science can confirm.
To be sure, for many years, many preachers resisted “naturalistic” interpretations of religion; because indeed, science was not good enough to accurately and fully interpret old religious reports; science was too “reductionistic.” But since the beginning of Social Sciences, in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the rediscovery of the science of God in the Bible itself (see our writing on that), it is now possible to come up with scientific understandings, proofs, of old miracles; that do not “debunk” them, as much as show what they really are. So that we can begin to use and get them, far more reliably than in the past.
In fact, if we look at it more closely, the Bible is really full of not even 1) promises of supernatural miracles; nor 2) metaphors for spiritual things; but instead, at its best, 3) veiled but discoverable descriptions of subtle but real, important, material things in natural history and technology. Things that if we use science to examine, will become far more real and vivid to most of us. And can then be realistically used by us, to bring about real technologies and prosperity here on earth, at last. As science and technology have already brought us many “fruits.”
The Bible Allows There Are in Itself,
“Figures” of Speech or Metaphors, and Related
Symbolic Expressions, Like
Our preachers have been tremendously proud; and often promised us huge things. They once mostly thought that all the strange happenings in the Bible, were supernatural miracles. Ancient books described and promised many wonders, that were widely interpreted as that. But there has been a problem with those old understandings: specifically, where are miracles today? The Bible, as quoted to us in millions of sermons, is full of religious heroes, holy men, working huge miracles: not just healing the sick, but raising the dead, walking on water, making bread appear in thin air, etc.. But although nearly all our preachers promised, prophesied huge, amazing things – miracles – even “whatever” we “ask,” still somehow, often people noted that they were not getting as many wonders as their holy men promised.
For example, we don’t see many people raising the dead today; or walking on water. So what should we say? Were the old promises of miracles just false? In fact, many people in the Bible itself at times questioned the existence or reliability of miracles; and finally even an accepted, canonical figure like St. Paul began to openly ask, “Do all work miracles?”
As many people began to question miracles – and their religion – priests despaired; and attempted dozens of arguments to try to explain or excuse what appeared to be a chronic failure in the heart of their faith: failure to produce all the wonders that the old holy books had often promised. And while there were dozens of different arguments that attempted to explain away any apparent lack of miracles (see Sermons), there eventually evolved one particular explanation for any lack of miracles. Which suggested that after all, maybe the old religious promises were not meant to be taken literally; but were really just metaphors. Symbols for one thing or another. So if God was said to make real actual “fire” come from heaven, maybe the important thing, what it was really about you might say, is not really literal fire coming from heaven; but it was just a symbol. For God bringing the “fire” or “light” of spirituality or intelligence or enlightenment to our minds, say. Or of God destroying false ideas, with his “arguments.”
So if we don’t see real material miracles much today, it is said, that doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t make the old promises false, it is claimed. Because after all, the old stories of miracles, are not really what they seem to be at first; they are not really intended to promise real material things, it is said. Or in any case, they are not just about material things … but are also metaphors for, symbols for, they say, other subjects. Usually, spiritual things.
And in this way in part? The Bible, priests, began to try to back off some old, proud promises.
The Bible Used Metaphors
To be sure, 1) it is clear that even the old documents had often used metaphors. Jesus himself often talked about his use of “parables,” clearly (q.v.). While he also used clear and simple metaphors, figures of speech, parables.
Here for example, Jesus tells people to “tend my sheep.” Clearly he and the Bible, by now, has been metaphoricalized to the point, that does not mean real, actual sheep; rather, he is referring to people who faithfully follow their religious leaders, “as” sheep. Such passages have often been cited by preachers, as proof that Jesus wanted us to follow him or other pastoral shepherds, pastors, with total blind faith. But by the way, in passing, notice what happens to “sheep” finally; a shepherd after all, is not herding sheep for the good of sheep; but finally, the sheep are slaughtered for the food of the shepherd, and others:
“Tend my sheep …. Feed my sheep ….” (John 21.16-17; as Jesus repeated the command to eat his flesh, he repeats “sheep” many times … but obviously, does not thereby mean these words to be taken literally).
“As a sheep led to the slaughter” (Acts 8.22).
“We are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered” (Rom. 8.26).
Here we can see the Bible itself, seeming to offer the option of backing off older physical promises; by metaphoricalizing them. But in any case note that if holy men began changing, backing off earlier promises? That would be an indirect admission of earlier error in holy men.
And by the way, there was a practical lesson in our quotes, immediately above: what was meant there was that those who too blindly, faithfully follow leaders, will often be all too easily mislead and exploited, by others. So that there was a double backing away from excessive emphasis on priestly authority. First, in that the Bible was backing away from the literal, liberal promises of physical things. But then too? The Bible was warning about priests themselves, finally. Since they did make so many errors, and excessive statements.
The Bible Explicitly Tells Us
To Learn about Related Things Like
“Figures” of Speech or Metaphors,
Clearly in any case, 1) the Bible used metaphors. And 2) what is more, the Bible even began to acknowledge this consciously, explicitly. Telling us even explicitly to learn about “figures” of speech or metaphors, “allegories,” “parables.”
Indeed, 3) in the Old Testament itself (as we have it today), there are hints that perhaps the old promises should not be taken “literally,” but as being merely symbolic, “figur”ative, metaphorical, “allegorical.” Indeed, we were even commanded by God to learn what a “proverb” was; a “figure of speech”:
“… That prudence may be given to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth – the wise man also may hear and increase in learning, and the man of understanding acquire skill, to understand a proverb and a figure of speech,” [ a metaphor….]” (Prov. 1.4-6; my translation, from RSV).
“I have said this to you in figures…” (John 16.25).
“I have said this to you in metaphors” (John 16.25; my translation).
“He addressed them at length in parables…” (Mat. 133.3 NAPB).
“This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand …. ” (John 10.6, my transl. from RSV).
“This I have said to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father” (John 16.25 RSV).
“He addressed them at length in parables…” (Mat. 13.3 NAB).
“All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable” (Mat. 13.24).
“… It is spiritual and not literal” (Rom 2.29).
“And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables. And he said to them, ‘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; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.” (Mark 4.10-12-33).
“With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything” (Mark 4.33).
“And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue…” (Mat. 13.53).
” … The hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you ….” (John 16.25-26).
“Now these things, brothers, I made into a figure [of speech]” (“Tayta de, adelphol, meteochematioa” – ? “metaphor” – found in original Greek, 1 Corin. 4.6, but edited out, disappeared, in most English translations; see The Greek English Interlinear New Testament, Trans. Robert . Brown and Philip W. Comfort; Ref. to Apollo in Acts c. 24? Also “I have in a figure transferred to myself”; Strong’s Authorized and Revised versions and American Variations; Metamorphosized? “Transformed” or “changed” or “disguised” in 3345, Strong’s).
“Now this is an allegory….” (Gal. 4.24).
Finally therefore, the Bible itself allows us to read the Bible as being symbolic, not literal; as being either allegory, symbol, metaphor, parable. Possibly, arguably, that means not just parts of the Bible; but even the whole thing. Every single word.
First, 1) many parts of the Bible clearly told us to learn what a “metaphor” was; and 2) told us that many things in the Bible, were related kinds of symbols, metaphors, parables, allegories. Which opens up the possibility that 3) many old promises of miracles, for instance, could be taken not a literally true, but as metaphors. While indeed, 4) we will have seen here, that indeed parts of the Bible began to re-interpret old miracles, as metaphors. If the Old Testament had promised real, eatable “fruit” to people – bigger crops; more grapes and grain – Paul began to speak of “fruits of the spirit.” If Moses had promised real eatable “bread” or “manna” from heaven, Jesus, while furnishing real bread, also began to introduce a metaphorical, spiritual equivalent (cf. ringer): sayings that he himself and his spirit, were the real bread from heaven. So that indeed, finally nearly every alleged physical miracle in the Bible, was eventually given metaphorical, spiritual equivalents, a spiritual interpretation. In part in the Bible itself (and later, in the works of Philo, Origen, etc..).
So that finally here, in the fine print it seems, in these instructions on metaphors and so forth, the Bible itself might be whisking away all those huge promises of big physical miracles; they were only metaphors or symbols, it came to say.
Very often indeed, to this very day, miracles are spoken of by preachers who can’t get many material results, as if miracles are just metaphors, especially, for “spiritual” things. Which would allegedly explain why they don’t get material results: the Bible they imply, never really promised material things much at all. Not if all the old material promises, were really not meant to be taken literally.
And indeed, by the time of Rome and Jesus and especially Paul, it was probably evident that there were not too many miracles. And so there was a desire to try to salvage the old holy books … by some device. By perhaps, reinterpreting them as allegories of spiritual things. So parts of the New Testament especially seem to have at least, if not demanding old physical promises be thus reinterpreted, began to systematically offer spiritual equivalents to the old miracles. For one old miracle after another, the New Testament offered a spiritual equivalent. If 1) for example, God had seemingly promised us bigger, literal “fruits” – bigger grapes, more wheat – parts of our new Testament began to hint that these promises should be converted to mere metaphors for … say, “fruits of the spirit”; hope, faith, joy.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace” (when there is no peace: Gal. 5.22; cf. Jer. 6.14; Ezk. 13.16; Mat. 10.34; Luke 12.51; John 14.27; Rom. 2.10, 14.17; Gal. 5.22; 1 Kings 22.28, 2 Chr. 18.27).
If 2) the Old Testament God had promised eatable “bread,” then Jesus was pictured giving not only eatable bread … but also hinting that after all, he himself, his spirit, were a kind of spiritual “bread from heaven.”
If 3) God had seemed to promise dead bodies rising from graves, Jesus was said to do that … but also, to suggest that those persons who are discouraged, are in a sense “dead,” and come to “life” when given new spirits (the prodigal son, etc..).
And so in one old physical miracle after another, the New Testament, while not totally withdrawing the old physical promises, began to systematically introduce metaphorical, spiritual equivalents. So that technically, the New Testament was not negating the old promises; which were still there. But at the same time, it now allowed at least both physical/literal, and spiritual/metaphorical interpretations. In this way, the authors of the New Testament undoubtedly felt they were not negating or going firmly against the old promises of physical wonders; but at the same time, they were offering what they felt at the time to be a more plausible interpretation of them. As an alternative to discredited miracles.
But to be sure, we will find a great sin or two here. Thus indeed, began the first glimmerings of the sin of Gnosticism and asceticism, of a fatal over-spirituality; thus began the great championing and furthering of illusion, delusion, “enchantment,” mental “delusion”; the insistence that having a thing in mind or spirit or imagination, is as good as having it in physical reality. That having fruits of the spirit, or hope of food, is as good or better than having it in real life. While to be sure, St. James began to note that this over dualistic, spiritual idea … is literally fatal.
But the first glimmerings of error in spirituality were ignored by priests. Who became quite over-spiritual. If Big Physical Miracles did not come – nor even ordinary prosperity, even as much as neighboring “nations” – that didn’t matter we were now all but told: mental sensations in our mind or “spirit,” were now allegedly all a holy man has to give us; not real material things. Which were unimportant.
Priests were desperate to do this … because they needed an explanation for their own lack of physical miracles. Now, thanks to spiritualization, they could claim that Big Physical Miracles are not common; and if they failed their material “tests” therefore, that is OK, holy men concluded. Because, they could now say, 1) physical miracles were unimportant relative to spiritual things; and 2) indeed were really “just” metaphors for, many priests concluded, spiritual things.
And if many might feel cheated by religion changing its promises around like this, then our spiritual/Platonistic preachers assured us this was OK; since, they came to conclude with greater and greater spirituality, material things, “possessions,” were bad anyway; and spiritual things we were assured by many, were “higher,” better. Better than mere promises of material “possessions” and “riches”:
“… It is spiritual and not literal” (Rom 2.29).
“And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles…. Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues?… But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way… (1 Corn. 12.29-30).
“Woe to you who are rich” (Luke 6.24).
“Sell your possessions” (Luke 12.33).
“These conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your carvings that are at war ….? You want something and so not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something” (James 4.1-2).
“Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation” (1 Tim. 6.9).
“Your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6.23).
“The spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27.3; Isa. 44.3, Isa. 61.1, Luke 4.18; Acts. 1.2, 2.4-38; cf. Lamentations, where the spirit, breath, is taken away).
By the time of Paul, many educated Jews knew Greek, and Plato. And St. Paul’s thought for example, clearly shows influence by Plato’s Theory of “Forms”; that things here on earth are, as Paul said, just “imperfect” “copies,” “shadows,” of more “perfect” things, ideas, models, paradigms, patters, in “heaven.” That these models in heaven moreover, are “eternal”; whereas all things here on earth get old, and die. Expanding on these thoughts of Plato, St. Paul essentially hoped to find some way to make ourselves, our own minds or spirits, conform more to these eternal perfect forms; and thus share their immortality. Which seemed good in theory … though Aristotle and others began to note problems with the theory. And St. James and others began to note literally fatal problems with it. (Problems, a consequence, Paul embraced: Paul suggesting he even embraced death, in Phil. 1.20-23).
Ignoring or even embracing the physically fatal consequences of spirituality, our clerics and monks, ascetics, continued. Because this seemed to explain and excuse their own lack of material results, miracles. By saying that if we don’t see many material miracles today, one might reasonably say, with some Biblical support, that perhaps the old stories were meant to be – or at any rate, today can be taken to be – not literal promises of physical miracles, but as metaphors. Many say, specifically, metaphors for spiritual things. Which are said by many ascetics, to be better than material wealth, riches, material possessions. Though to be sure, the Bible itself seems to have offered those too, often, perhaps all such offers might be taken as being mere metaphors for the bestowing of allegedly higher spiritual things on us, by God. As many have hinted.
And indeed, there are many, many signs that the authors of the New Testament made a deliberate effort, to try to convert most of the old promises of physical, material things, into metaphors for spiritual things. For example, if the Old Testament had promised real, actual, material food or “bread” from Heaven …
“Upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground…. It is the bread which the LORD has given you” (Ex. 16.14 KJE; 15 RSV. See “But some of them left of it until the moning, and it bread worms, and stank” 16.20).
… Jesus himself, while offering real, actual bread it seems, at times, in the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, also introduced a possible metaphorical equivalent to – or substitute for? – that. As Jesus suggested that he himself, and/or his ideas and spirit, were a kind of better “bread” or sustaining force, for others:
“I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth in me shall never thirst” (John 6.35).
Problems Even With Spiritualization
By the time of Rome, and the New Testament (and Philo and Jesus and Paul and Origen, etc.), it was evident to many people that there was a problem in Religion: in the most common, even priestly readings, it promised lots of huge physical miracles; yet all the evidence of science and sober experience was that there are no miracles. So that parts of our old holy religions now appeared flatly false. Rather than abandon the old promises totally, or flatly admitting that earlier promises of holy men were simply exaggerated or false, though, our holy men tried to finesse this … by suggesting that the old promises of miracles could be taken, re-read, as having been mere metaphors … for spiritual things.
To be sure though, there were signs and warnings, of a sin even in this metaphoricalization, spiritualization. St. Paul was very active in this sort of thing … and St. Peter, right after speaking of St. Paul, warned of those who “twist” the meaning of scriptures (see also “Leviathan the twisting serpent” Isa. 27.1; and those who speak with “double tongue“):
“Even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest [“twist,” RSV, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware” (2 Peter 3.15-17 AKJV; cf. Paul? elsewhere congratulating himself on the “double-edged sword,” of his tongue).
Most churches today think that the metaphoricalization of the old promises of miracles, solves everything. But actually, there are countless signs of problems with metaphoricalization too. There were warnings not only about the fatal consequences of this; but also the dishonesty of this; about those who “twist” the meaning of scriptures around. But to be sure, parts of the Bible had allowed that many things might be read as allegories, “figures.” And now the way was open, many thought, to “twist” the meaning of all the old promises of miracles, and say that they were only metaphors …. for spiritual things.
No doubt this seemed good, to many more sophisticated holy men, who were worried about the truth of old promises of material wonders. This seemed to solve the problem … by all but dissappearing the old promised; changing them around. The old promises were simply converted, re-read, as metaphors for spiritual things. So that if our preachers no longer got material miracles, that was now, OK. Ostensibly. Since according to this way of re-reading, (and re-writing?) the old texts, they, technically speaking, never had really offered physical miracles at all.
The logic seemed compelling at the time; enough that many wanted a completely spiritual religion; the Gnostics. And these people had some influence early on, even in the Bible … before Gnosticism was defeated in the ecumenical councils. And so as you read the Bible more closely – especially the New Testament – you see that by some hand or another, eventually all or nearly all of the major, apparent physical wonders and promises, in the Bible, were, if not negated, given spiritual metaphorical equivalents. And thereby, even the original promises, it was hinted – if not firmly said – might be re-read as mere metaphors for spiritual things. Thus if there were not a lot of physical miracles, as many thought by the time of Rome, this did not prove the old promises were totally false; but merely that they were metaphorical. All the old were given metaphorical equivalents (red herring mock-ups, equivalents) finally, by clever priests and scholars (like Philo).
Indeed then, this point of view nearly took over the Bible; if you look at the text closely, you will find a consistent pattern of spiritualization underway. Though the Bible still offered many physical things rather plainly, time after time, in one miracle after another, a spiritual equivalent was inserted. Over and over, equivocal phrases appeared in the New Testament, that could be taken to say that this or that specific miracle, might have been this or that metaphor for a spiritual process. For example, after promises of “bread” were spiritualized, then promises of the specific miracle of healing the “blind,” for example, were also.
At times, along these lines, the New Testament in particular, suggested, first of all, that to be “blind” was a metaphor for failing to understand:
“Their minds were blinded” (2 Corin. 3.14).
“For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (2nd Peter 1.9).
If to fail to understand, is to be “blind,” therefore, it was then implied, holy promises that blind people would be made to see, might be merely metaphors; metaphors for helping people who don’t understand – or “see” – something, come to understand it, at last. A lesser “miracle” that was fairly easy to accomplish; easier than really actually walking on water at least.
Metaphoricalization, spiritualization no doubt seemed to resolve a major sign of sin in Religion: the lack of miracles. Until now, then, the priesthood had been in trouble: it had made very, very big promises of things … that even early science was saying never came true. So that the old priesthoods – and the Old Testament – now appeared false, to many. And priests were in danger of being discredited, and rejected. By means of a “new” testament – and a clever, subtle re-write of the old texts – though, by means of spiritualization – the now-embarrasing old promises of “miracles” were all but disappeared, twisted away, whitewashed, by a bit of semantic doubleness, duplicity, sleight-of-hand. Speaking out of two sides of your mouth. Equivocating. Thus, everyone has thought, a critical, devastating failure in the priesthood, was all but disappeared. Most priests indeed, to this very day, have thought that this spiritualization was the answer to the old problem of no miracles. If our priests didn’t really get real, material miracles or “fruits,” now it could be claimed, that didn’t matter any more, the implication was; since according to the dualistic “spiritual” philosophy popular after Plato (c. 340 BC), material things, “possessions,” the “world,” didn’t really matter anyway; and now, all the old apparent promises of material rewards from religion, one could now claim, were probably only metaphors for spiritual things, anyway.
Why was the New Testament – of Jesus and especially St. Paul – so eager to transform, disappear, the old promises? By the time of the New Testament in particular, many educated people were coming to doubt the truth of ancient promises of wonders and miracles, from holy men. And many had come to suspect that ancient promises, prophesies of material miracles from prophets, were simply, false. But our more modern holy men did not want to believe or “face” this possibility; the possibility that part their own religious tradition was simply, or largely, false. And so, to deal with the evidence that old promises of miracles were false, they simply began to introduce the idea, in their holy books, that after all, perhaps the old promises of miracles were not simply false, but could be taken as … metaphors. Metaphors for, especially, “spiritual” things.
This relieved bad preachers who could not get material results, from being discovered, uncovered. Since if our allegedly holy men often somehow did not deliver all the material things, all the huge material miracles they so often promised, now, rather than being just found to be flatly false, it was here suggested that perhaps after all, the Bible never really promised real material wonders after all; the old promises of material miracles were just metaphors. Metaphors for spiritual things especially. Thus if our priests did not deliver on ancient promises of material wonders, that didn’t matter … because after all, the Bible never really promised them after all.
But as it turns out, the cure was worse than the disease.
Especially Spiritualization, Itself,
Honest And Healthy?
At first reading then, the Bible seemed to promise lots of big physical things; wonders. But no doubt there were later some problems, signs of exaggeration in those old promises; many miracles had been promised … but often people complained that priests were not delivering as many miracles as advertised. And so many people were coming to the conclusion that our religion was largely, false. And so, to stave off criticism, our holy men attempted to explain the lack of miracles by many various arguments and stratagems (see sermons). And among their many sermons and strategies … were inserted tentatively, at least as hints if not firm statements, in our holy Bible itself. St. Paul for example, while not just saying miracles were not real, was allowed to ask “Do all work miracles.” While in addition to this and many other modifications, amendments of the old promises … eventually, many parts of the Bible began to slyly all but take away the old promises of physical wonders. By suggesting in part, that the old promises might be just metaphors, parables, and so forth.
At first this might seem good; if miracles are not common, then rather than have the people conclude our old religion was false, it seems better to just say the old promises of wonders, were not false … but just, metaphorical. In particular, metaphors, symbols, for spiritual things. Yet we will find there are problems, sins, in this approach. So that no matter how often it was hinted at in the New Testament itself, this approach could not be firmly, simply, fully, declaratively embraced in the Bible itself. In part, because 1) much of the Bible had in fact promised many physical things; and worse, 2) as it turns out, any religion that does not get real material things, but offers only spiritual things … becomes physically deadly, and fatal. As St. James began to see.
It is absolutely central importance that our preachers today understand, that their “spiritual” values, have sins and errors in them; that they are often, literally physically fatal. As St. James began to see, long ago, in the Bible itself, a religion that takes care of only the spiritual side of life, but cannot deal with physical necessities, is a literally fatal religion:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘God in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has not works, is dead’ (James 2.14-17 NRSV).
Thus there are extremely serious sins and errors, amazingly enough, in “spirit”s and even especially in the over-“spirituality” that has historically dominated priesthoods and ministers.
Aside from its literally fatal aspect, no doubt too, 3) the spiritualization of the old promises, does not seem entirely honest or fair: to on the one hand, appear to promise on the surface of the text, huge wonderful material things, even miracles … but then, once people have signed on to your church, and have even at times given everything they own to the priest (as sometimes asked), then in the fine print … you discover that … you weren’t really firmly promised all these wonderful things after all. The old promises of miracles were “twist”ed into metaphors, in the fine print. This changes the rules; and seems dishonest. It allows a false impression of huge promises to exist … and then deceptively signs you up on the basis of that false impression.
Indeed, many simple people don’t really understand what a metaphor is. And so they will take the old promises literally. And indeed, if the Bible, or our Christianity, has two levels – literal and metaphorical – then it is actually, not entirely honest. While in fact, whatever you might say about the Bible itself, our preachers and Christianity overall, have in fact, delivered a duplicitous, double message. On the one hand, our simpler-minded preachers, evangelicals, have often attracted huge audiences, by delivering to us at first only one level – promises of big material miracles. But our preachers were not good here; they did not tell us about the fine print; about the other level … where those promises are all but effectively negated. So they allowed to appear to promise us things … without noting that later, actually, those big promises were all but removed, wiped out, negated.
And so, when all religion really delivers is not physical things, but only spiritual things, then it has been evil and duplicitous, and even fatal. Among other sins, you might say, our preachers have not been honest or accurate; they have not been consistently honest or accurate about what the full Bible really said. On the one hand, many preachers promise us big huge miracles; and indeed, the Bible itself frequently gives that impression. But then on the other hand, once you sign up into Christianity, and give it all you have … then suddenly, some preachers begin noting the fine print; the escape clauses. The semantic tricks. The phrases that allow preachers to whisk away all their earlier promises … and leave you with a “spirituality,” a “breath” or “pneuma,” that is the Emperors’ new clothes; mere “empty promises.” Or hot air, the “East wind”; a dry wind from the desert that does not water our crops, but leaves them dried up and dying.
Our preachers have indeed, fatally allowed themselves to give the impression that the Bible was promising huge physical wonders – when our preachers often knew (or should have known) that deep down, those promises were effectively removed in the fine print in the Bible itself; in the obscure passages where we were given authorization to interpret all the old miracles as metaphors. Worse, not only were our preachers thereby, stupid and then duplicitous, finally, even their finest spirituality, was literally, physically fatal to many billions of human beings. St. St. James began to barely see.
So that finally, though many parts of the Bible itself, were undoubtedly written and edited by spiritual/dualistic Greco-Romanized priests, ascetic, monks, like St. Paul, and though there are therefore strong hints of dualist spiritualization throughout the New Testament especially, finally – as St. James and others just barely began to see – there were severe ethical, moral, and practical sins and errors in spirituality itself. So that our religious leaders sinned mightily. Though it was fortunate, that if our preachers sinned horribly and became even evil, the Bible itself merely allowed spirituality as an alternative to crude physicalism and miracles … without however, fully insisting on a fatal spirituality for everyone.
Indeed, St. Paul began to intuit that his own spirituality for example, was literally, fatal. That it hated material life, this “world” of our “bodies” and “flesh,” to the point that Paul and spirituality embraced physical, and his possible upcoming material death (by execution from the Romans?):
“By my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two;: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for hour progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again” (Php. 1.20-26 NRSV).
Here Paul was following spirituality to its logical, extreme and fatal conclusion, its reducto ad absurdum.: love of physical death. That is, if spirituality is right – if only our spirit is good and important and immortal and destined for heaven, while our physical body and physical things are bad – then logically, it would seem, it is good to physically die. Because then our pure spirit can at last leave our impure body, and to to an ideal heaven. Therefore spirituality leads inexorably to the conclusion that physical death is good. Coming to the conclusion – as Paul in fact does, at times, above – we should embrace physical death.
But there are obvious problems with love of physical death, and “hate” for the “world,” in fact; in fact, those elements of religion that embraced it were often very, very evil; actively causing real physical death in fact. Not just in asceticism, but in monkish, clericalist impositions of its own fatal limitations on huge general populations. As we will see.
But if our clerics were often wrong and evil, the Bible itself overall, did not quite make that fatal step into radical over-spirituality. Indeed, much of the New Testament is a veiled dialogue between a fairly healthy secular population, that knew the value of material things, and an increasingly ascetic, fatally over-spiritual Christian group that eventually became … our priests and monks. Who gave up much “food,” “marriage,” and material “possessions.” (Cf. the ascetic ? opponents of Paul in 1 Tim. 4.3 ff or elsewhere … vs. the book, The Opponents of Paul in Second Corinthians, Dieter Georgi, Fortress Press, Phil., German 1964, Engl.1986, and his references). Today, our priests imagine that it was this “spiritual” cadre, that became in fact the priesthoods, that was closest to God. And indeed our priests came from it. But there were early on strong arguments between practical Christians and monks. While St. James began to notice a literally fatal side to spirituality in fact. So that indeed the Catholic Church rejected the extreme spirituality of Gnosticism.
So it is fortunate indeed, that if finally, Paul – and the group that was eventually to become our priests, our monks – was so spiritual as to hate his own material life, and embrace physical death (in order to become pure spirit?), still, the Bible itself does not absolutely impose this literally fatal philosophy on everyone. Indeed, red the text closely; St. Paul did not
absolutely impose this fatal priestly, monkish philosophy, on everyone; but noted that this was right, he said, “for me” :
“For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain ” (Php. 1.20-26 NRSV).
Indeed, Christianity was eventually, after the New Testament closes, c. 90-190 AD, to have two main tracks: first, there were the 1) priesthoods, and monasteries; which were quite ascetic, and spiritual; and often did not marry and so forth. But then 2) there were allowances in the Bible itself, that there was another track acceptable perhaps to God; of “secular” people or “laity” who “work” with their “hands,” who are allowed to marry (rather than “burn” with passion?); who can eat all kinds of “food” and so forth.
Christianity we suggest here, became split into a rather over-spiritual priesthood and ascetic monks .. and the laity. And though the spiritual element, priests, often implied that their spiritual ascetic way was better and closer to God, strictly speaking the Bible itself continued to at last to allow some kind of status … the far more materially productive laity to exist. The Bible itself did not
insist that we all become monks, devoted to the word, and not to practical work. It allowed for a “laity,” for ordinary working people to be partially religious, but not monkish. And it would be our point here that oddly enough, it was not the priesthood that was closest to God; it was the good but also practical man and woman. These were the truer, more balanced people. Since these saw and understood God’s science; his spirituality … but also his practical involvement in the physical world. These saw the evil in the one-sided, unbalanced, over-spiritual religion of priests and monks.
And indeed, finally the Platonistic, usually over-spiritual, almost Gnostic St. Paul, was at first prepared to embrace even the fatal logical end of spirituality – telling us how good it was to physically die, to go to heaven. But in the end? Though he speaks of how “hard pressed” he was to chose between dying and living – he still began to back off the conclusion that favored spirituality to the point of death. Paul concluding that as good as dying seemed to him, he was deciding to stay alive here on earth, to help others (above):
“I am hard pressed between the two; my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for hour progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again” (Php. 1.23-26 NRSV).
Likewise, Paul began to intuit that his own spirituality was not quite enough to live; he needed practical people, to give him food. So he needed to at least trade his spirits, for real material food:
“Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?… If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits?… Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?” (1 Corin. 9.7-13; italics mine).
“If any one will not work, let him not eat” (2 Thess. 3.10).
Finally then, even the very, very spiritual St. Paul – the great champion of “spirit” and “spiritual fruits” like “faith” – began to at least dimly intuit the fatal limitations of the clericalistic asceticism and spirituality that was nevertheless, unfortunately, to dominate the priesthoods, or ascetic monks. St. Paul to be sure, continued to speak as if “spiritual” work was all the work one needed to do. Fortunately though, the Bible itself never quite told us that we all must follow him, and be ascetic monks. Though that optional voice or “calling” remained in the Bible, and at times – typically in fact – our priests and monks tried to fatally impose this on the whole population. Where indeed, unfortunately, it cripples and kills; imposing death on people. As St. James began to see; and as we will explore more fully later.
Ultimately, we need millions, billions of practical people producing real material food; if we don’t have that, billions starve to death. But our priests even today, continue to speak as if – or even actively insist – material things are unimportant; or if we need them, we just pray and attend to scripture, and material things fall out of the sky by miracles.
But that indeed is just from the limited experience of clerics. They were clerks who worked for the local lord; the clerks that could read and write, and made their living by reading and writing. For them, you just stayed loyal to the lord, read the holy writings … and the lord saw to it that you were fed; his meat and bread appeared as if by magic, on your table. But our clerics did not see what the LORD did; that after all, behind all that were thousands of working farmers, who planted the wheat; millers that milled it; bakers that baked it. Our clerics suffered from narrowness imposed by their narrow profession; they thought all one needed to get bread was to read words and write words. They did not see the larger economy … that the lord – and secular persons – saw.
But now we can ask our clerics at last, to learn to see more fully. In part, by showing them that even the one thing they know or see – the holy book – itself told them to be practical, to honor real material work, and science. And the material good they produce.
Overcoming Priestly Hierarchical, Magical
Heavenly Spirituality Vs. “World”
The Bible itself was fairly balanced, between mind and matter. But our clerics never noticed that, much. And so for many centuries, we have has a radically over-spiritual priesthood, clerics, trying to impose their fatally limited religion, on everyone else, all too often. And indeed, their over-spirituality often secretly thought that all promises of material rewards, were obsolete and wrong. And they read us Bibles that they though, finally took those promises away in the fine print. By way of metaphoricalization. But we note here now that when the Bible – or better said, its interpreters – did that, then they had two radically different voices … and they were in effect, double-tongued.
The Bible warned about preachers – or deacons – being “double-tongued“:
“With double heart they speak” (Ps. 12.2).
“A double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1.7).
“Hate double-minded men” (Ps. 119.113).
“Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, no indulging in much wine, not greedy for money; they must hold fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience [!]. And let them be tested; then, if they prove themselves blameless, let them serve as deacons” (1 Tim. 3.8).
Our priests typically indirectly address the problem of having two voices. They speak in general of two things, in being double: 1) love of God and spirit, vs. 2) and “mammon” some say; god or money or milk and breasts, some say. But then our ascetics and priests incorrectly deduce that we should therefore all but give up all material things, and be single-mindedly spiritual. But here and elsewhere we note the problems with just going with the parts of the Bible that are one-sidedly spiritual. And indeed, the better priests acknowledge that finally, the real or balanced, final message of the Bible seems to be that there are two acceptable tracks, “voices” – “calling”s they sometimes say – in Christianity; 1) priests and 2) laity. Concerned respectively more with 1) spiritual, or 2) material, things. And both are acceptable to the lord. Indeed, it takes “many gifts,” not just gifts of the spirit, to help mankind survive. We need more than priests; we need practical working people. If all were priests and there were no farmers, we would all starve to death. And if clerics feel that bread would somehow fall out of the sky, they should note that Moses was a practical man, who knew things they do not. Jesus had sources of food, of which his apostles did not know. Ultimately, the LORD knew the value of material work and material goods … even if our over-literate, over-spiritual clerics did not.
To those simple people to whom the local “lord” was perhaps also a God, and whose name for God was “LORD,” such things have been hidden. But to be sure, we can now say, the Bible itself has been largely split; between the at times too crudely materialism of the Old Testament, and the equally exaggerated, rhetorical spirituality of much of the New, and especially St. Paul. And indeed, the Bible itself, Jesus himself, addressed the problem obliquely, particularly when addressing “scribes,” the people most involved in writing, editing the Bible itself. As Jesus noted indeed, the necessity of bringing out the old and the new together; but the difficulties and problems in doing so; in trying to sew new material – like his own doctrines – onto old material; or pouring new wine into old wineskins. Jesus knew that what he was doing was at least superficially “new.” And eventually Jesus said, incompatibilities between the two, would cause the whole to “burst” asunder.
“Clear out the old to make way for the new” (Lev. 26.10).
“Like new wineskins, it is ready to burst” (Job 32.19).
“A new song” (Ps. 96.1).
“A new spirit” (Ezk. 18.31).
“No one tears a piece from a new garment… if he does, he will tear the new … the piece form the new will not match the old” (Luke 5.36).
“No one puts new wine into old wineskins…. if he does, the new wine will burst the skins” (Luke 5.37).
“The new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22.2).
Many, many attempts were made to harmonize or reconcile the two; and to suggest that the new things of Jesus were not really new, but were a distillation of the old. Yet indeed, the combination was a big ungainly and awkward, and protestations of unity were rather clumsy and not entirely consistent; from the attacks on the old Jewish “law” or Torah of Moses – and parts of the Old Testament – on:
“Christ is the end of the law” (Rom. 10.4).
“A new commandment I give to you” (John 13.34).
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.”
“Beloved, I am writing you not new commandment … Yet I am writing you a new commandment” (1 John 2.7, 2.8).
The text itself to be sure, vacillates.
Perhaps for a time, it was thought that putting most new, spiritual-type material in a separate “New Testament,” as opposed to an “Old Testament,” would be good enough. And yet the two major elements of religion – physical promises vs. spirituality – remain sewed together in clumsy fashion, to this very day; scholars often noting apparent incompatibilities between the two, even as it is insisted that they belong together. But indeed finally, we should say here, that indeed, apparent superficial differences have persisted, that do indeed eventually burst the whole Apocalyptically for some; yet even as we see that, we see here and now, a new theology that can tie the two together, or come up with a synthesis of both, and with the present as well: though the Science of God. Which borrows the Materialism of the Old Testament, but combines it now with the spirituality or intellectualism of the New; in any ideal synthesis or reconciliation
of both, with each other. As well as with the most fruitful traditions that were to come after both … in science and technology and practical reason.
In the meantime though? We have two violently contradictory elements in the Bible: 1) countless promises of big physical things, 2) all but denied, canceled, by spiritualization. And worse? In the past, priests thought that only the total cancellation of the physical life and promises of God, would be satisfactory in resolving this.
The Destruction of Heaven Solution
But in fact? It is not the end of the “world,”
as much as the end of the core of priestly over-spirituality, of “Heaven,” that is really the final answer. Finally, priestly spirituality was hugely unbalanced; to the point that it denied far too much of the Bible, and was actually literally physically fatal, in real life (as we saw in the history of asceticism, and James 2.14 ff).
So that amazingly? The real solution to the two conflicting voices, involves not only a shift n physical ideas; but also a huge change in, correction of, the equally extreme and indefensible, priestly spirituality. Indeed, the solution finally involves not just the old destruction of the “world” … but also the destruction of the priestly spiritual “Heaven” as well. God is not fully seen, to be sure, until heaven itself is dissolved:
“Until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished” (Mat. 5.18).
“The heavens will vanish like smoke” (Isa. 51.6).
There is in fact no room for reconciliation, no flexibility, no end to duplicity, equivocation, and doubleness … until in fact, sins are exposed even in the priestly spirituality, Heaven itself.
Fortunately however, 1) one day, heaven itself does dissolve, after all. As it is for many of us, even now. While 2) in many ways, the old ways have fully run out, realized their potential, and “accomplished” all they were capable of doing. So that even now is a good time to begin to see the fuler picture that reconciles it all; and brings us a new heaven that reunites with earth; ending clerical, priestly dualism; ending the rent, after all. Utilizing too, if anything, “the perfect law, the law of liberty” (James 1.25). Though other parts of the Bible contradict that: since “the law made nothing perfect’ (Heb. 7.19).
So let us move past all that, at last. Past both crude materialism, and the crude over-spirituality of clerics. To the “refine”ed, intellectual materialism, of God’s science. Which alone finds the real unity between the old split dualisms: between a) heaven and earth, b) Old and New testaments, c) word and world, d) ideals and realities; e) religion and science. And that alone knows how to get the foretold ultimate unity – heaven on earth – thereby.
In the meantime though, the mentality of the vast majority of priests, preachers, ministers, is hopelessly split and one-sided; priests are radically unbalanced, over-spiritual, and have almost no practical minds or spirit at all. So that indeed, heaven and spirit have seemed hopelessly detached from, above, the world.
The solution to “double”ness at last presents itself here, in the Science of God. But until our priests learn this, in the meantime, we will continue to have, as the alleged core of life and religion , two voices … in conflict. And a Bible, a religion indeed that lends itself to be clearly, schizophrenically split between two opposing camps. We today, from the preachers’ sermons, are given a Bible that, if voicing two opinions at least … never quite reconciles the two, very well at all. Except only very, very tentatively, in Ecclesiastes; a “season” for everything; and Paul’s “many gifts”?
Indeed, the Bible itself contains many hints of how word and world, spirit and flesh, are to be reconciled. But those reconciliations are frequently overlooked; in a Bible that is often, in the hands of priests today, radically “double,” even a duplicity. The Bible in the wrong hands, has constantly been presented in a form that makes it seem hopelessly spirit, duplicitous, and self-contradictory. It has for example, 1) appeared to promise huge physical things up front …; but then 2) allows a priest to become rather dishonest and sly, all but removing those promises in the finer print, metaphors. By way of tricky language that ordinary people can’t understand. So that in the hands of dualists, or spiritualists, the Bible becomes a duplicity; a bit of sleight-of-hand, with a double face and double heart.
Indeed, no doubt many priests are dualists, who secretly feel that parts of the Bible were too materialistic; whereas their duty as they see it, is to advance only what they regard as the higher, spiritual side of it. Thus they feel justified in neglecting all material responsibilities too. But we have found here that this typical priestly sense – which indeed, created “Religion” as we know it – was not true to the Bible itself, nor to real life. Indeed, priestly hyper spirituality is also furthermore, physically debilitating and even fatal.
Fortunately though, we have begun to note here that the Bible itself does go entirely spiritual; not even in the New Testament. The fact is, it does not entirely remove all physical promises and goals. And furthermore, it finally offered a kind of knowledge that really gets real material results: science.
And what about those metaphors? Which seemed to so many, to try to spiritualize everything? In fact, a way to get past even this, is by showing here that … in fact, the old promises of material rewards, “wonders,” are still good. By showing that … the old miracles, were metaphors for physical events.
They old metaphors we will show, are not actually just spiritual; they are about something physically real. Just exactly how this works is hard to describe here. But briefly: “fire from heaven” is a metaphor, in effect, not for spiritual things, but for natural things like meteors … and burning oil and pitch and so forth, poured over castle walls.
Therefore we will find, the Bible is both metaphorical … but also physically true. And true in useful, technological ways. Indeed therefore, even the old wonders are real; just real in a way that our preachers have not been able until now, to describe. Indeed, only the Science of God, really gets at the fuller picture of God, and ends priestly duplicity.
Many preachers to be sure, might not like such “naturalistic” interpretations of miracles; but we will have been showing here that their own “spiritual” re-interpretations are infinitely more immoral, duplicitous, and evil … and literally, physically, deadly. Whereas in fact, naturalism leads finally to real science, technology … and real prosperity and wonders. So that amazingly enough, the naturalistic interpretation is from God; the “spiritual” one is not.
Soon then, we will show how all the problems of miracles, can be fixed. By way of a solution far more effective and honest – and materially “fruitful” – than traditional priestly duplicity and semantic sleight-of-hand. Which was left often promising material things … but then trying to simply remove them by various tricks.
There is a good solution to the split, schizophrenic religion or life, that priests have given us; and it is the Science of God, as described here and above. But in the meantime, to be sure, for thousands of years, we are left with a rather duplicitous text, or clergy. One that often promises big physical wonders … but then changes the rules, and offers only spiritual things. A strategy that was not only dishonest, but criminal; in that when we are promised physical bread, but only spiritual “wind” is delivered, many millions literally suffered, and starved to death. So that even our priests’ “spirit”s were bad. We will need to go on and try to find a better spirit; one that delivers real material things, as promised, after all. And in a timely way. While in contrast, those priests who offered us other things, while promising to be the essence of all that is good and holy, and to lead us to “prosperity” and “life,” actually lead all too many of us, lead billions, to real physical poverty, disease, and starvation. As St. James merely began to see; and as we will be showing more fully, later on.
Therefore indeed, it was at times with a sense of at least regret – and then even moral outrage and horror, and desire for revenge – that some people in the Bible, discovered or suspected that all the old promises of physical wonders are being slyly retracted, converted to metaphors for spiritual things only:
“The word of the LORD came to me: Mortal, set your face toward the south, preach against the south…. I will kindle a fire in you ….’ Ah Lord GOD! they are saying of me, ‘Is he not a maker of allegories?’ (Ez. 20.49 NRSV).
“The word of the LORD came to me: Mortal, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries'” (Ez. 21.2, NRSV).
Priests have thought that any conflict between spirit and matter, was resolved by … a radical spirituality, that attempts to destroy the validity of all physical things. But this “solution” has had far too many literally fatal flaws in it. Indeed, if our Bibles are metaphors for just spiritual things, then we have been deceived by our priests and holy men. And it was not just a harmless “white” lie; but “whitewashing” a very, very, very black lie; one that lead many to poverty and death. As noted in James 2.14, say.
If the Bible or religion were ever split, therefore? Then now we at last have a workable solution in sight. One not quite as spectacular or “high” seeming, as what our priests proudly imagined or promised. But far better than what they actually delivered. While after all, as for the “high”ness and loftiness of spirituality? The Bible itself told us that in the End, all that is “high” or “lofty” is to be brought down; even the angels in Heaven are to fall. Fall because of longstanding sins. Fall not because they abandoned spirituality; but because they failed to abandon it. To abandon their limited, fatal over-spirituality, long ago.
Solution? Say the Bible is …
Both Spiritual And Literal/Physical?
For many years, spirituality has been thought to be the last word in religion. The dictatorship of monistic over-spirituality, the destruction of the whole “world” by priests, has been thought to be the final answer to everything. But we have been showing that as regards this effort to disappear the old physical promises – their cure is worse than the disease. And indeed, our priests’ solution is not even Biblical. Fortunately indeed, our preachers’ ascetic, Gnosticising spiritualization never quite totally took over and re-wrote the Bible itself. Though optional spiritual equivalents to miracles, were systematically introduced even in the Bible itself – especially, that was part of the main effort of the New Testament – the Bible never firmly or unequivocally stated, that the old promises of physical things, wonders, were therefore, totally negated, or canceled. At worst, the Bible presented spirituality – but only as one option among two or three. Now we merely and actually, had three choices, out of our methods of understanding of the Bible: our priests could tell us we were promised either 1) physical miracles; or 2) spiritual things … or 3) both.
For centuries indeed, most preachers held on to elements of physical promises; even (unfortunately) to promises of “miracles.” And if today, preachers stress spiritual things, since they can see spiritual things accomplished? Still, while de-emphasizing promises physical wonders, our priests however, usually don’t quite explicitly renounce or denounce promises of physical wonders. And indeed, it is good that our priests retained some sense of the importance of the physical material world; since as St. James began to show, the thoroughgoing spirituality of priests in the end, neglects physical reality – to the point that it is literally fatal.
Indeed, ancient ascetics were often so convinced of the unimportance of their own physical “flesh” or “bodies,” in this “world” of mere physical things, that, eager to get to spiritual heaven, they “fasted,” did not eat physical food … to the point that they sometimes died of starvation. So that finally, however popular spirituality is, it should not be used very strongly or often. Since excessive priestly spirituality is debilitating, and literally fatal, when pursued rigorously. Like many medicines, spirituality is good in small doses .. but a fatal overdose, in larger amounts. So what we need in religion, or religious leaders, is less spirituality .. and far, far, far more science and practicality.
In ancient times, our “lord”s or their representatives, were practical men here on earth, our lords and gods were not just religious, but also practical “kings.” And in those days, our lords got real material results, here on earth; and following the Lord often meant very real, material rewards, here on earth. Moses for example, was an agricultural overseer, it seems, trained in practical things by the Pharaoh; not just a “religious” leader. And no doubt, he knew how to cross tidal inlets at low tide, and so forth; to escape pursuing armies. The practical/technological knowledge of our earlier, more well-rounded lords, would have seemed magical or miraculous to many of their followers, who knew nothing of how such things worked. And indeed, how things were achieved in the world, became more and more a remote subject to priests, as Israel was militarily occupied by other nations, and explicitly Jewish ways were not allowed to have practical governmental roles any more; at this time, the old ways became separated from their larger meaning and sense … and effectiveness. Jewishness became reduced to a mere “religion,” not a way of living all of life. Eventually indeed, practical science and government became separate fields. And religion was devoted to what we left: ethics or morality, and metaphysics. Which in themselves, could achieve rather less obvious results, than what had been said in the name of the Lord in the past. Though huge things, works from the past were still claimed. Though they had been achieved by a “full”er religion; one which was united with practical knowledge and work and science.
Moses was told by a priest, that Moses could not, as a practical matter, do all the work of a ruler; and that he needed to appoint priests or judges, to do some of his work. But when Moses farmed out the literate/judicial part of his work, his job, the job of a Lord or King, to priests, the division of labor increased. As we suggest (from Rousseau?), as the various specialized element of society, the different professions, began to drift apart from the others .. in the end, no one had the whole picture any more. (As we will see in our writings on Clerics, and Interdisciplinary Study). Our clerics were no longer in intimate contact with the fuller world of the lord, the holy king; they focuses on keeping the books for the king – and they became increasingly bookish, and mental or over-spiritual; and somewhat ignorant of the physical side of the lord and his responsibilities. And so for many centuries, our priests claimed to speak for a Lord … but they did not really know the Lord well enough. And they were actually, speaking from an increasingly limited perspective, of clerics. People who thought that to get by, you just learned to read and write the sacred books for the Lord .. and then the Lord mysteriously – even by miracle – made bread appear on your plate. Little knowing or seeing, really, the Lord directing farmers to grow bread; millers to mill it; bakers to bake it; messengers and delivery men to deliver it. From their increasingly narrow perspective, life had come for clerics, incomprehensible; a surreal, supernatural melange of disconnected events; because they could not see it all; could not collect the dots. Religion having become religion “manqué”; half of what it was, or less. It saw the literate, scholarly, mental side of life and God … but not the physical side. And thus deprived of fullness? Religion, in the hands of clerics, became horribly one-sided and ineffective. Though it still promised the results, the fruits of its former self, it was not incapable of getting or delivering results as grand as once promised; since it had become “divorced” from its whole, fuller self. And was incapable of carrying out the full picture, the full plan.
But while most of our priests long ago retreated to a tiny part of the whole, and lost sight of indeed the better half of religion? While they could see good only in spirit, and not in physical things? While they denied the side of the God that “fills all things,” in heaven “and earth”? While they denied the God who made the physical universe and world, and said it was “good”? To “day,” at last, we can begin to reconstruct the two halves of God and life … and put them back together. We can understand how a true “Lord” would have both religious, moral knowledge … but also even more, practical and scientific knowledge. And thus? We are now able to see the Lord more fully than priests have. And out of that? We can expect greater results than priests have had: we should be able to show priests, how to get not just “spiritual” results, but real material results, here on this physical earth again at last. Indeed, perhaps one hybrid spiritual/practical person, understanding particularly religious science, might well emerge on this earth again; to be far more productive, than his predecessors. To be a truly productive lord, or Christened leader. One that could bring real prosperity and a real kingdom, at last. A kingdom not just in our imagination or hopes or spirit; but a real place, here on this physical earth.
Religion in the past, was radically split; split from real life, and split even in itself. As its spirituality failed radically to honestly deal with the physical promises of God. But here and now, we are at last beginning to see a fuller theology; one that dissolves the old, destructive, limited paradigm of “spirituality”; in exchange for the fuller picture, of God. Acknowledging at last his physical side, through the Science of God.
To be sure though? Learning to see sins and errors in holy men, and in their very spirituality? Is … heaven shattering to be sure. Yet to be sure? The Bible itself told us that the very core of spirituality, Heaven itself … is supposed to “dissolve” one “day,” after all.
As we are beginning to conceptually see our old spiritual Heaven dissolving … even here and now.
On Ethics of
Metaphors, Parables –
And Misleading, Exploiting Sheep,
To Their Deaths
Naturalistic Readings of Metaphors
But what about centuries of arguments, trying to hint that the physical promises of the Bible and God, should be simply abandoned; or turned into just metaphors, for spiritual things? What do we say about all those arguments – seemingly hinted at in the Bible itself – that we might take the old promises of physical things, to be metaphors for spiritual things? There are many answers to this problem. One is simply that after all, the Bible offered a metaphorical reading of many things; but it did not demand that this was the only possible reading. Indeed, the old physical promises remained open, for most. Though to be sure, the physical promises in turn were misread as “miracles.”
So how finally, do we deal with the two great problems of traditional biblical interpretations: 1) apparent promises of physical miracles, that do not seem reliable in real life; and 2) a thoroughgoing spiritualization or metaphoricalization of them … that turns out to be literally physically fatal? Especially, what do we do with all the times the Bible supported metaphors: does that mean that the Bible itself finally demanded spiritualization, as the final resolution of all problems? In fact, we can show that the Bible allowed a metaphorical reading of miracles .. that reads them not however as metaphors for “spiritual” things only. But as being in effect, metaphors for … obscure but real physical, Natural History events.
How do we deal with miracles, and metaphors, parables? For many years, preachers have sermonized that if we don’t see many physical miracles today, then we should fix this … by reading all Biblical accounts of miracles, as being actually, not literal; but metaphorical. As metaphors for spiritual things. But today, here and now, it turns out that in turn, this very thoroughgoing, excessive over-spirituality of many monks, clerics, ascetics, even of much of St. Paul, was unbalanced, and physically fatal. So? We will need far, far more materialism, the science of God, to recreate again a theology, a way of seeing things, that is materially responsible and effective again. And, regarding biblical references to metaphors, to “figures” of speech and “parables” and so forth? To deal with them … we might now simply say that it is useful to now learn to read old promises of wonders, perhaps, as metaphors; but just not as metaphors for spiritual things. But as metaphors for .. material things in nature and technology. As we will see, here.
This kind of seemingly “naturalistic” reading, has long been known. To partially see how this works, you might consider, first, the parable of the “talents,” or units of money. Which over-spiritual priests tell us is just about being morally good; but is really also about having good business sense, after all. Then consider Ezekiel’s fire from heaven .. which might well have been burning oil poured on the heads of enemies. As it turns out, many “miracles” were better said, technological wonders. And as it turns out, even “immortality” turns out to be something we can now describe in terms of Natural Science. As it turns out, the Bible is true, both physically and metaphorically; especially when read as metaphor for … obscure but real physical realities.
This kind of reading, has long been known; it is not “new.” But priests have rejected it, vainly, proudly; convinced of the eternal superiority of their own hierarchical or even monistic spirituality. But here and now, we are noting first, the great sins and errors, in their Spirituality itself. First, what spiritual preachers believe, is inconsistent with the Bible itself: the Bible on the surface clearly promised physical things. If it switched? Then we have a deceitful Bible: one that made huge physical promises … but then slyly withdrew or semantically “twist”ed those promises in the fine print. But this means that we now however, have an immoral, deceitful document; or a false religion, false priests. As indeed, many in the Bible itself began to hint. If we have a document that seems to promise miracles up front, but then takes it away in the fine print? That document is dishonest. Then we have a bible that 1) deceives us; that offers up mere illusions, delusions, lies. 2) Even if it finally tells the truth in the fine print, that is a belated admission; too late to prevent deception. The two-leveled Bible, that ends in spirituality? Is a dishonest Bible. And those who follow that reading of it, often end up in duplicity.
3) Indeed, sensing moral, ethical sins in a Bible that speaks with “double” or two “tongues,” indeed, there were therefore several lengthy discussions of the ethics of using “parables” and so forth; discussion even in the Bible itself. a) Over and over again, the Apostles ask Jesus about why he uses “parables,” for example. And at times Jesus is indeed said to use them in a way some might say is deceptive; to send one kind of message to the people, while telling his apostles something else more “plain”ly in private.
Yet b) we have seen there are problems, with a double Bible. With any religious leader that allows himself to appear to promise physical things, but did not deliver real material goods. But only thoughts, spirit. Indeed, there are two or three major ethical problems with this attempt. The first is that aa) it is deceitful. It is clear that the Bible, as written, often really did promise very, very material things; not just “spiritual” things. So that it was dishonest to change that without really telling anyone. Or, bb) if it had not really intended, even from the start, to offer physical things in the first place, then it had long delivered a very, very “dece”ptive, “illusory” appearance; one that seemed to offer what it did not. It had enticed millions into following it by giving the false appearance that it promised real material rewards … when deep down, in the fine print, it didn’t really offer that. While we find in addition that cc) the spirituality that was offered in stead of miracles … was therefore itself gotten by dishonest means, deceit and duplicity.
4) But worst of all? The dd) the final actual product of spiritual duplicity, we found, proved literally fatal in actual practice. (As St. James began to see). As will be increasingly seen by us, there are major moral and practical sins, evil things, in the spiritualization. For example, in point of fact, we and St. James find, people need physical, material things; they need real actual food, or “bread.” And a religion that merely promises physical sustenance, but only pretends, that delivers only words, “spiritual” things, does not deliver enough; it leaves us starving to death:
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not work? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warned and filled; nowithsanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith [a spiritual fruit], if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2.14-17; not “being alone,” cf. “faith alone” AKJV)
As St. James was to note, in the historical timeframe right after Jesus, it was already apparent, that there were severe problems with a new spiritual religion, that claimed to have “all” we need in life, but that never took care of our material needs (see below). The problem was that this religion was giving us nice thoughts, ideas, spirits … but not food. So that we are lead by spirituality finally, ultimately, not to material prosperity, but to starvation.
5) Indeed, it was because some sensed literally fatal problems with spirituality itself, that some of the extreme forms of spirituality – like Gnosticism – were later rejected by the Catholic Church. Though to be sure 6), spirituality, extreme priestly “hate” for the material “world,” monkish asceticism (which often “fasted” people to death), has remained. So that, 7) as foretold, a “false spirit” began to dominate religion, Christianity, and the world. Even in the very first days of Christianity, there was already a “false spirit” – a false spirituality – deeply embedded in the very core of institutional Christianity itself; as indeed, the mainspring of its priesthood.
How bad was this early error, in the Church? Sensing these and other sins in the over-spirituality of some early Christians and most priests, 8) the Bible itself began to warn about sins in even our holiest men; about even False Christs and so forth. And 9) many other early critics outside Christianity, came to warn there was something deceitful, and deadly in Christianity: a) Pliny called the Christianity of his own time, a “perverse and extravagant superstition” in part in a letter dated about AD 110 to the emperor; Tacitus also called it a “deadly superstition” (p. 2, Annals). b) Suetonius also called Christianity a “wicked superstition” (in New Eusebuis, p. 3. See Introduction to the New Testament, by Crapps, McKnight, Smith, pp. 50-53).
Many called early Christianity “mischievous,” or something similar; 10) believing spiritual Christianity to be a clever deception, delusion, to tame the masses. Specifically, promises of “spirituality” and a future spiritual Heaven, were said to be false promises, designed to make ignorant people, follow their bad leaders, their “Lord,” slavishly, even when they were starving to death. When our lords failed to guide us to prosperity, when they led us to starvation instead, they covered this up, by promising us pie in the sky: invisible rewards in our spirit, and in Heaven. If we died of starvation, while following priests? We were told that didn’t matter; there would be rewards in spirit, and Heaven. But what if the “spirits” we feel, are just the foretold delusions, and illusions? Just empty promises? Indeed, many like Nietzsche and Marx came to hint, Christianity was an all-too-convenient dodge, for the “wolf”ish and exploitative leaders of the world. When following our clerics and lords, at times did not bring us the promised prosperity, and miracles? Thanks to spirituality, now the Lords had a great excuse: they had a religion that said that even if following clerics and kings religiously, did not lead us to prosperity, but even to starvation? That didn’t matter: because our invisible “spirit” was growing strong and immortal; and would live after death, in immortal spiritual Heaven. Thus? We were told to follow the LORD, and his designated earthly representatives, faithfully, even when they did not give material rewards, miracles, for that. We followed, in expectation of later, invisible rewards; in a spirit, in Heaven. This kept the masses following their leaders … even unto death; loyally, faithfully. Even when their leaders did not deliver the physical wonders they had promised. But if so? Then it has occurred to many, that our spiritual Religion might just be a simple lie, or deception: Marx calling religion the “opiate of the people”; Nietzsche calling it a “slave morality.” Offering heaven after death – or pie in the sky as they say – as an excuse not to pay the people an honest wage. Indeed, 11) some scholars say Christianity is at best, a “white lie”; offering false promises of heaven, and mollifying dreams, to keep them submissive to their lords, even when they were being badly lead, and starving to death.
Was spiritual Christianity a massive deceit, offering the people a grand illusion, a “strong delusion,” in order to keep them working slavishly for no wages? In fact, the Bible itself allowed (above) that the whole world might be deceived, by false things in religion, “false spirits.” And 12) related to that: “empty words,” “false dreams,” etc.. Indeed, “the spirit will dissolve like empty air” (as one apocryphal source said; Wis. 2.3). Is “spirituality” then the foretold, false spirit? And the enchanter, sorcerer? That makes us believe “dreams,” “delusions”; which are after all, things that are only in the mind, or “spirit” – and not in physical reality.
Spirituality, many have said, is just a scam. Designed to make us accept follow bad leaders – based on mere empty promises, ideas, mental sensations, empty dreams. Which in fact, the Bible itself warned about.
The Bible seems to contain both rather literal- looking promises of physical things; but then also, metaphorical readings of things. That seem to suggest that apparent promises of physical things, are actually metaphors for spiritual things. But if so? Then this presents lots of ethical problems. If, for example the Bible is partially spiritual, then that is a problem – first in that, as we have seen, extreme spirituality is in itself, fatal. Then too? If the Bible equivocates between literal and metaphorical meanings, that is a problem; because it is “double,” or duplicitous. It appears to offer one thing … while slyly substituting another. In either case, it seems that our traditional Christianity itself, is perhaps the false religion the Bible itself warned about.
The Bible Itself, on Linguistic Ambiguity, of “Tongues,” etc.
If the Bible has at least two layers of meaning – literal and metaphorical – in it, could that just be an innocent sort of mistake?
13) Some elements of the Bible itself suggest that to be sure, language, “tongues,” are just complicated. And that they have always lead themselves to misunderstandings, or manipulations. Long these lines? We might well consider Gen. 11; where the Bible warned that indeed, our language, our “tongues,” were confusing. Though curiously, it is said that at one time, all the world spoke one language, and everyone understood each other well. But that for various reasons, the Lord, and/or his angels, deliberately confused our tongues. At Babel:
“Now the whole earth had one language and the same words…. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens…. And the LORD said, ‘Look, they are one people, and they have all one language … nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there …. Therefore it was called Babel, because the LORD confused the language of all the earth….” (Gen. 11.1-9)
Today and for some time, different parts of the world speak different languages: French, English, Spanish, etc.. Other parts of the Bible noted that even within our own language or “tongue,” there are confusing elements, like metaphors, “figures” of speech, and so forth. And? All this has created problems for humankind: different peoples have found it hard to communicate with each other. Yet curiously, incredibly, here the Bible suggests that our languages were deliberately confused by the Lord (or the lord and someone else; “us” it seems). Our languages or “tongues” were confused in order, it is said, to keep the people from … uniting, and being prosperous. But to be sure, this is a rather strange idea: God here apparently deliberately hindering humankind from understanding, and prosperity; God deliberately confusing our languages, and our thoughts. In order to prevent us from being more effective.
Why would God himself deliberately confuse our language – and our thoughts? To guide us not to prosperity, but to confusion, and relative poverty? That is a very, very strange idea; rather inconsistent with the rest of the Bible. But a) perhaps then after all, this was done not even so much by the Lord, as by other bad ones around him; the text has God speak of letting “us” do something. So that others besides the Lord confused tongues it seems. Perhaps indeed again, Satan was there next to the lord, causing this, as in the book of Job.
To b) be sure, if confusing men is evil, then in Old Testament theology, God is pictured ordering, directing, evil.
And indeed? Even 2) confirming this, other parts of the New Testament, have Jesus himself, for example, hinting that our languages were made complicated, things were expressed in ambiguous ways, by metaphors, parables, deliberately. In Matthew 13, it is said by Jesus that languages are complicated by metaphors, figures of speech, and parables; so that the Lord can do speak in “one way and in two” as it says elsewhere. To do something that we would not necessarily consider good today: to hide the real truth, from common or vulgar people. Or, variously, it was claimed that the common people’s own ignorance, caused them to misunderstand metaphors, and higher messages.
The disciples to be sure, questioned Jesus closely on all this. And Jesus’ answer, in one reading, suggests that language is complicated, -to keep vulgar people from discovering the real message. Presumably to keep them trapped in illusions, and therefore incapable of making more trouble. That seemed to be the content of Genesis, above. And Jesus’ statement can also be read that way, in one reading, too:
“Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ And he answered them, ‘to you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it had not been given. For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. That is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. With them indeed is fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah which says: ‘You shall indeed hear but never understand ….'” (Mat. 13.10-14).
“Therefore, God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false ….” (2 Thess. 2.11).
To be sure, it seems very, very strange to today’s readers, to think of God himself, deliberately deceiving people; to make them believe false things. Many think that a good God cannot deceive people or deliberately make them believe lies. Though that seems the strongest reading of Genesis; and to a lesser extent, Mat. 13. (Though Mat. 13 can be read too, as Jesus telling us he speaks in metaphors, in order to make his meaning clearer to others). In any case though, finally? It seems that whatever the reason … in either case, God allows language to be confusing.
14) In fact, at times God, the Lord, even appears to have commanded priests and prophets to be dishonest, it seems to some. God even sends “evil” spirits to confuse us. This is one of the possible meanings of many ambiguous, polysemic phrases, like the following:
“Become shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter…. I will cause men to fall each into the hand of his shepherd … and I will deliver none. Take the implements of a worthless shepherd” (Zech. 11.6, 15-16).
Tell lies, deliver empty consolations and “enchantments” (Isa. 47.12).
“An evil spirit from the LORD tormented him” (1 Sam. 16.14-16; cf. 2 Sam. 24.16).
To many believers, who believe in an all-good lord, it seems impossible that God would work with evil. And tell others to lie and deceive. To allow even holy men to lie and cheat. And yet there are many times when God seems to do this; and even “sends evil” to punish people, the Bible says. Especially, God loves to present evil in its favorite disguise; to allow evil, even Satan, to come to us … disguised as a holy man, the Bible warned; a wolf or in “sheep’s’ clothing.” (Cf. the phrase, “Judas goat”). To be sure? In the end, false shepherds are punished, it seems (Zech. 11.17).
Yet? It seems in many passages, that God often sends evil to us, to confuse us. In further punishment for past sins, it seems. Though surely, many feel, God would want us to be totally clear-thinking … so that we can figure out how good God is.
However strange this theology may be, in any case: the Bible seems to allow it. It seems to allow God to lie, and/or command others to lie, many would say. And specifically, to confused our languages; and thus confuse our understanding, itself. This in part, seems to be regarded as just punishment for past sins; and to prevent bad people from being more effective. Though at the same time, it seems likely that very same mental confusion, no doubt prevents them from finding God, as well.
15) Whatever the reasons may be, that our languages are confused, whatever the reason, the Bible’s language is often not clear. And specifically? The New Testament’s language particularly, is very often undecided between literal and metaphorical, material and spiritual interpretations. And to be sure, parts of the New Testament attempt to offer metaphorical readings of physical things. Even old promises of a) longer physical “life,” or b) being raised from the dead, for example, were given metaphorical, spiritual equivalents:
“And … the guards trembled and became like dead men” (Mat. 28.4).
“Some said, ‘Your daughter is dead…. But ignoring what they said, Jesus said … The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside…. And immediately the girl got up and walked… And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat” (Mark. 5.35-43).
“He considered that God was able to rise men even from the dead; hence, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Essau…” (Heb. 11.19).
So finally, giving this apparently deliberate embrace of linguistic confusion, today we indeed have a very, very convoluted Bible, whose language is very hard to ever nail down. If our Bibles at first seems to promise us long physical “life,” there is however, now fine print here. To tell us that being “dead” might just mean, being dead-spirited, or in disrepute. And coming to “life” might just mean … learning to see a given spiritual position. (Or earlier: being an obedient “sheep” following a “shepherd,” might be literally fatal.)
Given so much confusion and complexity, it is hard or impossible therefore, ever to tell exactly what our preachers really intended to say. Though it was said that Jesus at times spoke more “plain”ly to his apostles, it is not entirely certain that even they fully understood him. As we will see, at times, even apostles like Peter, turned against Jesus, against the right understanding of him and his words (as in Mat. 16.23 ff).
It would seem counterproductive for God, Christ, to deliberately confuse us. But there it is.
16) Yet to be sure, if the Lord himself allowed (and even helped?) Satan to deceive us for a time, finally, because of such ethical problems with that characterization no doubt, finally the Bible itself said that one “day,” this problematic religion, even that of “Israel,” would be cleaned up. Our oldtime religion, our heaven itself, would need an Apocalyptic “house”-cleaning; a clarification, reform, “refining.” Specifically, some “false spirits” and “lies,” magician’s “illusions” and so forth, a “false Christ,” would have to be dispelled. With a) some special antagonism specifically, we might suggest, on that “day,” toward those who would perceive all religion as (spiritual?)allegories. As it seems (at times; in one reading) in the following:
“The house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them, silver and bronze…. I will put you in and melt you….” (Ez. 22.18-22).
“And the word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, set your face toward the south, preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb; say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the LORD: Thus said the Lord God, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree; the blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. All flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.’ Then I said, ‘Ah Lord GOD! They are saying of me, ‘Is he not a maker of allegories’? The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries …. and say to the land of Israel, Thus said the LORD: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath …'” (Ez. 20.45-21.3).
“And will cut off from you both righteous and wicked… against all flesh” (Ez. 21. 3 NRSV).
“Because you have all become dross … I will gather you and blow upon you with the fire of my wrath… As silver is melted in a furnace, so you ….” (Ez 22.18-19-22; also Mal. 2-3).
Parts of the Bible often speak against “double-tongued” speech. Jesus is said to speak “plain” one day. And here it seems that God is angry at those who claim his prophet Ezekiel at least, merely speaks spiritual allegories.
To be sure though, the language of the Bible is extremely complex and obscure. In the above passage for example: b) who is to be refined? Who exposed? Those who used metaphors … or those who were confused by them? Those who see them … or those who do not? Finally the Bible itself does not offer any clear word here, on the status of allegories. Though in one reading, he seems angry at those who accuse Ezekiel of using them.
And indeed, we are often told that only God himself, knows what he means; and we cannot know who in the end, will be found to have been bad: those who make and read allegories – or those who do not see and understand them. Our priests, our preachers in general in any case, have assumed that they themselves are the the favored agents of the LORD. Yet the Bible is clear that all have sinned – and it will be even especially the sons of Israe – and even the sons of specifically “Levi,” the priests – that will need to be submitted to the fire, and refined (in Mal. 2.1-3.5).
So that it is not sure what the position of the Bible itself is, on metaphorical, figurative language. We are told to learn to read it; in Proverbs, to understand things and be wise. But? Other times the Bible speaks against “double tongued” words. And in at least one reading, against ambiguous, metaphorical “allegories.” And if at times God sends confused tongues to confuse us? One “day,” he is supposed to clear all that up, and speak “plain.”
And to be sure, in the end, the sword of God may fall on those who went too far with specifically spiritual allegories, after all. God himself is clearly not above striking down his closest associates; even those in heaven itself. Even the “shepherd” standing right next to God himself:
“Awake, O sword, again my shepherd, against the man who is my associate.… Strike the shepherd” (Zech. 13.7 NRSV).
“All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall wither like a leaf withering on a vine, or fruit withering on a fig tree. When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens, lo, it will descend” (Isa. 34. 4-5 NRSV).
“Behold, a day of the LORD is coming” (Zech. 14.1 RSV).
“But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire…. He will purify the sons of Levi [the tribe of priests] and refine them….” (Mal. 3.2-3).
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you…. For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4.12, 17).
Perhaps, it seems, God allows allegories and so forth. He even allows a moderate spirituality. But God begins to note problems, in those who see everything as especially, spiritual allegory.
But Miracles Were
Real Science and Technology and Nature
There are two major problems in traditional Christianity; problems with its two major pillars. First, there are problems with its 1) extravagant promises of miracles – even “all” and “whatever” we “ask” – that don’t seem to come fully true for us, in our own time. But then too? There are 2) also problems with the alleged solution to this: reading the old promises of physical things, simply as spiritual metaphors. Partially since there are problems with spirituality itself. So how do we fix this?
Things thought to be “miracles,” in fact, are best read as: not aa) miracles, or bb) spiritual allegories. But cc) … in effect, allegories of what was considered advanced technology and science in ancient times.
As it turns out, there is indeed, another way to read ostensible miracles, and allegories too: as it turns out, many things which ancients read as “miracles,” and that later ancients read as spiritual “allegories,” were actually … garbled accounts of some early science and technology (as well as things in nature), which many other early men did not understand, and which they saw as supernatural. Which can be seen, particularly in the case of Ezekiel (cf. Mark Twain’s, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court).
Remember indeed (from above), that many accounts of ancient miracles by the likes of Ezekiel especially, look very much like a man working technological wonders. The account of Ezekiel making “water” burn in fact, looks very much like someone using alcohol, or some other flammable liquid that looks like water. In what is depicted as a very, very physical event:
“Elijah then came near to all the people, and said … ‘If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him… You call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the LORD; the god who answers by fire is indeed God.‘ All the people answered, ‘Well spoken!’ …. The prophets of Baal … called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, ‘O Baal, answer us!’ But there was no voice…. At noon Elijah mocked them….
And he said, ‘Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood.’ And he said, ‘Do it a second time’; and they did it a second time. And he said, ‘Do it a third time’; and they did it a third time. And the water round around about the altar, and filled the trench also with water….Then Elijah said …. ‘O LORD … answer me, so that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back. Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. When the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The LORD indeed is God.'” (1 Kings 18.21, 24, 26, 30, 36 ff. NRSV; see also 2 Kings 1.10-11; probably something like Greek fire, or volatile alcohol, etc., many known at the time, and used to pour over enemies from castles).
There are many things in the Bible, that appear to be miracles, but might have been technological wonders for the day, that simpler people misunderstood. In ancient times, the time of Ezekiel, there were some “wise men” who knew about volatile liquids, like alcohol, different kinds of clearer oils, and so forth. It was easily possible for wise men as early as the time of Ezekiel for example, to pour a seemingly clear “liquid” or “water” on logs … and then see it burn spectacularly, from the smallest spark. While indeed, many ordinary people in the then-advanced civilizations of the day, used burning oil lamps to light their way at night.
Likewise indeed, another one or two of the alleged supernatural miracles of Ezekiel particularly, seem very much to be explainable in terms of the very same kind of technology; the use of burning liquids. In this case, “fire from heaven” at first seems to be supernatural miracle to priests who know little of science and history. But indeed, pouring burning pitch or oil or similar stuff (see later, “Greek fire”), over castle walls, was a fairly well known way of defending yourself from your enemies, even in ancient times. With that in mind, read another E-prophet’s “wonders.” Here, Elijah, note, is on a “hill” … and is in a position to himself, pour things down on others from what appear to them to be the heavens, the skies:
“He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on top of a hill, and said to him, ‘O man of God, the king says, Come down.’ But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, ‘If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.’ Then fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty” (2 Kings 1.9-10)
Therefore, the next major way of interpreting alleged “miracles” from the past, is not that they are 1) just metaphors for spiritual events … but that 2) they are garbled or misunderstood accounts of real events from technology and science (and nature). In the case of many accounts of “fire from heaven” for example, these accounts might be about things from Natural History. First, things from nature – like meteor showers say. Or second, things from natural science … like burning oil. Or burning other liquids known even to ancients, especially to ancient wise men.
If there seem to be few “miracles” today then? Perhaps they were most technological and natural “wonders” all along. While priests, by falsely separating Religion from Science, cut themselves off from the better half of God; and from the knowledge of how to make the “wonders” that God promised. Not by pure action of mind or spirit, prayers – as priests mistakenly thought. But by in large part, practical knowledge, work, and science. Which we will eventually show, are the better, fuller half of God.
So that in the End we do indeed, come to see a second and better, fuller appearance, to God and Good. (Note that “god” is probably etymologically from “good”; though “good” is the longer, fuller expression thereof?).
One Good Spirit or Two:
Negotiation, Talking, Before Physical Violence
Here and elsewhere, we will favor a physical explanation for things; explanations verifiable by Science. In any case though, it is important to note, that ultimately we will see a kind of reality to “spirits”; as ideas, in our minds, in a material brain and so forth. Spirits are like software configurations in a computer; they have a physical reality, like a pattern of electrons in a material substrate. So that, with repeated warnings about spirits and over-spirituality in general, we will finally see there is a physical reality, to spirit, at times. And for that matter, regarding the “Apocalypse,” the Destruction of Heaven, these are things that are best worked out not in physical reality – where they would be immensely destructive. But for once, in our imagination or spirit. Indeed in any case, there is a massive, mental or spiritual change, a rude, shattering awakening that happens, as we attain “wisdom” and “science,” and become “mature”; when we begin to see problems in our holiest men, and their false promises. And then begin to see another, more plausible reality to many ancient miracles (as narrated by Plato, 350 BCE, when he spoke of “Boreas.”) And indeed, it seems that the illusion-, heaven- shattering Apocalypse is related above to … in part, indeed, exposure of the Bible as allegory. Or beyond that … the insistence, finding, that … such events were often not spiritual allegories at all.
Indeed, this exposure is a disillusioning and painful moment for all. To find early science and technology behind many alleged miracles, is at first disillusioning for both 1) those who thought God worked supernatural miracles, and for 2) spiritual priests, who insisted that these things were not physical, but were just about spiritual things, were spiritual allegories or metaphors. Yet to be sure, we should note here, we are finding that such moments were both physical and spiritual; while we are not disproving that such things happened, but proving that indeed, such events could well have happened; proving that even, with science.
So in effect, we are not “debunking” religion here… but we are beginning to prove it was often true, even scientifically. Religion was true, the Bible was true … but in a way our priests have not, until now, understood.
The intellectual exposure of this, this unveiling, though, while mentally or spiritually Apocalyptic, should not be a physically violent revolution. Here too, in this case, however real “fire” from heaven might have sometimes been in the past, for once, the un-covering of this, should be a mostly spiritual event; bringing intellectual “fire,” and changing minds; a mental Apocalypse, only. If for a moment we are “spiritual,” here perhaps, we find a spirit that ends all spirits. Rather as Jesus often seemed to do: casting out spirits.
But indeed finally our aim is to correct, a number of false ideas, false spirits, in preachers. And for once, our “weapons” and “sword”s are here, spiritual. For the time being, as our first choice in this case, we are using mere “arguments” and so forth, not real swords. Opposing our own set of ideas, spirits, against old false spirits:
“Our swords are arguments” (Paul, n.s.; cf. Eph. 6.17; Ps. 57.4, 55.21).
“For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist…. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit ” (Eph. 6.12-17 NRSV).
“Now this is for you, O priest” (q.v.)
How does indeed the Apocalypse happen? “Apocalypse” means more or less, “revelation” – or better said, “opening to view”; “exposure.” (cf. Greek word resembling “faith” of “pistis,” being “peithos,” persuasive, enticing). And when is this “exposure” accomplished? It is to happen … one Apocalyptic “day,” relating to people beginning to say – and complain – that ancient sayings are spiritual “allegories,” as Ezekiel suggests. In that moment, we need to show the non-allegorical, positive, physical side of the old promises – and show the physical sense and reality of religion.
For many centuries, the truth of the Bible, its physical side, has been denied by priests; the physical side of God has been not seen, and has been denied and disobeyed, by our holy men. Who think “spirit” is all that God is about. But if the fuller truth of God was long ago lost, by our priests, here and now however, we can begin to open things up; and uncover the fuller reality of God. Especially, his physical material side. If these things were formerly hidden, as allegories, then one “day,” these things are to be made “plain.” As we begin to make them plainer, here. (Those who accuse material Christianity, naturalism, as being “reductionist,” should note that a certain amount of over-simplicity is necessary in any introduction; but behind that is the full complexity of all of science. While then too, note the implied moment of simplicity, in Biblical calls for God, Jesus, to speak “plain”ly).
One “day” or another, beyond the moment when Jesus was said to have explained things clearly if “privately” to the Apostles (which many mistakenly take as complete fulfillment of all), there was always supposed to come, yet another, a bigger “Day” or “hour.” When God speaks very, very “plain”ly. And in that moment, even the Apostles will be judged; and even believers and priests will be criticized, and then refined; and many things “revealed.” Especially, what we see is no longer a spirit hovering in Heaven; but a rather concrete figure, a son of “man,” here on this physical earth. And it is this “plain,” rather physical figure, that is to chastise even priests; and finally uncover the truth of things. As it is written:
” … The hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you ….” (John 16.25-26).
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven … had passed away… And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven…; an I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them'” (Rev. 21.1-2; Isa. 65-6).
“Behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire…. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them…” (Mal.3.1-3).
“Nothing is covered that will not be revealed” (Mat. 10.26; Luke 12.2; “apo-calypse” meants opening to sight, revealing, unveiling).
“On the day when the Son of man is revealed” (meaning the “mortal”; the human nature of our religion and gods? Luke 17.30; cf. “behold the man”; see Book of Hebrews, as humanistic opening up of authority to “men,” like Melchisidek and Jesus, as “representative man”; see pp. 491-97, Intro. to the Bible, Henry Flanders, Bruce Cresson).
When is the “day” when the truth, or the “mature” view, revealed? It is a moment, when religious things, thought to be just “spiritual,” suddenly take on a concrete, physical reality. When spirit returns to “flesh.” And we begin to see not just a spiritual kingdom, in our imagination; but a physical kingdom of Good, God, here on this material earth.
But this new physicality, is not so much, what was constantly asserted in the past: it is not true that only or primarily, existing physical churches on earth, are the only or primary physical aspect of God; the “body of Christ.” Indeed, one “day” we are to see a rather more direct physical manifestation of God. Perhaps indeed, this begins to happen … when our Gods are revealed as mere men; our LORD as originally just the local lord or authority? A “man”? “Son of man,” some say, is just an old phrase meaning “mortal.” (Specifically, Ezekiel or Elijah? See Ezk. . 2.1., 3.1,41., 5.1, etc.; but also when the “Son of man” comes – after Jesus, Son of God. As Jesus himself at times implied). Perhaps this begins shatteringly, suddenly, when we see our prophets and men of God, as being after all, just men? Men who made mistakes.
When we see this, many old ideas, spirits, “dissolve.” But all that is precisely, exactly, as authorized, commanded, by the Bible itself. By God, himself.
All our preachers and prophets, apostles and saints, were men; men who made mistakes. (“For we all make many mistakes,” says St. James, speaking apparently of even “we” apostles. James 3.2). All our holy men made mistakes moreover, 1) not just in their personal behavior, but 2) mistakes also in the picture of God and Christ, that they presented to us all, to the whole world, as holy. But while all our holy men have sinned and erred horribly, one “day” or another, after all, God was supposed to reveal that to us.
As we are revealing some of those sins of our holy men, here and now; to-day.
The End? Or More?
The Bible Refers Constantly to Bad Things, in Religion, Christianity;
And Advocates a Corrective Science of God
* Generic FOOTNOTE, for scriptural references to bad things in religion, including Christianity:
For scriptural references to false and bad things in religion, even in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition: the Bible itself says, there are sins, errors, in effectively “all” religion. “All have sinned,” (Rom. 3.23); and even “all” our religions – even Christianity – are full of bad, “false prophets” (Jer. 23.23 ff, etc). Even the angels and saints in heaven are bad (Job 4.18; 13.4; 15.15; Rev. 12.7, etc.). “All” have sinned. And “all” in heaven are to fall (Isa. 34.4). Indeed, “all” means all our priests and religious leaders today, too. Even saints and angels in heaven. That is why finally, our childhood, naive sense of religion – our heaven – is being destroyed, for bad things in it. A more “mature” “knowledge” of God is now revealing sins and errors throughout traditional religion.
For biblical references to bad things throughout “all” – and then specifically and by name, saints, angels, prophets, Christs, churches – see, first, “all have sinned”; Rom. 4.23; “whoever thinks he is without sin,” (n.s.).
Then note specific criticisms – of first, false angels: “even his angels he charges with error” (Job 4.18); “all the host of heaven will rot away” (Isa. 34.4); rebel angels and war in heaven (Rev. 12.7-9). Even the angels are bad (2 Peter 2.4). Then look at specific references to: false priests and priests without “knowledge,” (Isa 5.13, 28.7, 45.20; Jer. 8.10; Lam. 4.13; Mal. 2.1-8; Heb. 7.11; Hos. 4.1-6; Jer. 14.18, see also 23.25; Ecc. 7.12). False prophets (Jer. 23.15-40 & 27.16; Isa 28.7; Lam. 4.13; Ezek. 13; Zech. 13; Deut. 18.20; Mat. 7.15 & 24.11-24; Mr 13.22; Lk 6.26; 2 Peter 2.1; 1 John 4.1). False shepherds (Zech. 1.4-13.7; Ezek. 34). False religious “teachers” or rabbis (James 3.1 etc; John 1.38-49). False churches (Mat. 12.6; 1 Corin. 4 14 ff; Gal. 1.6-3.1; Eph. 4-5); false apostles (including St. Paul himself – Phil. 3.12; 2 Corin. 11.16 – Peter in Mat. 16.23; Mat. 26.34); false patriarches (criticism of Moses by Paul; Rom. 10.5; see also “dispensation of death” 2 Corin. 3.6-15; Rom. 7). Bad “counsellor”s (Sirach 37.8). False religious “law” (Gal. 3.13; 2 Corin. 3.6-7). False gods (Isa. 41.23-4 etc.); false leaders (Isa. 3.12); bad kings. “Blind” people. Misleading “sorcerers” and “magicians.” False Day Stars (Isa. 14.12-21). False boasts and claims (Isa.15.6). False leaders from the house of David; “pegs” that give way (Isa. 22.22ff). False, blind “servants” of God (Job. 4.18, Isa. 42.19 etc.); false religious teachers or rabbis (John 1.28; below); even the saints in heaven are bad (Job 15.15 KJE; “holy ones” RSV). See also warnings about false apostle”s,” plural; more than Judas (John 21.20-24; Mat. 16.23, etc.). Reputed wise men are really “fools”; “honorable” men are really bad “knaves” (Isa. 32.5). See warnings about false or “anti”christs too (1 John 2.18-4.3). And especially, false spirits (1 John 4.1). God also warns believers to look for false things in themselves; criticizing others for the “speck” in their eye … while ignoring the “beam” in their own eye (q.v.). Though many think they are good, many who think they are “first” in the eye of God, are “last” in the End; and though many “judge” others to be bad, they themselves will be judged. And ultimately, only God himself knows who is good and who is bad; only God judges in the Last Judgment. While even the “household of God” itself is bad (1 Peter 4.12-17). Though priests say others are worse, God himself did not say that; it was only speculated, as a question.
Indeed, as some in the book of Job asked, who can be considered good, next to God himself? And so finally, “all” in heaven are to fall (Isa. 34.4); all the “host of haven” (Isa. 24.21). Even the greatest Christians saints like St. Paul, admit they themselves are not “perfect”; Paul said, regarding perfection, that he had not yet “attained” it (q.v.).
Is Scripture, or the Bible itself, reliable? If functionally all those involved in religion can be false, then are their writings – scriptures – good? In a sense, “the Bible” is never mentioned in the Bible. But for references to problems with, changes in, holy “scriptures,” scribes, books, language – including often, the New Testament writings of Christian saints and Apostles, like Paul, too – see our Scripture chapter. Citing, especially, John 5.39; Jer. 8.8; 2 Corin. 3.6-8; Gal. 3.22 NRSV; Rom. 7.6; Heb. 7.18-19; Ez. 20.25-26. Then: Gen. 11.9 ff; Job 13.4, 13.1ff; Isa. 6.18, 34.4; Ez. 20.25-22.28; Jer. 8.8, 23.23-31; Lam. 4.13-19; Prov. 1.4-6; Wis. Sol. 19.14-18; Ecc. 3.1-6; Zeph. 3.9; Mat. 3.7, 5.17-18 vs. 2 Pet. 3.10, 7.21 ff, 9.16ff, 16.19, 13.10, 13.33-35, 13.52, 23.14, 23.23, 23.1; Mark 2.7-20-22; 4.11-20; Luke 16.1-25, 10.1-20, 16.25, 21.25; John 3.39, 10.6, 16.12-25, 21.25; Acts 9.18; Rom. 1.14-15, 2.14, 2.29, 3.20-23, 7.6-10, 12.1-2, 14.4; Heb. 7.18-19, 11.19; 2 Corin. 2.15, 3.3-8, 4.2-4, 10.10, 12.17; Gal. 3.13-22, 4.24; Phil. 2.12-13; 1 Thess. 5.21; 2 Thess. 2.2-15; 1 Peter 2.13-17; 2 Peter, 1.9, 3.15-18; 1 John 4.1-3; Rev. 6.14, 2.2. Vs. John 10.35; Rom. 15.4; 1 Tim. 4.13; 2 Tim. 3.16, 4.16; 2 Pet. 1.16-18; Rev. 22.18-19.
Many preachers try to say that our scripture, our Bible, could be perfect, even though written by imperfect men, because the Holy Spirit came into them, and made them perfect while they were writing scripture. Thus, according to this doctrine of “inspiration,” imperfect or bad saints and holy men, could become good, could write perfect scripture. However, God warned there were “false spirits” (1 John 4; Isa. 29.24); and that sometimes very bad things disguised themselves, as very good things; “Satan” himself comes to us disguised as the “angel of light” (q.v.). Therefore, we cannot be sure whether saints really were hearing the Holy Spirit … or a false spirit, posing as the Holy Ghost.
Those priests, apologists, theologians, who have always covered this up, hidden this from themselves, and from the people, the churchgoers, should read warnings about apologists; who are “whitewashers” of errors in religion (Job 13.4). There are warnings about false christs, and surprisingly, warnings even of Jesus himself (Gal. 3.13), by Jesus himself (Mat. 19.17 “Why callest me good” KJE; etc.). There are warnings about false Christs, churches, and even scripture. Even “all” scripture (Rom. 3.23; John 5.39; John 21.25; Jer. 8.8). Even prayers have problems (Josh. 10.14; see Jesus or Paul on public prayers with “vain repetitions”).
For biblical references to the command, by God, to found religion on science, more than faith, see our Chapter 3 – Science-Based Religion, was Ordered by God; Not “Faith-Based”; “Test Everything.” Because there are always false and bad things, even in our angels and saints, as God said, to find the truth, we were not supposed to “faith”fully follow anyone on earth, or follow church or holy man, just on faith. In fact, religion was never supposed to be “faith-based”; religion, Christianity, is supposed to be science-based (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE; Deut. 18.21-22; Mal. 3.10, etc.). Perhaps we are not to “tempt” God. But we are allowed, even commanded, to carefully, scientifically “test everything” in life and religion (1 Thess. 5.21). Test with, as it turns out, real “science” (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE). In this way, through God’s Science, we next find, the better outline of God, and Truth; of what is Good.
For Biblical commands to follow science, and testing of religion: “science” Dan. 1.14-15 KJE; “put me to the test, saith the LORD,” Mal. 3.10 RSV; “test everything,”1 Thess. 5.21; “How may we know a word the LORD has not spoken?” Deut. 18.21-22. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” Jer. 23.34. “Beware of false prophets …. Thus you … know them by their fruits” (Mat. 7.15-20). Then Ps. 139.7; 1 Kin. 8.23-9.2; & St. Paul; italics, mine. For the importance of using evidence from the “earth,” and science, to discover what is good, see also Gen. 1.10; Isa. 1.18, 1.21-24, 6.3, 26.9, 29.4, 42.1-5, 65.16; Ps. 37.3, 104.24; Ps. 115.6; Ps. 115.16; Job 28.2-25; Sirach 37.27; John 12.25 vs. 12.47 & 3.16; 1 Corin 1.28, 10.26; Col. 1.16-20, Col. 1.19-20; Rom. 1.20; Ps. 37.11; Matt. 8.3-4, 6.33. Note that Jesus’ injunction to “test” God, is often better translated “tempt” God, therefore; as in the “Temptation of Christ.” Since in Malachi, God says “put me to the test” (Mal. 3.10).
For more on the supreme importance of knowing God through observation of nature, knowing God through looking at material things, and sometimes specifically through “science,” see: Job 28.2-25; Jer. 31.35-7; Prov. 1.22; Prov. 25.2-3; Isa. 7.10-14, Isa. 1.21-24; Mat. 7.20; Mark 2.10-12; Luke 21.24, 21.25, 21.27, 21.29; 1 John 4.1; John 10.17-18 NAB, John 14.10-12; Rom. 14.1, Rom. 8.28 NWT, ref. Ps. 145.17; John 9.3; Rev. 2.2, 11.1; Titus 2.16. And technology and practical knowledge, in Catholic Bibles: Wis. Sol. 1.1-7; 7.16-17; 8.5-17 vs. 13.1-14.7; 16.17; 19.11-21. Also 1 Kings 4.29-33; Dan. 2.60-81. For a more complete survey, see our entire chapters on Science, Asceticism, and latter, Matter.
For scriptural references finally, to the final destruction of heaven, and the appearance of a “new heaven,” see our first chapter, the Destruction of Heaven; citing mainly Jesus in Mark 13.31-2; then 2 Peter 3.7-14; Isaiah 34.1-10 & 24.1-21; Rev. 6.12, 9.1, 8.12, 12.4, 21.1; Mat. 24. For Muslims: Koran 11.108, 14.48. See also the literally hundreds of references in the Bible, and Quran, to a “day” or “fire” and “judgment”; the day when the Lord comes to earth, to judge and destroy evil; the Day of the Lord; Judgment Day; the End Time; the Apocalypse. Including Isa. 2.2; Mal. 3.2; Mat. 24.22; Mark 13.31; Acts 17.31; 2 Peter 3.8?
These are just a few, of our one hundred or more biblical references, biblical quotes; quotes from God, warning of sins in “all” preachers. And telling us all, each and every single one of us therefore, to turn to and learn, a Science of God. To find out what is true, and what is false, in our priests, prophets, churches; and in all holy men. And in all sayings and writings, said to have come from God.
Those who give up the over-spirituality of priests, and who follow the more physical Science of God, might be saved. Those who do not, are hereby condemned.