The Destruction of Heaven Vol. 3
The Two Voices of the Bible:
More Parts of the New Testament;
The Bible Becomes A Debate,
Between Two Voices:
1) A Pure Faith, Belief, Without
Asking Physical Evidence,
Visible to the Eyes, vs. 2) the Second Voice, That Demands
Physical Material Evidence
The Bible Offered
Physical Claims, First
God’s Science #’s 128 – ?
Is a Very Pure Faith – Faith Without Any Material Evidence –
Likely? Is it Even Logically or Practically Possible?
Parts of the New Testament ,
Aside From Paul and Jesus,
On Pure “Faith” –
Versus Believing Only After “See”ing Physical Evidence,
[Last edited by author, to page 19, Oct. 1, 2011. Earlier to 46-66 END, August?
END page 61? OR 83?]
Earlier, we will have found in previous chapters that – Chapter 1? – in the Old Testament God himself – plainly, strongly backed science, over faith. And that – Chapter 2 – the Bible often warned about huge sins in holy men and angels; even those in Heaven itself. So that – Chapter 3 – though the apostle St. Paul stressed “faith” by name, over and over, about 174 times? Finally, the rest of the Bible, outside Paul, put more stress not on blind faith in holy men; but in a more critical, evaluative, science of God. While even Paul began to confess that he himself often sinned and erred, and was not entirely “perfect”; that his own “knowledge” would “pass away,” and so forth. While even the very, very “faith”ful Paul, began to become anxious about suggesting that after all, perhaps in the end, holy men are to be evaluated not just by their spiritual thoughts, their inner faith. But in part, by the physical, material good they do. So that even Paul began to anxiously try to find “works” of his “hands,” to cite, as proof that we was really from God; and not from Satan himself. We will also find in a later book, that Jesus himself, finaly stressed not faith, but critical science. While we will now find, in our present chapter – Chapter 4? – that the rest of the New Tesament, the apostles outside of Jesus and Paul, often dialogued about the problem of “faith,” vs. Science. Indeed, the entire Bible, and especially the New Testament vs. the Old, can be read as a dialogue or rabbi-anic, Midrash-style debate. A debate between the emphasis on “faith” and spirituality, that was to dominate the priesthood; versus a more practical, more materialistic, good-works oriented Christianity. While finally? We will find that surprisingly, it is not the entirely “religious,” spiritual life, that was ultimately favored. Rather, the Bible finally favored the more materially-involved lifestyle, of the morally, spiritually good but also physically-productive “workmen” or leaders. People who produce physical, material goods and service, in a timely way, here on this physical earth.
We have already discussed the Old Testament; the the half of the New Testament written by Paul. While elsewhere, we will devote an entire book to Jesus, on this subject. So what is left? In our present chapter, we will consider especially the parts of the New Testament, outside the gospels and Jesus, and Paul. And how they further the debate in the Bible itself, between two voices: the 1) ascetic, spiritual voice, vs. the 2) more practical voice, of the Science of God.
Wrapping Up Paul
The book of Acts – the first book that takes place after the death of Jesus – is a good place to start. As it recounts events that happened, after the death of Jesus himself. Here, the text includes an appearance of – and even some words from – Jesus himself; but since this appearance is a “voice” or “vision,” and takes place well after Jesus in person had died and gone to Heaven? And since this appearance of Jesus takes place in the context of a book of the Bible, that is most about the time right after Jesus died? Therefore, we report this appearance of Jesus, his words, here, rather than in the section on Jesus. Yet since Paul appears prominently in Acts? And to make a smooth transition from our discussion of Paul’s “faith”? Suppose we begin with a few more remarks on Paul. And his apparently, at-first, one-sided support of it would seem, extremely, even “blind,” faith. A faith in which we reject even what our “eyes” seem to tell us; to “walk by faith, and not by sight.” As it turns out however, even Paul himself backed away from the notion of “blind” faith. Even Paul – who was by far, the person in the Bible who talked the most about faith; who said probably 8 times more about faith, than anyone or anything else in the Bible – finally began … to note some problems in his position. Problems in fact, with “faith” itself.
While indeed finally, as the two sides of this problem are debated throughout the entire New Testament? Finally it was – suprisingly – not “faith” that triumphed. Here we will find that in most of the rest of the New Testament, as in the rest of the Bible, we see the same pattern: we see a debate in the text, between two voices, two rather different theologies. One of which, stood for “blind” faith. But finally? Amazingly, the “faith”ful voice does not win the debate. Whenver the biblical text seemed for a moment, at first, to ask for us to believe, to have faith, without having seen physical evience? We will find that the text however, either a) immediately before, or b) immediately thereafter, or c) even within itself, and certainly d) the Bible elsewhere, also presented a “second,” far more materialistic/scientific theology. While finally? Amazingly? Against so many sermons, against nearly all our priests and ministers (if not our more practical, hardworking monks), it is not the spiritual, faithful voice that finally, decisively win that debate. What we hear finally triumphing – if anything – is the other, “second” voice in the Bible. The voice that finally, if anything, wins the debate, is the “second” voice, that preachers thought was secondary, and inferior: the voice from God that commands us, after all, to demand real physical evidence, before we believe: that we demands that we see physical, material “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” and “proofs.” Before we believe.
The language or “tongue” of the Bible to be sure, is complex; God himself told us that he had “confused” our languages or “tongues” at Babel. And even the language of the Bible itself, of individual sentences, is far more complex than many everyday preachers realized. The Bible as it has been translated and presented to us today, is written in “poetry” some have said. Better said, it is written in radically equivocal language, like poetic language; that often says two very different, even opposite things, at once. For example, when Jesus says that “now is the judgement of the world,” that could have at least two or three exactly opposite meanings (John 12.31). That is? This might mean that 1) God is now judging the world, as foretold; or 2) now our world is judging things, properly or 3) improperly.
Typically, there are two major, but quite different voices, messages even within a single phrase or passage in the Bible itself; especially the New Testament. Usually in fact, there are two specific different readings, of individual phrases and sentences. The readings uncover each of the two voices, two different theologies, that we are noting here: the 1) more spiritual voice that “hates” the “world” and “work”s; vs 2) the voice that allows these things some validity. One and then another of these two voices, seem to predominate at different points of the Bible, or in one reading versus another.
For example? There are quotes even from Jesus himself, that seem to condemn this “world” and to even “hate” it:
“And he turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to me and does hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple’” (Luke 14.26-7.).
Here, we see what we are calling the first voice of the New Testament: we apparently see Jesus telling us to “hate.” To “hate” our own biological family, and our own lives, in this “world.” We are to put off this material or materialistic life or world it seems, in order to be spiritual, as some would suggest later. Yet? To picture Jesus telling us not to “love” but to “hate” however, seems like a shocking, horrifying error, right away, to many; a false Christ. And so? Soon enough, the voice of the hateful Jesus, who orders us to hate the whole “world,” (the physical and/or the world of his time) is quickly modified. By a host of other, countering remarks in the Bible itself; by a second voice. A voice that greatly modifies – and some might say, even all but directly cancels – the first spiritual voice. With a voice that seems to many, to directly condemn the first voice, in very strong terms:
“He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still” (1 John 2.9).
“Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3.15)
“Beloved, 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” (1 John 4.1).
“If anyone says ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also” (1 John 4.20-21).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3.16-17).
For an ordinary believer to thus discover that the language and message of the New Testament is so ambiguous, that it even entertains two voices that often seem even directly opposite, is always extremely shocking and dismaying. Especially, it is extremely shocking, heaven-shattering, to at last see that specifically the spiritual idea of Jesus, the spiritual voice, actually involves deep inside, a very considerable “hate.” To suddenly realize that spirituality itself – love of the spirit – has an extremely dark, black underside, seems to have shocking even the disciples like 1 John’s author (s); and that first voice of hate for the world was to some extent, rather quickly moderated, in writings attributed to John. And it is shocking to hear Christ one moment, pictured as stressing “love” … and then suddenly stressing “hate.” And then, turning again – and condemning apparently, himself: calling anyone who hates a “murderer.”
What should we finally think? Regarding that “first” voice – that was used as the core of spirituality; that was used to dualistically reject this material existence, in favor of spirit, and Heaven; that at first evinces love, but then deeply “hate”s? That first voice obviously has some huge problems with it. And though that voice became the core value of many, even most, of our spiritual preachers, though that voice continued to motivate, be the secret dark heart of priests, and “spirituality” to this very day? This voice that seems at first like a lamb, that at first seems like “love” and “light”? But that then deeper down, conceals a massive hate, and love of death in the world? (“To die is gain”). That first voice, the fuller real nature of priestly spirituality … finally of course, could not be stomached. And had to be modified right away. By an assurance that surely Jesus could not have “hated” the “world” so much; that surely he came to us, to “save” the world, not condemn it. As noted in the justly famous passage, in John 3.16.
But still, we seem to have two quite different voices from God in the Bible. And it may seem to many, that they are directly contradictory moreover. (To a degree that any “systematic theology” that claims to reconcile them, must surely many would think, be a mere delusion, a sophistry, a “whitewash,” an exercise in semantic word-“twist”ing). It appears to many that the Bible has two, very contradictory voice, two flatly opposing theologies in it. So how do we deal with this?
How do we deal with these two, directly opposite voices? A) Traditionally, millions preachers have thought that the voice that “loves” the world can just be safely ignored, or disobeyed; or “twist”ed. They seem to have thought we can just drop that voice, and follow the “spiritual” voice; never mind its dark underside, its secret massive dark black “hate.” And yet to be sure? Surely following that voice of hate, cannot be entirely right.
So what is the solution? B) Some might say that the solution, is to try to follow both these contradictory voices, at the same time. Somehow. C) Yet to have a holy book that is not “plain” and clear, that seems to vacillate between two even exactly opposite readings, two directly contradictory voices, is not entirely satisfactory.
So what is the solution to the problem of the two voices? D) In fact, clearly we simply need we were promised that God would one day repair our language, and make it more pure; and that God would speak more “plain”ly. While here indeed, we will essentially, resolve the endless equivocations and vacillations of the scribes who translated our Bibles, and their “double” “tongue.” But we do that for once, not so much the way so many priests did it: not by emphasizing ithe “first” spiritual theology; but by resolving the Bible rather more, into the “second” theology and voice. By emphasizing the theology that after all, values the material universe that God made, and said was “good.” The theology that values material life … and endeavors to help improve this physical “world” and universe. By way in part, of Science. A science that also values immediate empirical evidence, from this material sphere.
But what gives us the authority to chose the second voice? We choose to resolve theology, rather more in favor of the “second” voice, largely in light of 1) our own Biblical analysis. Which uncovers a strong internal showing, of the non-priestly, practical voice, just in the Bible itself. Especially “in the beginning,” and the very End. But then too? In part, 2) the Bible itself indicates that we are to value things that produce real physical “fruits.” While 3) furthermore, that more material voice and theology, matches and is confirmed, corroborated, by other systems of thought, like secular Science and practical sense. This choice is firmly indicated in light of what we have seen “come to pass” in the 2,000 years since Christ: 2,000 years of massive historical evidence, of huge, physically fatal errors in priestly ascetic theology; versus and incredible material fruits, from practical knowledge, work, and science.
Hearing two entirely different voices in the Bible – including one that it the very heart of spirituality, but that “hates” many things, even as it presents itself as love and spirituality – is extremely shocking. In fact, it is even heaven-shattering, just in itself. And so finally, how do we deal with this Apocalyptic, disillusioning, extremely fiery, painful discovery? With the heaven-shattering second? With the moment when we at last begin to “see” such a sign, of massive sins, hypocrisies, deceit, even in voices attributed to our holiest men and angels? Here we show that the best way to deal with this, is to at last frankly, honestly confess and simply face this. Heaven-shattering as this moment is. And then? To turn, if anything, away largely from the “first” voice; to the humbler, but ultimately, second appearance of God. In the Science of God.
God’s Science Point #128
The Bible Rejects Absolute, “Blind” Faith, Without
Verification of What our “Eyes” See;
The Practical Impossiblity of Absolutely Pure Faith
(God’s Science Point # 128?) Did the Bible itself really back “faith” and spirituality, as strongly, as extremely, as our preachers and churches have? Eventually we will need to examine the words of Jesus himself on “faith”; but this we will do in another book. At present? Let’s look at the words of the Apostles themselves, say, on faith. As it turns out? The Apostles finally support believing things supported by visible evidence that we can see with our literal “eyes.” This emphasis on visible evidence, was supported constantly in the Old Testament; and to some extent, it will be sported by Jesus himself too; as we will see later, in our book on the Science of Jesus.
Now and then, a few parts of the Bible, and many church doctrines, have seemed to support the idea, that we all can and should come to Jesus, to God, just on their say-so; just on the basis of blind believe and pure faith in their words. While we should not ever, ask for material evidence, proofs, of what our preachers say. Indeed, there are places in the Bible, especially Paul, that seem to strongly favor “faith”; and at times, Paul and others – millions of preachers – speculate that real faith, means following the words of preachers, the words alleged to have come from God, without asking for or seeing, any physical, scientific evidence, any wonderful “fruits’ or “works” or “miracles,’ as physical proof that the God we are asked to believe in, is real, and powerful. Paul seems at times to have suggested that we should have this kind of very, very strong faith – faith without seeing any material evidence for what we are asked to believe, at all – in especially, this passage. Where Paul speculates that “Faith” in fact means, in its essence, following things without having “seen” any physical evidence for it, at all:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11.; cf. “that what is seens was made out of thngs which do not appear”).
“We look not to the things that are seen” (2 Corin. 4.18; cf. 5.19).
“We walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corin. 5.7; cf. because “We are far from God”)
These parts or fragments of the Bible to be sure, taken by themselves, have seemed to 80 generations of preachers, to demand that we all have a very extreme, pure faith: believing, having confidence in something, in a god, without ever “see”ing any visible material evidence for it at all; without seeing material fruits from it. And that position seems at first, to be supported, or at least alluded to, at least twice, it seems to some; it seems to be aluded to in Paul, above; and to be suported even by Jesus himself, in John 20.29. Where Jesus at first suggests to Doubting Thomas, that he has finally believed in Jesus, thanks to having seen many phsyical wonders (like Thomas having seen Jesus himself, resurrected before Thomas); but then as many preachers have asserted, Jesus next seems to suggest that those who believe in Jesus, without any physical proofs (like physical miracles) at all, are just as good, or better believers; that they are “blessed” especially:
“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20.29; cf. evidence, in 20. 26-27; & Roman. 12.14).
Preachers love to call for very, very pure, very, very strong faith. We should follow preachers, – as they often assured us the Bible told us – with total faith …even without ever seeing any material evidence, that their God is the right one. We ourselves, preachers have told us, don’t need to see, say, any material miracles, especially, as proof that God exists, before we believe. On the contrary: generations of preachers assured us that it is even much better if we don’t see them; so that we can believe just on the basis of our preachers’ say-so. Which is real faith, indeed. (Or so it has often been claimed, in countless sermons and religious proclamations, heard by this writer at least, c. 1955-85).
Yet? Does the Bible overall, really call for faith that unalloyed? That “blind”? Does the Bible itself, really call for us to believe and have faith in God … without ever seeing, with our own “eyes,” a physical miracle? Without ever seeing any material evidence at all, that our God is real, and powerful? In fact, as we will have been seeing here, though parts of the text – like the above – seem to support a rather strong faith, often other parts of essentially the very same passages – and then certainly other nearby passages in the Bible itself – usually suggest that after all, we really should see some considerable visible, material, physical evidence, before believing in anything; especially God. Though St. Paul particularly, often attacked that concept, and often seemed to have called for a pure faith, finally, the rest of the Bible – and God – contradicted those passages. So that finally? Even Paul himself, the great supporter of rather strong faith and spirituality… eventually made some concession, to the need for Jesus, calling for real-world, physical “fruits,” and “works,” and “proofs.” While? As we will be seeing elsewhere, if the Bible at times seemed to reject the need for seeing real evidence with our physical “eyes”; but other times? Countless times, a) Jesus healed our physical eyes, for all the world as if our physical eyes were important, after all. While b) countless times, the Bible supposed that being literally, physically “blind,” not being able to see with our eyes, is bad and even evil. While c) finally, in countless parts of the Bible, apostles and others told us to “observe” physical, “visible,” reality, with our “eyes” and so forth. While we will also see that these promises cannot be metaphoricalized, or entirely spiritualized. So that finally? The voice that, if anything, wins in the Bible’s debate between two voices, the voice that certainly predominates? Is not the voice that advocated priestly spirituality, and “hate” for material evidence, hate for the material “world.” Instead, the voice that won, was the voice that told us all to value “visible,” material, physical evidence, seen with our actual, literal eyes. Indeed, remember, Job and others, were not convinced of God, until they had seen them with their literal “eyes.” Job believes in the Argument from Design apparently; he has seen God, or the power of God, when he sees the power of the “leviathan,” or the crocodile, that God has made. So that:
“I had heard of these by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee” (Job 42.5; cf. the other side of the debate, 1 John 4.12, etc.).
“Blessed are the eyes which see what you see!” (Luke 10.23).
“He .. opened the eyes of the blind man” (John 11.37).
“Who were from the beginning were eyewitnesses” (Luke 1.2).
“Which we have seen with our own eyes” (1 John 1.1).
“You shall see greater things than these” (John 1.50).
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you… ‘No sign will be given to it except for the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jona was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’” (Jesus, some say, citing as visible proof of his status, his resurrection, Mat. 12.38; italics mine).
To be sure, the Bible is a continuous debate, between the spirit and physical sense of things; and references to “eyes” and seeing, were often given a metaphorical, spiritual reading or “twist.” And there are many, many statements in the Bible that seem to attack valuing physical eyes. But better said, they note that many see things with their physical eyes, that their minds cannot yet understand; so that in addition to seeing things with our eyes, we also need the mental equipment to understand. Yet still? This account admits the importance of physical eyes, and seeing things, as part of a larger process.
And finally? We will have begun to see that a religion, a “Christ” that gives us only mental or spiritual things, but not physical food, leads us literally, to death by physical starvation (James 2.14-26). As we will see at length, in our book-length discussions of the great sin of priests: ascetic Over-Spirituality.
But? Before beginning a discussion, of the many very, very explicit and implicit advocacies of observing physical things, with our literal eyes, in the Bible, in fact, d) we might first, note an important logical point that we will discuss more later: on the practical near- impossiblity of a biblical pure faith. That is? Consider this: if faith is believing in something, for which you have not seen or heard of physical evidence? Then, logically, there would have been practical opportunit,y for most of the people in the Bible itself, in Jesus’ time, ever to have faith. Indeed, after the first few visible miracles from Jesus … it would have been impossible for even the apostles, to have “faith.”
Since? The Bible asserts that Jesus constantly worked many physical wonders, as evidence that he was from God. And most people around him, it seems, had personally seen or heard of this at-least-provisional material evidence, the works of Jesus … even before having faith. To be sure, there may have been a few people, who believed in Jesus without even hearing of material evidence, about his works, before. But practically speaking? That would have been difficult; since his reputation for miraculous works, was fairly widespread. While, when we look at the times that Jesus asked for faith … it was usually (and in effect, always?), only after they had seen or heard of – or had just personally experienced – a physical miracle from Jesus. Indeed, Jesus was said to have worked a miracle or two, as a rather young man: changing water into wine for example. While, when crowds came to him … they came in part, because they had already heard of Jesus working physical wonders, works, miracles? So that? Nearly everyone who is asked to have faith by Jesus … had as a practical matter, already heard at least some assertions of physical evidence, before they had faith. And surely, Jesus, knowing this, would consider that their “faith” might after all, be partially contingent on such phsyical evidence. Indeed, if Jesus only valued faith without any empirical evidence? Then for all practical purposes, almost no one around Jesus could be valued; almost no one as a practical matter, would have the change to have any such faith; nearly everyone having heard of physical wonders, before believing.
In any case, particularly consider the status of us, as readers of the Bible today. Most of of have heard of Jesus’ physical miracles, from infancy. Thereore? There would logically have been almost no time, to have a pure faith; to believe, without having heard of material evidence. Perhaps there would have been a fraction of a second, once in our lives, when we heard of Jesus, and might have believed in him, just before we were presented with accounts of his physical miracles, as evidence. And yet? In many cases, there would not even be an open window of such opportunity, not even for a second: for many of us, the very first time we heard of God and Jesus, we heard that he is a physically efficious entity, making the whole physical world, and many physical miracles. So that? If “faith” really means believing, without hearing of physical evidence for what we are asked to believe? Then as a practical matter, many of us never had any real, practical opportunity, to have real faith, at all. While indeed? By the time the apostles followed Jesus, after having heard and seen many miracles? After that time, real faith would be logically, impossible. So why did Jesus ask for it? Unless … Jesus allowed that faith might include an element of … empirical evidence.
Aside from the logic of the matter? The fact is, the Bible is full of accounts of physical miracles. And furthermore? Most of the time, they are even explicitly advanced, as material evidence of Christ’s power and divinity. Therefore? We will be seeing here, that the Bible, logically and practically and in actual practice, could not really have supported very pure or blind faith; the Bible never really supported Faith without material evidence. Though a millions sermons have claimed otherwise.
God’s Science Point #129
The New Testament as a Dualist Dialogue
Two Voices, Two Theologies:
A Preacher’s Faith, Vs. A Good Man’s Science
(# 129) Indeed? As we will be showing in this chapter especially perhaps, whenever the Bible seemed for a moment, a minute, to support a typically strong, priestly call for all-but blind faith, and spirituality? Typically, in nearly every single such case … the text, debate-style, quickly offered a second opposing view. In which the text next assets for example, that after all, mere faith and spirit, are not all of life; and that God and life, also have an extremely important physical, material side. So that in fact, we are not even being asked to believe in God, based just on faith in the say-so of priests; but ineed, priests must advance material empirical evidence, before asking us to believe them. Material, physical, empirical evidence, must always play a role in our decisions, and even in our religion, our “faith.” For example? Consider even the most apparently strongly-worded statements in the Bible, quoted above: Heb. 11 and John 20.29. That have been cited by a million preachers, as asking for very, very strong, total faith, without material evidence. Note that just before, and/or right after these strong statements, right after appearing, above, for just a moment, to ask us to follow God with total faith, without asking for material evidence? Just before, and right after these isolated fragments of text – Jesus and God made it clear that they more normally, do not ask for “faith,” unless and until they have given us real, physical, material evidence for what we are asked to believe.
For example? Just before Jesus seemed to “bless” those who believed in him, without physical evidence … Jesus had however, literally ordered Doubting Thomas, to look for physical proof of Jesus’ divinity. Jesus even ordering Thomas to probe Jesus’ crucifixion wounds, with his fingers, to prove that Jesus had been crucified, and yet was powerful enough to have been resurrected physically:
“Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he siad to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.’ Eight days later, his disicples were gain in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithfull, but believing.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20. 24-28).
Over and over, the Bible seemed to support a very strong, priestly faith in spiritual things … but only in isolated fragments of text. And those fragments are inevitably surrounded, sooner or later, with a “second” and different kind of statement: some kind of statement in support of the insistence of physical, empirical results, physial evidence being produced, before we believe in a given Lord or god. For example? In the case where Jesus for a minute, appeared to “bless” those who “have not seen and yet believe,” that statement was preceeded by the above; where Jesus immediately before that, not only allowed, but even commanded Thomas, to actively, medically probe for real, physical evidence, that Jesus is who he says he is. (While for that matter? We find that to be “blessed” – blessed for say, believing without physical evidence – is not necessarily a sign of approval: the Bible tells us to “bless” bad people, bless people who persecute us. For Jesus to Bless” those who believe something, without having seen evidence therefore? Does not necessarily mean Jesus approves of such total faith.) [And likewise, even Pauls’ frequent, apparent asseverations of the importance of “faith,” as believing in things “not seen,” are also moderated even within Paul’s own works, by Paul’s assertions that while faity and spirituality are important, “work”ing with our “hands” – say, producing real physical goods – to be sure, is important. To be sure, we might be saved by faith in God alone, we suggest here, without producing “works” in the sense of physical contributions to the churh: but, even if we are saved just by faith, still, once we believe in God, shouldn’t we also, next, believe and follow his commands to give physical support, food, to the poor? So that those who have faith in God, will prove it by … doing good works. To be sure, the works themselves might not be what saves us; our faith or mental confidence or loyalty is enough for that. But? We only prove that we have faith, when we produce fruits. Indeed, the related and core problem is this: how do we know that what we are having “faith” in, is the right idea of God, or the right idea of Christ? Rather than a “false Christ”? Except by … seeing real physical evidence, “works.” Finally therefore as it turns out, even if “works” are not immediately involved in or necessary for our salvation, they are indirectly involved, even most Protestant ministers would today agree.]
In any case, as it turns out here, this is the way the Bible works; this is the central insight that at last explains its core meaning: it contains two major voices, two major theologies, alternating with each other. In effect, it is a debate between 1) a priestly view, advocating rather strong faith, and anti-materialistic spirituality, versus a more 2) material world and work- oriented theology. Over and over, the Bibler presented two debating voices; though our preachers only quoted to us, and followed, one. Individually, even 1) all the parts of the Bible (even the ones above) that seemed at first, to support just “faith,” over science and evidence, are far more ambiguous about faith, than our preachers taught us. While indeed? 2) The kind of what we might call very pure, or total “faith” that was often championed in many sermons, was never quite true to the entire Bible. Indeed, all the parts of the Bible that seemed to support just faith … also contained within them, within a page or so, an argument that religion, Christianity, should not be based on faith; but on science. On observing empirical evidence, the fruits produced, by following any given word.
There are many false and bad things, illusions and delusions and “false spirits,” in religion; even among those who think they are following the “Lord, Lord.” And so therefore? Rather than telling us to justly blindly, faithfully follow our priests and ministers, instead the Bible told us over and over again, to insistthat they produce real, physical, empirical evidence, fruits, as partial proof that they are from a real and powerful God. And if they say, implicitly stand behind traditional religion, with its promises of physical miracles, but they themselves do not produce big miracles on demand? Then, far from continuing to follow them with total blind faith, without any real, physical evidence supporting them, instead, we are supposed to simply deduce that they were merely the foretold false, bad priests, following “false prophets” and “false spirits.”
Is this true? Is the whole Bible, or say the New Tesetament, really like this? Are the various fragments that preachers always quoted to us in church – the fragments that seemed to call for strong “faith” – actually always, or very regularly countered in the Bible itself? Are any and all calls for very strong “faith” countered even immediately – and certainly, eventually – in the text of the Bible itself; by a “second” voice that demands empirical evidence? As it turns out here, that is the case. In our many books here, we will have begun to examine, in three major approaches, three different major parts of the Bible. First we will have begun to examine the 1) the Old Testament. For signs of an advoacy not so much of “Faith,” as of empirical Science. Then, we have examined 2) the words of even Paul; the great advocate of Faith. While we found traces of a fruits-based Christianity, even there. While 3) in another book on Jesus, we will have examined lines on “faith” said to have been delivered by Jesus himself in person. And there too, we will see not one, but two voices. While 4) in our present chapter? We will look at the one remaining, small section in the Bible, on faith, that does not fit in these three major groupings: here and now, we will look at sayings on faith and work, in the New Testament, that were delivered not personally by Jesus himself, but by the apostolic and other authors of the New Testament. And? Here too, we will find that the same pattern holds: even in the New Testament writings that are not directly delivered by Jesus himself, we see these two main voices, two theologies, essentially alternating with each other: often first of all, we hear the a) faith-stressing voice; but b) then, usually in fairly close proximity, we hear the all-important, second voice. The voice that demanded that religion, priests, produce real, physical, material evidence, for the things they claim.
Some of the quotes covered here, have been already covered at random in the rest of our book. But it might be useful here collecting into one place, New Testament sayings on faith, by people other than Jesus. Just to fill in some gaps, and to cover the entire New Testament exhaustively. In this vein, especially interesting will be the last book of the Bible that we will get to: the last book of the Bible. The book on the End Times: the book of Revelation. Though? Let’s start with the book of Acts; the first book in the New Testament, after the Gospels. Written after Jesus’ death, it contains few scenes which seem to picture Jesus himself speaking. Except for say, Paul’s vision of Jesus, on the Road to Damascus.
God’s Science Point #130
The Book of Acts –
On the Road to Damascus:
The Appearance of Jesus in a Vision, A Voice
[Argument # 130 or so?] Indeed, the Bible – including especially Acts – includes constant accounts, assertions, of constant physical wonders. Indeed, the Book of “Acts” for example … begins with the assertion, presentation, of one of the most spectacular physical wonders of all: it recounts aa) the apparently physical resurrection of Jesus, from the dead:
“He presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appeared to them over a period of forty days…. After … He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid them from their sight” (Acts 1.3, 9).
The book of Acts therefore, begins with an account of a physical “proof,” a miracle. This aa) very physical resurrection was moreover, not the only physical wonder; since next, after forty days, bb) Jesus seems to be physically taken up into heaven “before their very eyes.” And what is more note, cc) these huge physical wonders, took place before the “eyes” of witnesses. So that? Physical material evidence of the greatness of God – and the importance of seeing it with our “eyes” – is asserted right away by the text. And clearly, whatever physical evidence there is, is considered extremely important, by God.
So that, in point of fact, regarding the “faith” we are asked to have? Surprisingly, whatever Paul may say about faith later on, neither Acts nor any other part of the Bible, not even Paul, really ever even gives us much of a practical opportunity, to have very strong faith; to have faith with hearing physical evidence. Since Acts and the rest of the Bible, begins with an account of a physical wonder. And then recounts one physical wonder, after another. Including both the physical resurrection of Jesus. And the apparently physical assumption of Jesus into heaven.
Even in Jesus’ time, there would have been few who had not already heard of Jesus’ works; why, how indeed, would they have gone to see him … if they had not heard of him – and his physical works – beforehand? And furthermore, his reputation precedes him today, even more: today, surely almost every Christian that believes, will have read such accounts of asserted physical proofs. So that indeed, if “faith” really means believing in God, without physical proofs … then there is almost no practical opportunity for us to hav faith. While? Most of the times Jesus asked for faith … there would have been no really opportunity at all. For that matter? After they had seen a few miracles, none of the Apostles, nor even Jesus himself, could any more have faith. Since they had seen – and as it is said, having themselves produced – many physical wonders. So why was Jesus still asking for faith at such at time? Unless finally: by faith, Jesus included and even meant … believing, after having seen material evidence.
Even the author of the book of Acts (Luke?), opens with an assertion of physical evidence of Jesus’ greatness: his physical resurrection. While he aludes to “proofs” of this too. Indeed, the very title, “Acts,” refers in part to the importance of our deeds; our “acts.” So that? The book of Acts is beginning with an invocation of … the Science of God. While, regarding Paul, who appears in Acts? Having already heard of Jesus’s works before he believed? No “faith” that Paul himself subsequently had, could never be pure faith, faith without the assertion of physical evidence. Therefore finally we will conclude? The Bible never really meant to call for the pure faith, that preachers often call for. Instead? The Bible itself always meant, by any call to “faith,” faith in things reasonably well proven by empirical evidence.
d) After opening with the assertion of “proofs” of a very, very big, physical miracle – the resurrection – the book of Acts of course, next continued to present many, many other accounts of (at least alleged) physical evidence. Many of those events, are even associated with the rather “faith”ful Paul. Indeed, in addition to the accounts of the resurrection in Acts, and calling for “deeds,” there are assertions in the text that even specifically, Barnabas and Paul, spoke of – or even himself produced – visible “signs” and so forth:
“The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them” (Acts 15.12).
So? If faith really is believing in things for which no physical evidence is presented, then for most of their lives with Jesus, none of the apostles could have had faith; the opportunity for a pure, virgin faith, faith without evidence, had long since passed. And indeed, if “faith” means following without empirical evidence then today, no one who has read much of the Bible, can ever have faith. Since the Bible is full of presentations of alleged physical wonders; evidence, signs. Anyone who has read the Bible much therefore, has lost the opportunity to have faith.
e) To be sure, there are apparent attempts to metaphoricalize and spiritualize all this. But they after all, aa) have to be weighed against the very, very physical accounts all around them. While for that matter? Let’s look at even these spiritual accounts right in the “eye.” Among many other passages advancing evidence in Acts, let us say, read the passage in Acts, in which Paul asserts that he, Paul, saw a vision of Christ on the road to Damascus. Here – as is typical – the Bible asserts there are many physical miracles and wonders going on; in this case, bb) Jesus appearing visibly, cc) to the “eyes” in at least a vision; and dd) blinding the literal “eyes” too. And note some other citations of other physical, visible evidence in the passage too. As ee) Jesus asks others to see him, and thus be, rather scientific “witness” of this or other physical or visible things, etc.:
“Going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests … I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun.… We all fell to the ground, and I head a voice saying to me in Aramaic [“Hebrew” RSV] ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to then to open their eyes …. so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven…. I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds” (NIV).
“I have appeared to you to apoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles …. To open their eyes .. so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sancitified by faith in me” (Acts 26.16-18).
It is often argumed by Pauline, all-too-faithful Christians, that we are supposed to “walk by faith and not by sight.” And to be sure, it might be argued, that for a minute, Paul’s first “vision,” “seeing a “light,” was not a real thing, seen by the eyes. But even if we accept that? Still, cc) in the very next second, the text, this vision of Jesus, begins constantly alluding to the importance of real, physical, visible evidence; Jesus constantly assuring us that he will “show” us real evidence; visible with our “eyes”; in order for others to have “faith.” So that? It seems that here, Jesus assumes that showing them at least “visible” evidence, visible with their “eyes,” is important. Indeed, is the best way to get people to have “faith.” And so logically? Jesus did not mean by “faith,” following things without at least, visible evidence.
But in any case? Ff) Even if we accept that Paul’s “vision” of Jesus, per se, was not really physical? Then still in any case … lots of not only visible, but even more physical evidence, is soon asserted; the very next second. Even in this particularly spiritual episode. Here, himself even tells people to “prove” their spirit is real and good, gg) by “deeds.” Here, certainly, Jesus himself is sugggesting that real, physical “deeds,” real physical acts, are important. To prove they are really following God.
f) While earlier? The very book of Acts, had opened, from the beginning… with the asertion of a physical miracle, with many “proofs.”
g) And all this would be followed by assertions of other very phsyical things; including the assertion that the physical hankerchiefs of Paul would physically cure physically sick people.
h) Perhaps someone might object, that Paul said elsewhere, that we are saved by pure faith; faith in God, alone. But in fact, we do not contend this point here. Perhaps indeed, just faith in God would be good enough. But our main poin regarding this ancient controversy, is that even if we might be saved by faith alone, still, you cannot even begin to be sure that what you have faith in, is really the right idea of God. You cannot be sure that what you have faith in is not a false Christ or a false spirit pretending to be God … unless or until that entity produces lots of good work, wonders.
i) While indeed, again: the Bible if not here, then elewhere, continually asserts that it advances real, physical evidence. So in effect, we might guesstimate that 90% or even 100% of the times that the Bible asks for “faith,” it actually means .. faith or confidence in things for which some material evidence has been produced, (or asserted).
While indeed, the Bible constantly offeres what definitely appear to be – and have been presented by countless preachers, as actually being – accounts of Jesus working very, very material wonders, over and over. So that if they are not phsyical? Then generations of preachers have lied to us, or were wrong.
And again, in effect, by the time Jesus asks most of us for “faith”? Much material evidence has at least, been asserted. And it is finally only in the midst of, after,the assertion of dozens of huge physical wonders, that the text begins to find “faith”:
“So the churches were daily strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers” (Acts 16.5).
Here again therefore, in the book of Acts, we see that even specifically “the faith” of churches, was most often actually based on physical evidence. So that it was not the pure faith of Paul’s “Things not seen,” or Jesus’ “blessed are those who have not seen” wonders. Indeed, there is scarcely any opportunity for that even in Jesus’ time; while in our own, there are perhaps only seconds, perhaps no interval at all in our lifetime, before someone tells us about Jesus’ alleged physical wonders, miracles… and therefore, begins to cite possible material evidence. Therefore, the text cannot really focus on much of a pure, virgin faith, unalloyed with any mixture of asserted evidence; there is almost no opportunity for anyone to have that. Given the structure of the Bible, and so forth.
j) And indeed, over and over, Paul in Acts, does not just ask for simple faith; believing without evidence. Instead, Paul is constantly asserting evidence … and producing say, “reason”ed defences of his belief. Paul does not rely on simple blind faith – or even narration of miraculous visions – to convince others; but Paul also “reasons” in the synagogues:
“So he reasoned in the synagogue” (Acts 17.17).
Paul in Acts therefore, does not rely on pure faith at all; but more on at least the then-current rudiments of attempts at science; including empirical evidence – and “reason.” Among other things, some kind of both physical evidence, and “reason,” are asserted by Paul, in order to convince us, in Acts. Further, they are presented even by Jesus himself, some might say.
And what visible material evidence is asserted? Not just the assertion of a “vision” – but also it is asserted that some “hankerchiefs” used by Pual, produced visible, mateiral healings:
“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even hankerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sink, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them” (Acts 19.11-12).
k) See also another alleged resurrection from the dead, as well (20.9-12).
The Book of Acts therefore, contains many, many elements that were often presented as real physical evidence. While indeed, it even seems to tell us that even “the faith” of the Church, was supposed to be based on physical proofs, signs.
To be sure, Acts is an account of Jesus, long after his death; and by the very spiritual and faithful Paul. And no doubt a mere “vision” might not be regarded as very, very physical, concrete evidence. Still, such things and others, were often presented to us by priests and paintings, as very, very, very physical, material proofs.
Therefore after all, if we want to understand what “faith” meant in the Bible, we should no longer just note the parts of the Bible that seemed to stress faith, but should do the “whole will of God” (Acts. 20.27). And read – and finally obey – the whole Bible. Especially the parts that told us to ask for real material proofs, before even thinking of accepting something as a holy word from God.
Of course note that the text says that Paul has “faith.” But notice that Paul has previously, many would say, seen many physical proofs; indeed, Paul has just seen a “vision” at least of Jesus himself on the road. Therefore, Acts/Paul once again, does not really stress faith without physical evidence. Instead, it confirms indirectly, the opposite point here: that when the Bible asks for “faith,” it really means, most often, not faith in things never evidence by physical events, proofs; instead it means predominently, faith in things seen with our physical eyes. Jesus appeared here, in a visible vision, a “light,” (elsewhere, a voice; 26.14). One which explicitly moreover, tells Paul to bear witness to what he has “seen.” While their obedience is proven by “deeds.”
l) To be sure, these things might be metaphoricalized, and read as spiritual metaphors. Yet we will have argued against that possiblity earlier. And in our later books (on over-spirituality). (Note incidentally, some variations in various Bibles: in the NIV, Jesus speaks in “Aramaic”; in the RSV, in “Hebrew.” In the Greek, roughly, ‘ebraidi. Which Bible is right? Which vision?). Clearly the bulk of the Bible outside Paul, intended to promise very, very physical things to us; not just spiritual sensations. To be sure, “visions” are not quite as reliable as seeing things clearly, physically; often visions seem to many to be mere mental sensations. Yet aa) many other wonders are presented in Acts, as very, very physical events. While bb) many preachers clearly spoke of these and other promises, as physical. And cc) the Church would often insist on a physical reality to such things; while dd) St. James and others would note fatal flaws, in a wholly metaphorical/spirital religion. So that? Finally, either most of these promises are largely phsyical, material … or else, our churches and preachers have often lied and have been fatally mistaken. In either case, we should clearly not continue to have much “faith” in them. But should seek other means of knowing what is true; like especially, Science. So that here again, we arrive at an advocacy of Science, over an absolutely pure faith.
Indeed, if accounts in Acts of specifically to Paul, seem rather vague or spiritual, certainly, much of the rest of the account seems resolutely physical. As another example? Even references to “faith” in the rest of Acts, are related to very physical evidence – like a physical healing by St. Peter; in Acts. 3.2-16. Peter to be sure was once called “Satan” by Jesus (Mat. 16.23). But in any case, we are asked to believe in Jesus, largely because of a narration of a physical wonder or proof. Finally we ourselves are asked to believe, have faith, only after many, many narrations of physical evidence:
“A man crippled from birth … jumped to his feet and began to walk…. Praising God… When Peter saw this, he said to them: …. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see (Acts 3.2, 8, 9).
m) Sometimes, in some individual cases of faith, it seems as if the specific miracle happens after the faith is attained. But note that when people came to Jesus to be healed, they came to him because had faith in him already. And where did that faith come from? It was probably largely because they had heard of previous physical wonders.
A case in point? Stephen is called a man of great “faith” … but he had previously witnessed many wonders; and in turn “did great wonders and miraculous signs” to create that faith in others (Acts 6.5-8).
n) Furthermore, Stephen appeals finally to the Argument from Design, the visible, material goodness of the universe, to suggest God is great (Acts 7 50).
o) Likewise Barnabus, a “Good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith,” was “glad and encouraged” when he “saw the evidence” (11.23).
p) Curiously, to be sure, Paul himself was struck physically blind when he “saw” Jesus. And then too, similarly, when a procounsul is converted to “the faith” by seeing someone, curiously, he too was made physically blind, by Paul and his faith (Acts 13.8-12). Which in any case, would be a physical wonder. And probably signify Paul’s slight antagonism to physical evidence and sight, to be sure. While suggesting too however, the disadvantages of the great faith that does not value what we see with our literal eyes: being made, in effect, physically blind. In any case, this is a physical wonder; though a negative one. One that also, by the way, begins to hint at some problems with a spiritual faith; crippling us physically. As James began to see in part, too. In this case? Spirituality makes us … physially blind. And that is a serious problem. While indeed, Jesus himself considered that phsyical sight was important: as he healed the physically blind. And so loss of it? Is a bad thing.
q) In any case, in still more places in Acts, Paul is again pictured performing wonders (14.10-11).
r) And if Peter again says people are saved by faith? He once again cites physical wonders as proof that what he has faith in, is true (Acts 15.7-12).
s) If Paul at times seemed to stress faith without evidence, was Paul therefore, perfectly clear in his own mind, about what faith was? Did Paul himself have the right faith? Clearly we see Paul’s own “faith” and “spirit,” often do not lead Paul to physical prosperity; they lead him to “prison and hardships,” (Acts 20.23; 24.24-27, 27.25-26). IF we accept physical evidence – that would be physical evidence that Paul himself, after all, was not favored by God.
t) To be sure, the main voice for faith in the Bible, the person who spoke the most about it, was Paul. And Paul was quite spiritual too. And indeed, Paul’s perhaps merely mental “vision” is offered as his main visible evidence that he has of Christ – and a “vision” might not seem too concrete; visible as it is. Yet at the same time, Paul finally encouraging people to “see with their eyes” (28.27). At the end of Acts.
u) While he seems to consider indeed, one of our major points: that it is a lapse of faith, only when people don’t believe in physical evidence (28.27). The great sin, is for people to have physical eyes, but not use them.
And finally, that means, we find here, in the prevailing reading, not their “spiritual” eyes primarily … but failure to use their real, literal, actual eyes.
v) We have only a sort of half-appearance of Jesus and God in Acts and Paul; a “vision,” a “spirit.” But finally in fact, note that even the very title of this book – “Acts” – hints that it is not primarily mental or spiritual faith, but material “acts,” that are important.
Most preachers furthermore, presented these things to us as literal, physical events; not just metaphors for spiritual things. If they were wrong? Then generations of preachers mislead themselves, and the whole world. Which would be another reason after all, not to have much faith in them – even today. If our preachers have deceived themselves and the whole world in the past, they can be wrong today, as well.
. . .
For centuries, we might guess, a) about a third or more our preachers have asserted that God is continually working physical miracles. But b) another, rather Pauline third, have suggested that the important thing is spirituality, not physical thigns; though they suggest that religion will give us both physical and spiritual things. While still c) another, very spiritual third of our preachers, assert that “all” we need in life, are spiritual things; and that all the apparently physical promises in the Bible, are just metaphors for spiritual things. Rather clearly, we are finding here, the very spiritual preachers are simply, wrong. Or in any case, their beliefs are physically fatal. And if there are a few spiritual people that might accept physically fatal beliefs as still possibly acceptable, finally, that seems like a rather extreme credo … that most of us should not follow. Indeed, that credo is really, in love with death; and helps create physical death. As James began to see. So that? We should turn to more moderate theologies.
Those preachers who suggest that the Bible promised both spiritual and physical things, seem closest to the truth. But to be sure, most often, even these seemingly more moderate preachers, often tend to radically over-emphasize the spiritual side of things. Among other things, they tend to assert that even if we might aim at getting physical results, physical long life and so forth, still, they often insist on the absolute, first priority, of spirit and rather pure faith. They might note that the individual stories of the Bible, taken by themselves, at times seem to set up an ontological and chronological sequence that was to dominate sermons and theology for two thousand years: people are asked for faith first … and told that only then, only after being spiritual and having faith, do miracles follow, second. But this sequence, is illusory. Remember that … nearly every Christian hears about promises of physical things, more or less simultaneously, when hearing of Jesus. So that promises of physical things were always there in our faith. Really, right from the start. And if Jesus at times asks for faith first, and only next produces a miracle? Asks us to “seek first” the kingdom of heaven? Note that still, his reputation for physical results, preceeded him; a man presents himself to Jesus, most often, because he has – already, earlier – heard of his physical powers.
Indeed? We will have noted here and elsewhere (see our writings on this, on the Rational problems with pure Faith), that this sequence, this alleged priority of faith, exists only in an illusory way, or for the reader who reads or thinks only of individual stories, or mere fragments of the Bible. The fact is remember, that this sequence does not really exist in the whole Bible, nor even does it really exist for individuals in the stories either; since by the time that an individual petitions Jesus to heal him for example, that individual has already, long since, heard many previous stories of Jesus healing … which asserted physical events, physical proofs. So that for all practical purposes, there are prbably few – if any – instances of people coming to Jesus, then or today, with a pure “faith”; a faith that was, deep down, inspired by mere loyalty and love. Faith without evidence. The fact is, all of us today have heard preachers constantly assert that Jesus worked physical miracles; therefore it is logically impossible for us to come to Jesus with a pure faith; without having heard preachers asserting physical evidence.
To be sure, the Bible at times appeared – especially in Paul – to give “faith” without evidence, a sort of priority. But that appearance was illusory. Looking more carefully at the entire Bible – and now we add, the sequence of reading or hearing not just one, but many of the stories of the Bible – we now find that the Bible did not stress faith without physical evidence, as much as preachers did. Instead, the Bible stressed at least two elements of life; spiritual and physical, both. And so preachers commit an extremely grave sin, when they stressed only one element, one side, one appearance, of the text. When they stressed faith … and ignored, denigrated, the side of the text that called for, invoked, material evidence, and science.
Preachers for centuries have criticized everyone else, other than themselves; they have constantly harrangued the masses, for lack of faith; for failure to use their spiritual “eyes.” And preachers have clearly seen the dangers of over-materialism; greed, gluttony. Yet preachers for centuries have committed the opposite sin to over-materialism: preachers have been over-spiritual. Gnostic. And preachers have failed to use their physical eyes. And they read and obeyed only parts of the Bible and God; essentially all our preachers read and followed only the parts of the Bible that seemed to stress spirit … and sinned continuously, greviously, culpably, fatally against the physical side of God and life. They disobeyed God’s science. And the results of that, we will show, have been physically fatal. It is the reason they have prayed for things for two thousand years, that never arrived: preachers did not get physical miracles very often, because they were not really following God. And specifically, they were not following God not in that they did not hve enough faith; but in that they had all too much. They were all too faithful, all too loyal, to their own vain, false idea of Christ. Faith made them all too gullible; so that that followed, with great loyality, false Christs, over and over. Until this very day, today. When at last, they should see a “second” and better, appearance of Christ.
See the Old Testament, and its constant assertion of physical, material results, here on this material “earth” (q.v., Bibliography).
God’s Science Point #131
1 Peter, 2 Peter
(# 131) After reviewing the Old Testament; then the 14 books of Paul; then Acts? We now might look at references to faith, in the two books of the Bible, by Peter. (As in 1 Peter 1.5-21; 5.9; 2 Peter 1.1-5). Regarding Peter, we see two voices, most definitely.
Before remarking on anything Peter said, about faith, vs. evidence? We should remind the reader that first of all, Peter particularly, is very unreliable, on any subject whatsoever. And we should not take him too seriously here, in the matter of faith. To be sure, the Roman Catholic Church likes to present itself as founded especially on the writings of Peter; it calls itself the “Church of St. Peter”; and its main cathedral is the St. Peter’s cathedral, in Rome. But surely this must be meant as an indirect admission by the Church of its own sins. Since to be sure, “all” the apostles sin and err, both in their personal lives, but also in their doctrines. And particularly, a) the apostle and saint Peter, is unreliable As our best example, note that right after Peter firmly affirms that Jesus is the Christ, and seems to have the most faith in Jesus, right after Jesus seemed to declare Peter the founders or head of Jesus’ “church” … Jesus himself aa) at first “blessed” Peter … but then bb) “warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.” While cc) Jesus told Peter of the necessity of the crucifixion, the execution, of Jesus. While then, shockingly, dd) Peter rebelled against Jesus; Peter told Jesus that Jesus was wrong, on a major doctrinal matter; the necessity of the resurrection. So that finally, after Peter’s many betrayals of Jesus, ee) Jesus called Peter, therefore, “Satan” (Mat. 16.23).
Roman Catholic priests like to quote just the first part of the following text; the part where Jesus seems to call Peter a “rock” of solidity, and seems to claim that his church, based on Peter, will be powerful and cannot fail; because the “gates of Hell shall not prevail” against him and his church. But here as usual, our priests deceive themselves and others, by quoting just misleading parts of the Bible. Whereas we should now look more closely, at the fuller passage:
“He asked, ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Sinon son of Jonah…. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be found in heaven, and whatever you loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jeruslaem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’” (Mat. 16.15-23 NIV).
How reliable is Peter? Or for that matter, the Church founded by him; the Catholic Church, which often calls itself “the Church of St. Peter”? Here as usual, Catholic priests quote just one once of the Bible on Peter; the parts of the Bible where Jesus at first seemed to support this apostle, calling him a “rock” and so forth, and appearing to support the church firmly. But finally, here at last we are noting the second part of the text: Peter turned on Jesus, “rebuked” him and said Jesus was wrong. And if Jesus for a time seemed to support Peter and his church, Jesus finally, note, called Peter “Satan.” The part of the Bible our priests all ignore, and disobey. Following Satan therefore, in the end.
Many apologist priests today try to suggest that St. Peter, in spite of errors in his personal life, still was “inspired” or protected by the Holy Spirit in his more official “doctrines.” But which things did Peter announce as doctrines? While we found earlier and elsewhere, that even the Holy Spirit often stands aside and lets people err; indeed, too, many people mistake “false spirits” for the Holy Spirit.
It seems therefore, that whatever Peter said in his writings – 1 Peter and 2 Peter – should not be trusted too much … or followed too faithfully. Including his pronouncements of or on “faith.” Especially since Jesus himself called Peter “Satan.”
b) Peter himself knew that even our holiest men, even among Christians, were unreliable (even he himself). And he warned us all of that, there would be great sins, even among “you” followers, believers, Christians. Sins, “false” things in Christians, in “you,” even in your leaders. Until the “day” of the End:
“There will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies ….” (2 Peter 2.1 NIVE).
Peter unfortunately, did not himself very directly, in his own writings, admit that he himself might be partially false; though the gospel of Matthew does have Jesus calling Peter Satan. Which an intelligent reader should see. (While Paul had his differences with Peter/Cephas; finding him hypocritical and insincere).
. . .
Peter himself therefore, is quite unreliable; he often betrayed Jesus, and Jesus himself finally called him Satan in Mat. 16.23. Probably therefore, we should not be taking Peter too seriously, on any matter whatsoever. c) But i however, if we are compelled by various institutions like the Roman Catholic Church, even under pain of death, to follow Peter and his Church? As we often were, historically; and in the hands of Opus Dei, and some ordinary believers, still are? Then, if we must follow Peter as authority, then let us recall that Peter, like Paul, at times seemed to support faith … but in another voice, noted things lacking, in faith. Peter here for example, telling us that we need more things than faith to get along in life:
“Supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control … and brotherly affection with love…. For whoever lacks these things is blind” (2 Peter 1.5).
Here Peter himself finally told us to move past faith, to acquire “virtue” and “knowledge.” Furthermore, Peter even says that those who – like preachers, we note here – have only or primarily “faith,” who lack the fuller “knowledge” of God, scientific theology, are “blind.” (A frequent criticism of the faithful, that was confirmed even by Paul; when he said that those who walk with faith, walk this way because they are “far from God” or cannot physically see him; Paul also confirming that he and other Christians saw things as if only through a bad mirror, “darkly.” Paul also confirming that Christians need to supply whatever is lacking in their faith). Indeed, the identity of faithfulness and blindness is so frequent in daily life, that it is noted in a common phrase in English: “blind faith.” Indeed, countless biblical references to “blind”ness might be taken to refer finally, ironically, not just to intellectual insufficiency, or spiritual insufficiency, but to … a too-strong faith; that makes people blind to facts, and empirical evidence.
d) Peter himself, like all apostles, is not entirely reliable. But insofar as they have any authority at all? The two biblical letters attributed to Peter at times begin to admit sins in our holiest men, priests, apostles, churches. While indeed, although millions, billions blindly, faithfully followed preachers, religious teachers, until now, Peter knew that one “day” especially, they would wake up. And aa) acquire “judgement”:
“Their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell …. Then the Lord knows how to …hold the unrighteous for the day of judgement” (2 Peter 2.4, 9 NIV).
And perhaps even now, many are waking up.
To be sure, bb) the “day” a believer, one of the all-too-faithful, acquires “judgement,” is a very, very painful, shattering day. But here too, all this is as foretold. Remember that Peter for example, verified Malachi and others. And warned that in the end, even Christian disciples, prophets, shepherds in heaven itself, would be found wanting. And even the holiest believers, the very “family of God,” would have to pass through a painful but refining “fire,” before they are fully good:
“Dear friends, do not be surprised by the painful trial you are suffering…. For it is time for judgement to begin with the family of God” (1 Peter 4.12, 17 NIV).
In fact, cc) Peter knew that our holy things would not be fully good, until especially, his Heaven itself, the heaven that “now exist”ed for Peter, was purged, dissolved in “fire”:
“The heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men…. The heavens will pass away….” (2 Peter 3.7, 10).
“The heavens will be kindled and dissolved …. But according to this promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3.12-3; new works appear here).
e) To be sure, there are other parts of Peter that are quoted constantly by preachers; the parts that seem to stress faith, and the Church. But those parts are all too well-known; and they are misreprentative. While only in our books here, will we have begun to finally, balance out the larger picture of what God really, “full”y said. Only here, have we begun to reveal the second, “full”er view of God; by looking at all the parts of the Bible, that pries neglected, denied, and disobey. The parts that tell a very, v ery different story, that reveal a very different theology, than what we heard in church. The parts that confirm that indeed, the Bible was right: our holy men were extremely unreliable; all have sinned. And specifically, their theology of “faith” was false.
No doubt, neither Peter himself, nor his writings, are fully reliable. However, for those who still insist on following Peter faithfully, or who believe that parts of what he said are true, then note this: we will have just looked at Peter closely. And we have revealed Peter noting problems, in first, just in faith in itself. While Peter then noted problems in having faith specifically, in most of the various elements of religion; including heaven itself. Peter noting problems, sins, even in the very “family” or “household of God”; Peter noting sins and errors, in our priests and angels. Problems that definitely imply, finally, that we should not have too much faith in disciples, or priests, or their faithful, spiritual vision of God.
f) There are many huge sins, even especially in our holiest men; and even the doctrines attributed to them as the very core of Christianity. Like the stress on “faith.” So what finally is the solution? If you believe or do not believe in disciples, Christianity, there is an answer that is accepted in both the Bible itself, but also in popular, everyday culture and life: the answer is to use science. Examine all things, to see if they are materially productive or not. Ultimately, even the normally-unreliable (and even “Satan”ic Peter; to use Jesus’ language), began to back away from extreme faith. As he told us that we will be found to be good, only if we do “good deeds.” (To silence mere “talk,” in some translations). As Peter says here, people will emphasize “deeds”; and furthermore, they must be verified by the literal eyes of others. Only after “see”ing good deeds, will they glorify God:
“Though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2.12; 3.16).
g) To be sure, Peter, who has often been presented by the Roman Catholic Church as the patron saint or founder of the Church, was often evil and unreliable. Said Jesus himself. But insofar as many still follow Peter and his church, those who still follow Peter and his church, should note very, very carefully, all the words by and about Peter, in the Bible. Not just the words that priests have chosen to emphasize.
To be sure, the New Testament admittedly, normally, rather consistently considers two possibilities – faith and God’s science. Very often, side-by-side. In the case of 1 Peter, we might see this in Peter 1.17, versus 1.18. Normally, first the “faith” side is presented in the Bible; then the empirical side. But in this case, it happens to be the reverse; first we hear about God “judge”ing us for our probably material “work,” and only after that, do we see possible allusions to a different hypothesis; the possible valuelessness of material things. Or at least, material objects, silver and gold.
“Since you call on a Father who judged each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ….” (1 Peter 1.17-19).
Here to be sure, Peter, like most of the Apostles, might be seen as torn between (the Jewish, Old Testament) God, and Faith. Or the pure saving Grace of Jesus, alleged.
But does that message of firm emphasis just on “faith,” hold up? First note, the text does remind us aa) of the Old Testament God, the “father” who “judge”s us by our material “work.” Nor can the text entirely reject that God … without, after all, rejecting God. Then too? Perhaps after all, Peter does not entirely renounce the idea that we are redeemed with material things; but suggests it is not so much with money or silver, as by our good material “work.”
Thus the text opens up, with the classic Old Testament emphasis, on the importance of material things; if not gold, then at least … possibly, works of physical charity. To be sure, it bb) seems in the very next sentence, contrasts that, to a more spiritual Christian idea; where were are redeemed, saved, not by material things like “silver” or “gold.” Here the text almost begins to suggest that we are saved, “redeemed,” only by the sacrifice of Christ. While next, Peter is even seemingly open to the heretical suggestion that the Old Testament God and his ideas, the “Father” of our “forefathers,” had an “empty” way of life. Peter suggesting – with Marcion – that the New Testament of Jesus simply replaces and cancels the Old Testament, and God, the “father” who “judges” people by their “work.” (Even gold and silver?). And his “laws” as Paul called them. Yet to be sure, here Peter heads straight for heresy: rejecting the Old Testament God. Suggesting too that this rule and God were for others; whereas “you” early Chrisitins “know” that they are not redeemed by material things. So that here Peter begins to hint at turning his back on the Old Testament god; in favor of a new definition of god, in Jesus. Though to be sure, Peter could only distantly hint at this. Since stated boldly and clearly and honestly, would get Peter condemned, rightly, as a heretic; as going against God himself. Though most Christian ministers secretly believe that the New Testament and Jesus – and the “new covenant” of Paul especially – effectively cancelled in fact, many of the old laws of God. And made Christianity into a different religion than Judaism.
But in fact, the very, very popular theology that is hinted at by Peter here, could not be clearly and honestly stated; since it would then be obvious that it went against God. While indeed, the more obvious manifestations of the move away from the “father,” and “judge”ing by “work”s, in favor of spirits, and faith, were condemned by the Church itself; as the church condemned Gnosticism, and Marcionism, etc.. The Church officially condemning the views which held that the spiritual New Testament and Jesus “hated” material life – so that the Old Testament God, who was often materialistic, and created the whole material world, must be evil. So that we should it was said, simply forget about the Old Testament; and follow only the New.
There were – and still are – many elements in religion, even in Christianity, that try to cut Christianity off from “the Jews,” and the Old Testament. That try to be just “spirit”ual, and to forget God and his materialism. But there were obvious theological problems with this. And so to be sure, the more obviously anti-God versions of spirituality, were criticized by the Church itself; in its attacks on Gnosticism and Marcionism among other things. While furthermore, we will have been showing here, that the fantastically popular, even predominant spiriutal, “Christ”ian theology, does not hold up to a closer look, even at the Bible itself. When we look at the Bible as a whole, first the aa) Old Testsament, it is clear that God himself emphasized physical, material proofs and signs. Then bb) when we considered even the New Testament, we found that Jesus himself was said to have concentrated often on very, very material wonders, miracles. And cc) if Paul was quite faithful and spiritual, and against the “law” of God secretly – to the point of Gnosticism in fact – finally, even Paul made some concessions to material proofs, and “work.” While dd) we will find with the apostle James, that such over-spirituality, violent anti-materialism, is not only heretical and secretly against God; it is actually physically crippling, and then fatal, in real life. So that the various hints at the spiritualization and near-cancellation of God, just do not hold up to closer critical inspection. According to our investiagations here (and as we will see far more clearly, and startlingly, in our later writings on the evils of Over-Spirituality).
Indeed, the Bible itself was always anxious about this conflict between religious faith, and the science of God. And it constantly offered both positions. As it did above. Or sometimes it offered even just individual sentences that were open to two or more readings; and particular, to a pro-faith vs. a pro-science reading. To be sure though, finally, though the Bible systematically presented both ideas, often side by side, in one passage after another, finally note, that the Bible ended up discussing both … but finally favoring only science. For example, note the final sentence in our specific passage here from 1 Peter. Where those Christians who feel they were “redeemed” by perhaps only one sacrifice, the “blood” of Christ, or even perhaps no “perishable” material things at all, might well feel anxiety, “reverent fear”; because after all, they are crossin, denying, the “father who judges” us by our “work.” Because they are going against God.
. . .
No doubt, there are things in the Old Testament and Judaism, that should be updated. But unfortunately, the spirituality and strong emphasis on faith, the ignorance and daily neglect in their sermons, of science, the Pauline attack on the “law” of God, repeated by nearly all preachers today, in effect attempts to surreptiously cancel God and the Old Testament. Reminding us vividly, that Jesus himself called Peter “Satan” on at least one occasion (Mat. 16.23).
No doubt in fact, Jesus told us in effect not to trust Peter, nor those who refer to him, many would say. But finally, though the New Testament itself often flirted with cancelling, attacking, denying God, in favor of the spiritual side of Jesus and Paul, finally it continued to at least represent both faith and science; while ultimately, it came to favor the material science of God. Peter himself, after doing many things Jesus would condemn as “Satan”ic, finally partially repenting of his exagerrated faith and spirituality; and reminding us not by our faith, but by our “deeds”:
“Live such good lives among the pagans that … they may see your good deeds” (1 Peter 2.12).
To be sure though, Peter suggests, ambiguously, that we should do this here, not for God, but for “pagans.” While Peter stressed “spiritual milk” (1 Peter 2.2) So that finally, many might well “judge” – with Jesus himself – that Peter followed “Satan,” and opposed the “father’s” material standards. That Peter in effect, opposed God. Not only opposing and denying Jesus three times, and not only abandoning him in his personal lapses, but Peter abandoning Jesus and God, in several matters of fundamental doctrine and dogma. Including not least of all, abandoning, denying, and attacking the science of God himself.
We should have known; remember that in the Old Testament, there were only five or six mentions of faith by name. And recall especially that the major advocate and inventor of the test of “faith,” was not God, by explicitly, Satan. In The Book of Job (Job 1). While remember, Jesus himself called Peter “Satan” in Matthew 16.23).
So let us move on, carefully, past Peter; now. Reminding us that one “day” even the “heaven” of Peter itself, even Peter admitted, was to be destoyed (2 Peter 3.10-12; Rev. 21; Isa. 34.4 ff). By God, himself.
While we will see in our last section on Revelation, the last book of the Bible, Revelation, which is largely about the last “day,” confirms a very spiritual Christian’s fear … that in making the transition from “the Jews” and the Old Testament and “God,” to another, significantly different religion, Christianity, and its New testament, and Jesus, we may have … gone too far from God. Specifically, there is a fear in Peter, that in the end, we are to be “judged” not just by Jesus, but even more than that, by “God.” While Revelation in fact will confirm, even more fears: in the end we are indeed “judged” more by God; who moreover, contrary much of Paul, judges us, not so much by our faith or spirit, but by our fruits, works, signs, and especially “deeds.”
(See our section on Revelation).
When confronting Catholic priests who cannot face this, we should simply deliver this line, and leave:
“Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me” (Mat. 16.23).
God’s Science Point #132
The Gospel of John; 1 John, 2 John, (See Revelation below)
(# 132) As for the parts of the Bible, attributed to Jesus’ disciple, John? Especially 1 John, 2 John? (See also the Gospel of John above; and Revelation, below).
a) Note that the Gospel of John, will be examined – in our study of Jesus himself. We might add briefly in passing, though, that aa) this gospel contains many words, sayings, not by Christ himself; but by the author of the text. Who is said to be one “John.” While bb) the gospel of John, is not one of the synoptic gospels; it is widely thought to vary, conflict, not synchronize significantly, with the other three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
But those who accept the Gospel of John as authority, should note the following: the Gospel of John, strikingly, cc) does not mention faith at all by name; not even once (in the RSV).
While as for having faith in holy men? When Jesus elsewhere in the Bible was asked by the mother of John, to dd) put John at his right hand, Jesus would not promise that. In fact Jesus next tells the mother of John and others, that ee) those who want to be “first” do not know what they are asking. While Jesus then goes on to tell the disciples, to be humble, and not be so concerned with being “first.” So that the disciples – and present day priests – should not have been so proud, as to think of themselves as first with God.
John therefore also warned about sins in our holiest men and angels. Thus indirectly implying that any very, very strong “faith” in our holy men, is misplaced.
And so far as explicit statements about faith, by name? There are none whatsoever, in the gospel of John (in the RSV). Suggesting after all, that “faith” is not so central, after all.
b) But what about the other works attributed to a “John” in the Bible? Like 1 John? There is one statement to be sure, in 1 John; 1 John 5.4. A statement which seems to support faith: “The victory that overcomes the world, our faith”? But here, note many ambiguities in the phrase. Note a different reading, open to the possiblity that there should be victory not just over the “world,” but also, victory even over our “faith’’:
“Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith”
Or, if this remark really supports faith, note that ultimately even in John, faith is only proven good, by its fruits, deeds. Or here, “actions”:
“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3.18).
Then too, with reservations about John’s use of the term, we might note that, it was precisely 1 John, that began to tell us to “not believe” or have faith; and to indicate a need for a science of God, of “test”ing especially even “spirits”:
“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4.1).
For a moment, in one voice, John seems to stress faith and spirituality. But then? Even our spirituality is in question, even with John.
To be sure, regarding this last quote, John’s later statements might suggest to some bad readers, that the “test”s we are to bring to bear on spirits, consist only of a simple loyalty oath. But …John noted that we must see Jesus as being partially material; indeed, his oath or “test” might involve confessing, asserting Jesus as “coming of Jesus in the flesh” (2 John 7). Then too, we have shown that, in the context of the rest of the Bible,whatever “test” it is that John described, the “test”s that we must apply even to spirits, are not limited to a mere loyalty oath, about this or that doctrine of Jesus. Finally, the “test”ing that the rest of the Bible described, outside John, is clearly, overwhemingly, full scientific testing.
c) To be sure, 1 John is perhaps one of the most spiritual books of the Bible; about as spiritual and priestly as say, Paul. As part of that, John at times, in his priestly voice, attacks the “world.” And tells us to “hate” our life in the world. Which might be read by some, as an attack on the physical world; and on the physical evidence required by science. And indeed too, in his attacks on the “world,” John seems vulnerable to the ascetic, Gnostic, priestly assertion: that whatever “works” we are required to have, do not include real, material, physical works on this physical world:
“He who hates his life in this world will keep it” (John 12.25).
“Now shall the ruler of this world be cast out” (12.31).
“The world hates you” (15.19; cf. John 7.7 “The world cannot hate you”).
“They are not of the world, even as I am not” (17.14).
“My kingship is not from the world” (18.36).
(See also Paul: “Do not be conformed to this world,” Rom. 12.2).
“Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2.15).
“The whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5.19).
But John’s apparent attack on the “world,” we will have found here and elsewhere, is just one of his two voices. It is limited by various qualifications. So that it cannot be taken as an attack on the entire physical world, for instance. Attacks on the “world” in general, we find (along with the Glossary of the NAB), cannot be anything more than an attack on the “world” or “century” or “secular” of Jesus’ time; not the whole of physical existence (or our “secular” culture today, either). Since indeed, from the beginning, God made the physical “world” and said it was “good” (Gen. 1). And if God ever cursed the world because of Adam’s sin, the material world was cleansed once with the Flood of Noah; then again “redeemed” and “overcome” by Jesus.
John, like Paul, lived after the physical death of Jesus. And so John tried to de-emphasize the importance of physical life. But John could do only so far with his spirituality and “hate” for the “world” … without all too obviously conflicting with God; who made the physical “world” and said it was “good,” etc.. (Cf. the problems with Gnosticism, Marcionism). And so finally, John finally has to back off the attack on the world; and to remark that ”God … loved the world.” That he gave his son Jesus, to save it (John 3.16; cf. 1 John 3.16):
”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perishh but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world though him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned” (John 3.16-18 NIV).
“The deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down” (Rev. 12.9).
The Bible contains two major voices, on subjects like especially, spirituality, vs. the world. To be sure, the Bible is written in such a way, as to seem at first to allow and some would say even favor the familiar priestly reading – which emphasizes faith and spirit, and even “hate” for the world. The priestly voice even allows and encourages “hate” for our physical families. In John and outside him:
“Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them, ‘If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke, in Luke 14.25-6).
But aside from this spiritual, priestly Jesus Christ – the Christ of “hate” for the world – the Bible contains two major theologies or voices or vocations. And next it allows “love,” and even a noting that Jesus came not to “condemn” but to “save” the world. And for that matter? The Bible – specifically even John – began to note problems with, sins in, a theology, even a Jesus, that “hates” the “world”:
“He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still” (1 John 2.9).
“Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3.15)
“Beloved, 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” (1 John 4.1).
“If anyone says ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also” (1 John 4.20-21).
Amazingly, this part of the Bible seems to be warning about problems with, sins in, other parts of the Bible – and warning even about some statements attributed to Jesus. As in Luke 14.25-6 above. Here, the battle between the two voices in the Bible – for and against the world – seems to become quite stark; to the point of flat opposition, flat contradiction. But if the Bible says two contrary things? What should we do? Finally, we might take the side that corresponds to what makes sense to us.
The Bible often flatly contradicts itself, and offers two flatly contradictory voices, many flatly opposite statements about the world. And if it does, which side should we take? Say, regarding this physical existence? The passage John 3, is open to the reading that stressed faith and spirituality. At the same time however, even this passage begins to mention the possiblity that if God ever cursed the world, even the “world” might have been redeemed, made good again. While other parts of the Bible confirm that indeed, if the “world” was ever bad or cursed, that evil world was destroyed and washed clean, at least twice: once in the Flood, and then again when it was “redeemed” by Jesus. So that in effect, the old bad “world,” has long since been destroyed as foretold; while today we have a world or earth that is in principle at least, fundamentally good and sacred.
To be sure, in the end, John is just another unreliable disciple. And whatever he says, is to be taken with a grain of salt, or taken provisionally at best. However, those who follow John, might note that even the very faithful and spiritual John (who is often so, so spiritual, that in fact he often seemed to commit the sin of Gnosticism), warned however, that there are “many deceivers” in religious things. Indeed, 1 John even warned hat deceivers came from the crowd around John; from “us,” even early Christians:
“So now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that is it the last hour. They went out from us” (1 John 2.18-19).
John suggests that the false Christ etc, came out of his own crowd … but then left “us.” But to be sure, which of us today, inherits the right tradition of John? And not the false one? Finally there is no way to tell, as we find elsewhere, but the science of God.
To be sure, 1 John is perhaps the most spiritual work of the entire Bible; in its attack on the “world” especially. And yet it sugests that after all, those who have money, can be good, by usuing that money to help others
“If any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3.17-18).
1 John also, by the way, is addressed often to “little children” (1 John 2.1, 2.12, 2.18).
In any case, John pretended to begin after all, testifying to what he had heard and seen:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands … and we saw it, and testify to it” (What was seen of the “world” to be sure). (1 John 1.1-2)
And John promises physical things, among other things:
“We receive from him whatever we ask” (1 John 3.22).
c) And John 2?
Here, John begins stressing “work” (2 John 8).
Finally, ultimately, given so many problems with conflicting diciples, John finally emphasizes not faith in disciples or their doctrines; but only “love” (2 John 5-6). Given so many conflicts between holy men, nothing triumphs or resolves it all; except some have thought, a rather broad, liberal tolerance. Or “love.” Though to be sure, we ourselves will have located science, finally, as a stronger determinant. Physical evidence. Not mere sentiment. Since even love can fail us: “hearts,” the Bible warned over and over, are often “false” and “deceived.”
Finally, it is deceivers who do not see Jesus in physical “flesh”:
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the anti-christ. Look to yourself, that you many not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward” (1 John 7-8).
This almost completes a brief survey of parts of the Bible attributed to a “John.” Who might have been “beloved” by Jesus … though Jesus of course loved sinners. So that this love does not constitute endorsement.
Finally though, we should remember that there is one more book, the very last book of the Bible, Revelation, that is sometimes attributed to John (Rev. 1.1) Those who want a complete summary of the works of “John,” should therefore read our separate passage on Revelation. Where we show that however, that final word in the Bible [final, before the Second Coming adds new words], does not stress “faith,” either. But pictures us as being “judged” in the end, just as much by our fruits, works, signs, “deeds”; what we have “done.”
d) If we are to acknowledge 3 John, then to be sure note this:
“It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about our faithfulness to the truth and how you walk in the truth”
If we are to have “faithfulness to the truth” (3 John 3 NIV), then after all, this does not preclude or vitiate the finding here, that first, we must find out what the truth is; and that is found primarily, better than blind obedience, by … the science of God. As the rest of the Bible finally decides. Even in 3 John, John helpf for our phsyical “heath” (3 John 2); that we will “render any service” to those who are good (3 John 5); hopes that we are “workers” in the truth (8); says “he who does good is og God” (11); and expects that an imortant meeting with John “face to face,” is to come (13). One better than scripture, than “pen and ink” (13).
So that even the very, very spiritual John, who all but “hates” the “world,” still values physical “appearances” better than mere spirits and words and letters, it seems.
To be sure, in John especially, the conflict between spirituality and worldliness become extreme; we see two very different voices, often in flat contradiction to each other, presented to us as the voice of Christ himself. But given such flat contradictions? Finally we might simply say that one of these two voices – the spiritual voice, amazingly – is the lesser of the two. Here, we reverse the common idea of priests. Who thought they and their faith in spirituality and Heaven, were so “high” and “lofty” as to be beyond reversal or disproof. But now we find that after all, all who are “high” and “lofty” are to be brought down; and their Heaven itself is even now, dissolving, as foretold (2 Peter 3.7-12; Isa. 34.4; Rev. 21).
The vanity and self-importance of many preachers was infinite. But? Finally the Bible noted huge sins in them. And moved on to a rather different theology, even a different understanding of Christ, than the one that most of them accepted as final.
God’s Science Point #133
(# 133) In wrapping up the odds and ends in the Bible, after looking for some time at major sections on Jesus, and Paul, and then minor appedices on Peter, then John, we might next briefly recall the book of Jude. In Jude as in Paul, we are seeing increasing signs of a professional priesthood; which uses the word “faith” as being one and the same as following Jesus; referring to what is now, after the death of Jesus, called “the” faith (Jude 3). And so the text makes the usual bow to faith. But then it next also, makes the usual bow to … acknowledgements of problems with faith. Here, Jude also notes that false things and people are found among even “you,” the holy men in Christanity itself:
“For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God” (Jude 4 NIV).
After bowing to faith, the Bible normally next however qualifies that, and warns about faith. While indeed, Judge warns that false things “have secretly slipped in among you” believers (Jude 4). While for that matter, Jude affirms next, that even those with great authority in religion, even “angels,” or no doubt bishops and popes, often do not merely just slip in their personal behavior, but also lose their religious authority, and therefore no doubt err even in the most sacred dogmatic and doctrinal matters:
“The Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.… Angels … did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day” (Jude 6).
Even the angels are unreliable. Therefore, in the Book of Jude, belief, faith in itself – or belief say in angels – is not a good thing: you might believe or have faith in the wrong thing. You might believe or have faith that you are Napoleon; but that would be a false belief, and not good. If those who do not “believe” are destroyed (5), after all, it is only those who do not believe in …the right idea of God. And the only way we can know what the right idea is, when even “angels” are false, is not by listening to angels or other religious leaders, and their “authority,” which often is lost. But instead, the best way to bet the right idea of God, as we have clarified here, is to follow the science of God.
In the meantime, there are many who told us to be content just with spiritual results, and forget our physical bodies; but those are the “Dreamers,” we have found; who do indeed, “pollute their own bodies” (8); pollute or defile, destroy, their own physical side.
Then too, Jude defends “reason,” a major element in science; Jude atacks those who are “uncreasoning” (10). And especially Jude notes the sin of having no empirical, physical results; beingpersons “without fruit” (12).
Though Jude concludes with a priestly prayer, (called even a “doxology” in the NI; in notes between 23 and 24), hating “corrupted flesh,” the condemnation of “corrupted flesh” is open to two readings; in one of them (the right one; the only one consistent with God), we condemn only “corrupted” flesh; but not all flesh. Not all flesh we might say here, is corrupted, or unclean; defined as staining our “clothing”; there are those who wash and wipe, after all.
Indeed, not all “flesh” is corrupt. Recalling too that Jesus shimself after all, was God … come to “flesh” and “world.”
Or, if some flesh or world is corrupt, then note, he “redeemed” or “overcame” them. Or Christ even, if seems, could make matter not intinsically bad, as Paul might have imagined with Plato, but “redeemed” matter. By showing that even flesh can be as sacred as … God in the flesh, Christ, after all. God entering “flesh.”
And thus the material “world” was long ago redeemed, cleansed, “overcome.” Long ago. So that whatever “world” it is that we have today, is probably good enough. Or is not intrinsically, eternally bad.
If some faith is “most holy” (20), then which faith is it? The faith that you are Napoleon? Blind faith? Finally the rest of the Bible makes clear, outside this extremely brief epistle or part of the Bible, the only faith which is holy, that is faith in God, is faith based largely on empirical experience that is confirmed by science.
Judge affirms that the power of God is manifested in phsyical acts; as he “destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 5). And refers to the coming of God to judge those who engage in “ungodly acts” (Jude 15). Thus at least our evil acts, have a negative importance.
Works attributed to John to be sure, are usually the most spiritual parts of the Bible; it is John who more than anyone else, attacked the “world” and so forth. But even in John, we see traces of a God who does not “hate” the world, but comes to “save” it (John 3.16). While in a final book attributed to John – Revelation – we indeed firmly see the return of the God who “judges” us by our “deeds” and “fruits.”
As we will see in our separate entry on Revelation, below.
God’s Science Point #134
The Book of James
(# 134; linked to remarks on James in sections on Over-Spirituality too). After considering a) the God of the Old Testament, and b) words attributed to Paul, and then c) words said to have been spoken by Jesus, here we have come to d) merely the other apostles after Paul, and their writings, apart from the words of Jesus himself. To be sure, the apostles themselves, remember, often admitted themselves, with Jesus, that their “faith” was not very great. And Jesus warned that the apostles often failed him and us; and were even often “Satan”ic (Mat. 16.23). But among the apostles, finally we should recall again, especially, the apostle James. Who finally did some important things. Though James may have at times and in parts of his book, appeared to support faith and spirituality, James finally delivered a central attack on faith and spirituality. Where he warned in effect, that if many does not live by material things alone, he lives by material things in part. And a religion – like priestly, spiritual Christianity – that does not deliver material things, leaves us physically starving to death, for example; killing our physical bodies.
James said firmly that those who, like most priests, offer primarily “spiritual” things, sermons, words, or faith, do not give us enough to live. The fact is, human beings are not just spiritual creatures; they are also partially physical. And the “Lord knows” that we have physical needs as well as spiritual ones. So that those preachers who give us primarily spiritual things, like faith, but do not guide us reliably to real material physical necessities, “prosperity,” actually do not really represent God. Indeed in fact, those millions of preachers, leave us physically dying; out their neglect of the physical side of life, physical necessities. As James especially, began to note. In the following, absolutely crucial passage. Where James noted that “faith alone” was inadequate to our salvation; that “deeds” that take care of our “physical needs” are also necessary, for a complete, fuller sense of Christ.
a) Here, James is sometimes considered to have gone exactly against Paul himself. When Paul suggested we are saved by “faith” alone. Here James directly attacks that position. Warnings that faith “alone,” without good work or deeds, not only “dead,” but physically fatal to those who try to follow it:
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has not deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead…. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless [Paul, advocate of faith, using Abraham as his chief example, calls himself a “fool”]? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.… You see that a person is justified by what he does nad not by faith alone…. As the body without spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2.14-26 NIV).
James here voiced perhaps the most powerful and definitive condemnations of faith and spirituality in the Bible. Not only does he condemn it; but he also notes that following too “faith”fully, and being too spiritual, had disastrous, physically fatal consequences. James warning that excessive spirituality, neglect of the physical side of life and God, actually lead people to physical death. As we see in fact, in the history of priestly asceticism; where priests who despised physical food, “fast”ed and did not eat it; to the point that many of them literally, starved to death. Of starvation.
This remark from James, is corroborated by other remarks in the Bible. Like this statement by John for example:
“If any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3.17-18).
This to be sure, is not the place to review the massive literature on the infinitely devisive dialogue on “faith vs. works.” Which is not directly relevant to our point here, as we will have explained here. Here, we issue a position that in fact, allows for either opinion: either that faith is not enough to save or … or even perhaps faith in God alone can save us. But to be sure, we say here that even if faith in God is enough to save us, without our doing “works,” still, we cannot know whether what we have faith in, really is God. And not a “False Christ,” or a false idea of God, given to us by “false disciples.” We cannot even begin to know that … until first, those many preachers and others who claim to speak for God … produce material wonders, works. To prove that they are indeed, from God. (Or to thus begin at least, the first stage of the verification process).
Those who feel that God said we could be saved just by faith alone, as Luther suggested in his rebellion against the Church, should note here that James (a disciple whose writing, whose book of the Bible, was apparently not much loved by Martin Luther; Luther calling his epistle however, ambiguously, a “right strawy epistle”), makes it abundantly, repeatedly clear, that faith by itself, has some limitations. That we need other vitues to be considered fully good. Beyond faith, James said, we need especially, worthy “works.” Or in some translations, “deeds”:
“Faith without deeds is dead” (James 2.14-26 NIV).
This passage is perhaps the most important passage in the entire Bible, to our own times, and to the current priesthood. It is one of the very most important – and by priests, least obeyed – passages of the Bible. Here, James in effect, condemns most priests and preachers today. Since the average preacher today delivers most sremons, and ideas or “spirit”; delivesr “faith” and spirituality, kind words or sermons; but far less material goods. Some churches divert some funds, to hospitals and food kitchens and so forth. But we will show that priests and religious persons, deliver far less material good, per captia, than scientists, technologists, farmers. The priest who funds one food kitchen for example, might feed a few dozen people a day, typically. But he delivers far, far less material good than say, the medical researcher that invents a vaccine, that saves millions. While indeed, overall, scientists and technologists, and people with practical jobs, have physically saved ten times more people, than saved by priests. So that by this standard in fact, the “calling” (as Calvin called it; cf. Paul on “many gifts”), of the practical working man or woman, is far, far closer to God than priests. And saved ten times more people than priests saved. So that finally we will show, it is not the priest, but the good working man, most valued by God. Indeed in many respects, priests are “last” of all, to God himself.
To be sure, there are tiny parts of even James, that seem to support “faith.” Like the following:
“Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2.5).
“Believe and not doubt” (1.6).
But does even this passage really chamption physical poverty? And faith? Note first of all, a detail of biblical language in this passage, that preachers have always overlooked: aa) James is technically making no statement at all here. Remember:this is all in the form not of a statement, but a question. “Has not” God chosen this?
Preachers typicallymis-read all leading questions and hypotheticals, as strong definite statements. But in fact, when the Bible chose to present things as questions, and not flat statements, that was deliberate and extremely significant. The Bible chose to present some things as open questions … usually to indicate some problems, questions, about the theological position outlined there.
While also note, bb) James suggests that real faith is to be followed, verified, by real results; a “kingdom.” And in the rest of the Bible, the kingdom is normatively taken as a very physical place, described in great detail in Revelation, etc.. Indeed remember, James himself thought that a religion that delivered on spiritual things like “faith,” was an evil Religion in effect, that lead us literally, to physical death.
And in fact, if someone wants to say that at least, James left the important question open, as an open question, note that even here, this is only a part of the text. While cc) most conclusivelyand finally, whatever hesitations James might have had about all this, is followed finally, in the book of James, by James thorough, final concemnation, in James 2.26, of faith without works. Where James concludes not as an open question, but as a flat, declarative, definitive statement, that “faith without deeds is dead.” As cited at the beginning of our section on James, above.
d) All this to be sure, leads to shatteringly unconventional conclusions: if James is right, then many generations of preachers – indeed, 99% of all preachers – have been horribly wrong. And evil.
Is James really prepared to face, even suggest, this shattering possiblity? That essentially all our holiest men have been wrong, deceived, and even evil? In fact, James verifies that he is prepared to come even to this apocalyptic conclusion. Seeing huge, horrible, massive, literally fatal evils, in precisely the very most spiritual, religious, faithful people and priests, James began to upbraid even the “brothers.” Which is one name for all dedicated Christian believers. Especially fellow monks, priests. Though strikingly, James was even said to be the “brother” of Jesus. So that no one knows how far his criticism goes.
James – James who was called the “brother of Jesus” as some say (if the older brother, then more important?) – began to warn about, his brothers. To warn about massive dangers, massive and literally fatal evils, precisely in our most religious rabbis or “teachers” or priests or religious leaders; James warning about huge sins, even in his “brother”s. James specifically warning about these problems with our founding brothers, priests, and ultimately our very highest religious leaders. Warning that aa) many of the first Christians were bad “teachers.” That bb) all have sinned, and all “stumble” and “make many mistakes.” Particularly, cc) those many preachers who live by speaking, sermonizing, should note James telling us that the “tongue,” our language, “is a restless evil,” that “no man can tame”:
“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. [“For we all make many mistakes” NRV]. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his who body in check….[But] The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts… No man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father…. (James 3.1-2, 4, 8 NIV).
Finally, even the holiest “brothers” of the apostle, our very preachers, our holiest men, our religious “Teachers,” and for that matter dd) even “we” disciples said the disciple James, “stumble,” err. While those who do much talking, speaking, in particular, are often exremely “evil” persons.
Clearly, finally, James does not have much confidence in the holiest men around him; even his brothers. Indeed, he warns us in effect, they they are often “evil.”
So if our holiest men and preachers, even apostles, are often wrong, bad, and evil, how then, do we find the truth and God? What then what is the solution? When our Bibles themselves were written by after all, apostles?
Then James tell us us to value deeds:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1.22 NIV).
Finally, if we are to believe the Bible at all, then we should note the parts in it at last that seem confirmable by common sense and experience. The parts that told us that real “wis”dom, and “understanding, is found only by those, who look for and present, physical, material proofs, of what they say. Or as James said, after his general attention to “works” and “deeds,” above:
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom (James 3.1-2, 5, 8, 13, NIV).
James at times, to be sure, at times and in parts of his text, supports the “spiritual” (3.15). And attacks the “world.” And even says that “covet”ing things makes us bad. And says – or asks – whether “friendship with the world is hatred toward God?” (4.4). But many of these phrases, are presented not as statements, but as questions. While we have shown than any attack on the “world” in the Bible, must either be taken as false … or as being just an attack on the excessively greedly “world” of Jesus’ time. Not as a condemnation of the entire material world; which God made, and said was “good.” While by the way, those who say that God will reward us physically, but later in time, “tomorrow,” whould note James saying that no one knows what happens tomorrow: “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow” (4.14).
If James at times seems to attack materialism, he might be better said to attack only the most extreme and abusive manifestations of it. James merely and rather conventionally attacks just Greed, and the “rich.” Especially those who get their money dishonestly. But at the same time, James supports those who work at physical occupations, to make honest wages. Indeed, to those many preachers who decided that God only supports primarily priests, and not ordinary “secular” laborers, God in James actually chastised those who fail to recognize the value of the working man. And those who fail to give him his just wages or dues:
“Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you.” (4.4. See also elsewhere, Biblical references to holy men who put “heavy burdens” on others).
If James at times tried to suggest we should wait, be patient, until the Lord’s coming, for results, note that we are to be no more or less patient, than especially the greatly producive working man, the “farmer”; who waits only a few months, after all, for his crop to come in. Indeed, we will find elsewhere that it is the farmer (/shepherd) vs. land”lord” relationship, that is the very core of Judaism and Christianity. So those who read the following, might pay particular attention to this and then other references in the Bible to farming:
“See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand frim, because the Lord’s coming is near” (5.7; at most three years, 5.17).
“And the earth produced its crops” (5.18).
Incidentally, those many preachers who suggest that physical results come only at the end of time, should reconsider; here and elsewhere we will show, we need much more immediate, timely results; enough to save our physical lives, in our lifetime, it seems in James 2.14, etc.. Even in six months or so from the moment you begin; the way a farmer gets results from planting, very soon. At most, James refers to Elijah praying for rain for “three and a half years” (5.17), and then getting rain.
James at times to be sure, mentions “faith” and spiritual things; and attacks the “rich” (James 1.11). And the “world.” But then too, finally, James reflects, repeats, backs, many of the basic ideas, of the Science of God. He reiterated the importance of “deeds,” and “work.” And note finally, that we are to have faith primarily in things that have brought proven, empirical results; even things that produce real, literal, physical fruit. Or food “crop”s (James 5.18 NIV).
James’s work, like most of the New Testament, equivocates between spiritual faith and practical material activity; but finally has plenty of references to support the science that God himself mandated in the Old Testament.
While parts of James, quoting Jesus for example, seemed to advocate “treasures in heaven,” note that perhaps technically Jesus did not say things in heaven were eternal; but only that they did not “rot” and so forth. While if things do not “rot” in heaven, heaven however, manifestly, does burn, in “fire.” So that even Jesus eventually began to suggest of material things, as James did, that “God knows you need these things too.” While likewise, James ends up recalling that the real model for the Godly man might well be the “farmer,” more than the priest; a practical working man who has only as much patience, faith, “perseverence,” (1.2), as it takes to see real material results in say, 3 years or so.
While as for those many very spiritual and faithful, who have strayed from this, because of their very spirituality and faithfulness? While as for those millions of “believers” who have strayed from God, when they remained ignorant of the science of God? Finally, James allows us only to wait for the coming of the Lord … which however he says is “near.” As he said, in 70 AD; two thousand years ago.
There are very spiritual, even Buddhist elements in James; in his attack on the “world,” on the greed and “envy” that is “unspiritual” (3.13-16 NIV). But indeed, God and even James himself, warned that even the holiest men make “mistakes” or “stumble” (3.2). And in the end, there probably will have been problems, sins, even in St. James. But indeed, we can affirm that the Second Coming of God, is always near, and not too far off, nor too hard to find. Since it is in effect, the moment you grow up. Or as Paul said, “mature.” But that, we will have found outside James, does not mean “grow in your faith” as preachers claim; indeed, it means the opposite of that. It means precisely, growing up beyond faith. Beyond the blind faith in religious authority, teachers, that has dominated religion (if not the rest of us), for millennia.
The fact is, we are supposed to move beyond blind faith; to finally see the science of God. James among many others in the Bible, cited many examples of prayer followed by real results, on the “earth,” as tentative proof (necessary if not sufficient in itself) that a given religious idea is good. We believe Elijah because his prayers brought real observable “rain,” as James notes, in three and a half years.
James in particular, notes decisively, that “faith, if it has no works, is dead.” While if we are to come back from this death, even the very spiritual and faithful apostles like James almost began to see, that the means to come back from bad faith in false things, is by acquiring the science of God.
To be sure, James might see good works as merely some kind of necessary correlate of being good; the morally good person will do good deeds. But beyond James we now see a more vital and cetnral function: a person is not proven good, does not prove he is following the right idea of God, until he is materially fruitful.
It may be, that we are saved only by faith in God; not works. But? We cannot even begin to know that what we believe in, really is God, and not a false god … until we see, get, real physical material evidence – fruits; works. As preliminary proof that what we are following, is powerful and real.
God’s Science Point #135
(135) If a major part of traditional religion is false? Then how deep does its falsity go? Could the religion that dominates the world, be even … a deliberate deception? There are warnings in the Bible, about a kind of false religion, a false “worship,” dominating the whole “world,” in Rev. 13 and so forth. And the descriptions of the false religion, match what we see in … priests, and their over-spirituality.
There were warnings about spirituality in James and John. And there are constant, countless similar warnings, in the Old Testament too. For example, there is a similar statement in the Old Testament; in Isaiah 29.8. Which links the concern over our demanterialized religion of priests, to a host of biblical warnings about trying to live on “dreams” and “empty wind” and empty words.” Isaiah warning about this:
“Like a dream, a vision of the night. When a hungry man dreams he is eating and awakes with his hunger not satisfied, or as when a thirsty man dreams he is drinking and awkes faint, with his thirst not quenched, so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion. Stupefy yourelves and be in a stupor, blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink! For the LORD has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, the prophets, and covered your heads, the seers. And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book tht is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, ‘Read this,’ he says, ‘I cannot’” (Isa. 29.8-11).
There are countless warnings throughout the entire Bible, about a great religious deception, that deceives the whole world, and its “worship” (Rev. 13, 1 John 2-4; etc.). One that involves a false idea of Christ; and an impenetrable “book”; and trapping people in illusions, false statements, false “dreams,” “enchantments,” and “empty” words and promises. Jewish leaders and prophets like Isaiah at times support this entrapment, enchantment of its enemies, in illusions. Though one day, the LORD of hosts himself is supposed to come; to cut through such deceptions and evil enchantments (Isa. 29.5-6). And? The classic priestly, spiritual religion or faith, that told us c. 33 AD- 1976 AD, to be satisfied with mere words and thoughts or spirits, that tells us that material things are unimortant, might seem to qualify as this very deception. Countless sections of the Bible warned that a religion or faith that does not take care of the physical side of life, but gives us mere sermons and words instead … is evil posing as the heart of all that is good; is a litearally, physically fatal delusion and evil enchantment, bewitchment, of our minds. (As we see in our book-length treatments of the Over-Spirituality of priests; and writings on Biblical warnings of “delusions,” “illusions,” empty “wind” and “empty consolations,” etc.).
So that in fact, according to some important but suppressed passages in the Bible – and against what we always heard in church, from preachers – very spiritual persons, like preachers, are not really so good or holy at all. They do not do enough; they are not good people. James in fact, gave us our central picture in fact, of the very, very great evil in spiritual persons, priests. There is a massive, literally fatal side of millions of preachers who deliver mostly sermons as their primary work; or who tend primarily to the mind or spirit, but who neglect or deny physical reality … including the reality of our own physical bodies. Such very, very priestly, spiritual persons, James noted, lead us not to God, but to physical death. Ironically, the very religion that presented itself as the essence of all that is good and holy, as the very “angel of light” itself, as the harbringer of “life” … was all along the most evil and fatal thing in human experience. Though we should have known: the Bible warned over and over, that the very things that are presented to us as most holy and good, are often Satan himself in disguise. Satan presents himself as the “angel of light” itself. Indeed, Satan himself, in Job 1, was the main advocate of “faith.”
James and others at times would warn about huge evils in things that are presented to us as holy. James and John note in our key quotes above, that there is actually, amazingly, therefore, something massively, hugely evil in our traditional Christian priests. Specifically, their spirituality and faith are in many ways, extremely evil. The millions of priests and ministers who have constantly preached “faith,” and “spirit” – and who necessarily therefore, correspondingly neglected the physical side of life – not only have a bad, inadequate theology, and a false idea of God; their theology is actually, moreover, physically fatal. As even the normally rather spiritual James and John, began to at last imperfectly note.
James began to see it. But we will be showing later in our books on The Harm Done, that ultimately, the damage done by priests, their over-spirituality and faith, is far, far worse than what even James saw. As we will begin to note later, when priests attacked “wordly” ideas, practical “knowledge,” “reason,” and “science,” when they over-valued “heaven” and hated the “world,” and our “flesh,” they did a massive, subtle but incredibly evil, hidden damage to mankind. As we we will show, when priests favored dreams and “hope”s of unseen kingdoms, and attacked practical “worldly” sense, practical “knowledge,” and “work,” priests were actually attacking, part of God: the part of God that told us that such things were important and useful.
And when essentially all our priests denied and attacked a major part of God? There were of course, penalties. They encouraged, developed ignorance of the very practical forms of knowledge – of medine, farming, housing, the science of God – that had”saved” billions of physical lives from disease, starvation, and exposure. And that would have saved a billion more, if not for the interference of priests. So that? Though in some sense they might have “saved” a few billion people from excessive Greed and so forth? Prriests also subtly led almost as many as they saved, to premature deaths. From too much neglect of physical things; even physical necessities.
So that, after James, we now begin to see a massively evil side to traditional religion, traditional Christianity, as taught to us by priest; an evil not yet sufficient outlined. Though the great evil in traditional Religion is sometimes mentioned by others, to this very day, the world has not really come to yet see the real “sins of the Church”: it has not yet seen that the massive, enforced ignorance of practical things, has caused billions of cases of ignorance, dysfunctionality, then poverty, disease, and premature death. The earth has not yet seen – but here might begin to see – the great evils, caused by priests and ministers. Caused by their false, fatal, over-spirituality, and faith. Caused by their attack on the very practical trades and sciences, that had saved so many already … and that would have saved billions more people. If only the vast majority of priests had not constantly attacked and weakend science and practical sense. In the name of “faith,” and “spirit.”
Exactly as foretold, the very religious leaders that proudly presented themselves as the essence of all that is “light,” that is good and holy, they and their “worship,” were actually, all along, among the most evil and deceitful persons on earth. As we should have known: Jesus himself warned that Peter, was “Satan” (Mat. 16.23).
God’s Science Point #136
(# 136) The Bible contains a dialogue between two major voices, two major theologies from God, throughout most of the New Testament especially. But which voice therefore, should we follow? Consider finally the last book of the Bible: Revelation. Maybe the final answer is in part, in this, the final book of the Bible.
Over and over again therefore, the Bible – or especially, the New Testament – flirts with pure faith and spirituality. And yet however? As we look at it all more carefully, we will see that in every case, every example of what appears to be a call to pure “faith,” following without any evidence? Finally, some kind of a) allusion to problems with holy men. And therefore the need for, the b) the assertion of, some material evidence, “works” and “fruits,” occurs somewhere in essentially the same text. Often, quite close to any apparent call for “faith.” Within a few pages.
Finally, for example, what about say, faith vs. Evidence, in the last book of the Bible: Revelation? We have mentioned Revelation dozens of times in our book earlier; especially Rev. 21. In our Epilogue here though, in our present review of books of the New Testament that contain many words not directly attributed to Jesus, we might well end finally, with a review of Revelation. It is particularly appropriate to summarize Revelation at the end of our book – since Revelation is itself, the last book in the Bible itself; and is a study especially of the End Times.
So what does the Bible say, in the end? This last book of the Bible, to be sure, does not contain many words attributed to Jesus himself in person; 99% or more of Revelation, is attributed more directly, to a “John”; a John sometimes assumed to be the same as the John that wrote the Gospel of John. But while this final book of the Bible does not contain many words directly attributed as quotes from Jesus himself, or even God himself in person, still, Revelation is about the End Time. And since it does mention some relevant topics, suppose we take a look at it. As it turns out, it confirms the fear by spiritual Christians, that spirituality went a little too far from God. And it confirms that in the end, people are judged as much by the God and the materialism they drifted away from, as much as the gentler Jesus, or Paul.
Revelation is today said to be written by the Apostle John; one of the Twelve. Or perhaps another John, on the Greek island of Paphos. The book is a surrealistic, dream-like assemblage of weird catastrophic events, and strange beasts with many heads and eyes. (Apparently it is important to have physical eyes here). Apparently, Revelation overall attempted to summarize and explain the events of c. 30-100 AD; from the execution of Jesus, to the martrydom of many Christians, to perhaps the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD and later. These events would have seemed to many early Christians, to be a succession of surreal terrors; horrors that suggested even that Christianity itself was false. Because it often claimed to protect people from physical disease and death, but it appeared to lead many to death and destruction.
The Bible indeed, addressed a major objection to Christianity: that even its leader Jesus was physically executed, and could not even save himself (Mat. 27.42):
“The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders mocked him. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself!? He’s the King of Israel!? Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.’” (Mat. 27.41-42 NIV modified with question marks).
Christianity at first seemed to think of itself as a simple and loyal, faithful extention of Judaism, including its contant promises of physical prosperity; Jesus was said to have worked many material wonders. Yet the record of what was coming to pass, was that in spite of an occasional reported wonder or miracle, Christianity was not always bringing the material “prosperity” and so forth that God promised, to those who truly understood and followed him. Instead, Jesus himself was physically killed. Though later Christian apologists were to suggest that God being killed was a good thing – Jesus thus sacrificed himself for the good of all – still, this did not quite fit earlier promises, that God would come to earth to live here with us himself; not get killed.
While next, in the time of the apostles like John, many other disciples and Christians were also executed, “martyred.” Christianity for the first few hundred years, it seems, constantly promised and asserted physical miracles and wonders … but now and then was found to actually have brought poverty, and death, and destruction. According to many parts of the New Testament itself. So in this moment, what did believers do and say? There were countless apologetic arguments to try to explain away the lack of material results. Many like Paul became spiritual, and hinted that after all material things, material life, was unimportant. Priests eventually all but reversed the old material promises of Judaism, and turned to actually embrace, as some orders said, “poverty”: “poverty, chastity, obedience.” But when Jerusalem itself was destroyed in 70 AD, and Jews were forbidden from living in the city, Judaism and Christianity could survive only in scattered remnants, exiles; perhaps like John on the nearby Greek island of Patmos. But for John to be sure, the whole collapse of Jerusalem looked like an incomprehensibly surreal apocalypse or disaster or a bad dream. And so he presents a surreal, dreamlike sequence of events, as a vision of the (present and?) future, for Judaism and Chrisitanity.
Ultimately, Revelation is full of so many chaotic, surreally disconnected and symbolic supernatural events, that it has no very clear meaning at all, for most readers. Christianity often promised huge, spectacular, reliable, timely miracles; the ability to walk on water, and get all the miracles we “ask”; all the wonders that Jesus did, and “greater things than these.” But even in the Bible itself, it occasionally failed to produce all he material results that were promised. And then in the time when some may think Revelation was written – c. 90 AD ff.? – when Jerusalem itself was burned to the ground, and Jews were not allowed to live in the city? The situation would have seemed like a nightmare; and that describes Revelation well. The situation was so catastrophic, that traditional apologetics – like the idea that God was temporarily testing our faith – did not seem to match what we saw then. But in the end, as we indeed confirm here, there was one – and perhaps only one – motiff or idea or prophesy, from the Old Testament, that could explain what was happening: the apostles were coming to the End Times; when the old Jewish heaven itself, was about to collapse.
With the material promises of Judaism collapsing, with Jesus physically dead, and Jerusalem physically destroyed, with believers martyred and killed by Rome, it would have seemed to many former believers that the promises of Judaism and even Christianity, were simply being proven false.
a) But amazingly, similar bad things had happened in the past; and all this, some would say, was in effect foretold, in the Bible itself. In the past, things had gone badly; in part because of sins and errors in the Jewish followers of the Lord. So that one “day” or another of the year, the king would examine their tribute or fruits … and when found inadequate, the king would punish them.
b) Or sometimes, things went wrong because of bad “noble”s, angels; or a bad lord or Jewish king. And at such times, huge disasters were a result. And indeed for that matter, one “day,” much of the Bible suggested, the household of the lord was to collapse. Or indeed, our heaven itself and “all” in it, is supposed to collapse (Isa. 34.4 ff). And the Book of Revelation began to fix on these traditional ideas, as an explanation for the disasters that were happening in Jerusalem, and in Christianity.
The most common sermons that tried to explain the death of Jesus, the collapse of Jerusalem, the martyrdom of Christians – as a “test of faith”; as a goad to “spirituality” for example – are found here and elsewhere, to contradict the core, materialistic message of God. And to have therefore been presented only with many question marks and hesitations, even in the New Testament. So what explanation remains, for why such bad things happen to allegedly good believers?
c) Finally, in the end, Revelation and other parts of the Bible, came to only one plausible conclusion. Finally, out of dozens of other apologetics for the death of Jesus and so forth, and the suffering of Christians, there is only one early attempt to explain material suffering in Christianity, that came close to the truth, and that fits the Bible itself: the Apocalypse. We must conclude that, as foretold that aa) our holiest men and angels and lords had failed us; had been partially false. And that bb) therefore, they and our heaven itself, were being righteously destroyed.
Many apologetic arguments for material problems in Judaism and Christianity were offered. But ultimately we will show (especially in our refutation of all apologetics for the lack of miracles, in Sermons as Excuses), there is only one honest apologetic or examplanation of so many physical failures. There is only the single explanation which was advanced in effect, by Revelation. Revelation and other parts of the New Testament, began reading these disasters, as indicating real sins in our holiest men. To the point of being … fulfillment of end times prophesy. Fulfilling the foretold moment when our holiest things are found to fail, and collapse. If even the faithful, even the “household of God” as Peter said, were suffering materially, even being physically killed, then this was because they had not been as good as they thought. And so they – and our heaven itself – are supposed to collapse.
Chronic physical failures in our holy men, seem to match, and be explained by, finally, only ancient prophesies, threats, of a “Day of the Lord,” a day of “judgement.” This seemed to match ancient promises that God would expose sins in our holiest men and angels; and then too often allow our enemies to slay us; in part because after all, even believers were often bad, and sinned. The only biblical scenario that really fits what many of see, is that indeed one “day” or another, God would come not only to punish the obvious enemies of God, but to unveil, expose sins even in believers and angels and priests; and submit them to punishing but also purifying, “fire.” While indeed, since great “faith” follows not God, but Satan, then after all, our believers have indeed sinned mightily. And now is the time for our childhood trust and heaven, to collapse.
This was long developed throughout the Bible. But it came to a peak in the time after Jesus was crucified, and then thereafter. When huge physical disasters befell many early Christians – when Jesus himself was physically arrested, tortured, and executed; when many other early Christians also found incarceration and physical death, like St. Stephen and Paul and so forth –the Bible itself, found that there might after all, be only one valid – if devastating, apocalyptic – Biblical explanation. It might be that after all – as foretold – we were simply discovering as foretold, massive sins and shortfalls even in our holiest religious leaders. Even in this case, in our first Christians and early Christianity, and its very angels and churches and doctrine.
This would explain too why those disasters were happening: it was because our holiest men were actually, not as good or holy, as they contantly, proudly told themselves and everyone else. If there were physical catastrophies falling on Christians, then those parts of the Bible were true, that began to suggest that God found massive sins even in Christian “believers,” the “faith”ful. And that God would often punish apparently “good” people. Because actually … they were not good. Their idea that they were good, was only a false idea, an “illusion” or “delusion.” Of people following “false spirits,” thinking they were the Holy Spirit of God.
. . .
And so, if early Christians at times experienced material poverty and death, instead of the material prosperity and health and healings that God often promised in the Old Testament and often even the New? Then it was because after all, there were very, very real sins even in our “good” Christians, priests, and their doctrines. And so indeed, even the “household of God,” the priesthoods and even especially the disciples, were often finding physical punishment and poverty and death. And if this seemed to be happening especially around 30 AD to 70 AD? Then after all, perhaps that was at least the beginning of the foretold, “Day of the Lord.” Where many are punished for their sins … and for following a “False Christ.” (As John suggested in 1 John, if not Revelation). Or a false idea of Christ, conveyed to us by unreliable messengers; bad angels, bad apostles.
The book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible – suggesting indeed, even, termination – begins with the assertion that this book is the revelation of Jesus. But to be sure, it is Jesus as given to us through at least two intermediaries: first “angels,” then speaking in turn to “his servant John.” Revelation presenting itself as:
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angels to his servant John” (Rev. 1.1-2 NIV).
In our book here, we like many scholars, have been particularly interested in words attributed to God himself; and then, to a lesser extent, to Jesus himself, in person: remarks with quotes around them, to indicate that God or Jesus themselves uttered them. Though technically all the Bible is often said to be the word of God, many might feel it is often rather the word of disciples; while in any case, words attributed as having been spoken by God himself, are often thought to have the highest reliablity, by many. Indeed, he is identified with the “angel”s. And yet? Even in John himself, even in Revelation, the last book of the Bible (to date) there are warnings about the angels and false prophets:
“John, to the seven churches that are in Asia: … (Rev. 1.4).
“The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches” (Rev. 1.29).
“To the angel of the church … I have not found your works perfect” (Rev. 3.1-2).
In once voice, John at times is said to be protected by angels … but then, in a second, John himself in Revelation, warns about angels.
Indeed, as often in religion, we are not talking directly to God and Jesus; we hear about them through unreliable intermediaries, like priests, ministers, popes, and here, “angels.” Here in Revelation, we find that Jesus himself is not speaking directly very much: the introduction tells us that Revelation is not so much by Jesus himself in person. But Jesus sending his message, it is said, a) through John; and b) “apostle”; c) by way of an d) “spirit” or an e) “angel.” To e) “churches.” Even as John himself, Revelation, warned of sins in apostles, churches, spirits, angels.
So that? Finally, there has seemed to most preachers to be a first voice in the Bible, that seems to stress the reliability of such texts, and the reliability of institutional religion, of angels and churches and so forth. But there is also another voice; a voice that is warning over and over, that almost every single aspect of religion is unreliable. No doubt God himself is perfect. But how do we know much about God? Mostly, we know about him … only through imperfect intermediaries.
Much of Revelation, did not belong in our later account of words attributed to Jesus himself in person; much of it (and arguably all of it) is at best a third-person account, for the most part. However, though it is not by Jesus himself in person, or offered by the character “Jesus,” still, in the midst of impossibly dense surrealism, it addresses and summarizes in part, the End Time, “Day” descriptions of the rest of the Bible. And either its is reliable, or it is not. If it is not reliable? Then a) our religion has not been reliable, and we can simply abandon it and go on to more practical things. Like Science. Or b) it is reliable. But if so? Then note that the text itself finally, shows the spiritual Heaven being destroyed; and the new Heaven is one that comes down to this material earth (Rev. 21):
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them’” (21.1-3 NIV).
Here we find a longstanding prophesy which we have found to be very substantially true, or sustainable and useful, in our book here. And note that this prophesy is stressed, as the very end of the Bible; as its final statement, in Rev. 21-22.
So if this is the Bible’s final statement, then what does it say? To be sure, there are two voices here as everywhere. But here we now find aspects in it, that preachers have not noticed or followed or emphasiazed, earlier. In particular, we suggest that when elements of Christianity seem to fail or be false, rather that “whitewash” over that, or “twist” the old material promises around with metaphors, rather than emphsize “faith” and generate countless apologetics or excuses … finally the Christian should simply accept that the great final moment, is the foretold day that God exposes sins, deep in ourselves, but also in our churches and our Christianity, too.
The Book of Revelation was no doubt in large part, one of dozens of attempts to try to explain the many disasters that were happening to early Christians. But while some of the apologetics tentatively hinted at in the New Testament, hold that early Christianity was perfect, this final one rather more honestly, began to confess sins, deep in those who thought they were faithfully following “Christ.” Sins deep in our holiest men and angels, and their allegedly most “inspired” doctrines. If physical disasters were befalling our allegedly good and holy priests and Christian believers, if Jesus himself on the cross assumed that God was abandoning him, then … after all, perhaps many had done something wrong. Perhaps God was finding sins, if not in Christ himself, then in … even “all” the disciples, and “all” believers; “all have sinned” after all. Perhaps after all, this was not a test of faith; but part of a “day” of punishment, for being partially bad and evil. For indeed for example, as we find here, being all too “faith”ful tp wrong ideas … while ignoring the science of God.
When early Christians often found material disaster, many of them attempted to hint that perhaps after all, this might be explained by many different arguments; especially Paul and others hinted, that it might be explained as a goad to us, to develop our “faith” in holy men, or God as pictured to us by holy men. But the whole idea of “Faith” was always advanced equivocally, apologetically, hesitantly. While in fact, Revelation and other End Time accounts, began to suggest another, better, opposite idea. Christians were not being presented with trials, so that they would strengthen their commitment to their ideas; but the opposite of that: they were being punished because many of their most sacred ideas, attributed to God, were false.
Indeed, some Christians deep down, allowed this. Many knew – and know to this day – that there are sins even in our holiest men and angels. And yet however, few priests have really correctly characterized these sins. Today there is a common apologetic, that says that even disciples like Peter, were “human”; and now and then made errors in his personal behavior. And yet it is claimed that these sins and errors were not important; since Peter at least was “inspired” or protectedfrom error by the Holy Spirit, when he issued major doctrines and so forth. Yet we will find here and elsehwere, that the Bible itself made no such very firm guarantees of perfection, in disciples; even in the key moments when they were formulating the doctrines, laws, dogmas of Christianity. Though the Holy Spirit is always there to protect us, often we do not accept the Holy Spirit; or often, disciples took in a “false Spirit,” that posed as the Holy Spirit.
So indeed, God warned constantly of massive sins, even in our holiest men and angels in heaven itself; they, and their most inspired doctrines. And therefore indeed, God spoke of a “day” of the Lord,” and/or a day when God and his kings would come to defeat the enemies of Judeo-Christianity – but also particularly to find sins deep in those who thought they were following “Christ.” But who are to be found to have been following a false idea of Christ and God, after all. So that God must in the end, “judge” “Christians.” And expose massive sins in even their holiest priests and angels. As we find them here and now, today. Finding that even our holiest churches sinned, when they stressed “faith.”
Can even our greatest churches have sinned? Revelation begins with letters to seven of the first Christian churches. And Revelation finds huge sins and errors in most of these earliest churches; sins in these, part of the institutional foundations of modern churches. Sins in their (idea of) “God” and “Christ.”
d) These bad things include bad things in our first, foundational churches and apostles.
Revelation begins as a letter or epistle, addressing “the seven churches in the province of Asia” (including Asia Minor; modern day Turkey). But note this: it is a letter in which Jesus, or John, or the angel, finds many good things in many of our earliest Christian churches… but also many bad things in them. Revelation in other words, find bad, evil things, even in these, some of the earliest Christian churches. Even the first churches, founded and overseen by the apostles themselves (like John?) it seems. And so there were sins and errors in the churches, right from the beginning. Says End Time prophesy.
What did God think was right, and what did God think was wrong, in these, some of the very earliest churches? First, in Revelation, God does not just congratuate people on their “faith”; just as much or more, God congratulates those who have done good “deeds,” and “hard work.” While furthermore, God congratulates those that in effect, did not have much faith in holy men and apostles, but who have instead “tested” things in religion, and have “tested” and found false, even our holiest alleged “apostles”:
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:… I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false…
God therefore once again confirms our hypothesis here: God does not value “faith” that much; rather he warns that there are often false things in our holiest men; and therefore, rather than having faith either in them, or their idea of God, he actually wants us to carefully examine our holiest men and doctrines, with science. Looking to see that they produce, peform good “deeds,” “hard work.” Before we follow them. (While Revelation will also eventually show God judging us by that in the very end, too.)
e) Rather than telling us our churches and their “angels” are perfect, God explictly warns that he is looking not just at the faith, but even more the “deeds,” of even the holiest churches themselves. And when he does, God finds that both churches, and their very angels, often sinned:
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus …. I know your deeds… I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” (Rev. 2.1-2-4 NIV).
To be sure, God seems to feel this church lacks a rather spiritual quality: “love.” And indeed to the end, the Bible includes a dialogue on both spirituality, and science. But at the same time, not even this passge seems to really, fully support the “faith” that churches have today. Note that even this equivocal passage is after, all finding sins in the church at Ephesus. Suggesting we ourselves should not have too much faith in churches today.
Nor is this passage, critical of an early Christian church, an uncharacterisitic fluke. In fact, other sins are found in at least five other Christian churches here; (in seven churches; all except for perhaps the church in Smyrna/Izmir, and Philadelphia.) This book criticises even churches, as it turns out, equivocally; in “double” language. But language that after all, among other things, cuts against “faith” too. Especially, finally, the often “double” sword of the often equivocal Bible, finally attacks especially, faith and the faithful. For being without good works. Thus:
“To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live – where Satan has his throne. You remain true to [faithful to?] my name.… Nevertheless, I have a few things against you…. Eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immortality” (2.12-14; cf. Peter allowing all foods).
God, looking at another of the first churches – here, the church is Pergamum, Turkey – seems to be sure, to be valuing “faith.” But then after all, he finds a limitation in that faith; it is partially false faith, As proven by the fact that it does not results in – in this case – good deeds. Those who claim to be faithful to the right idea of God, still do bad deeds, and produce bad works: they eat the wrong food, and are sexually immoral.
But not only were the first churches often evil; so were even the very angels that founded or oversaw them too.
. . .
f) So what finally, is the solution to huge sins, errors, in the very household of the Lord? Finally, we must learn to simply identify sins, errors at the top. We must learn that after all, even our holiest leaders can be wrong at times. And the way we discover that? Is by examining the fruits of following them. Or looking at their “deeds.”
Although God often mentioned faith, and churches, in the end, God stresses not faith, nor churches. But “Deeds.” Indeed, God begins to allude to a day, to an end; when all – including the highest holy leaders – will be judged not so much by their thoughts, or love, or faith; but by their “deeds”:
“I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: Your tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immortality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols… I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds (2.18-23).
e) And so it is time for our conclusion: what specifically do we find, when at last we begin to see “judgement,” when we acquire the science of God … and begin look at the “deeds” and “works” of our holiest men?
First we begin to notice that from the beginning, even just in the Bible itself, God often finds the “deeds” and “works” of even the holiest men – here, even the “angels” of the first “church”es – to be insufficient, and even bad:
“To the angel of the church … I know your works…. I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God” (3.1-2 RSV).
“I know your deeds…. I have not not found your works perfect” (3.8 NIV, RSV).
Finally, in Revelations, speaking of the time of John, and the End too, God addressed many of the very earliest churches, on which all present Christian churches are largely based. But God did not find even our “foundations” perfect.
Indeed, God here and elsewhere, found many huge, massive sins, in the very earliest Christian churches, and a shortfall in their works and deeds. As well as in priests, prophets, disciples, docrines, spirits, etc.. While here and now, we have at last located and identified specifically some of the major sins of the clergy, of preachers, priests and ministers: a) over-spirituality; b) faith; and c) lack of knowledge of d) science especially.
God already found sins in the very earliest churches. Therefore, it would not seem wise for any church to claim it is perfect, today; because most churches today claim to be descended from the earliest, first churches. Or certainly from the Bible that was in their hands. And yet those churches, God told us even in the Bible itself, made massive errors.
This has long been known by some. But today we are coming to explicate, at last reveal, what some of those massive errors were: first of all, the whole stress on “faith” was an error. Since God stressed not faith, but instead, a critical science of God.
But then what will science tell us next, about even more sins, in our holiest men? Sins in say, their promises of “miracles”? For centuries, priests attracted people to themselves, by promising they would give them miraculous powers to walk on water and make bread appear out of thin air; to to all the “wonders that Jesus did, and greater things than these”; to get “whatever we ask.” And yet however, there is much evidence that after all, these promises were often false; or priests were not good enough to deliver on them. So that the millions, the billions of people who organized their lives around these promises … we let down; and lead into suffering and poverty and death. As we will see ( in our writings on miracles).
But finally? The remedy for all that is less faith; and more science and practical knowledge; that help create a heavenly kingdom, not just in our dreams, or hopes, but here in material form, on this material earth.
And if many churches have claimed to do this in the past? Finally, Revelation does not see any church at all, in the city of God:
“And I saw no temple in the city” (Rev. 21.22).
Why have a temple … if God is everywhere? If he “fills all things” in heaven “and earth”? As Solomon asked.
Some Post-Apocalyptic Thinking
God himself constantly warned there have been longstanding sins in our churches, even from the earliest days. And here we are beginning to reveal what they were. Surprisingly, shockingly, some of the ideas that have been presented to this very day, as the very most sacred, core ideas of Christianity – like faith – have turned out to have been sins, errors. Even according to the Bible itself.
After heavily, adamantly criticising some of the earliest Christian churches, the institutional foundation of all later Christian churches, God next moved on, in Revelation, to describe “what must take place after this” (4.1), in the end. And that vision of the end, is not much more reasurring for Christians, than the long preface. Where God notes massive sins in essentially all the earliest churches that were to be the foundation of present day churches, and of Christianity itself. All churches were found to have bad things in them; (except perhaps,among others, for the church say, of “Smyrna.” Which is now Izmir, Turkey.)
But what in any case, was the final solution in the Bible, for all these huge problems, even catastrophic collapse, in the heart of all that was thought to be holy and true? Billions thought that the coming of Jesus and Christianity resolved all this. When Jerusalem, the Jewish kingdom, was burned to the ground in 70 AD by Rome, a new gentler, meeker credo, a religion of co-operation with our “enemies” appeared, in Christianity. Jesus apparently finding some good even in non-Jewish “Samaritans” and a “Roman” centurion; Paul urging Jews to get along with, merge with, Greeks and Romans; and to “obey” their leaders, governors, etc.. But to be sure, Jesus lives just before the collapse; Jesus died for our sins c. 30 AD; and yet neither Jesus nor his followers, early Christianity, were able to prevent the collapse, the burning of Jerusalem, 40 years later, in 70 AD. While indeed, if Rome itself became Christian, c. 300-400 AD, Rome collapsed immediately after becoming Christian, in 410 AD. For this and other reasons, though Christians at times like to suggest that the coming of Jesus completely “fulfilled” all the promises of God, most feel that yet another, “second” coming, second appearance of Christ will be necessary, before all is fulfilled. And indeed the Book of Revelation “saw” a huge apocalypse, even the destruction of heaven itself (Rev. 21) as perhaps a prelude, after all, to another, new, better heaven. As Peter saw, one even after the “present” heaven of Christianity. Revelation suggesting that God might come again … but to “judge” us not so much by our faith or spirit (or even our “thoughts”?), as much as by our fruits, works, “deeds.” And in this way, begin to give us another, slightly different, better, fuller appearance of God and truth; and a better, fuller “kingdom” of God, of Good. Not just in the old heaven, which is now destroyed; but on earth (Rev. 20 ff).
While indeed, our revelation of a second and better appearance to Christ – Jesus advocating not blind faith in our leaders, but instead, a science of God – begins to partially fulfill that ancient promise. A blindly “faith”ful believer, who formerly rejected practical “knowledge” and much “wisdom” and “work,” and who therefore did not get a real job or a paycheck, who could not flourish, could not find prosperity, who became a beggar, living on welfare, out of simply praying and being “good”- and waiting in “vain” for bread to appear in his priestly beggar’s collection plate, by “miracle” – can now find real truth and respect and prosperity, at last. On learning the science of God; and as part of that, learning science and practical knowledge. To get a real job. And thus begin to help him- or herself flourish; even as he or she contributes to the larger material welfare of all of humanity. And the kingdom of God, good, “on earth.”
All this as foretold, by the Bible itself; as commanded by God himself. In especially, the last book of the Bible; Revelation.
More Events in Revelation?
The “Day” of the End
The Book of Revelation, is a useful place to end. It begins by warnings of sins and errors, in the very first Christian churches. It especially wars of sins, even in the angels in heaven; sins that mislead Christianity, and thus mislead us all, all over the world. But it is Relation especially, that speaks of a “day” when God punishes even angels; and dissolves Heaven. To give us something better.
After Revelation finds sins in the churches, we for a while see merely chaos. Indeed, the chatoic end-time events that are described or prophesied in the rest of Revelation, are extremely surreal and unrealistic-seeming. And hard to decipher. Sequentially, first we see a throne in heaven with “someone” sitting on it (4.3; probably God in 4.10-11); around this throne are many other people and things, who participate in a series of strange, unexplained events; involving seven scrolls, that are being read. They are read by a strange beast, a “Lamb, looking as if it had been slain,” with “seven horns and seven eyes” (5.6-7). This Lamb might be taken to be Jesus … but it is not clearly named as such. While indeed, we see more of the God that “judges” largely by “deeds,” than Christ in the end, it often seems.
Still, a “Lamb” at least, opens the first seal on the first scroll. And next a vision of a series of seven major Apocalyptic events unfolds: including wars, plagues, apparent volcanic eruptions, and so forth. In the midst of this, 144,000 persons – Jews from the 12 tribes – are “sealed” or certified as good. Some things said by the seventh seal or “thunder” was kept secret, or “seal”ed up it seems (10.4). Then more end time catastrophes are narrated; including a “woman” being pursed (12.1).
There are many, many surreal and for now indecipherable events in this, the main section of Revelation. But most interesting for our purposes, is the next moment; the moment when there was war in heaven itself, bad things, in heaven itself, and Satan is cast down from heaven; who then “leads the whole world astray” (Rev. 12.-9). When that happens, many bad things happen even to alleged Christians, who thought they were good because they had faith, but who had bad deeds. And because we might adduce, they followed the “false Christ” other parts of the Bible warned about. In any case, here various king-like persons and “beast”s fight with many nations; and significantly for us here, the dead who had good deeds, only, are blessed because “their deeds will follow them” (14.13).
To complete the narrative: then comes one “like a son of man” (14.14); followed by many plagues and so forth. Then follows the pursuit of “the great prostitute, who sits on many waters” and who deceived many kings (17.1; Babylon? 17.5. Rome?). But Babylon falls (18). Then appears a white horse with a rider, who at first has no name (19.12), but who “with justice judges” (19.11). And who fights with the name of God it seems, on his robe; but God not as a priest, but as a “king of kings” (19.16). This king defeats the forces of Satan it seems, for a time (19.19-21). The devil is bound “For a thousand years” (20.2); the famous millennium. Perhaps Jesus is on earth at this time; the dead come to life and “reigned with Christ a thousand years” (20.4).
This thousand years, is the famous “millenium.” When a King reigns with Christ. For a thosuand years. But it is not today known when it was, or will be. To be sure, Christ is “with” and “in” Christians all the time; so this may or may not be a real, live presence, during this thousand-year millennium. And many kings have already ruled in the name of Christ, Christianity. So that some theories propose that this thousand years is already passed: it’s time frame is widely speculated on, and may have extended c. 1 AD – 1000 AD; 52 AD-1052 (Paul, to the split between Rome and the Orthodox Church); 410-1410 AD (the fall of Rome, right after becoming Christian, to the beginning of the pagan Renaissance); 800-1800 AD (Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire, to Napoleon as the devil). In this period it seems (?), those who “had been given authority to judge” reign (20.4), as priests of “God and of Christ” (20.6). And many kings have aleady reigned in the name of Christianity; so that perhaps the “millennium” has already passed.
But if so, then there will have been also a period when Satan was on the world. Since after the millenium, for a while, “Satan will be released.” To do some damage. Before he and his forces are finally, decisively defeated and thrown into the “fire” (20.7 ff).
Many naïve preachers think of these thing,s as an “Apocalypse”’; an Apocalypse that is yet to come. But to be sure, these things were often said in the Bible, to be coming “soon” in John’s time. While indeed, many parts of the Bible spoke as if the “kingdom” and the end, the false Christ, were already present in the time of Jesus himself.
So that there is good evidence, that all this began long ago; the millennium may already be over. And surely there have been enough disasters in history, to qualify the earth as having passed through much of the Apocalypse already. Indeed, there are already many, many persons that have been nomined for the coming of “Satan” or his minions and beasts: various theologians have suggested that Satan came with ..Caesar, Nero, Napoleon, Hitler. Which would mean that much of the coming of the millenium, the coming of Satan, and the Apocalypse, is already over. Indeed, we suggest thal all that might indeed be already over. Including the coming of the False Christ depicted in other End Time accounts: the false Christ, was the false image of Christ, of Christ over–stressing faith, and spirituality, given to us by the historical churches.
Much of the End could be seen as having been completed. But any case, the moment that we are most interested in, in our books here, is the key moment in the End, the Day, that we suggest has not yet been completed, but is waiting for you, and for our time. Indeed, our preachers especialy, have yet to see and face, the key to the whole End: the devastating moment when God reveals … sins even in the holiest men and angels in heaven. And when God therefore, destroys heaven itself.
Priests normally present themselves as reliable; as “sacred,” “holy,” as the reliable spokesmen of God. And they quote the parts of the Bible, that seem to suggest that “heaven” is perfect, and “eternal.” But first, essentially, God actually suggests that the whole world is to be found to have been deceived, even in its religion; even in what it “worships”
“And I saw a best coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads… the beast I saw ressembled a leopard… The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dramgon … And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life” (Rev. 13.1, 3-4, 7).
Most preachers next assert that they themselves at least – the preacher and his church – will be among the few who are not deceived; that they themselves are among those written in the holy books who will escape all that. But to think that is to be Vain, Proud, and Presumptous. To be sure, no one but God, not even the priests themselves, really knows who the good priests are. As we will have seen here. We cannot trust or have faith in those who assert that they are the chosen elite, good preachers; we must “test everything,” as even the all too faithful Paul finally said.
Most prechers today, claim to be among the few, undecieved persons predicted in Revelation and elsewhere. But it seems impossible that any present-day Christian priests are to be found wholly good … since nearly all preachers today follow heaven, and the entities in it – though God finds sins even in “all” those in heaven itself (Isa. 34.4 ff. Etc.). And since finally, God destroys their heaven itself:
“And there was war in heaven. Michaell and his angels fought against the dragon [/Satan[, and the dragon and his angels fought back” (Rev. 12.7; see also Isa. 34.4 ff.).
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them’” (21.1-3 NIV).
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (21.5).
How can any preachers at all be considered good, if the very heaven nearly all preachers constantly cite as absolutely good authority, is to be found bad, and is to be destroyed? Some might say that heaven is only eventually to go bad; but what is there is a good heaven, that could go bad? There must have been something bad in it, from the start.
Preachers followed the messages of “angels”; a word which means, “messengers” from God. But they neglected to note in the Bible itself, many warnings that the angels themselves were unrealible. Warnings found in Revelation, among many other sources. In Revelation, when John fell down to worship perhaps the very angel that delivered Revelation itself … the angel warned John, against worshiping him:
“I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, ‘Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you’” (22.8-9. Remember also Satan “and his angels,” Rev. 12.7; also proving angels can be very, very evil).
Here is therefore, yet another bit of the massive part of God, that most preachers constantly hide from us; that preachers constantly deny, and disobey. Here once again, as it did hundreds of times, the Bible reminds us that even the holiest men and angels are not so reliable. That indeed, they are not to be worshiped (even the angel that narrated Revelation to John?). Nor even, we will find, followed. To be sure, finally Revelation itself, is attributed to Jesus himself; but it is offered as the word mediated to us by an angel:
“ ‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star’” (Rev. 22.16 NIV).
To be sure, it is hard to know who to trust or have faith in, if anyone, in the end. But if we are to believe the Bible itself as millions do, then we should note the stress in the Bible itself, not on faith, but on science. We should note to everyone, here at last, the parts of the Bible that preachers suppress: the Bible’s constant assertion that our holiest men and angels and preachers, are often sinful and wrong and evil. They themselves, and also as we will see, many of their most inspired doctrines we will find; they and the “spirit” and “Christ” they follow.
Yet while all our holiest men and angels are partially bad and evil, the Bible does not finally leave us in total despair; it finally shows us, in the end, the better part of God. If the Pauline “Faith,” the Christ of faith, that lead us for so many years, is partially false, still finally, the Bible itself warned about that. And the Bible itself leads us eventually, to the truth beyond blind faith. Uitimately we have shown here, books like Revelation show us what is most important and reliable from God’s point of view; and how God himself will judge us; and how we should judge holy men ourselves, and find the truth. The ulimately key however, is not more and more and more “Faith,” as Paul and generations of preachers thought. If faith was good for a while, in our “child”hood, eventually, we are supposed to move on to a better, more “mature” vision of God. As even Paul began to say.
But what is the more “mature” vision of God? Preachers often seem to think, it is the more faithful, spiritual view. But here and now, we reveal what the “second,” more “mature” vision, “appearance” of Christ, really is: it is precisely not a call for still more “faith.” Who indeed needs so much faith, when the works of God are evident on this material earth? What God finally really asks us to do, instead of emphasing faith, is not to have so much faith at all; but to learn to evaluate “everything,” even our holiest men and angels and their ideas about God, by way of looking at the “deeds” of people and angels. Looking to see if they performed, did, good physical acts. Looking to see whether they produced prosperity, fruits, works, signs … or not. Then we are to evaluate all that material evidence, by the supreme material evaluation: science. Finally, if following any alleged holy word from God, does not bring material prosperity, then far from continuing to follow it faithfully, instead, we are to simply deduce that God himself did not really say what was claimed as his word.
So what about it, when preachers tell us that Christ stressed “faith”? For many centuries, the whole world has followed an idea of Christ from angels or disciples or “messengers” allegedly from God; angels who often seemed, in preachers’ understanding, to stress faith and spirit. But if we are to believe or have faith in any words in the Bible at all, today we should have faith in, especially, the words that seem to prevail in the Bible itself. And what was the prevailing, final message in the Bible? What was the standard by which we were most often to be finally “judge”d in the end? Finally, books like Revelation, have us being judged in the end, not so much by our faith, as by our “deeds.”
To be sure, the book of Revelation is one of the Books of the new testament; and the new Testament as a whole, vascillates, equivocates, or swings two ways, with a “double”-edged sword; it systematically entertains both faith, and the emphasis on visible material things. But finally, even Revelation decides rather more firmly, on science. While in any case, Revelation confirms that it is not just the spiritual Jesus, but also especially God himself, the God of the Old Testament, who reappears in the end. While, whatever the New Testament might have done, the Old Testament God we found, was admantly in favor not of blind faith, but of a science of God.
No doubt, all the elements of the Trinity are interrelated. But different aspects of the Godhead are emphasized, with one name or another. And Revelation confirms that it is part Christ, but also especially God himself indeed who, in appears at the end; and does something Jesus said he himself would not do: he “judge”s.
Indeed, God appears at the end; and judges even most of those who thought they were good, Godly; even priests and saints. (And even, “Christ”s?) And he judges them in large part, not by their faith; but ar more than that, by their material fruits, works, signs, deeds.
And furthermore, we can learn to partially apply this final principle of God, here and now, today. As we have here looked at the many parts of the Bible that our preachers ignored; the parts that told about the shortcomings of faith; and outlined a science of God.
In our later books, we will begin to further apply this science. To further reveal specifically which things our holy men have said are true, and which were false. But here and now, we have already fulfilled many prophesies, and have – just as as foretold – already found a very significant sin or two in our holiest men. Specifically, we have revealed here, the first great sin of essentially all preachers: it was their very, very great “faith.” As it has turned out, God himself, did not really stress faith as much as priests insisted. Instead, God most often, encouraged us to develop and follow not blind faith, but to follow the science of God.
As noted again and again, in the Bible itself. By God, himself.
. . .
If Jesus at times mentioned faith, recall that God himself however, the God of the Old Testament, rarely mentioned faith by name; and God was ultimately very, very adamant and detailed, about us all acquiring a science of God. While in the End, we see a sort of partial return of God himself. In that … Christ and God himself, the God of the Old Testament, are found ruling together at the end, on the throne (Rev. 20.6; 22.3; 14.12). So that even if we are “faithful” to Jesus, we are also to obey God’s commandments:
“They will be priests of God and of Christ and they will reign with him a thousand years… then I saw a great while throne” (20.6, 11 NIV).
“Obey God’s commandments, and remain faithful to Jesus” (Rev. 14.12).
“The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face” (Rev. 22.3-4).
In the end, according to Revelation, we do not just have “faith of Jesus,” but have also the “commandments of God” (15.12 NIV; sometimes less accurately, “in” Jesus). But whatever Revelation said in the New testament, finally in the end we have an at-least partial return to God, and the Old Testament. While we found that in the Old Testament especially, God of course, very, very firmly, adamantly, advocated evaluating people as good or bad, according to the material good, the physcial wonders, they produce.
And even if not just Paul, but also Jesus, stressed “Faith”? Then remember that Jesus of course, normally followed God, and constantly deferred to him, or to a “father” in heaven. A father who we found here, firmly backed a science of God. So that even any mustard seed of faith in Jesus, surely, finally, must be taken to be faith … primarily in things proven by experience, and science.
It is sometimes thought by priests, that the gentle Jesus, and the New Testament, effectively, totally replaced or supplanted, the God of the Old Testament, and all his “law”s as Paul called them. But to think that too absolutely, is to commit heresy; of Marcionism for example. And while no doubt, we might hope that God might cancel or change some of his more severe “laws” – like the laws that demanded a death penalty, for working, gathering food, on a Sunday or Saturday “sabbath” – finally, given countless passages where both God and Jesus appear in support of a material science of God – and then too, given the immense fruitfulness of science and technology, the strength and evident usefulness, completely aside from relgioin – finally, the core aspect of God that our preachers should never have abandoned, was the command by God, to honor science. And to incorporate it into the every core or every sermon, every thought, no doubt.
Indeed, if the New Testament stressed faith, in the second coming however, we see a partial return of God himself; the God of the Old Testsament. First, Revelation confirms that God and Jesus both, are found together in the end. And thus, we should also have a partial return to the materialism and activism of God himself; now, in the end. While furthermore, the partial return of God himself, is confirmed in Revelation .. where we see many deeds more typical of God, perhaps even more than Jesus: the dead and living are “judged,” and not by their spirit or faith, but by their “deeds.” While the old spiritual “heaven” itself, full or angels, is confirmed as having sins, Satan in it (Rev. 12.7-8). Indeed the spiritual faithful heaven s destroyed (12.7-8, 21.1); while the “new heaven” comes down to be a place here, on our renewed material earth (Rev. 21). So we see God’s materialism make a partial return.
As for Christ? What we see finally, in Revelation, is a Christ, who begins to be a bit more like God himself; a Christ re-unified with God himself. In the end, we see a deity who is not just or primarily a spiritual “priest” (in the order of Melchizedek, etc.). Indeed, even Paul seemed to hint that if Christ or God was here again, he would not be a priest at all (Heb. 8.4-9-13; cf. 2.14, 5.1-8.4). While if Paul seemed to feel that the old God – or his law – was completely abolished by a “new covenant,” then note that finally, Paul modestly noted that even he himself and his ideas, were not yet entirely “perfect.” While in any case, we cannot regard just part of the Bible – the parts written by Paul for example – to be absolutely definitive. To know the “full” Bible, we need to read it all. And if we do read outside Paul, then we get the fuller, better view of God … advocating science, deeds, over faith.
Indeed, Revelation or the End should be read; where we see a partial return of the old God. Of God himself. Who is not so much a priest; but more a king. Even, a “king of kings.” And like a king, as opposed to priests, he is not so concerned with “spiritual” things like “faith.” But is more concerned, like God himself, with real material, physical results, observed and confirmable with our material eyes and science, here, on this material, physical earth, again. Making the world, earth, partially divine again; making a “new earth.” (As perhaps a theologian like Jurgen Moltmann might have confirmed partially, in his book, Science and Wisdom, SCM Press, St. Albans Place, Longdon, 2002, trans. Margaret Kohl, 2003; pp. 2-7, 76-78, 151).
And so, while the old vision of God had him too much as just a spirit, in a heaven hopelessly above us, our understanding here corrects that, just as prophesied: with a heaven that now comes down to earth.
But as for the timing? In part, we often imply it is happening “now.” More exactly though, as foretold, the exact time is not known; but it is not far off. This has long been locked for; but it was never really so “far away” after all. Indeed in part, we can for once read part of the Bible as metaphor; and read the destruction of heaven, the Apocalypse, as being a mental moment, primarily; the moment when you grow up beyond blind faith in adults, authority. And to be sure, here the exact time is not known. No one knows the exact moment you will grow up beyond blind faith. No one knows the “day” you begin to “mature”; and see sins in our holiest men; and discover the material science in the Bible and Christ. No one knows the exact day that you get at last a good view of a “second,” “fuller” view of the Bible, and of God. Though that moment is always close, always near; one can mature in religion, a see the science of God, in the “blink of an eye.” Quickly. And any time: “soon.” And thus see at least a preview – and we suggest, the very substance – of the foretold, second coming, or second parousia or “appearance,” of Christ, God. See him moreover, not just in heaven, but here in material things; and therefore, in the flesh, on the earth, again. As foretold.
The Final, End Time Appearance of Christ and God
But what do God and Jesus look like, in the end?
It is hard to say anything from the infinitely surreal book of Revelation. But if we are to use it, then a sort of partial return of some Old Testament sense, in the Second Coming, and/or the “Day of the Lord,” is further confirmed in say, the book of Revelation; when it for example, verifies that the “throne” that is to rule the earth finally, is the throne of “God and of the Lamb”; or God and Christ it seems. Incidentally by the way, there is not “temple” or church in the city of God, Heaven come to earth, it seems. In any case note, it is not just “I Jesus” (Rev. 22.16) or a “Lamb” that is on the throne of the kingdom. But also, clearly, the God of the Old Testament:
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them” (Rev. 20.11).
“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21.10; 2).
“I [John] did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple….” (Rev. 21.22).
“On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every moth. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the naitons. No longer will there be any cuse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face” (Rev. 22.2-4).
“These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angels to show his servants the things that must soon take place” (Rev. 22.6).
Many preachers have all but taught that the materialism and severity of the Old Testament God, was changed, all but dropped, by the gentle, spiritual, forgiving Jesus, and Paul’s “new covenant.” But most cannot do this openly; the Roman Catholic Church declared such ideas to be heresies, the heresies like Marcionism, Gnosticism. Because indeed, the New Testament itself was sometimes ambiguous about its ties to the old God, and the status of Jesus (the doctrine of the Trinity was never explicitly outlined in the Bible itself, by name; but only later, by “theologians”). But the Old Testament had some remarks, many would say, that would seen to not allow any other gods, or any different successors; and there is evidence that Jesus himself constantly referred to old holy words of God, and to a “Father” in heaven, suggesting that though Jesus and God are often “one,” still, the Father has a higher place in any trinity. So that Jesus himself, most of the Bible, apparently did not mean to entirely replace or change, our idea of God; to completely supplant the Old Testament God. Who we found next, was quite materialistic, and scientific. While indeed we now add here, if Jesus himself was rather spiritual and faithful, still, he could only be so ambivalently; to oppose science firmly, would be to too obviously opposed God. While now we are adding, in the book of Revelation, it seems clear that Jesus himself must be rather more consistent with the God of the Old Testament than anti-materialists thought. And insofar as the extremely surreal Book of Revelation for example, can be seen as being clear on anything at all, it seems to be rather clear that the End, the Day of the Lord, were ideas that came originally from the Old Testament. And in the end therefore too, it is not just the spiritual, forgiving Jesus that we are to get in the End; but also God especially. While indeed the final arbiter who “judges” us, is often taken to be God himself especially; since Jesus often said he himself would not “judge,” and so forth.
So that in the very end, it seems, beyond Jesus, or expanding our understanding of Jesus, Revelation and other end-time predictions, seem to picture a Godhead, a Trinity, with rather more of God himself in it, than many have thought. While God is quite materialistic, and science-oriented. So that in the end, we come “face-to-face” some say, with a Godhead which is rather unlike the ascetic side of Paul, and supports and emphasizes not the spiritual faithful side of Jesus and the New Testament; but rather, of the many voices available in the Bible, it seems to be finally the voice of the material science of God, that triumphs, predominates; in the End. Indeed, particularly, Jesus often declined to “judge”; to condemn an adulterer for example. Whereas, if we are to be “judged” in the end, in Judgement Day, the Day of the Lord, then one of the chief judges and Lords in the Bible after all, is particularly, God himself. While indeed, we suggest, good “judgement” comes to a faithful believer, only when he or she matures … and sees the reason and logic behind Christianity; when he or she moves beyond a childlike faith in priestly authority; to begin to see (a) higher theology, and the science of God.
And so some might say we seem to see a resurgence, in the end, beyond Jesus, God himself. Jesus comes a “second” time … but now recombined more smoothly with elements of the classic Old Testament. Specifically, we do not see the full return of the most severe “law”s of God, to be sure; the return of the Old Testsament death penalty for working on a Sabbath for example. But we do see at least, a return of “judge”ment and reason and “logic” (the real meaning of “Logos”; not the “word”). Or indeed, since these are related too to science, as part of that, we see at last, a return to the science of God.
Revelation often seems to confirm a partial re-unification of the New Testament Christianity, with the Old God of the Jews and the Old Testament again. In that it seems to picture God himself as much as the “Lamb,” in the end. While particularly, the science that God developed in one Old Testament book after another, in in one side of the New – has been earlier confirmed not only in a) Jesus’ occasional reference to the elements of science; observing “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” and “proofs.” While a return to a greater emphasis even in religion, on the importance of science, had also been confirmed by b) the fact that we see much of the OT God himself, in the End particularly. While the OT itself originated the idea of the return of the Lord. And indeed we see an explicit joining of Jesus, to God, in the “throne” above. And then too, we see many qualities of the OT God returning, in the many figures that are found in Revelation; including God not as priest, but as a “king.”
While indeed finally, given that in the end we see a new heaven, coming down this physical earth, we might suggest that it is precisely the nature of the second coming, that we at last see a God that melds the heaven of spiritual religion, to the materialism of the Old Testament God, and of science.
Indeed, Revelation pictures the Second Coming/End Time, as joining heaven and earth. It sees the Second Coming of God/Christ to earth, as bringing a new spiritual heaven, down to this material earth. Thus joining not only God and Jesus, but God’s materialism to Jesus’ spirituality. In images like this one, that we have used constantly in our books here, to illustrate the return of religion, to material things. Conveniently pictured, symbolized in the book of Revelation as the Holy City of heaven, coming down … to be a place at last, here on this material earth:
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them” (21.1-3 NIV. Cf. the contemporary de-deification of Caesar; and the come of the “son of Man,” meaning “moral”).
The idea, that God, heaven, will be very evident here on this material earth again, is confirmed also, in that this passage suggests that “God is with men.” And again, when it says of God that he “will live with them.” And will be visible; even his “face” some say. (While even Paul spoke elswhere of new spirits animating our “bodies.” And Jesus also previously spoke of the coming of a son of “Man”; suggesting that mere physical men, are to be given some dignity, value, even as material beings, “men.” )
All this confirming furthermore, and repeating even better, the widely-acknowledged importance of the first coming of Christ: God, spirit, descending to the material earth, and becoming “flesh.”
So what does God or Jesus or the Trinity, finally look like? In the end? Finally? What we see in the End, some might have suggested earlier, is the end of heaven/earth; religion/science, spirit-flesh, God/Jesus, Priest/Worker hierarchial dualism. (Or vicious “double”ness in the Bible?). We see “all” things coming together, “full”y. Including “heaven” and “earth.” Which means, among other things, the coming together, of perhaps the Old and New Testaments, God and Christ .. but also word and world, spirit and flesh; as part of the re-merger, of spirituality and materialism. Which all happens we assert here, when you at last see, understanded, the science of God … and thereby experience a balanced, heaven-and-earth theology.
The New Testament as a whole to be sure, often even simultaneously, even within single phrases, entertained both practical science, and faith. But finally, the New Testament warned of stresses and strains, between the “new” patch, and the “old” material. And at times it seemed to even all but suggest that we cannot serve both God and Mammon. But if the New Testament at times (if not always) seemed almost ready to suceede from the Old, if it seemed ready to split in half, finally, the Bible finally saw things coming together too. Heaven coming down to earth; the valley next to Jerusalem apparently ending; God coming to Man again. And in effect, when we re-join religion to science, that begins to happen once again.
And of course, once again, if parts or one whole statum of the New Testament seemed to over-emphasize spirituality, faith, the overall Bible as a whole, but more stress on emprical things. While in the End too, we see a re-surgence of the importance of “work” and so forth, and “labor.” Indeed, those persons – priests? – who neglected such things, are now to come under very, very, very severe judgement indeed. Regard in the following the huge importance, to God himself, the God of the End, of material, physical “work,” and “labor”: .
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind…. I will rejoice in Jerusalem….and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain” (Isa. 65.17-23).
Our over-spiritual preachers did not know this. But the Bible did:
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.”
(This is continuous with Mat. 25.14-21-23. Where we are ordered to use our “talents” in good works; not keep them burried. Also Luke 12.42, 16.10-19.17 on being trusted with “little”?).
“The house of the righteous will stand. A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of perverse mind is despised. Better is a man of humble standing who works for himself than one who plays the great man but lacks bread” (Prov. 12.7-9; James 2.14 ff).
“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Ge. 3.19).
“Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you” (Exd. 16.3).
“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread” (Prov. 28.19).
“Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples” (Mat. 26.26).
“Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you.” (4.4. See also elsewhere, Biblical references to holy men who put “heavy burdens” on others).
“So I will come near to you for judgement. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages … ‘ says the LORD Almighty…. ‘Return to me, and I will return to you …. But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ …. In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ Says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit ’ Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and very evildoer will be stubble …. Not a root or branch will be left to them” (Mal. 3.1-5, 7, 9-11, 4.1 NIV).
How can you survive judgement? From the parts of the Bible we have quoted here, finally many of us should even now, begin to “see”; see the God who valued after all, the practical work of our hands. A God who in fact, supports those who worked with their hands. While our God will punish those who did not give the practial materially productive working many, his “wages,” or due. (While those who did not value material things, who will “not judge by what he sees with his eyes” (Isa. 11.3), after all, some say, even fall “In that day” in the end – Isa. 22.25; 24.2). In a moment when we now see sins, even in the highest angels in heaven itself, and priests too. As foretold.
And since God is here to deal not just with sprituality and heaven, but also materiality and the earth, he also notes sins in both, and punishes elements of both:
“In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below” (Isa. 214.21. See also 34.4; Peter on the household of God, etc.. Zech 11.15 ff.).
This of course, will be a shock to our very spiritual preachers. But after all, this is what the Bible really says. While many theologians have long warned too, that the materialistic/scientific God of the Old Testament, did not change so completely, with Jesus. So that on this final day, a rather severe God is to sit with even our highest priests and bishops and popes, to “refine” and even severely “judge” even them, the sons of the priestly tribe, of Levi. While always remember, God punishes those (often very spiritual persons) who did not value the work of physical “laborers”:
“But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire…. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. So I will come near to you for judgement. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages … says the LORD Almighty. I the LORD do not change” (Mal.3.2-6).
This to be sure, is an Apocalyptic moment; one that requires some massive readjustments among believers, and especially priests. Many have thought that the New Testament and Jesus, even reversed, “change”d, or superceded, the Old Testament God and his science, totally. But Jesus often deferred to the “Father” in “heaven.” While indeed, if preachers especially have over-valued spiritual things, there were many warnings in the Bible that indeed, preachers and holy men in particular, would be found wanting finally. Even Peter knew that even the holiest “household of God” itself, the holiest Christian believers, would be judged and refined, in the end (1 Peter 4.17; 2 Peter 2.1-4, 3.3 –4). While Malachi confirmed it was preachers especially, the tribe of Levi, that would have to be submitted to the “fire,” and “refined.” While nearly the whole Bible warned continuously that it was our “worship,” our very churches, our very idea of “Christ,” that is to be found to have been deceived, “false,” even more than the world of working people, in the end.
Indeed, the ordinary good but also practical person, has already long since informally balanced religion and science roughly. The average person is not just spiritual, but also devotes the bulk of his week, to practical, materially productive “work” or a job. Just as the commandement ordered. While actually, it was primarily only our priests, that ignore the part of the commandment that orders us to work the bulk of the week.
So finally, against all priestly expectations, it is not even so much the everyday working man or woman, the “laity,” that is to be changed here, in the end. Or in any case, priests and preachers equally are to change. Indeed, preachers today need to change a very great deal, before they can be regarded as even “good”; rather than evil.
Preachers especially, should be changed by this final development. To see the God that after all, did not change from the Old Testament, much as many Christian priests had thought. Thus confirming warnings about priests and holy men in the Bible itself.
Indeed, what priests should now see in the end, is a god who as a mater of fact, seems to find the ordinary good but practical working man – like the Good Samaritan, closer to God, than a priest or a rabbi. Since indeed, the working man has many more obvious material, physical fruits. Indeed we will eventually find that, the “farmer,” and not even a “shepherd,” is the hero in the Bible. The real hero that in almost the very end of the Old Testament, the second-to-last book in the Old Testament, replaces even the prophet. (Zech. 10.1 -11.4- 14.1).
Indeed, God, Christ in the end, re-appears rather less like a priest, than a practical king. While then too the priests who thought they were “first” with God, find that even they themselves are actually … in many ways, “last.” As we find here and now; in the end.
And so it is our balanced, heaven-and-earth, relgion and science theological vision of God, that is finally reaffirmed in the Bible; especially in the End. When, as Jesus says, we are judged by God, not by our thoughts or spirit or faith; but by what we have “done”:
“Then he will repay every man for what he has done” (Mat. 16.27).
“Whoever practices … these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5.19 NIV).
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind…. I will rejoice in Jerusalem….and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain” (Isa. 65.17-23).
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.”
“My chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands” (Isa. 65.22).
“And the dead were judged according to what they had done” (Rev. 21.12).
“Because of their actions and their imaginations” (Isa. 66.18 NIV).
To be sure, much of the Bible gives some importance to the mind or spirit, as well as our hands and body and physical works. But finally, the best way of reconciling mind or spirit, and body, is science; the “full”er “knowledge” of God, that studies both the Bible and God in the world; which finds the spirit of or embedded in, material reality. And in this theology, not just our thoughts or spirit, or faith, but also our “works” and “actions” and what we have “done,” finally, are extremely important. Perhaps they are not what saves us. But? In a world of many false religious ideas, the the best way for anyone to know whether they had faith in the right idea of God … is by looking to see if their material results, were fruitful. We are not saved by our “works” per se; yet we can only know we are good, that what we believe in our hearts or minds or spirit is following the right idea of God, by looking at them. So that? In the End, in Revelation, we are judged in large part, by our works. Not that they saved us, per se. But they are the best index that we were following, having faith in, the right idea of God.
What is “work”? Many parts of the New Testament, seem written or edited by and for priests, religious scribes, to use as a resource for spirituality; to prove that their own spiritual devotions, good deeds, are “work.” But such indications as the New Testament made of that after all, could never be too unequivocal; they could not say such a thing too firmly; just doing religious things like say, a) prayers; or b) devotions; or c) moral deeds or acting morally in the world, is just a very small part of what the overall Bible described as work. Finally it becomes clear here, that what God wants by deeds and so forth, is d) especially those acts that get real, material, physical resuts; that bring real physical prosperity and power. While anything else – even a very great ascetic spirituality – is simply, “death.” Faith, if it has no works, is dead. As James said.
This to be sure is an alarming, apocalyptic, heaven-shattering “new,” “second” vision or “appearance” of God and Christ. But if so, then it is biblical precisely because of its disillusioning and shattering aspect, too. One “day” after all, God is supposed to reveal sins and errors in our holiest men and angels; and if this new appearance of Christ seems to shatter our vision of heaven itself, then in fact, that fulfills prophesy: one this day, God is supposed to destroy heaven itself. In order for us to see a new heaven … that comes down, to merge with this material earth.
So here and now therefore we present, the second appearance – the Second Coming – of Christ. And finally, what we say here does not deny, but “fulfill”s the Bible. But with the “fullness” that finds God in the things of the “earth” too after all (q.v.).
As foretold, to be sure, we now see many huge sins in our preachers. The Lord “leads priests away stripped.” (Job himself, in Job 12.19 etc.). As foretold, those who thought they were first with god, the first, are found last. The Bible is true … but true in a way our preachers have not, until now, understood.
In spite of a superifical humility, preachers havea lways implicitly presented themselves to us in effect, first with God. Presenting themselves with immense Pride, as having already attained the status of a) “holy,” “sacred,”” rightous,” “perfect,” infallible; as at least, the extremely reliable spokesmen for God. And then they assured us that b) if we followed them with total “faith,” we would c) get physical “miracles.” And a saving d) “spirituality.” But we have begun to find here, that our preachers were wrong, deceived, in many ways. First of all, 1) the Bible warned that there have always been huge sins and errors in our holiest men and angels and preachers; in them personally, but also in their most “inspired” doctrines and sermons. Therefore, 2) God told us not to have too much faith in holy men at all; but instead, we are supposed to “test everything” in religion, Christianity, with science.
So already it is as foretold; acting for God, we have found two or three huge sins or errors in our preachers, the very angels of the church. In their sermons, their theology, their vision of God. But 3) then what will happen next? When we begin to apply the science of God, to specific promises from our holy men? To their promises of, say, huge physical miracles? The fact is, science will be found to say that … our preachers’ promises of huge physical miracles were false too. While 4) their spirituality usually followed a false spirit, and was literally, physically fatal. (Just as James began to note, in James 2.14 ff).
So that indeed, as foetold, the 5) “heaven” that we were introduced to in church, begins to “dissolve” … exactly as foretold (2 Peter 3; Rev. 21; Isa. 34.4 ff). But what we have know, is a religion, a Christianity, that can at last meld with, work with, be part of, science. And which therefore, should begin to share at last, the enormous fruitfulness of good (if not bad), science.
So what should we finally say? The Bible was true, after all. But it was true in a way that our preachers were never able to see, or “face.” Yet those of us – and even especially priests – who now can learn to face this side of God after all, who at last begin to recover, rejoin, practical sense and science to our religion again, will be rewarded at last with a truly whole and holy view. And those who at last see the fuller Christ of a balanced theology, should flourish, find prosperity, just as God promised. (While in contrast, the hundreds of millions of deceived women and men, who followed false preachers, false holy men, a false idea of Christ, all too faithfully, all too loyally. And who found poverty, suffering … as their just reward.)
But finally, let those who are honest, who can confess not only their personal sins, but even the sins of their holiest traditions and doctrines and holy men, confess those sins publically, repeatedly, at last. And begin to preach the second and better, fuller vision of God and Good. The vision that sees religion joining and at times even deferring, to real classic science. That sees at last the lost links, between word and world, spirit and flesh; and thus sees them … coming together again, at last.
That and only that, it seems today, is the only whole and holy vision, that is really true to the entire Bible itself. While that and only that, the science of God, shows real “signs” of being able to actually guide us to “all” the prosperity; the ideal kingdom of God and good, that was promised so many centuries ago.
As foretold, as promised, as commanded, by the Bible itself. By God, himself.
Amazingly therefore, we come here and now to a surprising, even shocking, second view, appearance of God, of Christ, of Jesus. One that is however, totally consisistent with the Bible itself; suppored by seventy, a hundred and more, quotes from the Bible, itself. But – exactly as God foretold – our “second” “appearance” of God, must chastise, rebuke, even our holiest men and angels. As foretold, our second coming of God reveals that even our holiest men were – as foretold – essentially “all” deceived, or deceivers (they deceived themselves, and then others). Our holiest men were deceived when, for example, they a) stressed strong “faith.” And b) when they became over-spiritual, and attacked – or merely neglected – “science” and practical knowledge, practical physical accomplishments. (Though also we will find, they deceived when they false promised huge physical “miracles” that they cannot actually, provably, produce).
And so the Christ we now present, is rather exactly as foretold. Christ appears a second time; to expose (‘uncover”) and “refine,” even our holiest preachers and their most sacred doctrines. To demonstrate sins even in the things they thought were holiest and most from God and Christ. And then to show them the better, “full”er, more “mature,” second vision, second coming, of God. In, as it turns out, the Fuller Science of God. Which shares the already-proven, materially fruitful record, of the rest of science and practical knowledge. And which demands that holy men be evaluated not primarily by their words and promises or spirit, but by their concrete phyiscal results. A standard by which most holy men will always, largely, fail; none of them having produced physial results “full”y as great as promised. So that from now on, we should never follow holy men with such total “faith” at all.
That therefore, is finally the real message of God, regarding “faith,” and related matters, like “authority.” And that is the first part of the “second” and better “appearance” of God foretold. Finally we are not to even begin to consider trusting and believing – and having faith in – people, religious leaders and holy men -or even Jesus himself – unless they demonstrate real physical results, here on this material earth, before many reliable witnesses; and ultimately, we have seen, we should believe results only if verified not by the preachers and holy men themselves, but by real, objective scientists. (While even then, we are to remember that there are false prophets who can work “signs”; so that we will have to examine their short- but also long-term fruitfulness too). This stress on evaluating religious figures and doctrines by their physical fruitfulness is so great, that often Jesus himself told us to not believe or have faith even in he, Jesus himself; but to examine instead, his “works,” to see if even Jesus himself was really good, or not.
Among other things, insofar as say, religious “authority” is concerned, in actual practice there is no authority, even for or in Christ, Jesus said … except that proven by material results. To be sure, we will show later, there are false prophets who temporarily deliver material results. (So that producing signs is, in the words of Bacon, “necessary” but not “sufficient”; a necessary element, but not all one needs, to be sure). But even then, the demand for material results is useful to identify false prophets and priests: since a) anyone who cannot deliver any material results at all, can be rejected right away, as real prophets. While b) we will find later that we can apply longer-term tests, to apparent material results, to show whether they are ultimately fruitful. So that proven material results are absolutely necessary (if not entirely “sufficient” in themselves, as Bacon would say).
And so finally, what about the main subject of this section: “faith”? If Jesus often called for “faith,” then it is for a very, very limited, small amount; no more than, as Jesus said, a “grain of mustard seed.” For Jesus, the mild faith we should have, is not the total, blind faith that preachers ask for: it is not following, believing preachers and their sermons endlessly, even when they produce no physical results, wonders, at all; even when their followers are in poverty. Instead, Jesus told us over and over again, that if our holy men do not produce, in a timely way, real physical “fruits,” if they stand behind promises of huge material miracles but do not produce them on demand before our eyes, then, far from continuing to follow them endlessly, faithfully, instead, we are supposed to simply deduce that, no matter how clever their words and sermons are, they were just … bad, false priests, bad, false preachers. False prophets who claimed to speak for, or thought that they spoke for, God. But who were simply, “deceived.” As foretold.
For centuries, therefore, we must say that essentially all our preachers gave us a Jesus, a false Christ, who demanded total faith in preachers, or their view of God. But as we began to re-read the scriptures here more closely, then, as for the disciples on the road from Emmaus, Christ that begins to emerge from perspectives that once seemed strange, and not to have Christ in them. As we began to read seventy, a hundred and more neglected passages in the Bible in our book here, we began to see, here and now, a second Christ. A second Christ that is in some ways the same, but in other ways quite different, from the image of Christ we were given in churches. Our second look at Christ, reveals a Christ that will have to confront and “refine” even the holiest preachers and bishops and popes; because our Christ definitely does not stress faith, even half as much as preachers have. The Christ that we now see here –and remember, all from the Bible itself; from God himself – tells us that you should not even begin to trust and believe – and have faith – that something or someone is from God, unless following the things they say, gets real, scientifically verifiable, timely, physical results. As we found here in our major sections on 1) the Old Testament, then 2) Paul, then 3) Jesus himself, it is only this cautious, moderate, tentative, partial faith – not the near-total faith in preacherly authority that preachers demanded – that is the real core theology or message of God. Indeed, it is only this Jesus or Christ – the Christ of Science – that begins to reveal the, “full”er Jesus or Christ.
Which we will begin to see, next. In our book-length treatment of specifically, Jesus himself. (In our book on The Science of Jesus).
While in contrast to the Science of God? The horribly over-spiritual religion of most preachers, has been a massive and physically deadly delusion, and deceit.
END OF CHAPTER
END OF BOOK MAIN TEXT
Beyond James and other Biblical sources? We might note, from outside the Bible itself, from the History of asceticism and so forth, some other perspectives, on the physically fatal aspects to spirituality.
No doubt many will say there are many “interpretations” of the biblical quotes we have offered above; intepretations that read Jesus as saying something else than what we concluded here. Indeed, many might say that much of the New Testament seems written in deliberately ambiguous or ambivalent language, that allows Christ to be read either as stressing either a) spiritual things, or b) physical things. Or even a) heaven and b) earth. Or a) a priesthood, or b) a world of practical rulers and material goods. But if so, then clearly, to be sure, our preachers decided to go with, follow, only one side of the Bible, and of God: with the preacherly side that stressed spiritual things, like faith. While nearly all preachers have in contrast denied and refused to follow, the full picture of God; the parts that mentioned, stressed, science. The side of the Bible that actually, found the average practical working person, with a practical job, to be closer to God than priests.
But the fact is that essentially all preachers, have really failed to follow God well enough; they have (once again, like the Pharisees), denied the side of God found in material things, the “flesh.” And no doubt, many preachers will want to deny – and even cruficy again – any one that finds God in the world and flesh; just as their religious predecessors, the Pharisees, had Jesus crucified for allowing himself to be perceived as God, come to flesh and world. But finally, it is time for everyone – especially preachers – to recognize their own longstanding sins. And to realize at last that the Old Testament – and God himself – for example, strongly stressed material deeds, accomplished here on this physical earth. It is time for ministers to see more clearly and fully than ever, the “second” track left open by God, for good men: not the spiriutal track of ministers … but of good but practical working men and women. The many billions of good men and women who go to church now and then .. .but who also know that the good, godly life requires us to produce material goods. The billions of people who have a practical job … as an electrician, or plumber, or businessman. Producing not just “spiritual” things, but real material goods.
There are parts of the Bible to be sure, that have often been read as commanding the life of a priesthood, for everyone: God asking the Jews to be a nation of priests, a “holy priesthood” for example. But such lines are often ambiguous. Or are modified by later lines in the Bible. While we will find that they also appear to be disasterous in practical life: if everyone was a priest, and there were no farmers for example, everyone would starve to death.
For many centuries, a few preachers have been aware that there is a good biblical argument, that the priesthood itself, and the ascetic life, was not the only or best, road to God. While parts of the Bible, taken by themselves, seemed to stress an ascetic, priestly life, finally many other parts allowed for another breed of person: the good but materially-productive working person. Even Jesus himself was sometimes said to be a carpenter and literal fisherman; and was said in any case to be God come to the “world” and “flesh.”
So what should we eventually say about all those parts of the Bible that seemed to stress only the spiritual life? We will have much more to say about this, in our entire books on the Over-Spirituality of Clerics, Preachers. But we will have here and now, begun to review a hundred or so Biblical arguments, advocating Science. To find that many passages that seemed to support faith (part of spirituality) were always countered by other, more materialistic phrases; and were even in themselves, far more ambiguous than many thought. That even Paul spoke of the “flesh”-hating existence of our preachers, ascetics, as being only a personal choice; not necessarily the life commanded by God for everyone; as being valid only “for me” as Paul himself said, for example. No doubt, it is possible to be over-materialistic, to be sure; and for that reason, a kind of spiritual anti-materialism began to evolve particularly in India; with a number of wealthy former nobles, princes, kings like Buddha (c. 500 BCE) and Chandragupta (Greek: Sandracottus), c. 298 BC, renouncing the “world” and fleshly “desires,” renouncing their material “kingdom”s, to become poor, starving medicants, or religious ascetic monks. No doubt, when the material promises of the Jewish Lord, God, seemed not to come true, when Jesus himself was physically executed, there was a fairly readymade tradition from 1 to 2,000 miles east of Jerusalem, from India, Buddhism and Jainism, etc., that could explain all that; that would offer philosophical consolations for material loses, and help provide the model of a noble or “lord” that would renounce or fail to produce a material “kindom,” and who would die in poverty. Chandragupta being said to have become an ascetic Jain monk, who finally even, fasted to death.
The birth of Jesus in fact, was said to have been attended by “three wise men from the East”; who gave Jesus “gifts.” And yet however, there might have been problems with those gifts. On the positive side, the eastern, anti-materialistic models of various worldwide, ascetic priesthoods, no doubt informed and corrected the too-simple, greedy and rapacious over-materialism of Mediterranean merchant cities; the dangers of over-materialism are well known to priests. At the same time howeer, we will see that what our preachers desperately need to see today, is that just as over-materialism is dangerous, so is over-spirituality; which we will see does not merely console the already-dying, but actually often leads followers to physical deaths. As it lead say, Chandragupta and others; even Jesus. The “Wise Men” from the East, the Magi (root of “magician”) no doubt left many “gifts” at the manger of Jesus. But still, look at the vast material poverty of India. Hinting at the dangers of “hate” for the “world” and the “flesh,” leading to neglect of physical needs, actively stripping people of material things and the skills needed to flourish phsyically … lead them past greedy overmaterialism, beyond moderation, to complete distaste for physical life; which means lack of material things, or poverty; and then, for lack of material food, death. As we will see in our books on over-spirituality. Precisely what James began to warn about.
The Old Testament or daily business life, some might say, was simplisitically materialistic: almost whatever gets us immediate material prosperity, is good. And so the New Testament began with a counterbalancing, anti-materialistic rhetoric. With a rather Eastern ascetic, mendicant, proto-Gnostic attack on “possessions,” the “world,” in favor of our “spirit” and so forth. With Jesus physically killed, and no physical “Kingdom” in sight, Paul and other early priests tried desperatively to find a spiritual, not-obviously physical, justification for Christianity. Like the Buddhist movement to control our exagerrated and destructive desires, Greed, for material things and “possesions.” Yet we will have been saying here, that one of the great lessons that preachers need to learn, is that just as materialism can be over done, so can asceticism and spirituality. Which carried to excess, neglects and even weakens the physical side of life, depriving of our ability to take care of basic physical necessities, like food. So that finally, the really spiritual person dies of “fasting,” or starvation.
Spirituality in fact began to reach its fatal peak in the writings of Paul especially; or later, in the works of the Gnostics, and ascetic Christian monks. To be sure though, already, some tiny elements of the Christian Bible itself – including especially James 2.14 ff – began to notice some dangers, in the too-spiritual view of the Lord. While indeed, the entire Bible, the Old Testament particulary, had always contained in it, the insistence that material things were quite important. In fact, alongside and even within occasional warnings about excessive Greed for material things, the Bible contained within it, at one level of meaning, the insistence that however, material things were still quite important. And that indeed only those “lords” or “Christ” who guided us to material prosperity, physical wonders, were really from God. So that there was within the Bible itself, a balancing factor. Indeed, the Old Testasment had been so materialistic, that the new Christian ascetics – the Christian priesthood – could not carry their anti-materialism very far, without obviously going against the Old Testament god.
So that indeed finally, though nearly the whole New Testament often hinted at giving up , “hating” the whole material “world,” to just attend to “spiritual” things like “faith,” in the manner of Eastern mystics and ascetics, mendicants, Buddhist monks, Gnostics, ultmately the new Christian priesthood (which replaced for Christians, the Jewish priests, rabbis) could not attack all material things all that totally and unequivocally, without obviously going against God himself. So that, though nearly the whole New Testament constantly hinted as the primacy of “spiritual” things, it could only distantly hint at that. While normally, even often right alongside any potentially very, very spiritual, world-“hating” remark, was another remark, asserting the importance of physical, material proofs, rewards. Indeed, the language of the Bible borrowed from the linguistic devices of poetry, so that even individual phrases, sentences, would be open to two or more interpretations; usually, one favoring spirituality and hate for the material world; the other reminding us that we “have need of” material things after all. So that if in one sentence, John or Jesus seemed to tell us to “hate” the “world” of over-materialistic people say, the next major passage will caution us that those who “hate” our brothers and sisters, are not themselves good. And the hate messages are modified by the Christ who tells to “love” our “neighbors”; and the often very, very over- spiritual John that told us to “hate” the “world,” later gives us a Christ that tells us however that “love” is the most important emotion; and that Christ came to “save” the “world,” not condemn it. In the passage that rightly became famous in the 1960’s: John 3.16.
Today to be sure, the business “world” is no doubt typically over-materialistic; or better said, too concentrated just on short-term material goals; not long-term ones. It no doubt lacks knoweldge of the even material value, to long-term survival, of altruism and personal sacrifice for the greater, long-term good. So that a counterbalancing, spiritual priesthood has been no doubt, at times, necessary. And yet however, our priesthoods have presented an exagerrated and essentially rhetorical counterbalance, as the whole of the truth. Which in effect, the real truth of life, is gotten as an average or balance between business sense, and long-term idealism; the practical life, and spirituality. Common working people, vs. priests. While priestly over-spirituality is not only wrong; it subtly destroys physical prosperity.
But priests are very, very proud; very very sure, that they and their Tradition, are the only voice of God; and that everyone else is evil. So how can we ever get preachers, Catholic and Orthodox priests and Protestant ministers, to stop condemning the sins of everyone else, and to see their own sins? The sins of too much faith; too much spirituality? Finally, the only way to appeal to the over-spiritual, the over-religious, is to appeal to the only text they respect: the holy books themselves. And fortunately, we have found here that the holy books, the books of the Bible itself, were a) originally, in the Old Testament, far more materialistic. And were b) at best, only equivocally faithful, spiritual, in most of the sayings of Jesus himself. Whose material miracles might be read as spiritual metaphors … but normally should not be. So that c) even the very over-spiritual Paul, the founder of over-faithful Christianity, occasionally made half-concessions to material life. While finally, d) a line or two by James, and many lines from the Old Testament and new, form an early advanbce warning, about literally, physically fatal results from the new priestly spirituality. While e) later Church attacks on Marcionism and Gnosticism, attempted to further counter parts of the problem of excessive spirituality and anti-materialism. Noting that such an idea ultimately, went firmly against God; the God of the Old Testament. Whose materialism still had some very considerable value.
And so fortunately indeed, the most sacred text of our preachers – the Bible itself – comes to our rescue. Specifically, we here suggest a greater, conscious balance between the New Testament, but then back to the Old, somewhat. Christ, and God himself. And if it at times seems hard to reconcile the two, we have noted here that the spirituality of the New Testament was always aware, line upon line, of the possibility that its faith and spirituality, would cross, deny, cancel, God himself, and his materialism. While we find finally, that we can now derive, not just by way of the informal, common ad-hoc balance between Religion or Christianity and common sense, that everyday people commonly make. But we can arrive at a “full”er, more practical, balanced, materially-responsible theology, even while remaining totally within the Bible itself. By simply noting the competition even within the Bible itself, between whare are likely its two major, competing themes: the call for faith and spirituality, balanced against awareness of sins in our religious leaders, and sins in over-spirituality. While finally, we are therefore able to at last present a reconciliation between Word and World, Heaven and Earth, the New Testament and the Old, Religion and Science, Spirit and Flesh; we are able to make use of, partially fulfill the prophesies, that have God and Heaven, returning to this material earth. By rediscovering and foregrounding the competition between the two advocacies of the Bible and God; the spiritual and the materialistic. And we are able to reconcile them, at last, bring them together, in the science that after all, God himself often commanded us to have. The science of God. Which might be seen by some who favor spirituality, as a harmonization of a kind of intellectual/spiritual life, in “knowledge”; knowledge for and respect for, material life.
It has long been vaguely known to some priests, after all, that the Bible might allow for two vocations, or two life styles, or paths to God: the priestly ascetic, but also the good but practical, materially-productive working person. The farmer, the electrician, the medical doctor. Who has some devotion to helping others, but also in a very material way.
But to be sure, while our preachers have vaguely known of such things, the priesthood was self-selected to be the place for those who believed deep down, that the material side of life, the material side of God, was the least important; the priesthood has always been (and some might say, will always be?), the place where over-spiritual persons go. And since they proudly think they know absolute truth, and proudly think their spiritual vision is absolutely, the only vision really approved and mandated by God himself, finally our preachers and many of their followers, have even normally been, narrow exremists. Persons who are incedibly hard to correct; perhaps who can see and descry the sins of everyone else, or even the “sins” of failure to obey the over-spiritual vision; but who have been absolutely, proudly convinced that their spiritual, faithful “tradition” however, especially their “faith,” is absolutely infallible.
And so, how can we reach these persons? Who in spite of a certain superificial humility, are actually the very last people to see and confess their own real sins? The sin of over-faithfulness and overspirituality? To merely note once again, the other track, other Path to God, through the good but practical life, good works, being a medical missionary, has long been known … and obviously, has by no means been enough.
And finally, the “stiff-necked” side of rigorous “faith” – great faithfulness is always stiffneckeness – has left us still, with a priesthood that is still very over-spiritual, over-faithful. In spite of increasing “engagement” with the “world,” our priests are still all too often, dominated by the typically ascetic, spiritual, physical-world-hating, “faith”-loving side of God; while the priesthood thus often dominates – and often seriously misleads – the world. Not just neglecting the phsyically starving, but we will see, beyond what James knew, often actively leading the world into phsyical dysfunctionality, and physical death. (As we find in our writings on Over-Spirituality, and the evils in priestly Absolutism). In fact, there has always been a massive evil, in all priesthoods; as they even chamption physical death, to the point that they actively lead not only themselves, but others who would otherwise have taken care of themselves materially, to unnecessary material poverty, and premature death by starvation. By neglect of the physical side of life.
But while there has always been a great evil deep in the heart of even our Christian priests, finally, perhaps now this can be repaired. By our rediscovery here, of the materialistic, scientific side of even the Bible; of God himself. Which now sees that beyond the rabbi and the priest, the Jew or the rabid Christian, the better “neighbor” after all, might well be … the but ordinary man, the good neighbor, even the Samaritan; a non-priest who, rather than pontificating on the unimportance of physical life, finally just takes practical measures, to help the physically suffering.
Indeed, were here find that far far better than the spiritual priest – and ironically, even, far closer to God, the “full”er “mature” vision of God and Good – is the good but practical man; who is devoted to good works; to bringing better physical food, housing, to the poor, and the physical power of science and technology and practical knowledge, to us all.
In the past, we might have thought that various good but “lay” persons could fulfill this role; though most often, lay persons understand neither spirituality nor materialism, and create unworkable and dangerous compromises between the two. While in any case, such persons do not normally run our churches. So that finally, we have always needed a far better, more sophisticted, Biblical way of re-integrating religion, priests, into, onto, the world. By rediscovering and foregrounding, the material science of God.
And indeed, beyond ad-hoc (but often failed) attempts to empower a “laity,” there have long been in scholarly theology, elements of a whole new and better school of Christian leaders. For some time, there has been an emerging emerging school of scientific Christianity, in the new, rational/scientific Biblical scholarship; in Religious Studies, and so forth. And if such movements at times have made mistakes of their own, perhaps those mistakes can be fixed … or their good points further refined, by our own Science of God. Which for now remains within the boundaries of absolute respect for the Bible itself; but notes that after all, the Bible itself allows for the value of classic, well-established science. Which is given even, indeed, a limited but very real power or “authority,” even at times, over our highest religious leaders. Enough to say, allow a limited but real naturalism, practicality or prudence, into our cloisters. Enough to compel say, finally and definitely, the naturalistic reading of “miracles.” As we will see in our writings on that subject.
In the end, God himself, the Bible itself, gave real science, at least that much authority. Some authority, even over our highest holy men and angels. While indeed, God comes in the End, not just as a priest, but as a more practical, more traditionally Old Testament model: a practical, real, “king.” One who gets real accomplishements, not just in our mind or spirit; but here, on this material earth.
Notes: More On Paul?
In Acts 16.15, a woman merely asks to be judged not by God, but by Paul himself, as to her faith, Acts 16.15..
In 1 Corin., it is not us but “God” who “is faithful.” In 1 Corin. 4.17, we have faithful “child”ren in the Lord, but they are known by their hard work and fruits (4.8. If priests suffer, that is their understanding of works, 4.11 ff). In 1 Corin. 10.13, it is again God who is faithful to us; not we to him. As in 2 Corin. 1.18.
In Ephesians, some saints and others are faithful; but who, which are they? (Eph. 1.1; 6.21). If some were faithful in the past, that does not tell us much about who really understandings Christ, and who is faithful today; indeed Paul warned about many following “another Jesus” than his own. While in any case Paul is not “perfect.” And finally, in the Book of Revelation, the Ephesians are criticized by John or the author of that book (Rev. 2.1-5).
In Colossians, the same problems with all of Paul in general, and with his faith apply. To Col. 1.2-7, Col. 4.7-9. Also: ! Thess. 5.24; 2 Thess. 3.3; 1 Tim. 1.12, 3.11; 2 Tim. 2.2, 2.13; Heb. 2.17, 3.2-6, 10.23, 11.11. If in some translations Paul asserted he is a “teacher of the true faith,” in other translations this is broken into two parts: “in faith and truth” (RSV); suggesting that faith and truth might be different. In a way more in keeping with the original Greek. While then ineed Paul warns us abut, in effect, traditional priests: about people who “forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods” (1 Tim. 4.3; see metaless Fridays, Catholic priests not marrying).
Still More Notes
So what we have here – and in parts of rational theology, Religious Studies, and so forth – in the science of God, can be seen as the partial fulfillment of prophesy. As God exposing sins in our holiest men and angels … exactly as foretold; as authorized by the Bible itself. Even when they are at times critical of religious traditions, scholarly, scientific Theology and Biblical Criticism and Religious Studies, are not therefore, the enemies of God; but are in fact, His Right Hand. Pointing to the many “false” things in religion, that in fact, God warned about. Separating them out, into good things, and false, “dead” wood, “tares,” “chaff.” And then intellectually burning them, in intellectual/spiritual “fire.”
And so this, we suggest, is how ancient prophesies are fulfilled. To be sure, many different persons and institutions – like the church – have often claimed to be fulfilling prophesies; to be the foretold ideal kingdom for example, coming down from heaven. And we know that none of them were ever quite as good as the “full” promise of God; of an ideal kingdom where there would be no more “mourning,” nor pain, etc; where the “wolf” would lie down with the “sheep,” the lion with the “ox,” and so forth. (See Isa.? Rev.).
But realistically though, what party has actually shown the most signs of producing the material wonders foretold? The Church was often good in many respects … but never quite as good as advertised, or foretold. Even Pope John Paul II experienced pain no doubt, when he was shot by a would-be assassin; in any case, many believers were in “tears.” While of course, finding thousands of priests sexually mollesting tens of thousands of boys, over history (projected), reveals anything but an ideal kingdom in the Church. So that indeed, we must criticise even the “angel of the church” (Rev.).
No doubt the churches have done some good, in teaching the people to control their destructive desires and passions. But actually, just as much or more, ironically, it has been … not religion, but science, and practical knowledge of practical trades and so forth, that have shown the most “signs” of being what God wanted us to have; since they have shown the best signs of delivering the material “prosperity” that God promised. Over the centuries, we had huge churches, and lots of prayers; and yet however, we had material privation often, including plagues and periods of starvatrion. While it was not until practical knowledge and science developed agriculture and medicine, that people were increasingly saved from physical problems. So that oddly enough, if we are looking for the field that shows the most material “signs” of being from God, it is not spiritual religion; what shows the most signs of being from God is surprisingly; amazingly, not the spirituality of priests … but is, ironically, practical knowledge; and science and technology.
How can this be? How could it have been the very science and practical “knowledge” often attacked by priests and ministers … that actually, was closest to, “first” with, God? As much as – or even more than – priests and their spirituality? In fact, all this was foretold by the Bible itself. Many of the very fields, activities, people, forms of “knowledge” that priests thought were “last” with God, in fact, turn out to be .. closest to him, in the end. As indeed, we see, now.
Just as foretold; in the end, the first are last, and the last, first. (Not Mat. 19: 30 ff;, but Luke 13:30).
What did the “first last, the last first” mean? For centuries, preachers constantly assured us, in one of their most common sermons, that it is the worldly materialist person, who things he is great and “first” today, who will be found last. But here we find that our spiritual preachers were far too “proud,” “vain,” and “presumptuous”; even “false.” The fact is that ironically, a) preachers are very, very esteemed in this world; for one thing. So that we might expect them to have problems on that account too.
But then too, b) God especially, constantly warned constantly about huge sins in our holiest men, not everyday working people. Indeed, when it comes to being “first” with God, look at what happens when our holiest apostles, begin arguing about who is the greatest apostle (in Mat. 18.1, Mark 9.36; Luke 9.46, 22.24-6):
“He was teaching his apostles…. He asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’” (Mark 9.9.30, 33-35).
Do our preachers really believe their Bibles? Are they really prepared to be “last”? Or will they go on, “proud”ly, presenting themselves and their faith and spirituality, as the infallible or totally holy, reliable, sacred voicepieces of God? Are they prepared to defer to a second coming of God, to mere “flesh” again? To a second coming of God? Or will they like the Pharisees, oppose that? Will they again oppose the discovery of God, good, in “mere” flesh, in the mere material world? And thus … again be “last” with God, when they insisted they were “first”?
There were many generations of preachers, who have asserted that religion, Christianity, did not really need to get real material results, but only needed to get “spiritual” results. Like bringing us what Paul called the “fruits of the spirit”; and 1 Peter called spiritual control of our destructive “desires,” and “salavation of your souls” (1 Peter 1.9). While many preachers hinted all we had to do to be good, was to just keep our “Faith.” But in fact, even the authors of these early hinted apologetics – apologies for the lack of real material results – were hesitant about this at times; knowing that God had in fact promised not just spirutal things, but also many material works. Even Peter therefore felt anxiety, and “fear,” as he attempted to justify himself and his followers. Specifically, the very spiritual Peter was anxious about being “judged” by a Father who, after all, judges us not by our faith in the end, but by ur “work,” (or as Revelation said, what we have “done”):
“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver … that you were redeemed” (1 Peter 1.17-18 NIV; see Paul too, citing Plato’s im “perishable” Forms in heaven).
Peter himself, remember, was once called “Satan” by Jesus himself. (While we add, the whole idea that religion is to be based on “faith,” a test of faith, was litearlly an idea from Satan, in Job 1). And so, after having been so full of spiritual “milk,” after suggesting that we are not redeemed by physical thing like silver, Peter here can be read as being a little nervous; and as counselling fear, hesitation, about this matter of producing mainly spiritual things, but not so much real, reliable, physical “works.”
And though Peter apologetically went on try to hint that not material works, but mere “spiritual milk,” was all that anyone needed in life (1 Peter 2.2), there were problems with his “spiritual”ity too, even in itself. Among other problems, after Peter called for spiritual “milk,” a) even the likewise rather spiritual apostle Paul was to insist that we must eventually “mature,” and move beyond “milk”; to eat “meat” like adults. Indeed, Paul went on to heavily criticise Peter in many ways; noting that as “Cephas,” Peter often acted “hypocritic”ally; sharing fellowship with Gentiles and non-Jews at times … but then not seating Jews and Gentiles together at table (and at communion?). While b) remarks about the adequacy of just spiritual things like “faith,” were heavily attacked by the apostle James. And c) indeed, many remarks that seem to advocate spiritual faith, often note its limitations; its subordination to “love” and so forth. While indeed d) though even Paul at times supported faith, other times he admitted that he himself was not yet “perfect,” even as he wrote his parts of the Bible; that he himself only knew “part” of the truth; the fullness of which being revealed in fact, only in the end. While some e) often have, in current translations, found a curious double, negative meaning that is critical of faith, in such texts as 1 John 5.4; where John is speaking of a victory that … “has overcome the world, even our faith.” Which in one reading suggests … overcoming the world … and overcoming faith. (Or NRSV: “Whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.”) The Bible is written here as in many places, to equivocate on this matter; to be open to two readings. One is that our faith is a victory. But another says the opposite of that: that we are to conquer not only the world, but also our faith. In any case, “faith” was not what the Bible really, fully supported in the end. Finally the bottom line is this: though perhaps faith in God will save us, how can we know who, what is really from God? And not from a false prophet? Finally, the only way to know that, is not “inspiration” – since there are many “false spirits,” and since even the spirit of God failed those in the wilderness, said Paul, etc.. But instead rather, the only objective way to know what is really from God, is to follow what brings real material … fruits, works, signs, deeds, proofs; short- and long-term both.
When Jesus was physically killed, and when a physical kingdom did not appear, the apostles for a while were no doubt, nonplussed; and many came to feel that Jesus-based Christianity was simply, false. But after having followed Jesus as their Lord for a time, the Apostles remained partially loyal to him in spirit. Though we must suggest here, that in Peter and others, there can be found a genuine sense of unease and fear, about their occasional lack of some important material works. Like the material kingdom. And many feared that because of this lack, if God, Christ came again … he might not fully approve of the spiritual religion, that the apostles or others were calling Christianity; of their vision of “Christ.”
While indeed, our study of the Bible, even of the writings of the Apostles themselves, the gospels and other books, suggests that as a matter of fact, though on the surface the Bible seemed to stress faith, underneath, or more carefully read, on “second” glance, we find that … in point of fact, real religion, real Christianity, was all along, not supposed to deliver just mental or (or feminine?) “spiritual” goods, like “faith” and “hope” and “love”; but instead, those who really understand and follow God, should be able to deliver real, material, physical things. In a way confirmable if not by older, cruder science, then by … our own refined version, of the Science of God. As introduced here; and as further refined, defined, by our later books (on the Destruction of Heaven; Natural Christianity, Natural Wonders/Miracles; our books on scientifically provable Immortality and Resurrection through DNA and cultural survival, etc.).
And if this seems to find some sins even in our holiest apostles? The authors of the Bible and their most inspiredworks? Then after all, we will see, even the Bible itself often suggested that our very holiest men and angels, often sinned and erred. While they told us how, however, to find the truth for ourselves: by using after all, our Science of God; to see whether following this or that saying, writing, attributed to God, really brought not even so much “spiritual” things, but real material … “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs.” As verifiable by real, objective, “science.”
What will happen to be sure, to our holy men’s reputations, and their works, when we apply science to them? To their promises of physical miracles especially? To be sure, that will be an alarming event for many. And yet however, remember that finally, the Bible itself authorized a critical, scientific approach, employing the root of Biblical Criticism, Religious Studies attitude, even toward our holiest men, and their works and promises or prophesies. Though many might feel a Science of God does not quite have the power to simply find parts of scripture false, certainly at the very least, it has enough authority, according even to scripture itself, to compel reading promises of supernatural physical miracles – the ability to walk on water; and/or the ability to make bread appear in empty baskets; and/or the ability to make real, physical “mountain”s move – as being inconisistent with science; and therefore compelling us to read such things as metaphors, or rhetoric. Or – best said – as “figures,” “allegories,” “parables” – metaphors – for rare wonders in nature and technology. (A rather natural “wind” blowing back the sea for Moses, for example, in parts of the Bible; the baskets of bread being filled by believers, when it was passed to them, as an early collection plate in effect; etc..).
We therefore have a new “appearance” to Jesus. And his wonders. But what should we say finally, for those “stiffknecked” conservatives, who will not “see” this second Jesus? Who will remain totally “faith”ful to old traditions, or to what they heard as children in church? We will say that they have simply, not read their Bibles closely enough. Or obeyed God fully enough. And so, those who “walk by faith and not by sight,” are indeed, too “far from God,” as the fuller quote says; they have not read their Bibles well enough, and so they have not “fully” “seen” him yet. His “second” and “full”er “appearance” (“parousia”), as advocate (“counsellor”) of the science of God. His “appearance” which emerges, in large part, when we, like those at Emmaus, read our “scriptures” more fully; and then begin to perceive in them and other good people around us at last, a new and better, “second” vision, second appearance, of God, of Jesus. Seeing a Jesus, a God that amazingly advocates, commandes, not the total “faith” of preachers at all. As we now see instead, a scientific Jesus; one that commanded all to learn, our science of God. And to honor it even it seems at times, over faith. Or, if we are to have much faith, it is faith in things proven by science. And not more than a grain of mustard seed; a grain that is to be allowed to grow, only when it lands in the soil of well-proven, empirical results.
Jesus’, God’s Science of God, is very, very authoritative. It is normally (albeit cautiously; gradually) given sway, even over the very highest religious authorities; bishops, churches, preachers, apostles, angels, doctrines. Even over the first coming of Jesus himself, it seems. Note that though Jesus himself usually would not tell us exactly who he was, or the source of his (or the Son of Man’s) authority (Mat. 21.23-27; Mark 11.27-23; Luke 20.8), except to cite God as “one” with him – but then, more importantly, he constantly cited his material, physical “works,” good or bad, as his authority. While he here finally, explicitly says this is where his (or the “Son of Man’s”) “authority” comes from; from material proofs, wonders:
“’That you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins ….’ Then he said to the paralytic, ‘Get up, take your mat and go home.’ And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men” (Mat. 9.6-8 NIV).
And so it is; we are to follow even Jesus himself, his first and second “appearance” or coming no doubt, only insofar as … he and his followers both, get real, verifiable, physical wonders and results. As determined by the real, objective, “science” of God. As described here. And furthermore, we cannot ever rest on the Bible’s accounts of miracles in the time of the Old Testament and the New; but, since God told us use real “science,” we must demand real, fully scientific evidence of real material success, from preachers or their followers, today too.
This standard, which was set by God, is a hard standard to meet to be sure; in fact it may seem certain to many that no priests or ministers today can really, fully pass this test fully. It will seem to most, that whe today’s preachers are asked to produce works on the scale that the Bible often promised – huge, spectacular miracles on demand – essentially “all” our priests and ministers, very single one, will be found partially, largely, false. But if so, the after all, this is partial “fulfil”ment of prophesy: one “day” after all, we are supposed to find that all our preachers have been partially false. And here we are beginning to find them false in two major ways: their stress on “faith” was false; while likely, many will say, if we are to believe science, then their promises of miracles were false too.
It will be hard for some preachers to “see” this Jesus; and acknowledge him. And “confess” their sins, and the sins of our holiest traditions. Yet to be sure, passing through this purgatory “fire,” having their “chaff” exposed and burned away, is now more possible, more acceptable … now that we have shown here that after all, this is absolutely consistent with the Bible itself. The Bible itself commands it. We do not here deny or “debunk” God; on the contrary, many of us are hereby reading the Bible far more closely, and fulfilling the Bible even better, than the average priest or bishop or Pope.
We are not debunking the Bible here; we are following it more perfectly than almost anyone else. And are beginning to “fulfill,” it in fact (q.v.).
Since our major arguments are backed over and over by the Bible itself, finally at last, it should not be so difficult for preachers to at last, reconcile themselves to science and technology; and thus help heaven come to earth at last. Because, painful and iconoclastic as this is, it is all … absolutely obedient to the Bible itslf (so far as we humanly can tell, in this draft of our text).
And the gains from preachers who at last see this Science of God, should be immense. First, b) after seeing the second and better coming, appearance/”parousia” of Christ, all our alleged priests and ministers and holy men, should always, from the moment of that realization on, serve in truer humililty; acknowledging huge sins in themselves and their holiest traditions (of “faith” in miracles for example) in the past; while using this experience to remain officially inadequate, humble, always. Those preachers who have passed through this fire, and found sins in traditions they thought were holy, should at last, tone down their Pride and promises; they should admit publically and repeatedly, every week, every sermon, that even our very, very holiest men often sinned in their promises.
And out of this systematic, new humility, we should see fruits. We should see, we call for c) next, a new generation of preachers: contemporary, scientific/practical preachers, “counsellors.” Preachers who defer more than preachers ever have (more than the Bacons? Gregor Mendel?), to science. Such preachers, we should find, should begin to work far, far more realistically and effectively to produce material good here on earth (as medical missionaries, already do); producing results often not as obvious as spectacular miracles; but as humble, more moderate, as better medicines that save milliions. Producing not spectacular, showy miracles … but far more modest, but far more reliable, material results. Thus contributing realistically, measurably, materially, reliably, to a real material kingdom of God and good, here on this earth, at last. As foretold. God is not so unjust, as to overlook their humble “work.”
To be sure, this means a come-down, a step down, by all our preachers, and especially our highest bishops, and so forth; who have been far too proud anyway. When our highest bishos and other religious leaders of each and every kind, are at last “measured” (see the meaning of the words written on the wall), by this standard of material performance, to be sure – exactly as the Bible warned – essentially “all” or most preachers – Protestant ministers and Catholic and Orthodox priests and bishops, included – are even now found to have been largely inadequate, or false.
Preachers to be sure, will ask – with Peter – that if even our preachers are found partially evil, then “how” will ordinary people rate? But notice here a semantic nuance in the Bible; Peter strictly speaking, never firmly said that ordinary people would of course do worse then preachers, in the end. Strictly speaking, Peter made no statement at all; but only asked a question; if judgement begins with the holy “household of God,” Peter then merely asked, (1 Peter 4.17), as a question, not as a statement, the following: “ For it is time for judgement to being with the family of God; and if it begans with us, what will be the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel o God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’” 1 Peter 4.17-18, quoting Prov. 11.31). Here note, Peter merely asks “what” will happen; he does not tell us. While we should add here, that after all, we now find that the average preacher’s presumption that he himself is a believers, and others are unbelievers, is often, incorrect; those who followed science, were ironically, often (if not always; in the case of extreme atheists, beyond agnostics) far, far closer followers of God, than nearly all preachers. The very persons preachers thought were “last” are really, first.
Our preachers and holy men, have always had a very impressive, but superficial humility. But their modesty and humility were superficial and hypocritical; underneath it all, was a collosal vain presumption: that they themselves, and their tradition, were the reliable (even at times,explicitly, “holy,” “sacred,” and “infallible”) voicpieces of God, and ultimate truth. But here we find a third great sin or error in our holy men: “Vanity,” “Pride,” “Presumption.”
And ironically in fact, here, in the end, we find that far, far better than the very household of God, far closer to God and the Science of God, than a) ordinary priests, preachers, or even bishops, and b) religious radio networks, have been c) many scientific religious scholars. And d) the very few scientific parsons (Bacon? Gregor Mendel) But especially e) the ordinary good but practical (and allegedly “compromised”) working man or woman. Ironically, the very people that preachers often criticized most – as “compromising” their religion with practicality, were actually, far closer to the proper fuller, balanced theology, the “fuller” vision of God, than preachers. Indeed, the people were almost always closer to the second coming, the second and better vision of God and Christ, than preachers were.
Given their huge, spectacular, egregious shortcomings and “false”ness, is there even any room for the profession of preachers any more at all? Many might argue that there is no room at all for them. But consider what finally, would a good preacher look like, if at all, in our era. If there are to be any preachers at all, any more, a Real Preacher should be at last, really humble; by ceasing to speak so dogmatically, of God. Indeed, the name of God should be sacred again -and not be invoked much if at all in public, even in sermons; since His “name” was invoked constantly, in past sermons, over false ideas; invoked in vain. So that ironically, if our era mentions God less … in a way, that makes the name of God more sacred, not less so. Indeed, in ancient Jewish culture, the name of God was so sacred, we were not allowed to utter it in public; or write it down fully either. To go back to an era where God is never mentioned in public – or seldom if ever by preachers, in sermons – might well be, ironically, far more reverent than people would superficially think.
If there are to be any preachers at all in the future, a good preacher should be – as some already are – a) very, very circumspect. Since aa) God is infinitely complex, and all their words here are earth about God are going to be, inevitably, grossly false oversimplifications. And especially bg) since preachers, priests, have sinned greatly in the past, when they presumed to describe God, Jesus to us. Then too, if there are to be any preachers at all, then b) especially of course, to try to correct for their many huge errors and sins in the past, our preachers should … always be announcing their inadequacies and sins, and those of their tradition, to us all, with every sermon or homily or service. While finally though of course, c) they should be constantly correcting themselves, with the Science of God. The science that indeed systematically, very say, reminds all preachers, that “all have sinned”; including preachers and our holiest men, themselves. The Science that demands all our holiest men and angels (except Jesus?) have sinned, erred, aa) in their personal behavior, and bb) sinned and erre, even in their best, most “inspiried” ideas, doctrines, dogmas, etc., about God. Any future preacher will be less like the preachers sermonizing today … than scientific, psychological “counsellors.” Who, as all scientists, know that our best ideas about God and good, are always mere hypotheses, or initial data; hypothesis, data, that could always be at least partially disproven, as the science of God advances. While again, all our religious leaders, the very preachers and bishops and religious leaders that deep down, pronounced themselves “first” with God, are here and now and later as well, vulnerable to being found not first, but last, with God. As we find all previous preachers, here and now, in the end (Luke 24.24-35; Mat. 16.23; Isa. 22.20-25, 24.21; Rev. 6.14).
It is a severe vision. But so we have it all now; the second appearance, the Second Coming, of Christ; a God who, after “second,” “full”er look, in his second “appearance,” does not stress”faith”; or especially, faith in spiritual things. But who, if he stresses faith at all, stresses faith in things well proven with science.
Or proven – in the very words of Jesus himself – through “observ”ing real material, physical, “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” “proofs.” Thus the Second Coming confirms at last, brings back as foretold, the Old Testment God; and His very, very firmly outlined … Science of God. Which reveals, is part of, the foretold Second Coming of God; to earth and flesh, again.
As foretold in the Bible itself; by God, himself.
All this we ask will be accepted by you today; this we ask in the name of God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Fear of an Apocalyptic End to
Too-Spiritual, Too-Faithful Christianity
In spite of many reputed wonders and miracles, early Christianity met many devastating, material, physical defeats. Jesus himself was physically tortured, and executed. As were many of his followers. While the physical material “kingdom” promised in much of the Bible, did not appear. Instead in fact, as History later recorded, the would-be capital of any such kingdom, Jerusalem, was physically burned to the ground. In 70 AD.
If what was called Christianity often met with such massive material defeats, and/or if it now and then could not produce material miracles on demand (as God said a good religion should, in the Old Testsament), then what did that mean? To many, it would have seemed to mean that … maybe a) the old promises, and/or b) the new Christianity, were somehow, partially, false.
If spiritual/faithful Christianity was partially false, then as Christianity caught on, and became the official religion of Rome and the world it dominated … that would mean that the whole world or earth, and most of our preachers, were – as foretold – “deceived” even in their religion, their Christ. Were “under a strong delusion,” an “illusion” or false “dream” or “enchantment.” And were following a false idea of Christ. At first, this conclusion seems of course, totally heretical or impossible. But as a matter of fact we will have begun finding out in our book here, that these startling, shattering conclusions, were actually prophesied, authorized, in the Bible itself. The Bible itself said that one “day” as a matter of fact, you are supposed to see that a) the whole earth, even essentially “all” our holiest men and angels, were “deceived”; under an “enchantment,” a “strong delusion,” an “illusion,” a “lie,” a “false prophest,” “empty promises,” and so forth. One “day” we are supposed to see this; as part of seeing b) another, better, “full”er, more “mature” “second” “appearance” – a Second Coming – of Christ.
So if we here and now find huge sins an errors in our holiest men and priests – in their all-too-faithful advocacy of “faith” and “spirituality” for example – then after all, all that is not against the Bible itself; in fact, all that is in fulfillment of the prophesies of … the Bible itself; of God himself. The fact is, one “day” you yourself, are supposed to see another, better, “second,” “full”er, more “mature” vision or Coming of God. In that moment, (as we will show more fully, in our later books on the Destruction of Heaven, etc.), you are supposed to see God expose sins and errors, even in “all” our holiest men and angels; all holy men and angels on earth, and in heaven itself (Isa. 34.4 ff; also “all have sinned”; James confessing we “all make many mistakes,” etc.). If here and now, we find that all holy men erred, when they put such stress on faith, then after all, that is justified, as fulfillment of prophesy. And then too, it should be palatable at last … on finding that after all, there is a tremendous reward for passing through this fiery, painful moment: in the same moment as our “child”hood “heaven” of faith and spirituality is collapsing, we are indeed – exactly as foretold – also coming to see at last, a view of God, good, not just in spirit, but in the “flesh” again; here on this material earth. A God who is found in and among the things of this material earth again; in a second coming. A God who is not just a spirit, but who also, we will show soon, delivers on the old material promises.
And indeed, when we acquire the Science of God, we say here, many things foretold, authorized by the Bible, begin to happen. We have at least a partial fulfillment of scores of old prophesies. First, we have a new “appearance” of God; one that “dissolves” our old spiritual “heaven”; but that pictures heaven as coming down to this material earth again; as foretold. That gives us God, good, as being firmly in and among not just “spiritual” things and heaven … but God coming down to this material earth again. First in that we aa) see God, good, not just in and among spiritual things, but in and among material things, again. And then too, bb) when we have this mixture of religion and science; we also have the return of spirit to flesh, cc) word to world. We dd) re-incarnate, resurrect Jesus. And ee) have the mixture that destroys our over-spiritual “heaven” as foretold; but gives us a “new heaven.” One that – as foretold – ff) comes down to this material earth. But especially, gg) when the over-spiritual person finally learns some common practical sense and science, he or she has a vision of God that, but combining science into religion at last, is “full” enough to give us at last, real practical material abilities. To learn how to make better boats and houses and medicines and agricultural crops. And in that way, help at last to realize the kingdom of God or Good, here on this material earth at last.
At first, seems impossible; or shocking. Or too incredible to believe. But as we here and now read our Bibles a little more closely, with a little science, we begin to see a different, second appearance to Jesus. As we re-read our Bibles here and now, we will begin to see beyond the vision of Christ as stressing “faith.” And we will come to see hints of a second Jesus; a vision of Christ stressing not faith, but .. science. And when we do that … this can be read as .. being at least partial (and even complete?) fulfillment of a whole, massive series of prophesies in the Bible itself; of a “day” when we see God expose a massive illusion or delusion in the whole world that believed in a “Christ” (Rev. 13; & references to the anti-Christ, or “another Jesus” than the right one). We are finding that the whole earth followed a false idea of Christ, when it believed in Jesus advocating “faith.” But we are – also as foretold – seeing too, at the same time at last, a “second,” “full”er, more “mature” vision, “appearance” of Jesus; when we read our Bibles again here … and see that Jesus and God did not want such a total “faith,” but actually, faith balanced against … reason and Science.
. . .
Today, everyone thinks of Jesus Christ, as the great spokesman of “faith” and “spirit”uality. But if webegin to look at the New Testament just a little more closely, here, we will begin to see the outline emerging … of a second Jesus; a Jesus who stresses not faith, but Science.
We submit that our vision, our unveiling, of this new and different vision, this new appearance of Jesus, is in effect at least a preview, of what Jesus looks like in the Second Coming. Or indeed, the moment you look into the Bible and see this Christ … is possibly, amazingly, even the very substance of the Second Coming of Christ. As we re-read our Bibles more closely here, we begin to see another, “second,” better, “full”er vision, “appearance,” of Jesus. Which is at least a preview – and possiblity is part of the real substance – of the second coming of Christ. We read this as at least partial fulfillment of the many prophesies of the Second Coming. In that what we will see is is a 1) “second,” 2) “fuller” 3) “appearance” (“parousisa”/coming/appearance) of Christ. Who, since he is now found not just in spirit, but in the material earth, in effect comes down to the 4) “earth,” exactly as foretold.
And indeed furthermore, when you “see” this second appearance of Christ, since it brings you new, rational/scientific skills, it comes to bring you and all of us – as foretold – the ability to find “prosperity.” Or even, as we all learn to work together to make the world a better place … many would say that 5) we can even realize at last, the promised “kingdom” of peace or prosperity, here on earth at last. As foretold.
. . .
It might seem strained, or too metaphorical, to suggest that the Second Coming of Christ appears in large part, when we read our Bibles more closely. But 6) this would not be the first time, remember, that Christ appears, when scripture is read: remember the Christians on the Road oto Emmaus; meeting the “stranger” who re-reading the scriptures to them; and as the scriptures were read … suddenly the followers of Jesus … saw that the stranger was really, Jesus.
So that the Bible itself said that another Christ appears, when scripture is read more closely. As in fact, just like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, as we re-read our New Testament here and now, we will also begin to see the first glimmerings of a second appearance of Jesus. As we re-read our Bibles here, another, vision of Jesus appears (in our mind’s eye?). But this time, after our long look at the Science of the Old Testament, the Christ we see today, is 7) so much “full”er than what we knew or “saw” in the past, and so much more rooted here in and among the things of this material earth, that 8) it amounts to really, a “second” Jesus. Coming down to earth.
As we re-read our New Testament here, looking at parts of the text that our preachers often missed or misunderstood, the reader will be seeing 9) a startlingly more real, fuller, more material Jesus. A Christ who, amazingly, advocates not pure faith, but a material Science of God. A science of God that is so advanced, that it is able to – against, as foretold – a) “refine” our priests; and b) expose longstanding sins and errors in our holiest men and angels. But also – since with the Science of God, we at last can combine the full resources of Christian spirituality with the full proven material successes of science and technology – we have a second vision of God … that c) can, rather exactly as foretold, bring material “prosperity.” Indeed, when you see the Science of God, then you have at last a vision, d) a “mature” understanding, that e) is perhaps even “full” enough, to eventually produce a material “kingdom” of good, on earth.
Amazingly therefore, in our new, “second” vision of Christ, we may be offering here, the first glimpses – or even part of the real substance – of the foretold, Second Coming of Christ.
But to be sure – 10) also as foretold in the old Apocalyptic prophesies – the Second Coming is not an entirely easy moment. In the end, many things thought to be “first” with God, are found to be “last.” And that includes … even 11) especially for Christians. Because Jesus after all, comes the second time … to note sins and errors in our holiest men and angels – and priests and believers. Indeed, Christ comes to … reveal that the whole earth was “deceived”; “under a strong delusion.” And to reveal that even those who thought they were following “Christ,” and calling out his name, “Lord, Lord,” were, most of them, following a wrong vision, understanding, of Christ; a “false Christ.”
But this seems shocking; is it possible that the world has been following a false idea of Christ? And 12) what specifically, has been wrong in the common idea of Jesus? It is of course, our finding that Jesus himself did really say that spirituality and “faith” are supposed to be the center of our Christianity. That Jesus a) constantly deferred to “God,” who backed science. While b) Jesus himself finally stressed not faith, but science.
If we look here, at the sayings by Jesus himself, Jesus in person, we will see that, as it turns out, Jesus himself to be sure, now and then, mentioned spiritual things; like “faith.” And at times, seemed to stress “spirit” and “heaven.” And yet however, we are about to find out here that amazingly, shockingly, overall, Jesus actually, continuously, told us to be far more involved than preachers have thought, in the material things of this material earth.
Jesus a) himself, remember, was said to have been God or spirit, made into material “flesh.” God on this material earth. And what is more, b) Jesus is pictured in the gospels, as every, very involved with material things: indeed, he promised – and was pictured as producing – real material rewards, wonders or miracles.
Jesus was very, very, very involved not just in spirit and heaven … but also even more, this material existence, we will be showing here. In fact especially, finally, c) Jesus attached so much importance to this material earth, that he came to “save” the “world” not “condemn” it.
Especially finally we will show here, d) Jesus attached so much imortance to this material existence, that he noted that we could know who was really from God, and who was not; not by their “spiritual” qualities; but by whether our alleged holy men got real, timely, physical, “prov”able, “oberve”able, material results, on this material earth. And in fact Jesus really continued the Old Testament emphasis, on a Science of God, as outlined earlier by Daniel (1.4-15), Ezekiel (2 Kings 18.20 ff?); and others (Mal. 3.10 ff). A science which told us precisely and exactly the opposite of what we heard in most churches. An entirely different vision of God …that adamantly did not tell us to trust and believe and have “faith” in and follow, our holy men and angels; God instead ordering us to actively, constantly question the truthfulness and righness of our holiest preachers and holy men; and to discover, which (if any) holy men were from God. And not by faith, but by science: by using our physical “eyes” to “observe” their material – not primarily spiritual – “fruits,” “works,” (to a lesser extent, “signs”), “deeds,” and “proofs.”
END OF BOOK 1