How the Prophesied Judgment Is Related to Wisdom
According to the Book of Wisdom: "Wisdom is beneficent and kind. She is the aura of the power of God, the radiance of the eternal Divine Light, a spotless mirror of God. She renews all things, and passing into holy souls from age to age, She produces friends of God and prophets. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her. And Wisdom is far better than weapons of war."
Without the guidance of Wisdom from above and within, through revelation, the prophesied Judgment could not be issued by the modern son of man. But you should know that just because he fulfills his mission by delivering the judgment before him, it does not mean he is infallible.
A lot of religious people do not understand that. Many expect "God Himself" to come, and they think God's "righteous judgments [shall] endure for ever” because of that. However, while God’s righteous judgments can be expressed by a divinely inspired human being in the written word, we should acknowledge that human beings are only human, and even the most enlightened ones can a do make some mistakes and are not infallible. Only God is infallible and eternal.
Moreover, the modern son of man does not claim Wisdom for himself, nor does he claim that he "lays hold on Her," because he regards Wisdom in the same sense that the author or authors of the books of Proverbs and Wisdom did, reflecting Wisdom as Solomon and his genuine followers realized it.
These books have great value, but they are undervalued by many Jews and Christians. The book of Proverbs is in both the Jewish and Christian canon, and the Book of Wisdom is included in the Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh. However, the book of Wisdom was purposely left out of the Protestant versions of the Christian Bible, which is a shame.
Notice that in the quote above, real Wisdom produces prophets, and She is firm but Her paths are peace. Most human beings get flashes of Wisdom occasionally, but few "lay hold upon Her." A precious few do, though, and throughout history those who did are called sages, prophets, buddhas, avatars, siddhas, christs, etc.
The spiritually anointed son of man and prophet called Jesus of Nazareth understood the Wisdom of Solomon. That’s why he advised us to not live by the sword. It’s why he was very firm in rebuking greedy rich people, money lenders, religious hypocrites and other wrong doers, and yet on the other hand he advised people to be peaceful, forgiving and compassionate, turn the other cheek, and love even their enemies. Many preceding prophets were similar in that respect, and the modern son of man, even though he does not claim Wisdom for himself, follows those precedents.
Hillel the Elder
About a hundred years before the Christ Jesus was born, a wise Jewish Sage named Hillel the Elder also understood the Wisdom of Solomon, and he taught much of what Jesus later taught.
According to the Jewish Talmud, Hillel the Elder was a descendant of King David or "from the House of David." Hillel realized a much milder and more liberal interpretation of Jewish law and traditions, and Hillel's disagreements with strict, conservative, patriarchal Jews like Shammai are well known to scholars.
Hillel is credited with developing or advancing the Mishnah and Talmud, the oral and written commentaries on the Torah and Tanakh ("Old Testament"). In fact, it was Hillel who actually established the idea that the Golden Rule is a summation of the Torah, and also advised people to love your neighbor, be loving, gentle and patient, and care for the poor and least of our brethren.
Hillel the Elder understood that Solomon's Wisdom reflects the feminine aspect of God and Divinity. He understood the Greek idea of the Logos or the "Word," which was in the beginning and is made flesh in all human beings, and he also understood and taught the oneness of God and humanity. He knew and taught that we are One in the Holy Spirit of God, and he knew that even though most people do not and will not actually realize it and be enlightened while they are in this world, we all should love one another and treat all others as we would want to be treated if we were them.
It's not clear that Hillel was a member of the mystic Jewish sect called Essenes, or even identified with them. But Hillel's teachings are more in tune with some of the Essene's than with other Jewish sects. And Hillel may have even been the “Teacher of Righteousness” referred to in some of the Dead Sea Scrolls written by the Essenes, while Hillel’s enemy Shammai may have been the “Man of Lies” or the “Wicked Priest” referred to in the scrolls. And that would seem to make sense because after Hillel's death Shammai's antagonistic attitude contributed to the causes of the Jewish-Roman War, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple, and the Jewish Diaspora.
To the Essenes, though, the Second Temple, which had been rebuilt and greatly enlarged by Herod, was a materialistic, ungodly place. And Jesus of Nazareth felt the same way, calling it a "den of thieves."
The history of the Essenes has been shrouded in mystery, not only because of their mystic nature, but because of historic reports that are incomplete assumptions. Some of the most well known Roman and Jewish historians prior to and during the first century believed and have led people to believe, that the Essenes were a individual sect of monastic monks -- and that may be.
However, it is perhaps likely that the Essenes were a much wider community. It is possible that Mary and Joseph, the mother and father of the Jesus, may have been Essenes, or identified with their beliefs, and they may have been well versed in the teachings of Hillel the Elder and the Essenes, and taught them to Jesus.
That would explain Jesus' feelings about the Temple and about materialistic, rich people. But another indication of that is that Jesus taught the Golden Rule by simply rephrasing what Hillel had already taught.
Like Hillel, Mary and Joseph and their sons probably understood the universal essence and core teachings of Judaism from the Tanakh, the Talmud, and Mishna. They were probably familiar with the Wisdom of Solomon and with the Book of Enoch, and they may have been practitioners of the ancient Jewish mysticism teachings of the Kabbalah, which may date back even before the time of Solomon.
That is not general knowledge, however, because the teachings of Judaic Kabbalah, like its later offshoot the Christian Qabalah, are esoteric which means they are not known to the general public. For Kabbalah is a combination of three sources: (1) the Torah and Tanakh, the exoteric Jewish-Hebrew Scriptures; (2) the Talmud, which was expanded and more developed by Hillel the Elder and became a collection of written scholarly commentaries on the Torah; and (3) the Kabbalah (now also known as Cabala and Qabalah), the esoteric oral, written, pictorial, symbolic mystical interpretations of the Torah, called The Secrets of the Torah as symbolized in The Tree of Life diagram.
In the Essene and Jewish Kabbalistic mysticism tradition, these three parts are considered to be the material body, the rational soul, and the eternal spirit of divine knowledge, which is the feminine aspect of God, which is Wisdom.
Now, the modern Qabalistic Western mysticism tradition is an advancement of Kabbalah and was probably established between the time of Hillel the Elder and the Jewish Essene Christ-Avatar Jesus of Nazareth. It was enhanced by the values and principles taught by many sages and spiritual teachers, including Jesus. Qabalah also incorporates the wisdom of other teachers of Ageless Wisdom, including the Magi of Zoroastrianism, the Avatars of Hinduism, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, and other great spiritual teachers. It is a universal, spiritual teaching system inclusive of all exoteric religious traditions.
However, because Qabalah is such a universal, inclusive advancement of the Jewish Kabbalah, today there are Rabbinal Jews who denigrate the Qabbalah as illegitimate, preferring a more exclusive, ethnocentric definition of Kabbalah as Jewish only. But, modern practitioners of Qabalah, including genuine Rosicrucians and Freemasons, are very inclusive and comprehensive in their approach and understanding of divine, universal truths common to all religions.
It is possible that some of the early Christians, like the Gnostic Christians (who were dismissed as "heretics" by Pauline Christians), were practitioners of Qabalah. After all, it incorporates the ageless wisdom teachings from other mystical traditions that were added to the Hebrew mystical tradition. That may be why why one of the Gnostic Gospels in the Nag Hammadi Library states: "Some [Pauline Christians] who do not understand mystery speak of things which they do not understand, but they will boast that the mystery of truth is theirs alone."
It also may be why Jesus is also known as Issa by Buddhists and Hindus. If you read the article about Saint Issa you will find that ancient scrolls reveal that Jesus/Issa was well versed in Buddhism and Hinduism prior to his teaching in Palestine regarding Judaism. For even if the stories of Jesus as Issa were not true (as fundamentalist Christians claim), there is no question that many of the parables of Jesus are similar to those in the Hindu Vedas, and many of the teachings of Jesus were similar to those of the Buddha Gautama. (That has been documented by a knowledgeable member of the Jesus Seminar, Marcus Borg, who wrote Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings. And another book, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hanh, reveals many of the same similarities.)
Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Yeshuah ben Joseph, understood universal truths, which is why he was critical of Jewish religious leaders who were rigid, dogmatic and exclusive, who claimed to know God but did not. And that is why the modern son of man has followed the precedent set by Jesus.
The great genius Albert Einstein would have understood the mystics and the modern son of man. After all, Einstein said: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mystical. It is the source of all true art and science." (And by the way, Einstein also said: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.")
Why Jesus Broke Traditions
The point is not really about the Kabbalistic Essenes or the Qabalistic Christians or the story of Issa. Regardless of the source of Jesus' experiences, education and training, the point is that his mission was as a teacher, prophet and reformer who went against some of the Jewish economic traditions and the patriarchal customs and religious traditions. That is why he rebuked the money changers and the rich, and it’s why Mary Magdalene was one of the most beloved disciple of Jesus, equal in stature to the male disciples (as the Gnostic Gospels reveal).
That would be consistent with Solomon's wisdom. For even though the authors of the official Christian church canon wrote that Jesus said God is "our Father in heaven," God has both male and female aspects. God is actually the eternal, omnipresent Great Spirit and Supreme Consciousness; the formless Divine Light-Energy-Source of all form and material existence; the Essence of all life and form, and the primordial "Word" that was in the beginning and is made flesh in all of us. (See the article on The Word of God.)
Those who understand Ageless Wisdom understand that, and that is why the Christ Jesus said to his disciples, "You have not heard God’s voice or seen God’s shape at any time." (John 5:37), because God is omnipresent, shapeless and formless.
Jesus knew that the "face" of God is not a man’s face, but the Divine Light-Energy-Source of our existence that lies dormant in all of us and radiates fully in the aura of all truly enlightened ones, even though it can be seen only by those who have an eye to see. For like truth, the Divine Light is in the eye of the beholder, and it is obvious that very few if any people "saw the face of God" in Jesus. It takes one to know one, and at that time and place Jesus was pretty much alone and unique at the time in his full realization of God.
All those who have since realized what God is have understood that God is not an idol, that there is a very good reason why Moses wrote that God is not a man, nor a son of man, and why Isaiah said clearly that we should not compare any man to God or worship an idol. And Jesus understood that very well, even though it was not understood by those who built the Christian church and were responsible for writing the Nicene Creed and the Christian New Testament in the Bible as we know it.
Granted, it is possible that Jesus said God is “our Father,” following the Jewish tradition of attributing gender and maleness to God. However, we don’t actually know whether the patriarchal Christian tradition was created when the original gospels were written between the third and ninth decade after Jesus died, or by later church "fathers" and patriarchs.
Anyway, whoever established the patriarchal tradition in Christianity and whenever they did it, they included other man-made doctrines of preeminence and superiority right along with the patriarchal attitudes and doctrines. They did not recognize the contradictions they were creating, and they didn’t realize how Christianity would eventually be steered in the direction that organized, institutionalized, theocratic religions tend to take.
Ultimately it was the Christian Church of Roman Emperors Constantine and Theodocius, and patriarchs like Christian Archbishop Cyril and Bishop Irenaeus established a patriarchal church quite different than most of the original Christians had participated in. That’s why it inevitably led to the Dark Ages, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and a lot of military industrial imperialism in the name of "spreading God's Word" and "saving souls."
Jesus Foresaw and Foretold the Conflict and Division
Jesus of Nazareth foresaw what would happen. He knew he ushered in a age of conflict and division. That is why Jesus said "I come not to bring peace, but division." It's why he said: "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them yet." That’s why he said he had to "go away and be seen no more on earth," but the "Spirit of truth shall come to issue judgment, guide you unto truth, show you things to come, and glorify me [the Christ in heaven]." (John 16:7-15)
Jesus said that because he knew that Christianity would be misled by false doctrines, such as a "virgin birth," a physical "resurrection," and a "second coming" of Jesus, which is why modern Christians reject the modern son of man just as Jesus foresaw and foretold.
Nevertheless, as Jesus said, the next son of man does indeed deliver the promised Judgment. And by prophetic mandate, the Judgment that the son of man delivers from the Spirit of truth cannot be lukewarm. It must be strong, and authoritative enough so that when it is widespread, it will render hypocrites contrite of spirit.
It is the truth, and nothing but the truth, that sets us free. And that truth comes from the Spirit of truth, which is within, and which is symbolized by the "stone" mentioned by Daniel and Isaiah.
See, in Daniel 2:34-35 the great Astrologer-Seer foretold that "a stone not cut by hands shall shatter the image of the King of Babylon, and the stone shall become as a great mountain that shall fill the earth." That's because the stone is an esoteric symbol for divine truth, understanding of God’s word, and righteous judgment.
That "stone" is the same one mentioned by Isaiah, who reported that the Lord God said: "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, [so that] he that believes shall not make haste." (Isaiah 28:16)
Zion and the foundation stone are not a material place or thing, but spiritual symbols. The foundation stone for God's kingdom is realized within. And God tells the modern son of man ("he that believes"), to have patience -- to trust in God, and know that the eternal moment shall unfold as pages of history, just as was foreseen long ago, all in due time.
There Is No “Final Word”
The Christian Bible as we now know it is not the "final word" from God or the Spirit of truth. For even though it was written in Revelation 22:18-19 that no man should "add to or take away from the words of this book," that contradicts the actual words of Jesus when he said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but you [humanity] cannot bear them now." (John 16:12)
In other words, humanity wasn’t ready two thousand years ago and wouldn’t be until the end of the age (aeon), now. But the authors of the New Testament books thought the "end of the world" was imminent and would come during their lifetimes. They did not understand the prophecies of Jesus, or of preceding prophets.
Therefore, when John wrote the book of Revelations many decades after Jesus died, he was not issuing the "last word." And he actually meant that no one should add or take away from the book of Revelation in a way that would distort or twist the truth. In fact, the truth in it must be revealed by the modern son of man. After all, the Greek word Apocalypse actually means to "uncover, reveal, or unveil" the truth that has been ignored, forgotten, misinterpreted and misunderstood, and the phrase apokalupsis eschaton literally means "revelation at the end of the aeon, or age."
The son of man also points to the Book of Wisdom. For it defines Wisdom as "beneficent, kind, firm, secure, all-seeing, and pervading all spirits. Wisdom penetrates and pervades all things by reason. She is the aura of the power of God, the radiance of the eternal Divine Light, a spotless mirror of God. And she can do all things and renews all things, and passing into holy souls from age to age, she produces friends of God and prophets." (Wisdom 7:22-8:1)
In Proverbs 9 it is written: "Wisdom has built her house and she calls to all: Come, eat my food and drink my wine and you will live abundant life and walk in the ways of understanding. Forsake the foolish, and live. Go in the way of understanding. For the fear of the Lord God is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life shall be increased."
In Proverbs 3:5-19 it is written: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge God, and God shall direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. ... My son, do not despise chastening of the Lord, nor be weary of being corrected. For whoever the Lord loves are corrected; even as a parent corrects the child in whom he delights. Happy is the man that finds Wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. ... For She is more precious than rubies: and all the things you can desire are not to be compared unto Her. Length of days is in Her right hand; and in Her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her: and happy is every one that retains Her. The Lord God by Wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding has God established the heavens."
Now the following is appropriate: "There was a poor wise man, and by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless, the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that rules among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroys much good." (Ecclesiastes 9:15-18)
The modern son of man is a poor man in a material and monetary sense, and physically he has been stricken and afflicted and is dying. But, because he was called and chosen to do this work, part of his mission is to write in the "voice of God’s word." But, because he is poor and advocates for the poor and the least of our brethren, he is still rejected. His wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. But in due time the stone of truth will shatter the image of those who have ruled among rich fools and destroyed much good while claiming to serve God and Country. And the reign of those who still do is growing short, and will end.
“Fear of God Is the Beginning of Wisdom”
Wisdom is better than strength. The pen is mightier than the sword. The weapons of God’s warfare are not carnal or lethal, but they are mighty through God for pulling down even the greatest stronghold of misused worldly power.
That is written throughout the Bible. But, having said that, we cannot talk about Wisdom and understanding without adding commentary regarding the statement that "fear of God is the beginning of wisdom."
Few know what that means, and it is impossible to explain. But, only after you fully understand from personal experience and a fully developed conscience why you should fear God, can you grow in spiritual understanding to the point where Wisdom comes, and there is no more reason to fear. When God becomes your only refuge, and God becomes your only strength, then you learn to use it lovingly, and fairly if and when it must be firm.
That is misunderstood by certain "Bible-believing Christians" who think having fear of God is fearing God’s judgment in the afterlife after you die. But they have given people the wrong idea. That is why agnostics and atheists have concluded that: "Fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom, but the death of wisdom."
That is because in America since 1620 there have been many theocratic bigots and hypocrites who have claimed to be religious Christians, and there are many more today. Today you can see ignorant, bigoted "Christian" demonstrators with signs saying: "FEAR GOD AND OBEY!"
Such fools simply do not understand. They are hateful hypocrites who are totally ignorant of what the Christ Jesus tried to teach us. But it’s no wonder, considering the arrogant, self-important, self-righteous false shepherds and false prophets who mislead and incite them.
The truth is that many religious people do not realize what a "God-fearing" person should fear. Many religious people believe that God is the cause of every event and every thing that takes place on this earth; that God is the direct cause of wars, all other acts of man, all acts of nature, natural disasters, afflictions, diseases, deafness, blindness, accidents, and everything else, and that God dictates and creates all circumstances.
Such an idea is absurd at the outset. Natural disasters are not "acts of God," and God does not cause illness, injury or suffering. To think otherwise is no different than superstitious prehistoric people imagining that a god or gods were causing disasters, or causing events that frightened them, and that they had to appease such a god with sacrifices and/or offerings. It was, and is, superstitious nonsense.
Granted, God does find ways to chastise us when we do wrong and when we get on our high horse, and the karmic reality is that we do indeed reap what we sow because of the consequences of our own words and actions. However, God is loving, merciful, and forgiving, like any good parent.
The notion that God causes natural disasters comes from misguided biblical literalism. But progressive Christians and progressive Jews don't read the scriptures literally. Jews read them considering generations of interpretations in the Talmud, which offers an image of God that is vastly different from the image of God presented in the Christian Bible (if taken literally). The God described in Talmud is not responsible for what some Christians call "acts of God."
Of course, it is understandable why people want to have faith that there are no accidents and that everything happens for a reason according to God’s "plan." That notion comforts us following tragedies and catastrophes. But the fact is that our loving and merciful God does not cause harm, pain, or damage. Accidents do happen, whether they are random or the result and consequence of cause and effect. But the causes are usually human mistakes, deliberately destructive or harmful human action, genetics, naturally occurring geological circumstances and events, etc.
Granted, it was prophesied that we would suffer from the effects of wars, the seven plagues (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, pestilence, floods, droughts, diseases, famines), and "many other terrible things," and that these would take place prior to the work of this son of man being successful. However, the prophets foresaw and foretold it not because God would cause it, but because it would be the consequences of human mistakes, carelessness, and failure – cause and effect, also known as karma.
Even so, because of God’s Will-To-Good, often tragedies are blessings in disguise. We can take comfort in that, look on the bright side, and see the silver lining around every dark cloud. Even great material loss can bring great spiritual gain, and suffering can lead to growth in spirit.
We can also understand why the authors of scriptures wanted to give the impression that God is the Creator of All-That-Is, and, as Creator, is also the Destroyer. For while that is true in the sense that Evolution and the cycle of life and death is God’s method of Creation and sustaining of our world and all life in it, that concept needs qualification.
How God is The Creator
As is explained in the article titled The Word of God, the "Word" of God is the primordial vibration of Divine Light-Energy. The Word is the Life and the Light of human beings, made flesh in all men and women born into this world. It is not the written word in a scroll or book, nor can it be spoken. Words spoken and written by human beings, no matter how divinely inspired, are tinged with the opinions, beliefs and cultural traditions of the speaker and writer. They always have been and always will be.
For example, Moses, the author of the Torah (the first five books of the Tanakh or Old Testament), wrote as if God "spoke" to him and gave him direct instructions. But, that is not what actually happened. In fact, even though God gave Moses the revelatory gift of realization of certain truths, Moses was not infallible, and his writing was not and is not free of error and personal opinion. It does, however, contain much truth, because anyone who has received truly divine revelations are spiritually gifted. But that does not mean they are then perfect or holy. They were and are still fallible, as any son of man is.
In many instances the authors of the books of the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament) wrote for effect, to create the idea that God issues direct punishment to those who do not please "Him," and also to create fear of the God of Israel in the mind of their enemies. But, God is not really a punitive god of vengeance, nor is God a jealous God. Who is God to be jealous of?
Granted, it is written that the Lord God said: "Vengeance is mine." However, when we understand that in context, we can see it is to prevent Man from being vengeful or vindictive. That is why we must realize that we should not judge or be vengeful, that God's "vengeance" is that people reap what they sow according to natural karmic law.
We have free will to do good deeds, or commit evil or harmful ones. It is our choice, and God does not make it for us. We are free to make mistakes, and when we do we are supposed to learn from them as we reap the consequences of what we have sown. That’s how humanity evolves and improves, and it’s how each soul evolves and improves. And even though God does “chastise” us, like any good parent chastises their children when called for, God's ways are often mysterious, and God is generally loving, merciful, understanding, and forgiving.
Many Christians don’t understand that. They have been led to believe that a so-called "Judgment Day of Wrath" will come. They’ve also been led to believe that when you die your spirit-soul will suffer eternal hell and damnation if you do not believe in and abide by the doctrines of church patriarchs and walk a "straight and narrow path of godliness."
That is an absurd idea, really, because we cannot be "godly." That’s the epitome of egotism demonstrated by sanctimonious, judgmental people who think they are “holier than thou.”
Only God is Godly. And this is the prophesied judgment, delivered by the prophesied servant-messenger of God and the Spirit of truth, the modern son of man. For Jesus said he had come "not to judge the world," but, like many preceding prophets, like Isaiah, he said the son of man to come would deliver the judgment. And this son of man is a prodigal son, contrite of spirit, just as the prophet Isaiah said he would be.
The very notion that you can be "godly" breeds egotism, and ignores the fact that we learn from our mistakes. It puts a lot of pressure on people, which is why many fundamentalist Christian churches emphasize the doctrine that: "We are all sinners." But they get off track when they claim that "we can achieve salvation and become godly by professing that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior."
It’s not that simple, however, for as even Jesus said, not all who claim to serve the Lord do. Many speak of the Lord, but know not God. And the idea that all you have to do is “Believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior” was designed to empower theocratic church patriarchs who worship an idol and ignore all the scriptures that tell us that a son of man is not God, that only God is the Holy One and Savior, and that NO man should be compared to God, or likened to God.
See, what you really believe can seem very true for you. In certain instances, beliefs can even become true. But, while some of the beliefs of religious people may seem true to them, and may even become true for them because of their faith, the beliefs may not be true at all.
As John C. Lilly, M.D. wrote in Simulations of God: "If one analyzes the Bible, the Koran, the sacred writing of India, the Vedas, the Upanishads, one sees that man has been trying to deal with his origins by means of what, today, we call ‘projections.’ His projection of his own knowledge onto the universe, onto his own origins and onto his future end is, then, the ultimate simulation. And when we simulate that of which we have no knowledge, we project our current knowledge into the unknown, into our own ignorance."
That is very true, and the fact is that books, no matter how divinely inspired, cannot give us real first-hand knowledge of God. That comes only from within/above, as a gift from God, through the opening of the seven seals of revelation. (See the article on The Highest State of Consciousness.)
Without that ultimate gift, you could study and memorize the whole Bible and still not know God, as so many right-wing "Christian" leaders have so blatantly demonstrated. They simulate that which they have no knowledge of, and thus they project their knowledge into their own ignorance of God.
Thus a man-made doctrine of preeminence and superiority has led many "Christians" to commit many atrocities in the world during the last sixteen hundred years.
How We Can Obey God's Will
The emphasis should be on doing our very best to abide by the Universal Divine Imperative that is common to ALL religions: Treat all others as we would want to be treated if we were them.
That is the golden rule that Hillel the Elder and the Christ Jesus and all other great spiritual teachers have taught.
That is the main rule because we actually do reap what we sow because of the karmic consequences of our thoughts, words, and actions. But, we are human. We make mistakes. And by trial, error, and success, we learn by suffering or enjoying the consequences right here on earth.
When we disobey the main rule we become separated spiritually from our higher self, and from others. That is why the proper judgment that the world desperately needs is that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Nothing divided against itself can stand, whether it is a person, or a house, city, state, nation, or world.
This judgment is that any nation governed by the idea that power in the hands of one sovereign head of state is doomed to be divided by competition for such sovereign power, and, therefore, power must be in the hands of the people in order to ensure fairness, equity, and justice for all.
Unity of the people is not Utopian. It does not require that the people will all think the same thing, or believe the same thing. It means they will mutually respect each other and work together in common purpose, using the common wealth for the common good.
Unity of the people of the world means they will respect the race, religion, culture and nationality of all their fellow human beings.
Unity of the people means that their governments will be of the people, by the people, and for the people, no longer ruled by tyrants or divided by partisan political competition for the throne, but instead governed by the people sharing the power of the throne as equal joint heirs.
"As for the best leader, when his work is accomplished the people will say, ‘We did it ourselves!’" – Lao Tzu, in the Book of Tao
Who is that leader? His work is described in the prophecies of all religions.
Isaiah 11:1-2 states: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord."
The modern son of man has feared the Lord, and has been corrected by God. For the wisdom of Solomon is reflected in this statement: "Whoever the Lord loves are corrected, even as a parent does the child in whom he delights."
That is why we all should fear God in this sense: Just as an unruly or difficult or willful child should have a healthy fear of a good parent who understands their responsibility, we all should have a healthy fear of the consequences of bad or selfish, self-centered, self-important, self-righteous, judgmental thoughts and behavior, right here on earth. For every action brings a like reaction, whether good or bad.
Love attracts and brings love, while hate attracts and brings hate. And it’s the same with kindness as opposed to cruelty, understanding as opposed to bigotry, tolerance as opposed to intolerance, and gentleness as opposed to violence.
As the late Martin Luther King, Jr. said so eloquently: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness, in a descending spiral of destruction."
So there is good reason to fear. Like a child fears a good parent who insists on proper behavior and chastises, reprimands and corrects their children when they misbehave, we should fear the consequences of our words and actions when they cause hurt feelings or harm or loss to others. If you cause harm to another, you will suffer harm. If you cause loss to another, you will suffer loss. Maybe not immediately, but inevitably. For we will indeed reap what we sow and we will suffer the consequences, unless we admit our error, make amends, and repent or change our behavior.
People who cause harm or loss to others may get away with it for a while, and they may escape karmic social or legal justice for a time, but sooner or later their karma will catch up with them. The laws of the universe and nature are certain, and sure.
You can be assured that the Universal Consciousness will bring spiritual forces to bear, and the guilty will pay for their offenses and crimes sooner or later, one way or another. The wicked have no rest, and no respite. They may try to escape by running away or hiding, or by using drugs or alcohol, but they cannot and will not escape justice, or poetic justice. They will pay, unless they confess, change their ways, and make amends.
Ironically, all human beings want to be good, and they want to love and be loved. Even the most cruel and tyrannical dictator loves certain people and things, and he even wants to love more people. But the dictator is like the abusive husband and father who wants to love his wife and children, but becomes outraged when they don’t meet his expectations or obey his dictates. Thus he becomes a monster even while justifying himself with the idea that he has been betrayed and is forced to teach them a lesson even if he has to use forceful words or actions.
That is the pitfall of the patriarchal man when he gets on his egocentric high horse, because he will inevitably fall from it. And he will continue in his vain folly until he realizes the cause of his delusion. For he is not God. He’s not even the king of his castle. He is just a human being, and when he learns his proper place in his household and in his world, he will learn to be happy, and loving, and fair, and he will share what he has to offer humbly, and gratefully.
That’s why we should walk in the ways of understanding, forsake selfishness, greed, arrogance, malice and mendacity, and live by the golden rule and the universal divine imperative that is common to all religions.
"Drink my wine and you will live abundant life and walk in the ways of understanding." That's what Solomon advised. But some misguided Christians believe the use of alcohol is bad and "ungodly." Not so. Most people drink alcohol moderately and responsibly, not to get "drunk" but to simply feel more relaxed and sociable. We believe that is a good thing, and it is even healthy, especially when it’s moderate amounts of red wine with meals.
Of course, some people drink to excess to get drunk, but most of them do so to feel greater joy and love, even though some do so to "drown their sorrows" or to escape negative feelings and emotions. Unfortunately, while overindulgence in alcohol can and does enhance feelings of joy and love, it can also enhance feelings of sorrow, and even hate and anger. Most "mean drunks" become so because they overindulge trying to feel better, and then they get angry at anyone or anything that "brings them down." Their inhibition becomes perverted by angrily blaming others.
The solution is self-control and moderation, even though that is a very difficult thing to achieve for those with a tendency toward dependent, addictive behaviors. For some, it may be impossible, and for them it may be true that "one drink is too many, and ten drinks is not enough." But with awareness and discipline, self-control is possible for most people, and Prohibition is counterproductive and unwise for a variety of proven reasons.
Recognizing Your Spirit-Soul
Do we have eternal spirit-soul, and after-life? Can our soul be reincarnated? Many believe so, not only because that is what Buddhists and Hindus and most other people in the world believe, but because that is what Jesus referred to when he said, "Before Abraham was, I am." Jews also asked Jesus if he was "Elias come again," and Isaiah wrote that the servant of God who fulfills prophecy would "bring Jacob again."
Those statements refer to the fact that he is similar to Jacob in that he has struggled with God, and they don't necessarily refer to reincarnation even though most people in the world believe in it. Misguided Christian preachers, of cours, insist that the belief in reincarnation is "pagan" and wrong. They focus on and quote the wrong words of Paul, who wrote: "it is appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27), and they claim that is absolute proof that we live and die only once in one mortal body. However, in the next line we see that Paul was referring to the fact that Jesus "was once offered " (Hebrews 9:28) And the fact is that the mortal man Jesus did indeed offer himself once as a sacrificial "lamb" of God.
Now, Christian fundamentalists and evangelists claim that when you die you will face an ultimate judgement before God as a Supreme Judge, who will determine whether you will be delivered to heaven for eternity or be sent to hell for eternity. They claim that you have just one chance (one lifetime) to make it to heaven, and if you don’t please "God The Judge" you’re going to be cast into the fires of hell forever.
But their old "hell-fire and damnation" routine is a scare tactic, because the real God is not a rigid and unforgiving judge, but a merciful and loving God.
Granted, our Great Spirit-Parent does indeed chastise us just as any good parent chastises their wayward child, albeit in mysterious ways. But God’s ultimate mercy is to give a lost and errant soul many chances to redeem itself, to learn the ultimate lesson. For this world is our "classroom" where we learn our lessons in order to graduate to the real life eternal, or fail and have to “repeat the same grade” and have another chance and another lifetime to learn the ultimate truth.
The fact is that most people in the world believe in reincarnation because they too understand we have a spirit-soul that lives on. There is mounting evidence of people recalling or remembering minute details and events and places from another life, lived generations before, that they could not possibly have known about unless they had either lived that past life or had somehow gained intimate detailed knowledge of that life. Some of those recollections come from people’s vivid dreams and cannot be dismissed, and in those cases there can only be two possible explanations. Either they were being linked to the consciousness of a spirit-ghost, or they were recalling a past life.
However, it is important to understand that belief in reincarnation does not let you off the hook. You still must obey the golden rule and universal divine imperative, because we reap what we sow either in this life or the next. Divine justice is sure, certain and undeviating. And an educated belief in reincarnation prompts us and gives us reason to treat others as we would like to be treated if we were them.
Now, it is perhaps likely that the departed spirit-souls of people who have committed terrible crimes and caused others terrible harm or loss will go into a kind of spiritual state of limbo — not as Catholic dogma supposes it to be, and not as some television shows and movies portray, but a temporary state in a spiritual "realm" unique and fitting for the individual --- as in a personal bad dream — until they realize and understand their sins, realize divine will and intent, and recognize the true nature of God.
However, no one should fear death. We should realize what it is. All life dies, but its consciousness lives on and may take other forms depending on the nature of the life lived. In that sense there is perfect and undeviating justice in the world. All is as it is supposed to be in that sense.
Furthermore, even though the Bible contains the idea that unrepentant sinners will be "written out of the Book of Life," the son of man does not believe that anyone is "sent to hell for eternity." The God he knows is firm but merciful and forgiving, like a good parent. And part of his mission is to comfort those who are repentant and contrite and have changed their ways to deserve forgiveness.
A soul, once having come into being, is such for eternity. As Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am." Jesus was speaking as the original soul, the Ancient One, the Oversoul. He knew he spoke for the Holy One "which was, is, and shall always be."
The modern son of man also serves the Oversoul, the Ancient One who is in heaven with God. But he knows how and why he "brings Jacob again," and he knows his suffering is not caused merely by "the iniquity of his people," but also by the consequences of his own vain folly, willfulness and covetousness, which is why Isaiah said he would be "contrite of spirit."
He knows that our God "corrects" loved ones especially. For good parenting requires both rewarding and correcting children, giving positive reinforcement and encouragement as well as consequential chastisement. For God and the Spirit of truth nourishes our heart but prunes our ego, and sometimes corrects us in very mysterious ways. And we can become aware of them without being superstitious.
When we follow our conscience and divine guidance, it warms our heart and produces joy, love and harmony, and when we are guided by egocentric notions of superiority, self-importance and self-righteousness, it is counterproductive, creates conflict, and is even harmful. For while self-righteous anger can be energizing and can even be a comfort zone and refuge for a stubborn ego refusing to face a guilty conscience, a sane, good person will always be tempered by their conscience and accept correction by the Spirit of truth, however it comes, and even if the truth hurts.
Let those with an ear to hear and an eye to see try to understand Wisdom. Right here, right now, in the eternal now which we are always in, we should do and think and say what we know in our heart is selfless, correct, and for the benefit of all concerned. Otherwise, it is self-centered, vain folly, fruitless, detrimental to others, and even detrimental to our own spiritual growth.