Tiểu Sử Của Đức Giêsu Kitô theo Judas qua HR: Tiếp Theo Bài 51 (Not Just Believing but Experiencing)

  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Thank you TPN.

    Khi đăng bài mới ST sẽ post ngay đầu chương để tiện cho người đọc và những bài cũ sẽ được đưa xuống phía dưới thứ tự theo số của bài.

    Thân mến.

  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Bài 32: "The miracle at Naym and the Disciple Thaddaeus" March 4th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother,

    To begin this message, I just want to remind you of the news you heard today. In your country, an ex-commander of the police, a retired general, was murdered. Three thieves assaulted and robbed some peasants, who in turn went for help to this man. He pursued the criminals in what he considered his duty, and was killed by gunshot.

    So often you complain about the police, you call them corrupt, inept, however, you see, in real life there are no black and white pictures. Do not criticize what you do not know. The only life that you know is yours. If you want to criticize, start there. But even in this case, do not criticize just for criticizing, but for improving and growing.

    However, this is not the topic of today's message. I wish to continue with the story of Jesus' life.

    The wedding at Cana did not last just one day, as it was the norm. We slept several nights in the ample house of Nathanael, having fun from sunrise to sunset. Finally, the moment came to say goodbye.

    We did not return to Kpar Nahum, but we accompanied Jesus’ family to Nazareth. There I came to know Joseph’s house and prosperous workshop. We stayed one night as their guests in an atmosphere of hospitality, but on the following day, something unexpected happened.

    In the Gospel according to Matthew, you can read: And He came into His own country and proceeded to teach in their synagogue, so that they were filled with astonishment and exclaimed, "Where did he obtain such wisdom, and these wondrous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers, James, Joseph, Simon and Judah? And his sisters — are they not all living here among us? Where then did he get all this?"

    So they turned angrily away from Him. But Jesus said to them, "There is no prophet left without honor except in his own country and among his own family." And He performed but few mighty deeds there because of their want of faith.

    You thought that this referred to Jesus’ discourse in the synagogue, where he proclaimed himself the Messiah, but in fact, here two very similar events are mixed.

    The unexpected incident of the following day was simply that Jesus went out to the street and began to preach, in spite of his prior painful experience. And one more time, people faced him with rejection, incredulity and indifference. They began to insult him, and Jesus repeated almost the same words, that is, that a prophet is not accepted in his own country. And the crowd grew furious. They even brought a paralytic and ordered him to heal him, but Jesus showed not the slightest intent. He would not have been able to succeed, as you can understand now.

    Almost the same scene repeated as on that Saturday in the synagogue, but this time, Joseph and his family and Jesus' few friends came running and were not silent, defending the Master. And then it happened that Joseph said: “Leave him alone, don't you see that he is crazy?" And all laughed with malice and went away.

    H.R.: Did Joseph really think so?

    He was not sure what to think of Jesus. He said this to save the situation, to calm down the tumult and to avoid bloodshed. But in fact, it was a reflection of his doubts and of his internal struggle. Well, he himself had experienced the events in Bethlehem, which made him suffer one decade of exile in Egypt; he himself had tried to educate Jesus, so that he could fulfill his function as the Messiah; he himself had inculcated his other children with the idea that Jesus would be the Messiah. And now Jesus simply did not comply with the ideas and concepts Joseph had developed. He doubted himself, the world, and Jesus. In other words, he was hopelessly confused.

    Jesus looked at his father with sad eyes, and Joseph turned his head, avoiding his son’s look, and returned to his house. Then the Master asked his brothers James and Judas, “Do you still want to follow me?" They hesitated for a moment, exchanging glances, but finally they agreed. And so, we left Nazareth, without farewell and under the mocking laughs of the crowd that observed us.

    The question is, if Jesus had really acted with imprudence, or perhaps, his acting was the consequence of his nature, of always giving another chance, of never surrendering, as if a voice in him had called ceaselessly: “Don’t give up!"

    We did not return to Kpar Nahum, but Jesus headed southward. There, under the open sky, we camped some miles from Nazareth. We sat around the campfire, and Jesus spoke to us of the Kingdom of Heaven. He was not dismayed, but I know that deep inside he felt very sad.

    On the following day, we arrived at a village called Nayn, near Mount Tabor, whose cone-shaped formation rose abruptly from the plains, towering majestically towards the sky.

    The Bible tells us: (Luke 7:11-16)

    Shortly afterwards He went to a town called Nain, attended by His disciples and a great crowd of people. And just as He reached the gate of the town, they happened to be bringing out for burial a dead man who was his mother’s only son; and she was a widow; and a great number of the townspeople were with her. The Lord saw her, was moved with pity for her, and said to her, "Do not weep." Then He went close and touched the bier, and the bearers halted. "Young man," He said, "I command you, wake!" The dead man sat up and began to speak; and He restored him to his mother.

    All were awe-struck, and they gave glory to God — some saying, "A Prophet, a great Prophet, has risen up among us." Others said, "God has not forgotten His People." And the report of what Jesus had done spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding districts.


    And so it happened. You can also imagine the awe we felt. Jesus had raised a person from the dead! That was something unheard of, something wonderful, yes, a true miracle, unbeatable!

    Of course, you understand that the young man was not dead. He lay prostrate in a deep coma, a case very similar to that of Lazarus or of Tabitha. You remember that once you saw on television, how more than one century ago they installed in the central cemetery of Vienna, an ingenious system, so that those buried ones could get the attention of the cemetery guards. Everybody was afraid at that time of being buried alive. That happened relatively frequently.

    And Jesus saw that the young man was not dead, and he healed him. There is no doubt about it, his healing powers were enormous — and they still are, in fact even greater now.

    Soon afterwards the funeral procession transformed into a great feast, with us as the guests of honor. Do you remember what I have told you of the ups and downs in life, of this roller coaster that once drives us up high, and then puts us down?

    This event that is related only in passing in the New Testament actually was the key for the future development of Jesus' ministry. Due to this feat, Jesus’ following visit to Nazareth would be very different, and very soon we could feel its effect.

    However, there was also an immediate consequence. After having spent the night in the village, welcomed by grateful people, on the following morning when we got ready to leave, this young man approached the Master, asking him for permission to follow him. And Jesus granted it to him.

    His name was Taddi bar Levi, and he is the apostle Thaddaeus, who is only mentioned twice in the Bible, in the listings of the apostles. Don't get confused. Taddi was not Lebbaeus, and the mess with the names is due to the fruitless effort of the editors of the Scriptures to reconcile a relatively long list of the Master’s close followers with the number twelve, the symbol of the tribes of Israel. Now you can read that "it is supposed, comparing the lists of apostles, that Judas, Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus are one and the same person." Yes, it is supposed, however, it is not correct.

    Now we were already a considerable group of people that walked through Galilee, preaching the Kingdom of God: The Master, Andrew, Simon Kefa (Peter), John, James, Simon the Zealot, Philip, Matthew, I Judas, Nathanael, James Lebbaeus and Judas, Jesus' brothers, and finally Thaddaeus. Now you can count twelve people besides the Master, but more would join us.

    We left Naym, provided with food and wine, and the Master guided us toward the imposing Mount Tabor. But of that, we will speak on another occasion.

    It is time to say good-bye. You have already received a lot. Tomorrow we’ll meet again.

    Until then, God bless you always,
    Judas
    =========================

    Bài 33: "Jesus Explained On Prayer" March 6th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother:

    In my last message, I told you how we left the village of Naym, and Jesus guided us toward Mount Tabor.

    We did not stay at the foot of that mountain, but we rather ascended. And from above, we could appreciate a spectacular view, embracing the plains of Galilee, down to the freshwater sea.

    It was an appropriate place for meditating. It is easy to understand, why the ancient ones built their sanctuaries on the summits of mountains. And we had much luck with the weather, enjoying a sunny day of perfect visibility.

    When we had arrived at the peak of the mount, Jesus began to pray in silence, and we tried to follow his example.

    Then, we sat down, and Jesus spoke to us again of prayer. He explained that it was, of course, an inner attitude, the intent of conversing with the Father, exposing Him our problems, desires, yearnings and concerns, but that it was always very important to look for an appropriate atmosphere. At least once per week, we should look for a solitary place, where nature itself would inspire us and facilitate us a close communication with our Creator. By the way, H___, this is an advice that still is valid. It is not necessary to limb up a mountain or to hide in a forest to do so. It is sufficient to find a quiet corner, a pleasant atmosphere, it may be in your house, it may be with some background music, each one will know how to arrange this for themselves. It means to retire periodically from "this world" and to enter "another world," where you will be able to be much nearer to God.

    And it happened that Taddi, who heard all this for the first time, asked Jesus:

    "Master, I don't want to appear stupid, but in fact, I don't know how to pray."

    We kept silence. We had never asked this, and to tell truth, none of us knew how to pray. Nobody had been taught it. It was something different to participate in the rites of the Temple, and to fulfill norms of conduct, as the Torah demands them, and with that to feel well, than to pray or to converse with somebody who we could not see. How can one speak with somebody invisible? How could we know if He was listening to us or not? So, Taddi had formulated the question of all of us, with courage and frankness.

    Jesus smiled. He explained us that eventually we would always the presence of God ever stronger. The eyes and the ears of our souls would open up and we would know that the Father was always with us, listening to us unfailingly and watching over on us.

    "And when praying," he said, "do not use needless repetitions as the heathen do, for they expect to be listened to because of their multitude of words. Do not, however, imitate them; for your Father knows what things you need before ever you ask Him.

    Well, the Father definitely does not want words. He wants your longings, your true desire to be in communion with Him. Although the Father knows all that worries you or makes you happy, He needs you to express his desires to demonstrate your will to accept His guidance and His gifts, because He respects you, even more, He loves you, and therefore, He will never impose His Will upon you.

    The Father in Heaven is like a magnificent King, who grants audience to all His people, and at all times. He likes to hear people telling Him of their happiness, and He listens to their problems. And to all people who approach Him, He gives exactly what they may need. He is not like the imprudent ruler who, riding on his horse, parades through the streets of his city, throwing his gold among the people. This is prayer: The audience with our true King, informing him our desires and problems, our happiness and sadness. When we open up our hearts, He opens up His, and when we need, He gives with wisdom."

    And then he gave us his prayer. I don't need to describe it, you already know it.

    H.R.: And was it exactly as Mr. Padgett received it?

    No, not exactly so, this you should know already, but more or less so.

    H.R.: Actually, I am referring to a special part of it. Jesus explained to Dr. Samuels the following:

    I am here, again, to write you on the truths of the Father, and I wish to comment on The Prayer given to Mr. Padgett many years ago - the only one necessary to obtain the Father's Love; and the Doctor is very much to be commended for his perspicacity in perceiving all the implications of the Prayer. It should be also understood that when I wrote, "through the death and sacrifice of any one of Thy creatures," I was referring to the Hebrew custom of pardon through the sacrifice of lambs and bullocks, which were considered to take away sin. I did not at that time refer to myself as being one considered the equal of the godhead, for this prayer was originally given before any idea had entered the mind of man that I could be such a being; and it was not taught by me but simply inserted when given to Mr. Padgett in my capacity as the risen Christ, and in order to point out a false interpretation developed over the years. So it is understood that in the original teaching of the Prayer, these later words rejecting my person as being one with the "godhead" did not appear. (Revelation 24: Jesus explains passages from The Prayer and corrects more passages in the Gospel of John)

    Because the phrase "It should be also understood that when I wrote, "through the death and sacrifice of any one of Thy creatures," I was referring to the Hebrew custom of pardon through the sacrifice of lambs and bullocks, which were considered to take away sin" entails serious implications. Abolishment of Temple sacrifices would have cost the Jewish priesthood dear. On the other hand, there is another contradictory message received by Dr. Samuels:

    When I came to Palestine to teach, I was very much aware of the evils found among the Hebrew priesthood and I also was convinced through my studies of the old prophets and the teachings of the Father that the priesthood was not essential to a religion calling for a direct communication between the human soul and the Heavenly Father through Love. But it was not my intention to harm or destroy the prevailing system which had been built up through the centuries to perpetuate the priesthood as an integral part of the organization of the Hebrew nation, whether Israel, Judah, or both, for the nation had been established as one consecrated to God with the priesthood as the intermediaries between God and the people, and the conception was to have the priesthood perform the religious functions of a special or national nature and be the religious leaders of a people designated to be a light to the gentiles - a people who would eventually lead the pagan peoples into the path of true belief and worship of the eternal God.

    And the sacrifices of the animals seemed perfectly consistent with this plan, because these sacrifices enabled the priesthood to live, and in earlier times this priesthood had difficulties in making ends meet because the people were not generous in their contributions towards them. And for that reason the priesthood, as a class, organized for special duties within a society that had developed with those special duties in mind, were not to be attacked in my plan for the redemption of the Jewish people. (New Testament Revelations: The functions of the Hebrew priesthood)

    All this does not fit together. The mentioned phrase from the prayer would have caused an enormous scandal and uproar. Or did you keep it in secret?

    No, not at all. How could we have kept in secret such an important part of the teachings?

    Actually, as Jesus said, the prayer given to Mr. Padgett is the original prayer "in substance", but not literally. This prayer in itself implies that God forgives and grants, because we ask Him to do so, and not because we kill animals.

    Remember what Jack Kilmon wrote on the first line of the prayer. The Aramaic original expresses even a thousand things more than modern translations.

    But in order to continue with the story, that moment, when Jesus taught us how to pray, was so majestic, that up to now its recollection fills me with much emotion and happiness.

    Finally, in the afternoon, we went down and camped at the foot of the mountain. On the following day, we would return to Kpar Nahum.

    It has been a great pleasure to relate this history. You should not forget the circumstances. We were still under the strong impression of the events at Naym, and now, the Master's words so powerful in the most beautiful of scenarios.

    Tomorrow, if God allows it and if you grant me the opportunity, we will continue.

    Until then, God bless you,
    Judas
    =========================

    Bài 34: "Mary Magdalene" March 11th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother,

    I think you are aware that our story has already reached the year 26. A few years earlier Herod Antipas had ordered the building of a new capital city for his tetrarchy, calling it Tiberias, in honor of the Roman emperor Tiberius. This city was — and still is — located on the western shore of Lake Genesaret.

    You will certainly remember that when the workers dug the foundations for the buildings of the new city, they had found the remains of an old Hebrew cemetery. And reactions burst out immediately. The orthodox Jews refused to live in this city, and Antipas found himself forced to turn to the heathens, so that they would settle in his capital.

    Eventually his new city had the character of the Greek towns, with pagan temples, and even the palace of Antipas himself showed ornaments and decorations, which caused the orthodox Jews’ rejection.

    A few more miles to the north there was a village of Magdala. In earlier times it was a village of fishermen, very similar to Kpar Nahum, only smaller. But the proximity of the new capital caused rapid growth. Many of the Jewish artisans preferred to live and toil in Magdala, thus avoiding incurring the sin of profaning an old burial ground, and so trade flourished at that location. However, as you know, trade and money also attract another kind of service: in Magdala, brothels abounded. We could say that it was a village of doubtful reputation.

    When we returned to Kpar Nahum, we could verify very soon that the Master's fame had spread at lightning speed all over the country. People we met along our way recognized him immediately and very respectfully gave us precedence. We had to pass by Tiberias but Jesus preferred not to enter, and so we walked around the city in order to continue to the north. It would be obvious in the future that Jesus avoided the Greek style cities. Anyway, he would not have found many people there interested in his teachings and the few people who really wanted to listen to what the Master had to tell them always found the opportunity of meeting him in the country.

    But, in order to continue with our story, how great was our surprise when we came to Magdala and a "women's delegation" awaited us! They had found out that we were approaching and intercepted us at the entrance to the village. It was a not very homogeneous group, consisting of the wives of workers' and artisans, of prostitutes and ladies of the society.

    Do you find this strange? Well, the leader, Mariam, was a prostitute, who lived in Magdala, and she knew everybody in the town. She was not a cheap prostitute, but a woman of extraordinary beauty who sold her body very expensively. Mariam of Magdala, or Mary Magdalene, as you know her had a select clientele among Tiberias’ society, and she also had friendships among the women of this society, amongst others, Yokhan, one of the wives of Kuzan, Herod's administrator. Many of the women were sick, and they hoped that the Master would heal them.

    H.R.: And Jesus healed them?

    Yes, he healed them. That was another great achievement in those first moments of Jesus' public ministry. The heart of people of influence had been won. And to win a heart means to open a heart. All these women would accept the Master's teachings, and with them, many of their husbands and, of course, their children.

    H.R.: So the myth is true that Mary Magdalene was the sinner.

    If you refer to the adulterous woman whom Jesus saved from being stoned, you are wrong. If you refer to the woman who anointed the Master's head and dried his feet with her hair, you are wrong again. However, that she was a sinful woman, yes, she was. Who is not?

    The prostitute sells her body for money. This demonstrates her low self-esteem. Others sell their conscience for political gains, for power, for whatever it may be. Others sacrifice their families for their professional career. In short, the entire world prostitutes itself. When you see the TV news, it seems a great parade of prostitution. Everything is done for money, against one’s own conscience. Mr. Money reigns the world, and is worth more than one’s own body or one’s own conscience, on any level, in the personal environment as well as in international politics.

    But I will not expand on this topic now. I only want to add that some of the women present, such as Mary Magdalene and Shusha, would accompany the Master on his future teaching journeys. It was male chauvinism of that time which erased the great role of women from the Scriptures. When you read the Gospel of Thomas you will find that Mary Magdalene is the intelligent one that quickly grasps what the Master wants to express, while the male disciples are slow and dull-witted. Well, that is another extreme, but it is not very far from the truth (Judas laughs).

    Today I had to struggle to deliver my message. Your receptivity was not very good. Therefore, I think that it is the best to finish now. You are tense. Remember how beautiful it was when you were a boy, when you could simply lie down in the grass and enjoy the sun, watching how the bees flew from flower to flower, and seeing in the clouds the most fantastic animals. You can still do it. You may still dream. Dreams are the things which forge reality.

    God bless you,
    Judas

  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Bài 35: "The devils in Mary Magdalene" March 12th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    H.R.: Dear Judas, I would like to ask a question on what you informed me of yesterday. It is about Mary Magdalene. The Bible tells that Jesus cast out devils from her.

    Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

    Luke 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils...

    Am I right in assuming that this is a picturesque formulation, that Jesus had succeeded in cutting the rapport between her and dark spirits, who surrounded her?


    Yes, you are right. This is exactly what it is about. There is a message received by Mr. Padgett right on this subject. I want you to reproduce the pertinent part here.

    “I know that the Bible in many places speaks of my casting devils out of men, and of men being possessed of devils, and of the apostles casting out devils, and of their not being able to cast out some of these devils, but I tell you now that the Bible is all wrong in this regard, and the writers and translators of the Bible never understood what the word devil, as used in these various instances, meant or was intended to mean. As I have told you, there was never any devil or devils in the sense mentioned and taught by the churches, and consequently, they never could have possessed mortals nor have been cast out of them. It is true, that by the workings of the law of attraction, and the susceptibility of mortals to the influence of spirit powers, mortals may become obsessed by the spirits of evil - that is evil spirits of men who once lived on earth - and this obsession may become so complete and powerful that the living mortal may lose all power to resist this influence of the evil spirits, and may be compelled to do things that the mortal will not desire to do, and to show all the evidence of a distorted mind, and present appearances of a lost will power, as well as of the ability to exercise the ordinary powers given him by his natural creation. And in these instances referred to of casting out devils, wherever they occurred, and they did occur in some of the instances mentioned, the only devils that existed were the evil spirits who had possessed these mortals.

    And this obsession obtains today just as it did then, for the same laws are in operation now as were in existence then, and many a man is in a condition of evil life and disturbed mind from the obsession of these evil spirits; and if there were any men of today in that condition of soul development and belief that my disciples were in, they could cast out these so called devils just as the disciples cast them out in the Bible days. (There are no devils and no Satan considered as real persons and fallen angels, Vol. I)”


    I want to reiterate that all revelations are the products of a given time and of people’s mentality that live in that time. Some people take the Torah, the Law, that is to say, the five Books of Moses, as God’s selfsame word. And then they make every effort in their intellectual acrobatics to explain why God gave regulations on the treatment of slaves. Doesn't this mean that He approves of slavery? And in a similar way, there are many more atrocities in the Bible, all of them the products of HUMAN conception of justice.

    However, we should not waste our time repeating these things that are already common knowledge.

    The story of the Magdalene has much deeper implications. We should review the group of disciples, as it was in those days. Andrew and Simon Kefa, two fishermen, people of the lower social class. John, James, Philip and Simon the Zealot, ardent fanatics. Jesus never asked them if they had murdered people, because that is what the zealots used to do. Matthew, the scum of society, a corrupt leech, who fixed taxes and who did not care to take away the last goat from a poor peasant if he could not pay what Matthew had fixed for him. I, Judas, a dreaming youth without life experience. Nathanael, a rich and honest man. James and Judas, the Master’s brothers, respected artisans. Thaddaeus, another respectable person in society’s eyes. It was an odd mixture, from despicable to socially acceptable people. And now, Mary, a harlot, joined us. And Jesus, did he care what people had done in their past? No! What he saw in all of them was their quality as humans, as souls. What he cared about was the present, what they did now, what they represented now, their will for changing their ways, for improving.

    Did Jesus judge? Sometimes he did, for example in those last days in the Temple of Jerusalem, where he exposed the corruption and hypocrisy of the ruling class. But he never judged people according to their past. He always saw them as they were at that moment, he always saw their potential for improving. And that attitude would create problems for him.

    "Holy men" traditionally did not mingle with people of dubious background. Half of his disciples were not “clean” people in the social sense. But he did not care. He had understood one thing quite clearly: The Law of Compensation treats us according to what we are, and not according to what we once were.

    But returning to our story, we have almost come to the end of the Master’s first teaching journey. It was a very successful trip, of course, where he had won several disciples, who would continue with him permanently, and he had firm foundations for his reputation as a great sage and healer.

    We continued north to Kpar Nahum, where our group separated. Some, as Thaddaeus and Jesus' brothers, returned to their respective homes, with the promise of returning within two weeks, and the others, we stayed, continuing in our work as usual, and trying to follow the teachings that Jesus gave us continually.

    Next time, I would like to talk about some very important events in that year 26. See you soon.

    Your Celestial brother,
    Judas
    =========================

    Bài 36: "The Sound of His Voice" March 13th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    Yesterday I announced that I wished to speak about certain important events in the year 26. However, today, for a certain reason I have changed my mind and want to address the subject of “the Name of God.”

    Today you have read an interesting statement. I want you to reproduce it here.

    All this folderol about the "name" of God is a tempest in a teapot. The Hebrew word for "name" is SHEM and is an ancient root from Akkadian and Ugaritic for "sound." and "to hear" as is the morning prayer "shema". It is also the root for the "heavens" and the cosmos because God CREATED all things with the SOUND of his voice. Just as a child did not come into existence, even after birth, until the father held him/her to the heavens and SOUNDED the name, the act of naming is the act of creation. Everything with a name was created. God was not created, He is the CreaTOR. God does not have a NAME and never did. Why do you think he shuffled his feet, hemmed and hawed and hedged about when Moses asked his name and all he said was "I am what I am" and "Will be what I will be??" [written by Jack Kilmon]

    All this, my friend, is absolutely correct. In addition, it is only a partial aspect. I would like to deepen on the subject, and although I fear that you will not be able to understand fully what I will tell you now, I will try to do so. Perhaps you and others may draw some advantage from this information.

    God has no name. And as the Bible described in its picturesque way, God created all things by pronouncing them, by “sounding” them. All things created have names, but He, who never was created, has no name, He could not have a name. So, He expressed to Moses the very nature of His existence: He simply WAS, IS, and always WILL BE.

    Jesus had a very special form to address God. He called Him “Father,” and as you know, this was most revolutionary for us, because we have never thought of Him in that way. And when you have been asked how Jesus found his unique and true way of praying, you certainly are right that he had received help from the Father, but the most important point was that he had recognized God as the “Father,” our absolute Father and not a distant nebulous Almighty Being, but a true Father, who is close to us and watching over us.

    When we talked about God, we used to call him Ha-Shem, the name. Nevertheless, this word, as Jack Kilmon correctly points out, has much more implications than this simple translation leads you to assume. Shem was and is the universal sound, the voice of creation. When in those ancient times the father lifted his newborn child towards the heavens and pronounced its name, he “created” it in that very moment. Before, it simply did not exist. He could kill the child, because it did not “exist” for society. This practice was widely spread in antiquity, from Greece over Rome to Palestine, a perverted understanding of the “creative sound.” In another example, think of the magical meaning of the sound “OM” in oriental religions.

    It is not a coincidence that the Hebrew word for “heavens” or “cosmos” is based on the same root, SHM. And when you think a little and let play your fantasy, you could find other words, which translate the word SHEM perhaps in a more attractive way. New Age people would call it “vibration,” I think.

    So, God is this eternal and almighty entity, which emanates vibrations, the sound of creation, in a continuous flow. Creation has not ended; it is an ongoing process, which will never end, as far as we know.

    Maybe you remember that I have told you once that “we are creators.” This is true, and when you read that you may create your own universe and serve in it, you should not smile and shake your head. All this depends on your soul development, and this image is not distant from Truth.

    You could say that all things “vibrate,” and please understand that I use this word only to give you some idea. Consider it a parable. All things vibrate reflecting God’s creative sound, at the frequency intended by the Father. But there is one creation, which is able to produce its own vibrations, because it is made in the image of God. It is the human soul.

    You understand, producing vibrations means to create. In other words, every thought, every word, every deed is an act of creation.

    You will also remember that you have read that “hell is a place and a condition” and “heaven is a place and a condition.” God has provided the place, the condition is manmade. On earth, you live in an environment, which is neither hell nor heaven. However, you may create the condition of either hell or heaven. When you start to see things that way, you will realize that you, even as a mortal, are very powerful. The problem is that you have not learnt to control the vibrations you produce. And you only learn to control them, as you develop your soul.

    I can remember as if it had happened yesterday, when Jesus sent us out to preach, and people, having heard of the Master’s spectacular healings, brought many sick people to us, so that we should heal them. And we could not. And so, we stood there, humiliated, looking at the maliciously grinning faces of our detractors or the eyes showing they felt deceived of those who had put their trust in us. And then we returned to the Master, subdued and discouraged. The Bible shows this clearly.

    «Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked Him, "Why could not we expel the demon?" "Because your faith is so small," He replied; "for I solemnly declare to you that if you have faith like a mustard-seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Remove from this place to that,’ and it will remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you."

    Yes, it is faith which develops your souls, because through faith you are able to obtain ever more of God’s Substance, “vibrating at the same frequency as He does.”

    You understand that there are billons of people living presently on earth, and there are billions of creative impulses, aiming in the most diverse directions, producing the chaos and the lack of harmony you can observe on earth. Your own impulses are like a drop of water in a turbulent ocean. But, as you know, as you obtain more faith, your creative impulses become stronger, and more in harmony with the Father’s Will, His “vibrations.” And so you may comprehend easily that your obtaining Divine Love is a valuable contribution to the world’s harmony. Each and everyone who obtains and activates Divine Love in their souls, fosters common welfare and peace, even if they are not aware of their part in the cosmic power play.

    And then you think, “What are we doing here? We talk about so many insignificant things, we do so many insignificant things, and on TV, I can watch how Palestinians blow Israeli children apart, and how Israelis blow Palestinian children apart. What’s the use of what I am doing?”

    Now, my dear friend, your influence in what is happening over there is practically zero. But your influence in your own environment is great. Why don’t you concentrate on your own surroundings? As you have your influence here, Palestinians and Israelis have their influence there, and it is their responsibility to put their affairs in order. As long as the “sound of hatred” prevails, and the “sound of peace” does not find its way out of so many people’s souls, they will throw ever more fuel into the fire of revenge, a fire that will consume them all. But if you let out your cry for peace, several thousands of miles away, they won’t hear you. People over there, who really want peace, and they are the majority, have their own voice. Can’t you hear it? Well, this is not because your ears have turned deaf, but because they are not prepared to assume their own responsibility and seriously counter those conditions they abhor.

    But I will tell you something: When you look at a globe on your desk, and a fly sits down right on the spot representing Palestine, it will cover all areas Jesus had visited and preached in. Yes, Jesus was the Messiah, and his task was to spread the Glad Tidings of God’s Divine Love. But he could do so only in his own reduced environment. He did not become discouraged, thinking that there were so many more places in the known world in those ancient times, no, he carried on and succeeded. Do the same in your surroundings. There, your “vibrations” may have a very great effect, for you and for others.

    Now, coming to the end of my message, I want to address the problems of your friend, who feels so despondent and discouraged. I have told him once that at the beginning of any attempt to improve your situation must be prayer. And I repeat this now. Prayer is the emission of creative vibrations, building a channel to God, a private, toll-free phone line, so to say. Of course transmission quality depends on the conveying agent, on the phone line, which you must build. And so, you may understand that what you receive in the beginning may be incomprehensible and blurred, full of background noise. But quality will improve when you really try. A hostile environment is an environment which people create for themselves, or at least, contribute to its creation. Hostility is often more a matter of perception than of reality.

    Prayer is like physical training. In the beginning it is wearisome, then you become used to it, but after some time, when progress seems so small and you are still so far away from your goals, you may even despair. However when you manage to overcome this point and carry on, then you will be greatly rewarded, and prayer will be like an addiction, a cheerful moment you may enjoy at any time of the day.

    You must learn to accept yourself, and even more, to love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, how can you love others? Try to discover the beauty inside you, and then you will learn to discover the beauty in others. Try to be kind to yourself, and then you will be kind to others. Try to forgive yourself, and then you will forgive others.

    Always remember, the small world you live in, is a world of your creation. It is not the great events on earth which make you happy. The inauguration of a new power plant in Pakistan will not make you happy, but those small things in your personal life will do, even if someone just smiles at you saying “thank you!”

    You have built a solid brick wall around you, and now you are hammering with your fists and kicking with your feet against it. However it would be so easy to penetrate it, not with the fierce blows of your fists, but with smooth movements of your arms, as spirits smoothly go through walls. It is not material brute force, but spiritual soft energy which finds its way through any obstacle.

    You have more energy than most people have. Try to channel it to a different, higher level, and you will see that on that level there are no walls.

    My dear brother H___, as I had anticipated, you did not catch all I have transmitted. But I hope that the little that did come through may serve you and others as a guideline. I admit, it has been a difficult topic.

    God bless you,
    Judas
    ========================

    Bài 37: "YEAR 26" March 15th, 2002 – Cuenca, Ecuador – Received by H.R.

    My dear H___, now we are going to focus on the year 26.

    When I spoke of important events, I referred to events in Jesus' family environment and on the political level. First, we will analyze what happened in the Master's family.

    It is not necessary to repeat the whole history of Jesus' family, from their exit from Nazareth, over their stay in Egypt and the events that took to the separation of the Master from his parents and brothers, but I want to explain everything in the correct frame.

    The events in Bethlehem, that is to say, the declarations of the astrologers from Sippar and Herod's violent reaction, ordering the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem, did not leave place for the least doubt in Joseph, that his son would be the Messiah. But during all his vain intents of educating his son according to his ideas and rules, those doubts did arise... and fears, because although the fact of declaring oneself to be the Messiah was not considered a crime, everybody in Palestine knew that God would punish such arrogance: And the punishment would be death.

    Joseph suffered hellish tortures, because he thought that if Jesus actually was not the Messiah, and that all what had happened many years ago in Bethlehem, was not nothing else but some fatal coincidence, then part of the blame also fell on him, because he tried to educate his son as the Messiah.

    And now, when he had almost lost the hope that the Savior of the Jews had been born of his family, his son declared openly to be the Messiah, but he did so in such an incomprehensible way that Joseph feared the worst. He was confused, and his cry that his son was a “lunatic", really reflected what he thought at that moment: A crazy son, an impossible Messiah, and the great danger that God would punished him, using His people as the instrument for execution.

    Joseph loved his son Jesus, but that conflict, product of his education, incomprehension, and fixed ideas, lasted until the Master's death. Jesus described this situation very clearly in a message to Dr. Samuels. Write it here.

    "I also wish to state that my father, Joseph, was present at this unfair trial and watched me buffeted and condemned, and he was sick at heart at the treatment I received and at the confirmation of his worst fears. And his eyes were opened to the stagnant state of the Sanhedrin at the time, and he realized that what they considered religion was merely farce. And his eyes were opened to the enormous gulf between what was the religion as practiced by its most august body and what I proposed in its place, to not only restore its pristine authority and purity but to impart to it its culminating sublimity and grandeur. And, from this shame and humiliation which he suffered at seeing his first-born son condemned and executed as a criminal, was born the conviction of his son's innocence and the righteousness of his cause, and the truth of his mission. (Revelation 25: Jesus throws more light on his trial and crucifixion and supplies additional truths about his birth)”


    .... what they considered religion was merely farce. That is, what he considered, too, was merely a farce. Do you understand me? Very soon we will speak about how Joseph achieved his entrance into the exclusive circle of Pharisee masters of "Beth Hillel" (the House of Hillel), and how this school of thoughts could not even be compared with the depth of Jesus' teachings, although both classes of teachings had much in common.

    However, with the miracle of Naym, where Jesus "raised" Taddi "from the dead," things would change substantially.

    Back again in Kpar Najum, Jesus' brothers returned home. Of course, also to Nazareth the news of Jesus' recent prowess had spread, and people were no longer so willing to make fun of him. And when Joseph and his family heard James and Judas’ story, eyewitnesses of the event, they kept silence and became thoughtful.

    James and Judas stayed two weeks with their parents and brothers. Then they returned to Jesus. However, when they prepared to leave Nazareth, their other brothers also wanted to accompany them to Kpar Najum. A heated debate was triggered. There was nothing left of the mockery, which they had treated their elder brother with, when he still lived under the same roof with them. Mockery had become respect, admiration and curiosity. Joseph approved that his children left. However, one of them had to stay with him, managing their business. But who?

    Finally, they agreed that the brother who bore his father's name, Joseph, called Joses in the Bible, would stay, but they also agreed that all, together with Jesus and the other disciples, would go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast there. They would leave their workshop under the surveillance of a hired administrator. Passover was just a few weeks away. And so it happened.

    I mention all this, so that you may understand that at the beginning of the year 26, the rejection and mockery of Jesus' family, transformed into support, open support on the side of his brothers, and into his father's acquiescent and fearful silence.

    And their mother? Mary understood him more than she understood Joseph. But she could only give him moral support. Decisions were men's dominion. Woman did not have a voice in Jewish society of the first century. And his sisters, seeing their father’s caution and reserve, met their big brother's attitude with many doubts.

    All the time from the return of his disciples until the beginning of the trip to Jerusalem, Jesus did not move far away from Kpar Najum. He stayed there and in its surroundings, working and preaching.

    So, my dear brother, next time we will speak of this trip to Jerusalem and of the great importance that would have for Jesus' mission.
    See you soon. I leave you now with my blessings, and tomorrow, if God permits us, I will inform you something completely new that you will surely find surprising.

    God bless you,

    Judas

  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Bài 38: "Jesus & Buni - The New Birth" March 18th, 2002 – Cuenca, Ecuador – Received by H.R.

    My dear brother,

    I have promised you a surprise, and today I will give it to you. I desire to discuss in detail a key chapter in the New Testament, a chapter that despite its great importance always has been treated incidentally in previous messages.

    However, let us proceed in order.

    The Passover feast was approaching. As Joseph had decided, he put an administrator in charge of his workshop, and then he went with all his family to Kpar Nahum, where they met with Jesus and his disciple. They stayed overnight in Peter’s house.

    On the following day, the group of numerous people headed southward. When they passed through Magdala, a band of women joined them, among them, of course, Mariam the Magdalene, Shusha, Yokhan, who had obtained her husband's permission to undertaking this journey trip, and several others, the wives of artisans, and also one or the other woman, who exercised a less honorable profession.

    Joseph had decided to take the road along the Jordan valley, for reasons of safety, avoiding the multiple threats and harassments by the Samaritans, and joining other groups of pilgrims. The larger the group, the safer from assaults by highwaymen it could travel.

    When they came to the place, where John the Baptist had his camp, they crossed the Jordan, to stay there overnight and during the following day. Some of the disciples, who had never visited John, were astonished by the enormous multitude of people that gathered there, listening to the Baptist's sermons.
    When the flow of pilgrims increased on the road toward Jericho and Jerusalem, the number of faithful people also increased, who stayed one day or more with John.

    Finally, the Galileans resumed their trip, arrived at Jericho, and from there, they ascended to the mountains of Judea. They did not enter Jerusalem immediately, but stayed in the house of an old friend of the family, Lazarus of Bethany.

    Joseph's voyage had a double purpose, of which he had not spoken to anybody. Apart from his participation in the Temple rituals, he had also planned to buy a house. On one hand, he wanted to extend his business to the capital of the Jews, on the other hand, he did not want to spend his old days in a tiny village, and such was Nazareth, but rather desired to live right in the center of Judaism, in his dear Judea.

    In that time, an enormously rich man lived in Jerusalem, whose name was Buni. He made business in all branches you can imagine, from real estate over construction to the sales of metals. He was the appropriate man for Joseph to visit, in search of a house in the city.

    The two men, as was the habit of the epoch, spent a long time in exchanging formulas of courtesy, asking for the health of the other, until they came to the point of their business. Accompanied by a group of servants, Buni showed Joseph a variety of houses, from a shack that almost was collapsing under its own weight, and that Buni extolled as a true palace, worthy of the selfsame Solomon, to a decent house that Joseph liked and that he decided to buy. Then followed the habitual bargaining over the price, until Buni’s exorbitant demand and Joseph’s ridiculous offer met halfway.

    Then, in an exuberant dinner, both celebrated the conclusion of their business. It had taken the whole day, but we Orientals, we did not know hurry in business.

    Finally Buni glanced full of curiosity to Joseph and asked:

    “Joseph, you have told me that you are from Galilee, but you don not speak like they do.”

    “This is true. I was born and grew up in Judea, in Bethlehem. But now, I live and run my business in Nazareth. But I am planning to spend my old days in Jerusalem.

    “A wise decision. Jerusalem is the City of God, of peace, the center of the world. But, as you tell me that you live in Galilee, maybe you may quench one of my curiosities.

    I have been told that there is a new prophet over there, who works many miracles. They say that he calls himself the Messiah. And now it seems that he is here preaching in Jerusalem. What can you tell me about that man?

    Joseph realized the worry in Buni’s voice, and he felt bad. Buni, as a rich businessman, feared those self-proclaimed prophets. Their presence always meant trouble: Disturbances among people, rebellions against the Romans — and these political and military crises really were not good for business.
    However, his fears and worries had much deeper roots. The Zealots, who always took advantage of the people’s dissatisfaction, would have liked very much to cut his throat, since they considered him a collaborator of the Roman oppressors. And it was true, Buni had much business with them, too.

    Apart from being a successful merchant, Buni occupied a preferential position in the Sanhedrin, the High Council of the Jews, as one of the three senior counselors. He was a studied man, expert in the Law and in the Scriptures. He used to invite frequently the wise men of the Law, to discuss with them the topics that worried or interested him.

    Joseph cleared his throat and said:
    “Are you referring to the man they call Yeshua ha Notzri ha Mashiakh, Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah?”

    “Yes, that is the man!”

    “Well, to tell truth, he is my son, Yeshua ben Yosef.”

    Buni’s eyes opened with surprise.

    “Ah...., I see. Well, then you must know what he is preaching. Tell me of him.”

    And so, Joseph, feeling sick in the stomach, told him of Jesus, all the story, from the strange circumstances around his birth, over their stay in Egypt, up to the beginning of his mission. And he did not hide his own incomprehension.

    Buni smiled.

    “Joseph, I thank you for the frankness of your words. You are a man I like very much. I would like to ask you a great favor. My servants have listened to your son, when he preached in the markets, and what they told me, I cannot understand. It is my desire to talk to your son. I want to discover for myself, what his ideas and doctrines are. In truth, this man has awakened my curiosity. And your words soothe my worries, that he does not try to incite violence, but that he rather preaches peace.”

    And so it happened that Joseph arranged a meeting between Jesus and Buni in his new pride, his own house in Jerusalem.

    You understand, my dear H___, that I have not reproduced the exact words of the conversation, but only what Buni and Joseph have told me. Of course, I was not present during this conversation.

    In the following evening, Buni, accompanied by several servants, who served as his bodyguards, came to Joseph's house, in order to speak with Jesus.

    The Master spoke to him of the Kingdom of God, of the Love that the Heavenly Father offers all His children, well, you know already which were and still are his teachings. And Buni listened to him with great interest, but obviously without understanding. It was not surprising. We had spent months with the Master,
    and we did not get his deep message fully.

    “I see, Rabbi,” said Buni, “that your knowledge of the Scriptures is great, and that you are a wise man. Wisdom reaches beyond knowledge. Tell me, please, how you have come to all these conclusions.”

    Jesus, with a smile upon his lips, recited the following passage from the Old Testament:

    “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

    Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

    A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

    And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

    “This is a quote from Ezekiel!” Buni shouted in astonishment.

    “Sure it is,“ Jesus replied. “And John the Baptist already is applying the water of purification, as the symbol for the moment that has come, when the Lord sheds His Spirits over mankind.

    Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

    And Buni looked at him full of confusion:

    “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”

    Jesus replied:

    “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”

    That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    Marvel not that I said unto you, you must be born again.”

    Now, my dear H___, in some Bible translations you find “born again”, and in others “born from above.” The reason for this discrepancy is simply that Jesus said in Aramaic: “Mitiled min d’resh”, that is, “born from the head,” an idiomatic expression, which may be traduced as “born from above” or “born again”.

    Buni still could not understand. So, Jesus continued:

    “The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it comes, and whither it goes; so it is with the Spiritual Rebirth.”

    Buni answered:

    “How is all this possible?”

    And Jesus, with a smile on his lips, replied:

    “Are you the Teacher of Israel, and yet do you not understand these things??

    Verily, verily, I tell you that we speak what we know, and give testimony of that of which we were eye-witnesses, and yet you all reject our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and none of you believe me, how will you believe me if I tell you of things in Heaven?”

    Jesus already has delivered a marvelous explanation of these words. Buni could not understand the workings of the wind, a material phenomenon, hence, he could not understand an operation of a spiritual thing, the New Birth. This is a play on words, since the Hebrew word “ruakh” and the Aramaic word “rukha” mean “wind”, “blow” and “spirit”. The Master loved word plays, transforming abstract contents into everyday experiences, making them understandable to the world.

    I also wish to call your attention to the fact that Jesus also explains and testifies his own experience of the New Birth: “We speak what we know, and give testimony of that of which we were eye-witnesses.”

    Buni still was confused, but deeply impressed. In the future, whenever there was the opportunity to do so, he would witness the Master’s discourses, and he would become his follower, but not openly. He would also use his wealth to support the Master's growing movement, and he would become the principal person in favoring Joseph's political-religious career, facilitating his acceptance into the bosom of the Sanhedrin.

    I see, you understand that what I have told you is Nicodemus’ story. And you wonder why I have called him Buni.

    Well, actually his name was Buni ben Gurion, and he was a man of great fame. Such was his reputation as a religious and rich.

    Judas
    ===================

    Bài 39: "Baptism & Divorce" March 19th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother:

    I have stated that I would talk about some important events in the year 26, and I have mentioned the changes in the attitude of Jesus' family toward him, I have detailed how Jesus won a new disciple, a Pharisee of enormous wealth and much influence, and I should continue in the same line. But for the sake of not breaking the flow of our story, I desire to continue with it, until Jesus’ return to Galilee. And then we will focus on a “political” topic.

    When the Passover feast had finished, the time had come for Jesus to return home. His disciples and brothers went with him, even young Joseph or Joses, who would take charge of the business in Nazareth. But Joseph and Mary, his parents, stayed a little longer in Jerusalem. Together with his new friend and promoter, Buni “Nicodemus,” Joseph arranged and furnished the house and, apart from it, acquired a parcel of land outside the city. It was an orchard. But there, he had a tomb hewn into the rock. As a good Jew, he left everything prepared for any eventuality.

    Yes, you are right. Joseph had money. Decades of constant work in an area vibrating with building and rebuilding activity had made him prosper. The Tetrarch Antipas spent enormous sums in the reconstruction and amplification of Sepphoris, and Joseph also supplied materials and pieces for the works in Tiberias, although he did not participate directly in the works on that place, since the selection of the area for the new city, over an ancient Hebrew cemetery, offended his feelings.

    Jesus and his retinue headed for the Jordan valley, passed by Jericho, and when they arrived at a place, where the river flowed peacefully, they rested. Other groups of pilgrims on their way back to the north joined them, and Jesus took advantage of the occasion and preached to them.

    It happened then, when one of the disciples, who had been much impressed in John’s camp, yelled that this was the ideal place for baptizing, and that we should baptize, too, to wash away the sins of men. It was Taddi. And we all acclaimed the brilliant idea and began baptizing people in the name of the Lord, copying what we had seen John doing.

    It seemed to be a real success to us. People who returned to the towns and villages of their origin and passed by our camp, stopped over, and had themselves baptized. Yes, we baptized real multitudes of people.

    John the Apostle was right when he wrote that Jesus did not participate. He rather withdrew from us and made use of the few days we spent there for meditation.

    At night, of course, he spoke to us of his teachings, and in the last night he said:
    “It is enough. I have told you much of the Love of God. And you should understand that it is not that water of the river, which purifies men. Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don't you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?”

    When he saw our confused glances, our lack of comprehension, he continued:

    "The hypocrites wash clean the outside of the cup or dish, while within they are full of greed and self-indulgence. When you have to drink from a cup that is clean outside but dirty within, you feel disgust and get sick. Therefore, clean first what is within. The one who made our bodies has given us everything we need to become clean outwardly, and the one who made our souls, has also given us everything we need to become clean inside."

    And then, he delivered a marvelous discourse on “Ruakh ha-Kodesh”, the Holy Spirit.

    "That Spirit is like the Hand of the Lord, Yad ha-Shem, that gives you the Water of Purification, removing all that makes you impure and dirty within. This Water is like the rain from the sky, cleaning the leaves of the trees from the dust that covers them, and at the same time, refreshing their roots. It allows them to grow and prosper, until their full green color pleases your eyes, and until they bear good fruit. It is the Water of Life. Only when you become clean within through this Water of Life, you will find favor in the Eyes of the Lord, and only through this Water, your fruit will be perfect and free of rottenness.

    Thus said the Lord:

    I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

    A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

    And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    True baptism is through the Water of Life. Ask the Father in Heaven to reach out with His Hand to you. Pray.”

    On the following day, we left. First, we all went to Kpar Nahum, and then we separated, to meet again a few days later. All returned to their homes, and the Master accompanied his brothers to Nazareth.

    Our adventure as Baptists had consequences. Of course, John got notice of it. Many pilgrims who had witnessed our doings, also passed by John’s camp, and they told him what had happened.

    His disciples grew angry.

    “Rabbi,” they said, “he who was with you on the other side of the Jordan and to whom you bore testimony is now baptizing, and great numbers of people are resorting to him.”

    However, John found words of reconciliation:

    "A man cannot obtain anything, unless it has been granted to him from Heaven. You yourselves can bear witness to my having said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but ‘I am His appointed forerunner.’

    He who has the bride is the bridegroom; and the bridegroom’s friend who stands by his side and listens to him, rejoices heartily on account of the bridegroom’s happiness. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.”

    Yet, the bitter taste of “competition and plagiarism” persisted among John’s followers. After his death, many continued with his practices, refusing to lend an open ear to Jesus’ followers. And I say followers, because there were just a few months separating the death of both.

    As I have mentioned before, Jesus took advantage of the evenings and nights during our stay at the river to explain his teachings, teachings of daily life.

    I wish to speak now, in order to finish the message, of one of those teachings, because just today you wrote a letter on the topic. I will speak on divorce.

    Jesus already delivered a message on the topic, wherein he affirms that Matthew wrote on the subject. I have also written about it. However, this time, I desire to deepen a little bit on the words, as they appear in the Gospel.

    In Matthew 5:31,32 you can read:

    31 "It was also said, ‘If any man puts away his wife, let him give her a written notice of divorce.’

    32 But I tell you that every man who puts away his wife except on the ground of unfaithfulness causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries her when so divorced commits adultery.

    Now, some translations use the verb “put away”, others use “divorce”. As you pointed out correctly in your letter, the Aramaic word used by Jesus was "shvikta" (abandon, send away) and not "shrita" (divorce).

    The law forced men, in the case of divorce, to emit a written notice of divorce, a legal document indicating that the woman was free of all bonds with him. Women could not divorce men; only men were entitled to do so.

    However, men used to separate from their wives without emitting those records of divorce, and to marry another woman. Legally, the previous marriage was still valid. For men, this did not entail consequences, because they were entitled to marry several women. But women could only marry one man. If they remarried under the given circumstances, they committed the crime of bigamy. And men, who married such “put away” women, committed adultery, because they entered into relations with married women.

    Those poor women, therefore, were abandoned, without sustenance or aid, and without the legal option of remarrying, because or their former husbands’ — often malicious —negligence. And it was exactly this practice, which Jesus condemned with those words.

    Now we really have come to the end of our message. Next time, as I have announced, we will abandon the story of the Master's life, and will shed some light on the scenario of "world politics" in the first century.

    God bless you.

    Your Celestial brother,

    Judas



    Được sửa lần cuối bởi HoaiNiem vào ngày khoảng 2 10 năm trước với 1 lần trong tổng số.
  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Bài 40: "Political Scenarios of the Time" March 21st, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother, in accordance with what I have announced last time, today we will focus on the great political scenario around Jesus' history. This is a quite general message, and it has nothing to do with religion, but I deem it important that you may get that information, for then you will be able to understand better the reason, why certain events did occur.

    As you know, Jesus was born during the Roman emperor Augustus’s reign. However, his public life and death happened, when Tiberius occupied the throne in Rome. Well, in fact, this is not 100% correct, and I will explain you why. Anyway, I think it is important to dedicate some words to the situation in Rome, because it had much to do with the Master's destiny.

    Tiberius Claudius Nero, the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla, was born in the year 42 B.C. His father, a fanatic republican, had fought against the triumvirate of Octavianus (the later emperor Augustus), Aemilus Lepidus (who was his wife's relative) and Marcus Antony. This is the reason why he had to flee from Rome, together with his family, and the young boy would spend some time in a sort of exile, hidden in Sicily.

    When the family finally returned to Rome, Tiberius’ father, put under pressure by Octavianus, was forced to divorce his wife, and he died a few years later. Octavianus married Livia Drusilla, and so Tiberius became the emperor's step son.

    The boy was educated, according to the custom among Roman aristocracy, in military art, and he really turned out to be a very capable general. His perhaps most notable achievement was the recovery of the Roman legionary eagles from the Parthians, who had conquered them in their continuous wars against Rome.

    Tiberius was 22 years old, when he married Vipsania Agrippina, and had a son with her. It was a very happy marriage. But when Vipsania was pregnant with Tiberius’ second son, the emperor Augustus commanded their divorce and forced his stepson to marry his daughter Julia. It would be this woman's third marriage. Tiberius obeyed grudgingly, and resigned himself to this new marriage, of which no children would be born, and which would be very unhappy. Augustus did not even allow him to see to his former wife, Vipsania.

    Years later, Augustus would order Julia’s expulsion from Rome, because of her many scandalous love affairs. Tiberius divorced her, of course, and never married again.

    The relationship between Augustus and his stepson worsened. Tiberius served the emperor in several military campaigns, with much success, but finally, in the year 6 of our era, he refused to assume the command of the Roman troops in the east. Augustus became enraged and sent him into exile to the island of Rhodes. From there, his stepson sent multiple petitions to the emperor, that he should allowed him to return to Rome, but they all were denied him. Tiberius, resigned, awaited every day the arrival of a ship that would bring him Augustus’ order, commanding him to commit suicide.

    One day, the ship indeed arrived, but the order was different: Augustus called him to return to Rome.

    Augustus had chosen his grandsons Gaius and Lucius as his possible heirs, but both died. This is the reason why he adopted Tiberius, in spite of their differences.

    The emperor's death led to the Senate to propose Tiberius the succession. He refused at the beginning, but finally he accepted. It was not a maneuver, to appear as a humble man, who had to be asked, even more, implored to accept. He was honest and really did not want the power.

    But once he held the power, Tiberius took advantage of the situation: He "cleaned" the Senate, restricted its rights and cemented his position. During all his life, the phantom of intrigues would pursue him, justified or unjustifiably. Governing as the emperor was a nightmare for Tiberius.

    I don't want to overload this message with data and details, I only want to highlight that Tiberius hated life in Rome, full of intrigues, and that he distrusted everyone. Well, not everyone, because one man had won his confidence, the chief of the praetorians, the emperor's personal guard: Lucius Aelius Sejanus.

    When Sejanus had demonstrated his loyalty on several occasions, Tiberius took a definitive decision: He would retire from Rome, settling down on the island of Capri, and he would leave all power in hands of Sejanus. And so he did. Nevermore would he return to Rome, he even refused to assist in the funeral of his mother.

    I will dedicate another message to Sejanus, I will only mention here that he eventually would betray Tiberius, and he would pay with his life.

    The retirement of Tiberius to Capri happened in the year 26, exactly in that year, when Jesus was baptized by John, when he resuscitated Taddi in Naym, and when he had his famous conversation with Nicodemus.

    Tiberius tried only twice to return to Rome, but in both occasions, when he was already close, he turned around and headed back southward. Finally, in the year 37, Tiberius died in the town of Missenium, in southern Italy, in a luxurious country villa that once had belonged to the famous Lucius Licinius Lucullus, the rich man renowned through his opulent banquets.

    I believe that this it is enough on Tiberius. The important thing is that he left all power in hands of Lucius Aelius Sejanus. And this character we will analyze in our next message.

    See you soon, my friend. Have a good day, filled with blessings.

    Judas
    =================

    Bài 41: "Political contd.- Publius Pontius Pilatus" March 22nd, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother:

    During Tiberius’ rule, something unique happened: Two people occupied jointly, during one year, the position of the praetorian prefect. The praetorians, as I have already mentioned, were the emperor's bodyguards, and in later times frequently murdered the emperor himself and enthroned another, and as in the case of Nero, which we will see later, they exercised so much influence over the regent that they manipulated him like a puppet on a string.

    The two praetorian prefects were Lucius Sejus Strabo and his adopted son Lucius Aelius Sejanus. Sejanus was born in Volsinii in Etruria. In the year 15, Tiberius rewarded Strabo with the position of prefect of Egypt, one of the most important and richest provinces in the empire. That meant, as everybody knew, that Strabo could accumulate vast riches.

    When the legions in Panonia mutinied against Tiberius, the emperor sent Sejanus together with Drusus, the son of Agrippina and Germanicus, the declared heir to the throne, to repress the rebellion. Drusus considered that as a lack of confidence in his person, and developed a strong aversion against the chief of the praetorians. When his father, Germanicus, died, the tension between both characters grew even worse.

    But Sejanus proved his administrative ability and his loyalty to the emperor in many occasions. First, he ordered to build barracks for the praetorians, who until then had lived dispersed in the city, to be able to mobilize them more quickly. Then, during a fire in a theater of Pompeii that threatened to destroy the whole town, Sejanus took charge of the rescue works, and the town really was saved. In gratefulness, Tiberius erected a statue in Sejanus’ honor in front of the rebuilt theater. On one occasion, on the island of Capri, Sejanus protected the emperor with his own body, when a cave collapsed that they were visiting. In short, Tiberius’ trust in his prefect was unconditional.

    His stepfather Strabo's death conferred some wealth on Sejanus. However, as we will see, that money did not last very long, he had to look for other income sources.

    One day, Sejanus risked a dangerous adventure. He started a relation with the wife of Drusus, the heir who hated him from the bottom of his heart. Lavilla, the unfaithful wife, together with Sejanus forged a plot to murder her husband. Drusus was poisoned, and he died after a short "disease." Many people suspected of Sejanus, but nobody dared to denounce him. With Drusus, the last of the inner circle of heirs to the throne had died. And this led Sejanus to think, if it could not be he who would inherit the power.

    The problem he faced in his aspiration was that he did not belong to the high nobility, and so he would not find any support among the noblemen. He was only an "eques", a knight, from lower nobility.

    Drusus’ death put Tiberius in an uncomfortable situation. We have already seen how he hated to be the emperor, but his oldest male family members were the children of Drusus, all of them too young. Tiberius was under obligation to continue as the emperor, without being able to abdicate in favor of one of his possible successors. However, he wanted to retire from Rome, to abandon everything and to live his capriccios on the island of Capri, which he loved so much. He needed a strong man, a capable administrator: And he had such a man, in the person of Sejanus! Finally, in the year 26, Tiberius retired, leaving Sejanus with almost dictatorial powers in Rome.

    From that moment on, Sejanus used all his power and influence to take little by little control of everything. Even the correspondence for Tiberius passed through his hands, and the emperor on the distant island in the future would only read what Sejanus deemed appropriate.

    Sejanus immediately began to conspire against the imperial family, accusing Agrippina, Drusus’ mother, of betrayal, and on the other hand advised her flee from the city with her son Nero, because her life was in danger. But Agrippina did not leave the city, and Tiberius did not pay attention to Sejanus’ accusation.

    Sejanus knew that he had to improve his social position, that is to say, to ascend in the scale of nobility’s hierarchy, and he asked Tiberius for his permission to marry Lavilla, Drusus’ widow. However, the emperor refused. He began already to suspect something, but he was not sure. At any rate, he did not want to open Sejanus the doors to high nobility.

    Then, Sejanus began to change the commanding generals of the army, replacing them with men of his trust, and spent enormous amounts of money in bribes, to win favors. So his considerable inheritance dripped away. He needed money, and urgently!

    It was then, when Sejanus remembered that the place in the empire, where more money accumulated and circulated than in any other place, was the Temple of Jerusalem. And just a little time before retiring to Capri, Tiberius had called back the prefect of Judea, Valerius Gratus, to Rome, and Sejanus took advantage of that opportunity to name his personal friend, Publius Pontius Pilatus, as his successor in the vacant position. Pilate’s work would be, among others, to guarantee a continuous flow of money into the arks of Sejanus.

    The period of service for a prefect or provincial governor was usually three years, as in the cases of Coponius, Marcus Ambivulus and Annius Rufus, the first three prefects from Judea, from the year 6, after Archelaus’ destitution, to the year 15. Valerius Gratus, however, served eleven years, up to the year 26, because Tiberius tried to maintain more continuity in provincial administration. Pilate would serve until the year 36 in Palestine. But of him, we will speak in a separate message.

    From the year 26 until the year 30, Tiberius eulogized Sejanus in all possible ways, motivated by a mixture of uncertainty and fear, he even named him consul of the Senate, he coined money bearing his name, he ordered to celebrate public sacrifices in his honor, etc. However, in the year 30, Tiberius’ sister-in-law, Antonia, who had always stayed off intrigues and politics, sent an accusation to the emperor, accusing Sejanus of conspiracy and treason. She detailed the methods that this man used, and convinced Tiberius.

    Tiberius feared. All Rome was under Sejanus’ control. He could not trust the troops, whose commanders were installed by Sejanus. What could he do?

    First, in his letters of commendation for Sejanus, which were read publicly in the Senate, some slight critiques began to appear. Then he prohibited public sacrifices for people still alive, that is to say, for Sejanus. And finally, when the praetorian prefect wanted to arrest and execute an opposing leader of the Senate, Tiberius impeded it.

    Finally, in the month of October, Tiberius carried out his mortal blow against the traitor.

    Secretly, on the island of Capri, he named Quintus Sutorius Macro prefect of the praetorians. Macro traveled to Rome with a letter from Tiberius, which would be read publicly in the Senate. Macro told Sejanus that this letter contained the order of conferring imperial powers onto Sejanus, naming him practically Tiberius’ heir. Sejanus was pleased.

    When they arrived at the Senate, Macro had first another letter read, his appointment as the new praetorian prefect. Sejanus was confused. Macro sent the praetorians to their barracks, and surrounded the Senate with his own loyal soldiers. Then, when the second letter was read, a letter which was intentionally endlessly long and boring, Macro moved to the barracks of the praetorians and made sure their loyalty.

    At the end of the letter, Tiberius had written an open accusation of betrayal against Sejanus, who was taken prisoner immediately. When the senators saw people cheering and the praetorians’ loyalty to the emperor, they condemned Sejanus at once and had him executed in the same night, strangling him.

    Well, my brother, this was the story of Sejanus. As you see, during the Master’s entire public ministry, Sejanus was at the peak of his career and power. He was the "strong man" of Rome, not Tiberius, and Pilate’s loyalty was to him and not to the emperor. All that would have serious consequences for the Master's destiny. But this, we will see later.

    Next time, I wish to deliver a similar message on Pilate.

    H.R.: May I ask a question? You said that Pilate’s name was Publius Pontius Pilatus. In fact, all history books say that we do not know his first name. Is it true that his name was Publius? On a Web page, I read "Lucius Pontius Pilatus."

    His first name was Publius, yes, this is true. I remember very well how people made fun of him, not openly, of course, as the "quadruple P", Publius Pontius Pilatus Praefectus.

    On that Web page, they possibly put Lucius in allusion to Sejanus, who had this name.

    By the way, there is one more thing I wish to tell you: Do you remember yesterday's mail, on poverty?

    H.R.: Yes, I remember.

    (Yesterday somebody sent me the following story:

    One day a father took to his little son to take a trip to the countryside, with the purpose of showing him how poorly people live there.

    That day, they spent visiting some rural friends, who formed a very poor family.

    When they returned from the trip, the father asked his son, “How did you like the trip?"

    "Very well, dad."

    "Did you see how poor people are?" the father asked him.

    "What are you speaking of, dad?" his son replied. "I saw that they have 4 dogs, on the other hand, we have just one.

    We have a pool that scarcely stretches halfway into the garden, they have a river that never ends.

    We have lamps in the garden, they have stars.

    Our patio ends with the neighbor's wall, theirs ends with the horizon, they have time to sit down and converse, on the other hand, you and mom have to work the whole day and I never see you."

    When the small boy finished, his father looked in silence.

    His son added, “Thank you, dad, for showing me so much wealth and to let me know how poor we are."


    (Author unknown)

    Everything depends on how your see things.

    If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude toward life — you have everything!

    You cannot buy any of these things.

    You may have all possessions that money can buy, but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing.

    Well, my friend, at the beginning you liked the story. But then you thought of the poor people on the Ecuadorian coast, how they live now in the water up to their waist and lose everything because of the floods. In fact, it is not so romantic to be poor. Because if they had money, they could abandon these shanties where they live, and move to their flats in the city, to wait until the catastrophe passes, and then fix the damages. But they cannot. They don't have any place where to go.

    It is true, poverty, it is not romantic, when one has to live it. However, this small story also wants to teach you other things: Always try to see the positive side of things. And when you really cannot find it, never forget that there is somebody who is always willing to help. And in order for Him to do so, you have to trust Him and to ask Him. He never lets you down. And as a last teaching, stop trying to control your life. Give Him the control. He knows better to manage things than we all do. Situations often are difficult. However, despair makes them desperate. If you have faith, then you have hope, and if you have hope, then you will overcome anything.

    Well, it is enough for today. We will see us soon again.

    God bless you.

    Judas
    ===========================

    Bài 42: "Publius Pontius Pilatus.Cont'd" March 25th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    Hello, my brother. You are already getting tired of those "political themes of the first century." But I want to deliver an exhibition on reining condition in the Roman Empire during Jesus' public life.

    Today we will speak of Pilate.

    I believe that the easiest way of writing this message will be, when you write down what you know about Pilate, since you have studied this character, and I will add my comments. Is this OK with you?

    H.R.: It’s OK.

    Well, Pontius Pilate was the prefect of Judea, when Jesus was condemned to death. The "Pontii" were a Samnitan clan, that is to say, they came from a region southeast of Rome, integrated very early into the Roman state. The Samnitans were Roman citizens. But the Pontii were even more, they were members of the equestrian rank, that is to say, noblemen from low nobility, knights.

    Here a slight correction. Not all Pontii were knights, that is to say, there were families in this clan that even occupied senatorial honors, which they had achieved through their excellent services in the army, ascending in the social scale of nobility. But you are right, Pilate's family had not reached these "superior honors."

    H.R.: As to the province of Judea, it was formally a third category imperial province. There were few provinces of this kind, that is, those of little importance. Often they were territories, where the native population caused problems. The governors of these provinces came from the lines of the knights, and they only commanded auxiliary troops, not regular Roman legionaries. In the case of Judea, there were stationed five infantry cohorts and one cavalry regiment. A cohort was stationed permanently in Antonia Fortress in Jerusalem.

    That is only partially correct. Reading the Bible, you should know that Cornelius was a centurion of the Cohors II Italica Civium Romanorum, of the second Italian cohort of Roman citizens, also known as the "Italian Band." It consisted, consequently, of regular troops, stationed in Judea, at Caesarea. Later we will also speak of this character, but for the time being, you will see that Judea constituted an exception: there were regular, well trained troops, under Pilate's direct command, courtesy of Sejanus, who did not spare any effort for assuring that Pilate could maintain absolute control of the situation in the province, what was vital for him. We will also see, how Pilate's troops took their insignia to Jerusalem, causing people's rage. They were regular troops.

    H.R.: The province was technically independent, but in reality it was under the supervision of the administration of the powerful neighboring province, Syria. The governor of Syria, a man of consular rank, that is to say, from high nobility, commanded 3 legions, and after the year 18, up to 4 legions. In the event of crisis, the prefect of Judea could call on him for help.

    This is correct. And it would happen so in the future. I want to add that the administrator of Judea had the title prefect, not procurator. Prefect was a military title, expressing so a practically military administration, due to the reining tension in the territory. But, what more can you tell me of Pilate?

    H.R.: Almost nothing is known about him. Historians suppose that he enjoyed an education characteristic for the high strata of society, and that he had some military experience.

    This is correct. He participated in several wars, also in the Pannonian campaign at Sejanus’ side, who was his friend.

    H.R.: Usually, the position of provincial administrator was much desired by the Romans, because it meant revenues, huge revenues, depending on the kind of province. Syria and Egypt surely figured among the most solicited. Evil tongues said that an administrator used to occupy his position during three years: Stealing and deviating as much as he could during one year, in order to recover all the money he had spent in bribes to obtain the position. They had to pay back the money to their "friends and relatives" who had lent it to them, at a "good interest", of course. Then they stole during one year, in order to bribe the judges later on in all the trials for the cruelties and robberies committed during their administration. And during the third year, they stole in order to dispose of sufficient funds for retiring from the public life, and to enjoy some luxury.

    So it was. It is true. Pilate was not an exception. He deviated money for Sejanus’ arks, but he retained enough in his sticky hands for his own purposes.

    H.R.: There were two very important factors that characterized Pilate's administration: First, the position of the governor of Syria was vacant during Pilate's first six years. Tiberius had named a legate for this county, but he kept him back in Rome. This meant that Pilate could not count on quick help from Syria in case of problems. He had to act with much caution.

    This is wrong. Of course, the position of the governor of Syria was vacant, but not so the military commander. Pilate could obtain quick help from Syria in case of emergency. Secondly, he had, apart from his auxiliary troops, his own regular troops that Sejanus had provided him. So, his situation was quite safe.

    H.R.: The other characteristic feature of Pilate's administration was that he never changed the Jewish high priest. His predecessor, Valerius Gratus, had changed them four times, but Pilate did not.

    Yes, that is important. Gratus’ last choice, Yosef Cayafa, called Caiaphas in the Bible, the same one, who condemned Jesus, would continue as the high priest during Pilate's period. That means that both had come to a “financial” agreement benefiting both.

    This message is already very long; I desire to continue with it tomorrow. I will talk about Pilate's activity in Judea. Then, I promise you, we will come back to the story of Jesus' life.

    Have a nice day, full with blessings,

    Judas

  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Bài 43: "Healing, Prayer, Perseverance" March 27th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother, as I have promised you, I am going to continue with the account of Jesus’ life.

    After our return of Jerusalem, I stayed with Peter and Andrew in the house of them, while the other disciples returned to their respective homes.

    One day, we heard loud knocks against the entrance door. It was Matthew, completely upset, so that he could hardly speak:

    "A new miracle has happened!" he hollered. "The Master has just healed once again!"

    "Is the Master here?" Peter asked full of surprise. "I thought that he had left to Nazareth with his family."

    "Yes, it’s true," Matthew panted. "But he has done it again... he did it! Come with me!"

    Having said that, Matthew ran down the street toward the mayor's house, and we followed him.

    In front of the house, there was a great multitude of people, all discussing and speaking at the same time, a real fuss. And we saw the mayor, his face radiant with happiness, like the selfsame sun, singing hymns of praise to the Lord.

    We tried to find out what really had happened, and little by little we could gather the information.

    Here is what the Bible tells (the Gospel according to John):

    So Jesus came again to Cana in Galilee, the place where he had made the water into wine. At Capernaum there was an official whose son was very ill.

    When he heard that Jesus had left Judea and had arrived in Galilee, he went off to see him and begged him to come down and heal his son, who was by this time at the point of death.

    Jesus said to him, "Will you never believe unless you see signs and wonders?"

    "Sir," returned the official, "please come down before my boy dies!"

    "You can go home," returned Jesus, "your son is alive." And the man believed what Jesus had said to him and went on his way.

    On the journey back his servants met him with the report "Your son is alive and well."

    So he asked them at what time he had begun to recover, and they replied: "The fever left him yesterday at one o’clock in the afternoon."

    Then the father knew that this must have happened at the very moment when Jesus had said to him, "Your son is alive." And he and his whole household believed in Jesus.


    Later, Jesus' companions would tell us the whole story.

    The Master had accompanied his family to Nazareth, where he was received with honors and reverence. There was no mockery anymore on the part of the people, which Jesus had undergone the previous times. There was one or another who hated him, who looked at him with hostile eyes. But there are always people, who only know how to hate, whose wickedness suffocates their souls. However, the atmosphere had changed completely.

    After a few days, Jesus said good-bye to “Joseph Jr.”, Joses, who had to stay in order to take care of the business. The Master's sisters, all married, had already gone back to their husbands and homes.

    First, the men went to Cana, which was very close, to stops over there in order to meet Nathanael bar Tolmai. He convinced them that they should stay overnight in his house, enjoying his hospitality. It was comprehensible. Poor Nathanael, he wanted to extend his “home vacations” a little more.

    And then, on the following day, they prepared to return to the lake. They were still near Cana, when a group of horsemen came closer, galloping, their horses puffing foam and covered with white sweat. It was the mayor of Kpar Nahum with some of his servants. And you can read the rest of the story in the Bible.

    Jesus and his disciples arrived many hours later. They had spent the night under the open sky, and they had walked slowly. The whole village gave them a tremendous reception.

    The Master and we soon took refuge to Peter's house, blocking the door, so great was people's insistence and impulse. Only then, we felt "safe" from the hugs, screams and pushes. Everybody wanted to touch us, or rather, the Master, in order to get some cure from their diseases, and we were pushed, hit and pawed severely, but with great affection.

    [Judas smiling]

    On that same day, when we entrenched in Peter's house and people had us besieged, another interesting event happened. But of that, we will speak in our next message.

    However, what I would like to tell you right now, in the context of the healing of the mayor’s son, is the following:

    In the first place, Jesus had definitively conquered the heart of the villagers. It is true; people needed signs to believe in him. But finally, they believed in his words. There would be other places, where people would not believe, in spite of the Master's signs.

    And in the second place, we asked the Master, of course, how he had been able to perform such a prowess. Today you would call it "distance healing." But then, for us, it was something unheard of, something that we had never witnessed. There were another people who cured, who had the gift of "channeling healing energies", to express myself in a modern language. However, a healing at a distance of many miles, without imposing hands and murmuring magic formulas, we had never seen.

    And it was then, when Jesus tried to explain us that the healing of a sick person dose not depend so much on the healer's power, but on the disposition and will of sick people, of their faith. He also spoke to us that all men could obtain the power of healing, which only depended on the development of their souls. As in art, there were people with an innate gift for healing, but that the supreme healing power lay in the Father's Love, which stood at everybody’s disposition. Once again, he urged us to pray, an advice which we followed with little enthusiasm.

    Do you wonder why we did not feel more enthusiasm for prayer? Well, I will tell you what happened in my case.

    Actually, when the Master spoke to us so much of prayer, I tried it. Yes, I prayed. But when after some weeks I could not detect a drastic change inside me, when I did not feel filled with powers and wisdom, my efforts weakened. There were entire weeks, when I did not pray, especially when the Master was not
    with me. I simply forgot. Prayer had never become a "matter of basic necessity" for me. Remember how often the Bible teaches that Jesus looked for a quiet place and prayed there. He prayed constantly.

    The Father does not ask much from us. But something in what He does insist, is perseverance. We need perseverance in all we do, and mainly in prayer.

    Remember what the Master said: “Everything you ask for in prayer, if you have faith, you will receive.”

    This is true. Faith and prayer are the two sisters whose forces unite and bring us the Father's blessings. You will not always receive exactly, what you are asking for. If you want to move from place A to place B, God does not lift you up into the air and let you fly from one place to another. No, you have to walk, but He shows you the way, He teaches you how you may overcome the obstacles. He helps you, but you have to walk.

    Yes, in the moment of my death, I had some of Divine Love in my soul. Are you surprised? I want to tell you that the possession of a small quantity of God’s Substance will not save you from hell, if you are not able to activate this Love and to live It. You have already read that in many cases people possess the Love of God, but they forget about It, and it is as if It would not exist. It is like the leaven in the batch of dough. If you place it in a cold place, it will not die, however, it will never ferment. And I will tell you another thing: I received a great part of the small portion of Love in my soul, when I was about to commit suicide. When the mind in its desperation is no longer able to formulate coherent thoughts, the soul clamors for help, in all sincerity, with all its force, with all its thirst. In other words, it is a very intense prayer.

    The Love in my soul did not save me from hell. It virtually did not exist, because soon my mind recovered its ascendancy and subjected me to a deep depression. Only when Andrew, through the warmth of his love, was able to melt the ice in my soul, the Love within me could start Its work of fermentation.

    I tell you, my dear friend, is not so difficult to obtain the Love, it is more difficult to keep it active and radiant. This is what I referred to when saying that "you have to walk." This is why we have spoken so often of people who “rest in the assurance of their beliefs,” because people who activate their love never rest, and they are aware that what they know is nothing more than the tip of an iceberg.

    God has given man curiosity, so that he investigate, He has given him intelligence, so that he study and learn, and He has given him a soul, so that he be brought ever nearer to Him.

    I leave you now with my blessings. Tomorrow I will speak of the surprise that we received from above.

    May God bless you,

    Judas
    =========================

    Bài 44: "Healing, The pool by Bethseda" March 28th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother:

    Today you wrote a letter on the healing at the pool of Bethesda and the supposed blasphemy the Master committed when saying that he forgave the sick man’s sins, when only God can forgive sins. You explained that the message received by Mr. Padgett confused two events: The incident, which happened at that pool, that is to say, in Jerusalem, as it is only told in the Gospel according to John, and the Bible story on Jesus' supposed blasphemy (contained in the three synoptic gospels, but not in John’s), which happened in Galilee, in Kpar Nahum.

    Today's message, in fact, is about this very topic.

    In my last communication, I told you how we escaped from the crowd and entrenched ourselves in Peter's house. It was not because Jesus did not want to heal people, or because he did not like people. Imagine the following situation: The Master arrives after a long walk, tired, covered with dust, hungry, and a crowd awaits him, screaming, pushing, touching him to obtain a healing, a tumult of the worst kind you can imagine. It is logical that he wanted to enjoy a moment of tranquility, and for that reason our "strategy of withdrawal."

    Well, it happened that people besieged the house during some hours. Meanwhile, we were full of curiosity and astonishment, and asked the Master, how he had managed that marvel, and when Jesus opened his mouth to answer our question, we heard a strange and troubling noise up there, on the roof of the house.

    The heart of the story can be reproduced this way (according to Luke):

    Soon some men arrived carrying a paralytic on a small bed and they kept trying to carry him in to put him down in front of Jesus.

    When they failed to find a way of getting him in because of the dense crowd, they went up on to the top of the house and let him down, bed and all, through the tiles, into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus.

    Yes, because of the crowd, and because we had blocked the door.

    When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, "My friend, your sins are forgiven."

    The scribes and the Pharisees began to argue about this, saying, "Who is this man who talks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins? Only God can do that."

    Jesus realized what was going on in their minds and spoke straight to them. "Why must you argue like this in your minds?

    Which do you suppose is easier — to say, ’Your sins are forgiven’ or to say, ’Get up and walk’? But to make you realize that the Son of Man has full authority on earth to forgive sins — I tell you," he said to the man who was paralyzed, "get up, pick up your bed and go home!"

    Instantly the man sprang to his feet before their eyes, picked up the bedding on which he used to lie, and went off home, praising God.


    Sheer amazement gripped every man present, and they praised God and said in awed voices, "We have seen incredible things today."

    Now, Mr. Padgett received the following explanation, mistakenly attributed to the scene at the pool of Bethesda:

    As for the healing act which I performed at the pool of Bethesda, I am reported to have said, "Is it easier to say, `take up thy bed and walk,' than for God to forgive your sin? "Well, that is the way it is recorded, but that is not what I said. Actually I said, "That thou may know that the son of man through the power of God can forgive sin, I say unto you, `take up thy bed and walk'." It was only as God's instrument in showing man the way to His Divine Love, that I could bring about forgiveness of sin, and not by any power of my own. If God did not forgive, I could not and neither can any man.

    Well, my friend, since you know the background of the story, you may understand that there were neither “scribes” nor "Pharisees" present. Nobody accused Jesus of blasphemy on that occasion. On the contrary, everybody was grateful, and some resentful, for not having found the opportunity for their own healing. This resentment, however, would also be healed on the following days, when Jesus walked freely again through the streets of Kpar Nahum, healing and preaching.

    In fact, Kpar Nahum would become "his town," absolutely loyal to him. You will also remember the centurion's story, who approached Jesus with so much faith, asking for his help. Yes, in that town, trust in Jesus was absolute, not only amongst the Jewish population, but also amongst the heathens, and there
    lived many of them.

    Yes, of course, it was this episode, which I called yesterday the "surprise we received from above."

    I also wish to tell you that you were right when writing in your letter that the scene at the pool of Bethesda brought problems to Jesus, but not because of a supposed blasphemy through forgiving sins, but because he healed on the Sabbath day, which caused his first confrontation with the Temple authorities. But of this, we will speak on another occasion, very soon. This also happened in the year 26.

    Tomorrow, however, we will have some fun. Tomorrow we will go fishing.

    Until then, my dear brother, I wish you a good day. I am glad to see that during this week you have thought of the last week in Jesus’ earthly life, each day with its happenings:

    * Monday, when Jesus walked from Bethany to Jerusalem, with the episode of the fig tree.
    * Tuesday, the episode of the woman with the alabaster flask, anointing the Master in the house of Simon “the leprous” at Bethany.
    * Wednesday, the Temple scene, when Jesus turned the tables of the money changers upside down, accusing the Temple administration of being hypocrites and materialists, whose only interest was that of swallow people’s money, abusing of their power and hiding behind their façade of sanctity, Jesus moved from Lazarus’ house to a camp in the garden of Gethsemane, aware of the danger, and in order to protect his friend.
    * Thursday, with the Last Supper, my treason, and his arrest at night.
    * Friday, with his “trial” and death, and with my suicide.
    *Saturday, with the disciples’ panic.
    *Sunday, with his resurrection, the empty tomb, his appearance to the disciples at Emmaus, etc.

    Yes, my friend, these were the happenings. But there is still a long way to go, until we come to that date in our account: Almost three years in the Master’s life.

    I will say good-bye now. Have a nice day.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Judas
    ============================

    Bài 45: "Love engenders Life / The Fish" March 29th, 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear H___:

    One day, when the first sunbeams were coming out, we returned from our nightly fishing. I say we, that is to say, practically all disciples, but without the Master, because he had not accompanied us. We were in two boats, that of Peter and Andrew, and another boat of Zebedee. It had been a calm night, too calm; we had only been able to catch a few fish. We were tired, or perhaps more than tired, we were sleepy and ill-humored, especially Peter.

    When we came to the shore, we beached the boats, and began to clean our nets. Concentrated in this work, and almost dozing off, we hardly realized that people were approaching to buy fish, but there was not much for us to sell.

    And then Jesus came, full of energy and with a radiant face after a refreshing sleep. When people saw him, they immediately urged him: “Master, tell us of the Kingdom of Heaven." And Jesus did so. When ever more people arrived to listen to his words, because in the other ships, too, there was not much to buy, they pushed Jesus more and more toward the brim of the beach, because all wanted to be near him, until Jesus finally laughed and called to Peter:

    "Simon, my friend, do me the favor of pushing your boat into the water. Then we’ll set out a little off the shore, so that I can speak in tranquility. People almost are throwing away me to the water."

    Simon grudgingly, grunting something incomprehensible, gesticulating to us to help him, and we began to push the board into the water. Finally Jesus got in, and at a distance of a few yards from the shore, he continued his sermon.

    It was an impressive speech, I am sure, but Peter showed little interest yawning ostensibly.

    Culminating his discourse, Jesus said:

    “Dogs engender dogs, and blood engenders blood. But Love engenders life. How much does a mother love her child, and she gives it all her love. And when she has another child, she does not divide her love, giving one half of it to the first one, and another half to the second one. No, brothers, love grows, it multiplies, and is not divided. And so it is also with our Father in Heaven. He has infinite Love for us, for all of us, He is like a Fountain, emanating the Water of Life, a Source whereof we may drink until our thirst is quenched, and Its flow never lessens.

    Drink from His Water, and live through It.”

    Then he said goodbye to the people and turned to Peter:

    “Simon,” he said to him, “I want you to call James and John, to get into their boat and join us, and then we’ll row out there into the lake, where the water is deeper."

    Peter looked at him full of surprise, responding reluctantly:

    “What for? We have been out there all night and have caught nothing. And even the children know that it is useless trying to fish by day."

    Andrew cast him a reproachful glance, as if saying: “Shut up, old grumbler, and obey!”

    “Ok, ok,” Peter gave in. “Let’s go.”

    He called over to the Zebedee brothers to join them on their ship, and off we went.

    Luke relates in his Gospel:
    One day the people were crowding closely round Jesus to hear God’s message, as he stood on the shore of Lake Gennesaret

    Jesus noticed two boats drown up on the beach, for the fishermen had left them there while they were cleaning their nets.

    He went aboard one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to push out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and continued his teaching of the crowds from the boat.

    When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Push out now into deep water and let down your nets for a catch."

    Simon replied, "Master! We’ve worked all night and never caught a thing, but if you say so, I’ll let the nets down."

    And when they had done this, they caught an enormous shoal of fish—so big that the nets began to tear.

    So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both the boats to sinking point.

    When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, "Keep away from me, Sir, for I’m only a sinful man!"

    For he and his companions (including Zebedee’s sons, James and John, Simon’s partners) were staggered at the haul of fish they had made.

    Jesus said to Simon, "Don’t be afraid, Simon. From now on your catch will be men."

    So they brought the boats ashore, left everything and followed him.


    It is true, the story has been quite embellished. There is nothing left of Peter's reluctance, however, it is also true that Peter was astonished, even more, awed. He had seen many things that Jesus had performed, even when he resuscitated Thaddeus in Naym, but now, when he was dealing with a simple fish “haul,” although so abundant as it had never been before in his life, he witnessed a miracle of daily life. He was an excellent expert of the lake. He knew that one could not fish successfully by day, he knew that the deep water in the middle of the lake was not the appropriate place, and now he faced a miracle, whose reach he could grasp in its entirety. Yes, Peter, Andrew, and the other professional fishermen were more impressed than I was, because I only understood that it was an extraordinary fish haul, but I was not able to grasp its true scope.

    This was the reason why Peter felt awe in front of Jesus, and this is why he pronounced the words: “Mari, Sir, move away from me, because I am a sinful man."

    Jesus wrote through Dr. Samuels:
    Furthermore I did tell my disciples at the lake of Gennesaret to lower their nets in a certain place to be able to make a great haul of fish, which they did, and this took place as a result of my psychic knowledge that a great school of fish had just reached that area of the lake and my disciples, especially Peter Simon, were especially overcome. (Revelation 18: The first miracle and other absurdities)


    However, in order to conclude this episode, the final verse reads: So they brought the boats ashore, left everything and followed him [Jesus]. And this is not true. Now we really had much work, washing and gutting the fish, before the sun would rise even higher, and selling our haul.

    Meanwhile, Jesus went away southward, to a lonesome place, near what today is the village of Tabgha, where he used to stay days absorbed in meditation.

    Now, dear brother, a little warning. My last messages may cause the impression that Jesus traveled through the country, performing miracles and healings everywhere. But this is not correct. Of course, whenever there was the opportunity, Jesus helped sick people, but his true work was that of announcing the Kingdom of Heaven: The availability of God’s Love, and soul transformation. And to explain these very difficult contents, he made use of parables.

    It is time to finish. I leave you now with my blessings.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Judas

  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Bài 46: "Simon the Zealot" April 1st 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    My dear brother:

    I know that you had hoped for a message on the healing of a leper, but I bear another topic in mind.

    In the year 20 of our era, a 20 year-old youth moved from his small native village on the Golan Heights to the town of Bethsaida Julias, in search for work. His parent’s family was very numerous, and the scarce land parcels, which they disposed of for sowing, did not suffice for feeding all the family.

    Many times, people who live as a minority amidst other peoples, become stricter, more fanatic in the observance of their customs, and likewise it happened with the principal character of our story.

    His name was Simon, and the great Greek influence in the area, where he came from, had strengthened his Jewish roots.

    That first century really was a messianic century. The favorite literature of many people was apocalyptic, such as the book of Enoch, and the Jewish world yearned for the Messiah's coming as they did never before.

    Simon felt pain seeing the country of his ancestors suffering under the Roman yoke, and he felt that he had to contribute his share to recover his people’s freedom. He joined a group of fanatic nationalists, and this is why they nicknamed him " Simon the Zealot."

    In Bethsaida, he found work on the fishing boats of the Zebedee family, and he made friends with two of the family patriarch's sons, James and John. In multiple occasions, when they were washing their nets, he told them of his ideas, and finally achieved that they and another friend, Philip, also joined the nationalists.

    However, the years would teach Simon and his friends that under the cover of nationalism many people of very mean ideas took advantage of the situation for their own enrichment, or simply for living freely their perverted instincts. In the course of the following years, the group of young men withdrew gradually from the revolutionary movement, but with a burning thirst in their souls for something, which they did not know. It was the moment, when they met Jesus. This story you know already.

    If one had to classify the apostles in intellectual and emotional types, one could say that Simon belonged to the first group, together with James, Jesus' brother. Between both, a deep friendship would grow.

    The Master's words impressed Simon very much, as they did all of us, although we did not understand all their implications. We all dreamt of the establishment of the "Kingdom," but here on earth, with Jesus as our king. As you know very well, the future would be very different.

    (The communication abruptly stopped.)
    ===============================

    Bài 47: "Jesus and the Lepers" April 2nd 2002 - Cuenca, Ecuador - Received by H.R.

    While Jesus was in one of the towns, he came upon a man who was a
    mass of leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he prostrated himself before him and begged, "If you want to Lord, you can make me clean."

    Jesus stretched out his hand, placed it on the leper, saying, "Certainly I want to. Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him, and Jesus warned him not to tell anybody, but to go and show himself to the priest and to make the offerings for his recovery which Moses prescribed, as evidence to the authorities.

    Yet the news about him spread all the more, and enormous crowds collected to hear Jesus and to be healed of their complaints.

    But he slipped quietly away to deserted places for prayer.

    (Luke 5: 12-16)

    My dear friend, I want to discuss with you the passage, which you yesterday were thinking of.

    Jesus, as on many occasions, cured a sick man, plagued by a disease, which was incurable in that time. And then he ordered him not to tell anybody. However, this man, in his extreme happiness, could not be silent, and so Jesus' fame spread everywhere. Nothing bad in that, you are thinking. But the problem was that whenever Jesus presented himself
    publicly, crowds of people, who wanted to be cured from their diseases, immediately surrounded him. This is natural and very comprehensible, but it is also comprehensible that the Master, under such circumstances, often could not deliver his message, people did not come to listen to it, but to get their healing. And it is also natural that on some occasions the Master almost had to escape: “He slipped quietly away to deserted places
    for prayer."

    The healing of sick people did not form part of the Master's mission. He did it whenever it was possible for him to do so, but that least he wanted was to be renowned as a traveling miracle maker, as unfortunately some Bible scholars are concluding presently.

    However, the healing of diseases, especially of the so-called "leprosy", entailed other consequences. Leprosy, which the Bible speaks of, is not exactly what nowadays is understood under leprosy. Today it is known that it is a slow and destructive disease, damaging superficial nerves, and hence, the skin and blood vessels, leading in extreme cases to horrible deformities. The "leprosy" of the Bible was defined in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially in the Book of Leviticus. But this crude and not very appropriate description led to the inclusion of other, not very dangerous and not contagious diseases into the term of leprosy, bringing disastrous consequences to the poor people, who suffered from them.

    Firstly, lepers were not permitted to live in the cities, at least not in walled places. When people came near lepers, they had to cry out: “Unclean! Unclean!,” to avoid infection. They had to wear torn clothes, and cover their beard and mouth. They never received greetings, because greeting meant not just a quick squeeze of hands, but a hug. They lived like pariahs, rejected by society.

    But worst of all, the Jews believed that leprosy was a punishment by God. The leper, therefore, was a sinner of the worst category. And the lepers themselves believed this, because they had been educated so. You can readily imagine the psychological damage this brought upon them.

    [H.R.: See 2 Chronicles 26:20:

    And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him (Uzziah), and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.]


    You know that true leprosy does not heal spontaneously. But as I have said, there were many cases considered lepers, who suffered from other illnesses, for example from psoriasis. And some of these cases were really healed. I just want to state here that the leper described above really suffered from true leprosy. But the healing, as in the case of
    Jesus' miracle, or in spontaneous cases, was not enough to permit those poor people to return unto the society. A complicated process was necessary for declaring them "clean." Among other, a priest had to examine the diseased person. If you wish so, you may reproduce here the whole procedure required by the Mosaic Law.

    [H.R.: The Book of Leviticus, 14: 19-32, reads:

    And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering:

    And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

    And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil;

    And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering.

    And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the LORD.

    And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD:

    And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

    And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand:

    And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD:

    And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering:

    And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD.

    And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get; even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD.

    This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.]


    Very well, but what did the cure of a leper mean? Leprosy, as we have seen, was considered a punishment by God because of the poor sick people’s sins. Then, if God removed the illness, He also removed the sins, that is to say, He forgave them. In that context, you may understand the several occasions, when the Master mentioned the forgiveness of sin in connection with healings in the New Testament. And when Jesus, in a
    message for Mr. Padgett, explained that he had said: “That thou may know that the son of man through the power of God can forgive sin, I say unto you, ‘take up thy bed and walk’”, it is clear that he wanted to demonstrate that healings were only the visible signs of the power, which the Heavenly Father had conferred upon him.

    Those many healings would eventually stir up concern among the Temple priesthood, because although it is true that Jesus did not say that he forgave sins, it is also true that, according to popular belief, leprosy was a symptom of sin, a punishment inflicted by the Lord, and therefore, Jesus had so much influence over the Lord, or such an excellent relationship to Him, that God Himself listened to him, removing the punishment — and
    therefore, forgiving sins — whenever Jesus asked Him to do so.

    Tragically, the Temple priests did not have that capacity, which alerted them of the danger of people wondering eventually, why the supposed representatives of God in the Temple did not succeed with what this simple Galilean preacher carried out easily. Then, there would be only two answers: Jesus was really the Messiah with extraordinary powers
    granted by God, or that they missed that spirituality, which this Galilean did possess, casting heavy doubts upon the nature of their priesthood.

    Later on, we will see the tactics that the Jewish clergyman would use to discredit the Master, with scarce success, by the way.

    To finish this message, I wanted to add some information on one of the Master's big friends:

    I have already related that Jesus, when he visited Jerusalem, frequently spent the night in Bethany, that is, in the house of his friend Lazarus. However, in the same village, there lived another friend of the Master, whom the Bible calls “Simon the Leper.” There are comments explaining that Jesus had cured Simon, although the Bible does not say anything on the respect.

    In fact, the Aramaic word "garba" means" leper", and "garaba" means jar maker or jar merchant. And this was Simon’s profession, he had never suffered from leprosy. In addition, this is why the alabaster box is mentioned in the anointing scene in his house.

    Neither in Aramaic nor in Hebrew vowels are written, so this confusion is understandable.

    Very well, now we really have come to the end of our message, and there is nothing left but to say goodbye.

    I am your Celestial friend and brother,

    Judas of Kerioth
    ============================

    Bài 48: "On the Middle East" April 15th, 2002 – Cuenca, Ecuador – Received by H.R.

    Hello, my dear brother.

    Lately, your condition has not been so good, but you are right that I tried to impress you with a message a couple of days ago, on an e-mail message you received from a list of supposed Jewish-Christians.

    It is not necessary, as you believe, to compose now a ten-page message, reproducing the exchange of opinions on that list. No, I will express what I have to say in a few words.

    First, a letter came exhorting the members of the list to pray that the mission of Colin Powell in the Middle East might fail, because it was the legitimate right of the Jews to put an end to Arab terrorists.

    That left you breathless. How is somebody able, who calls himself a Christian, to say such a thing?

    You were thinking of formulating a brisk answer, when another message came in, expressing exactly what you were thinking: Does the New Testament not speak of loving the neighbors, even more, loving our enemies, of blessed be the pacifiers, etc., etc.?

    Finally, another letter arrived, telling of the marvels that the Jews achieve in their country, making flourish the desert, etc., while the Arabs live in misery and dirt because of their own inability, only committing acts of terrorism for their envy of the hard-working Israelis. Soon after, another answer arrived, admonishing the author of the previous letter to take much care, because if Jesus would live on earth today, he would substitute the word "Arab" for " Samaritan." You liked this, and you did not write at all.

    Now, one part of the Padgett messages, which always bothered you, is that where they speak of the punishment that the preachers will receive who preach falsehood, although they may be completely convinced of what they are preaching.

    Moreover, I have told you once that if somebody preaches on trinity or on Jesus' virgin birth, that this has no importance, that this weighs nothing, because these are innocuous beliefs.

    But now pay much attention: When it is about instigating to violence, whatever be the reason, we no longer speak of innocuous doctrines.

    You are right, how is somebody able, who calls himself a Christian, to pray for a continuation of that slaughter?

    Listen to me carefully: When people read the New Testament and take it seriously, they can never agree with violence. The whole New Testament is a text that gives testimony of a peaceful Jesus, filled with love. It gives testimony that it is preferable to accept peace under any condition to continue that killing.

    People’s darkness has a very dangerous component: People, who live in darkness, do not even realize this. They say that God has given the Jews the Promised Land; therefore, they are entitled to expel the Arabs. Yes, the Old Testament has also been used for justifying slavery and apartheid, etc. Any kind of atrocity has been done with the name of God in the mouth, mutilating the great message of love that He has given us through His Messiah.

    Yes, my dear friend, there are preachers who do not teach innocuous doctrines, and there are so many, who follow them, perpetuating wars and cruelties, all in he name of God. There are people, who instigate to violence, there are those who say that man cannot communicate directly with God, only through mediators, there are those, who present themselves as the owners of all truth, the only ones who are able to translate to their followers the Creator's complicated
    Will; and those who do not listen to them will perish and be expelled to the hells. There are those, who pursue their personal ends behind the mask of holiness, there are so many who seduce others and take advantage of them.

    A message devoid of love is a message that does not come from God. A call devoid of love is a call that does not have its origin in God.

    It is then, when you find messages of a nature, such as those that I have just described, when you have to open your mouth, because your opinion also contributes to the formation of opinion of the others. Don't you remember what Jesus said?

    “Men do not light a lamp and put it under a bucket. They put it on a lamp-stand and it gives light for everybody in the house. Let your light shine like that in the sight of man. Let them see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven.”

    It is then when you have to pronounce yourself, so that your silence may not be interpreted as your consent. Evil is always calling out loudly. And the voices in opposition to it are few and weak.

    Jesus did not like to criticize, but when it was necessary, he did so:

    "Damn the Pharisees! They are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger: the dog neither eats nor lets the cattle eat."

    “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

    "Alas for you experts in the Law, for you have taken away the key of knowledge. You have never gone in yourselves and you have hindered everyone else who was at the door!"


    It is true; they neither eat nor let the cattle eat.

    And you, where is your voice? If you have something to say, say it now and frankly. If you dislike something, say so now. Well, which will your contribution be for a better world? Your silence? Evil nurtures itself from the silence of the fearful ones, but your voice will be one more voice that will be heard.

    My dear brother, I am not here to criticize you. Don't take my words as some kind of critics, take them as advice. However, at times I feel that you need a strong push to get you moving ... and you are not the only one ...

    Tomorrow, if you allow me to do so, I would like to add a little bit to this message.

    God bless you,

    Judas

  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Bài 49: "Year 26, good year-Teaching in parables" April 16th, 2002 – Cuenca, Ecuador – Received by H.R.

    Are you ready? May I continue with my discourse? So then.

    Today's message is totally out of chronological context. I will relate an event that took place in the year 28. You will remember that in our narration of Jesus' life we are still in the year 26. However, the situation that I want to describe fits very well into yesterday's message.

    The year 26, as you have seen so far, was a very happy year for Jesus. He was able to gather little by little a firm group of followers, he conquered the hearts of a whole village, of Kpar Nahum, his village, and his teachings and fame began to spread all over the country, up to Jerusalem.

    Two years later, the situation was very different. People’s success always entails the envy of others. Good teachings always provoke others to find what is bad or wrong in them, and if they cannot find it, they invent it. And an honest life and right words may seem a threat to those, whose lives and deformed behavior contrast even more in comparison. It was then, when many groups of Jews, Pharisees and others, launched their undertaking of discrediting Jesus. It was
    then, when words fell such as: “You are possessed by demons. You are a Samaritan (a serious insult). You are a mamzer (a bastard, a very serious insult according to the law)."

    Naturally, we were worried about the growing hostility, and we discussed this problem also with the Master.

    Jesus, as we have seen, had the habit of exposing his teachings in form of parables. He did not do so in order to hide their true meaning, but to explain in the language of the common people something, which otherwise would have been very difficult to explain. We have talked about the parable of the lilies in the field. Does it not express in a few words a deep truth, which everybody can understand, and which one could write entire volumes about?

    In the New Testament you can read sentences like these:

    "I am the bread of life. The man who comes to me will never be hungry and the man who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

    "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.”

    "The kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, taken by a woman and put into three measures of flour until the whole had risen."


    "Keep your eyes open," said Jesus to them, "and be on your guard against the ’yeast’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees! I wonder why you don’t yet understand that I wasn’t talking about bread at all — I told you to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they grasped the fact that he had not told them to beware of yeast in the ordinary sense but of the influence of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    In these simple sentences you can readily recognize important contents:

    Divine Love, so sweet in the soul, that leads us to desire always more of It.

    Once again, Divine Love, which converts the soul through Its transforming power into something new, divine.

    The bread of life, that is to say, the Master's teachings, which nurture us and give us life, because only through them we are able to achieve true at-onement with God. These teachings are the way to perfect happiness, without hunger and thirst.

    And then, the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Well, this formula of “Pharisees and Sadducees,” or of “Pharisee and Scribes,” is a monolithic and stereotypical block from a later time, when Jesus' opponents were symbolized by means of this expression. But once again, Jesus compares teachings with yeast or with food. People understood this.

    In another part of the New Testament you can read:

    “It is not what goes into a men’s mouth that makes him common or unclean. It is what comes out of a man’s mouth that makes him unclean."

    Don’t you see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and then out of the body altogether? But the things that come out of a man’s mouth come from his heart and mind, and it is they that really make a man unclean.

    Also here, food is the symbol for doctrines. By the way, this verse is not about consuming pork and shrimps, about pure or impure food, this had never been a topic of discussions. It is about teachings.

    Now, some day in the year 28, we were gathered with the Master and...

    Well, my dear brother, I am really trying hard, and so do you. However, I think that it is preferable to postpone the rest for tomorrow. I can see that the message would not come through as I wish.

    Don't worry, tomorrow will be another day. Go out into the garden for a while and enjoy the sun! Relax! You will see, tomorrow all will turn out well.

    I’ll see you then.

    God bless you,

    Judas
    =======================

    Bài 50: "The Unfaithful Steward" April 19th, 2002 – Cuenca, Ecuador – Received by H.R

    My dear brother:

    When people preach religion, precepts for living together, what you should do or what you should leave, naturally they are confronted in many occasions with practical questions on “real life.” This also happened in the case of Jesus.

    One day, when in the course of a sermon the topic of righteousness was addressed, the Master told a parable, which today constitutes a big problem for people. This parable is considered the most difficult to understand or interpret in the New Testament, contained in chapter 16 of the Gospel according to Luke.

    Jesus said:

    “Once there was a rich man whose agent was reported to him to be mismanaging his property. So he summoned him and said, ‘What’s this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your stewardship —
    you’re not fit to manage my household any longer.’”

    So far, we do not know whether this accusation is justified or false, but it is clear that the manager really fears for his work.

    “At this the agent said to himself, ‘What am I going to do now that my employer is taking away the management from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I can’t sink to begging. Ah, I know what I’ll do so
    that when I lose my position people will welcome me into their homes!’”

    Here it is worthwhile explaining that the owners of the large landed properties did not use to live on their estates in the country, but in the big cities, often even outside Palestine. From time to time, they visited their large landed estates in order to check how they were run.

    On the Palestinian countryside, an awful poverty reigned. Many deprived people leased land parcels to cultivate them, but instead of getting out of their poverty, their debts increased steadily, and in extreme cases, as a last recourse, they sold themselves as slaves to their landowners for an agreed upon period of time. In other cases, their debts were transferred to their children, and they had to work the lands of the rich people, without hope of ever being able to overcome their dependence.

    “So he sent for each one of his master’s debtors. ‘How much do you owe my master?’ he said to the first.

    ‘A hundred barrels of oil,’ he replied. ‘Here,’ replied the agent, ‘take your bill, sit down, hurry up and write in fifty.’

    Then he said to another, ‘And what’s the size of your debt?’ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. ‘Take your bill,’ said the agent, ‘and write in eight hundred.’”

    And here, let us take a look on what is happening at that instant: Two debtors, who have no possibility for paying their debts in money, had agreed upon paying the value in kind. That was something very common in that time. But let us investigate the amount of debt:

    The first one said: “A hundred barrels of oil,” olive oil, of course. And of course, he did not say barrels, but “bath,” a Hebrew measure corresponding to more or less 40 liters, or 10 gallons, each. Therefore, the poor man owed his landowner the quantity of 1000 gallons of olive oil, corresponding to the annual crop of between 100 and 200 mature trees. An enormous quantity!

    The second man said: “A thousand bushels of wheat.” He used the word “a hundred kor,” indicating a measure of between 6 at 7 bushel or 220 liters, each. Therefore, he owed 22.000 liters or 650 bushels of wheat, perhaps ten metric tons, or in that time, the annual crop of between 10 and 15 hectares. He certainly could not even count with a parcel of such dimensions for cultivating.

    In both cases, the weight of the debt squashed the poor peasant.

    But why does the manager reduce the debt from 100 to 50 barrels of oil and from 100 to 80 kor of wheat?

    And now comes the key point of the story. The Mosaic Law prohibited Jews to charge interests for their loans, at least in those cases where the loan-taker was also a Jew. That norm is very clearly established in the Old Testament, and for that reason it was also prohibited for Christians, in the Middle Ages, to charge interests.

    But in reality, nobody cared about this norm, and everybody charged an interest even above the effective norm in the Roman Empire, that is to say, an interest of above 20%.

    For wheat, because of its more stable price, the amount of interest was fixed at 25%. For olive oil, with a price that fluctuated widely, they used to recharge an interest of up to 100%, fatal for an agrarian society, where the maximum interest should not go beyond 5%. And those amounts are exactly what the administrator reduced.

    The peasants and merchants, who listened to Jesus’ speech, understood very well what he was speaking of.

    And Jesus continued:

    “Now the master praised this rascally agent because he had been so careful for his own future. For the children of this world are considerably more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the children of
    light.”

    This is a seemingly enigmatic sentence. It is commonly not understood by people. How can the owner praise an unjust steward, who even caused him damage? Well, because in fact he did not cause him damage, but rather simply reduce the amount of usury prohibited by the law. Therefore, he made friends with the poor people, with whom he would have to live together in the future, and his master could not sue him. Such cunning caused the landowner’s admiration.

    Here it is worthwhile to indicate another detail: The Greek text does not speak literally of an unjust steward, but of “oikonomoV thV adikiaV,” that is, of the “administrator of unrighteousness.” And this would be a much more appropriate translation, although the traditional translation of the text is also formally correct.

    Now, who are the children of light? It is the denomination, which the Essenes had given themselves. They lived, generally, in closed and isolated communities, without much contact with their neighbors, without sharing their spirituality, without benefiting others, and without being able to expect anything in turn from their neighbors.

    “Now my advice to you is to use ‘money’, tainted as it is, to make yourselves friends, so that when it comes to an end, they may welcome you into the homes of eternity.”

    This sentence is also very polemic. What does he mean with it? Exactly what the administrator had done: To reduce debts, to alleviate the life of the poor. Not to charge in excess, and if they have done it, to return the money charged in excess. This is a quite up to date admonition, don’t you think so? Jesus did not speak of “homes,” but of huts, the miserable huts, where the poor lived. Because wealth does not last forever, and when this happens, the poor will welcome them in their homes, which do last. Because, as you know well, the adjective which is commonly translated as “eternal,” in fact, does not mean this, but “durable,” “which persists for an epoch.”

    In later times, some church officials judged the Master’s words inappropriate, and they tried to change them. There are still manuscripts, where we can see that the verb had been manipulated in this passage, so that it would say: “so that when you come to your end, they may welcome you into the homes of eternity,” shifting the social criticism (which could have been used against the feudal church) to the afterlife.

    And Jesus said:

    “The man who is faithful in the little things will be faithful in the big things, and the man who cheats in the little things will cheat in the big things too. So that if you are not fit to be trusted to deal with the wicked wealth of this world, who will trust you with the true riches? And if you are not trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? No servant can serve two masters. He is bound to hate one and love the other, or give his loyalty to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and the power of money at the same time.”

    This needs no comments.

    So you see, my dear brother, is not so difficult to interpret this parable. It teaches us not to take advantage of our neighbors, to charge what is just, to return the unjustly earned money, simply to live a righteous life in harmony with God’s Laws.

    The problem with the interpretation of this parable arises, when one wants to give it forcefully a highly religious meaning, and it simply does not have such a meaning. It is pure social critics. The owner of the parable is not God, etc. And people in that time understood it exactly as I have explained it to you.

    Perhaps you have wondered why the Padgett messages do not dedicate one single word to this parable: It is because it has nothing to do with Jesus’ central teaching, Divine Love and soul transformation. It is not a parable of the category of “the leaven in the batch of dough,” or the “mustard seed,” etc. It is a teaching about living together, on “natural love,” if you want to put it this way.

    We have come to the end of our exposition. It is time to say goodbye.

    I hope this message may serve to clarify a difficult passage in the Bible. In the same chapter of Luke, there is another example of Jesus’ social critic. But of that, we will speak on another occasion.

    God bless you,

    Your brother in the spirit, Judas

  • HoaiNiem

    khoảng 2 10 năm trước
  • Bài 51: "Not Just believing but experiencing, More on the year 26" April 25th, 2002. Cuenca, Ecuador. Received by H.R.

    My dear brother:

    I know that you have two special questions on the" Antichrist", but I do not wish to speak now on this topic. I desire to return with you to the year 26.

    One day, Jesus indicated to us that we would leave toward the other side of the Sea of Galilee, entering the area of Decapolis. We were pretty surprised: Although even in Galilee there lived a large number of pagans — they may have even constituted the majority — in Decapolis we would have to deal with a population, where the Jews definitively formed a tiny minority. What had the Messiah of the Jews to do with them?

    The New Testament mentions this excursion in the three synoptic gospels:

    Mark puts the story in the context with the narration, where Jesus appeased the storm that threatened to make capsize the boat, in which we were dying with fear, while Jesus was sleeping. One day, I will explain this event in more detail, although it has already been dealt with in a message to Mr. Padgett.

    Then, the Biblical story in Mark continues so:

    So they arrived on the other side of the lake in the country of the Gerasenes.

    As Jesus was getting out of the boat, a man in the grip of an evil spirit rushed out to meet him from among the tombs where he was living. It was no longer possible for any human being to restrain him even with a chain. Indeed he had frequently been secured with fetters and lengths of chain, but he had simply snapped the chains and broken the fetters in pieces. No one could do anything with him. All through the night as well as in the daytime he screamed among the tombs and on the hillside, and cut himself with stones.

    Now, as soon as he saw Jesus in the distance, he ran and knelt before him, yelling at the top of his voice, "What have you got to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? For God’s sake, don’t torture me!"
    For Jesus had already said, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"
    Then he asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is legion," he replied, "for there are many of us." Then he begged and prayed him not to send "them" out of the country. A large herd of pigs was grazing there on the hillside, and the evil spirits implored him, "Send us over to the pigs and we’ll get into them!"

    So Jesus allowed them to do this, and they came out of the man, and made off and were into the pigs. The whole herd of about two thousand stampeded down the cliff into the lake and was drowned.

    The swineherds took to their heels and spread their story in the city and all over the countryside.

    Then the people came to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they saw the man who had been devil-possessed sitting there properly clothed and perfectly sane—the same man who had been possessed by "legion"—and they were really frightened.

    Those who had seen the incident told them what had happened to the devil-possessed man and about the disaster to the pigs. Then they began to implore Jesus to leave their district. As he was embarking on the small boat, the man who had been possessed begged that he might go with him. But Jesus would not allow this. "Go home to your own people," he told him, "and tell them what the Lord has done for you, and how kind he has been to you!" So the man went off and began to spread throughout the Ten Towns the story of what Jesus had done for him. And they were all simply amazed.


    In Matthew, we find the same story, but the author of the story speaks of two possessed people.

    The story contained in Luke resembles more the narration in Mark.

    In the old manuscripts, there is much confusion about the location of the episode: Some claim that it happened in the country of the Gadarenes, others that took place in the land of the Gergesenes, others speak of the Gerasenes.

    In one story, the number of pigs is two thousand; in another story, we only hear that they have been many. Some time ago, you read comments on these passages in the Bible that caught your attention. I want you to insert them here.

    [Judas is referring to some interpretations, where the following is put forth:

    "Since the fall of the city a few months earlier [in 70 C.E.], Jerusalem had been occupied by the Roman Tenth Legion [X Fretensis], whose emblem was a pig. Mark's reference to about two thousand pigs, the size of the occupying Legion, combined with his blatant designation of the evil beings as Legion, left no doubt in Jewish minds that the pigs in the fable represented the army of occupation. Mark's fable in effect promised that the messiah, when he returned, would drive the Romans into the sea as he had earlier driven their four-legged surrogates."

    (William Harwood, Mythologies Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus)

    "While the eagle was common to all legions, each unit had several of its own symbols. These were often associated with the birthday of the unit or its founder or of a commander under whom it earned particular distinction, and took the form of the signs of the Zodiac. Thus the bull signifies the period 17th April to 18th May, which was sacred to Venus the goddess mother of the Julian family..."

    (Graham Webster, The Roman Imperial Army (1979), p.137)

    XX Valeria

    "X Fretensis, like XX Valeria, has, in addition to the bull and trireme, the boar as one of its emblems."

    "Neptune the emblem of legion IX, and a trireme as an additional emblem to the bull on the standard of X Fretensis implies that these legions took part in the war against Sextus Pompeius..."

    The explanation of the boar is unknown.

    (H. M. D. Parker, The Roman Legions (1928), p. 262-263)

    "While the boar is not a symbol from the Zodiac panoply, there is some evidence that it was used as a symbol in this legion. This includes tile antefixes from Holt bearing a boar above the inscription 'LEG XX', and a bronze decoration in the French National library..."
    (Daniel Peterson, The Roman Legions Recreated in Colour Photographs (1992), p. 54)

    X Fretensis later assaulted and took the cliff top fortress of Masada, where the Sicarii, the most extreme of the Zealots, had taken refuge. (It is interesting to note that six decades after the war following the Bar Kochba revolt., the emblem of the garrison legion - a boar - decorated Jerusalem's gateways.)

    Parallels between Josephus and Barnabas

    The normal operating strength of a legion was 5,000 not 2,000 men. While the initial reference to the wild man in Mark 5 may refer to a notable event in or around Gerasa, a gentile city in the Decapolis, the part about the legion was likely a later addition. Gerasa was not near the sea of Galilee (the lake into which the pigs supposedly rushed and drowned) but lay a distant 30 miles away. In addition, Gerasa was one of the few Hellenic cities which did not fall upon and destroy its Jewish inhabitants after the uprising began. Those who wanted to leave were actually conducted to safety.
    (Flavius Josephus, War of the Jews, Bk II, Ch XIII, Sn 5).

    "The placing of this episode in Gerasa...led to several 'corrections' in the manuscript tradition. The story is one of Mark's longest and provides a good example of his rambling descriptive style. (Matthew and Luke retell the story just as effectively with many fewer words)."
    (The Complete Gospels, Robert J. Miller (Ed.), p.23)

    "The story is strange on all counts. It is by far the most dramatic exorcism attributed to Jesus, and it combines exorcism with ÔnatureÕ - the swine. One of its details renders it unlikely. Gerasa is about thirty miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, and there is no other large body of water around. Matthew shifts the scene to Gadara, six miles from the sea, perhaps thinking that this reduces the problem - though a six mile leap is just as impossible as one of thirty miles. I am at a loss to explain the story in the sense of finding a historical kernel."
    (E.P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (1993) p. 155)

    Unlike Gerasa, Gadara was the scene of a a great massacre of Jewish rebels by the Roman troops in 69 C.E. Like the pigs, the fleeing rebels were driven into the water.

    "Vespasian sent Placidus with 500 horse and 3000 foot to pursue those who had fled from Gadara..." (Sn 4)

    "Placidus, relying on his cavalry and emboldened by his previous success, pursued the Gadarenes, killing all whom he overtook, as far as the Jordan. Having driven the whole multitude up to the river, where they were blocked by the stream, which being swollen by the rain was unfordable, he drew up his troops in line opposite them. Necessity goaded them to battle, flight being impossible... Fifteen thousand perished by the enemy’s hands, while the number of those who were driven to fling themselves into the Jordan was incalculable; about two thousand two hundred were captured..." (Sn 5)
    (Flavius Josephus, War of the Jews, Bk IV, Ch 7)

    Josephus reports that as a result of the battle "the Jordan was choked with dead", and "even the [Dead Sea] was filled with bodies."
    (War of the Jews, Bk IV, Ch 7 Sn 6)

    The story of the demoniacs and the pigs also appears in the pseudo Gospel of Barnabas. The gospel, which may also have been written in the 1st century, does not use material from the New Testament. Here the location of the story is Capernaum and the number of the demons is given as "six thousand six hundred and sixty-six".

    "Jesus went up to Capernaum, and as he drew near to the city behold there came out of the tombs one that was possessed of a devil, and in such wise that no chain could hold him, and he did great harm to the man. The demons cried out through his mouth, saying: 'O holy one of God, why are you come before the time to trouble us?' And they prayed him that he would not cast them forth.

    "Jesus asked them how many they were. They answered: 'Six thousand six hundred and sixty-six.' When the disciples heard this they were affrighted, and prayed Jesus that he would depart. Then Jesus said: 'Where is your faith? It is necessary that the demon should depart, and not I.' The demons therefore cried: 'We will come out, but permit us to enter into those swine.' There were feeding there, near to the sea, about ten thousand swine belonging to the Canaanites.

    "Thereupon Jesus said: 'Depart, and enter into the swine.' With a roar the demons entered into the swine, and cast them headlong into the sea. Then fled into the city they that fed the swine, and recounted all that had been brought to pass by Jesus. Accordingly the men of the city came forth and found Jesus and the man that was healed. The men were filled with fear and prayed Jesus that he would depart out of their borders. Jesus accordingly departed from them and went up into the parts of Tyre and Sidon."
    (Barnabas 21:1-3)

    Cliff Carrington, "The Flavian Testament", has identified some interesting similarities between the story in the Gospel of Barnabas and an account in Josephus' Jewish War (below). In 69 C.E. the Roman general Vespasian and his son Titus recovered much of the territory lost to Jewish rebels a year earlier. During the campaign, Titus' forces assaulted the fortified city of Taricheae on the shores of Lake Gennesareth in Galilee. Josephus (Jewish War, Bk III, Ch X Sn 8) states that this area locally was known as Capharnaum. As the Roman soldiers poured into the city, many of the rebels, who were led by Jesus, son of Shaphat, attempted to escape.

    "...Some of those that were about Jesus fled over the country, while others of them ran down to the lake, and met the enemy in the teeth, and some were slain as they were getting up into the ships, but others of them as they attempted to overtake those that were already gone aboard." (Sn 5)
    (Flavius Josephus, Jewish War, Bk III, Ch X)

    Titus' forces sailed after the rebels who had managed to flee by boat and decisively defeated them in a pitched naval battle.

    " And for such as were drowning in the sea, if they lifted their heads up above the water, they were either killed by darts, or caught by the vessels; but if, in the desperate case they were in, they attempted to swim to their enemies, the Romans cut off either their heads or their hands; and indeed they were destroyed after various manners every where, till the rest being put to flight, were forced to get upon the land, while the vessels encompassed them about [on the sea]: but as many of these were repulsed when they were getting ashore, they were killed by the darts upon the lake; and the Romans leaped out of their vessels, and destroyed a great many more upon the land: one might then see the lake all bloody, and full of dead bodies, for not one of them escaped. And a terrible stink, and a very sad sight there was on the following days over that country; for as for the shores, they were full of shipwrecks, and of dead bodies all swelled; and as the dead bodies were inflamed by the sun, and putrefied, they corrupted the air, insomuch that the misery was not only the object of commiseration to the Jews, but to those that hated them, and had been the authors of that misery. This was the upshot of the sea-fight. The number of the slain, including those that were killed in the city before, was six thousand and five hundred.” (Sn 9)
    (Flavius Josephus, Jewish War, Bk III, Ch X)

    A Proof of Conversion?

    George M. Lamsa advances a different explanation based on the Aramaic origins of the story.

    "The demons begged Jesus, 'If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.'

    He said to them, 'Go!' So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water."
    (Matthew:8:31-32)

    "The Aramaic al means 'enter into,' 'attack,' 'chase'; but it has been exclusively translated 'enter into,' so as to imply...that the demons entered into the swine. According to the context and the style of Aramaic speech, the word al here means that, not the demons but the lunatics attacked the swine. These lunatics were Syrians or Gadarenes, whose people kept swine, which were an abomination to the Jews....As a mark of appreciation of what Jesus was doing for them and as a proof of their conversion, these lunatics were willing to destroy the herd of swine which belonged to their people. This was doubtless one reason why the owners of the swine got into a panic and urged Jesus to leave their land, lest their business be completely destroyed by more conversions to the Jewish faith. On the other hand, the demons did not need the permission of Jesus to enter into the swine any more than they needed any permission to enter into the lunatics."
    (George M. Lamsa (translator), The Four Gospels : According to the Eastern Version (1933) p. xiv)


    Very well, my friend. Now you have given us a long list of different explanations. It is not always so easy to interpret the Biblical stories. The exposition is interesting, although some of the references to Josephus' books are wrong.

    First, I would like to tell what really happened.

    In Peter's message to Mr. Padgett, we can read already that this supposed miracle with the lunatics and the pigs never happened. I wanted to add that there really happened healings through Jesus, also of lunatics, and that Jesus traveled with us through all the regions mentioned in the diverse comments above presented.

    However, in his preaching Jesus failed. He was not able to win new disciples, and he faced firm rejection. The time had not yet come for being able to impress the pagans, and in some cases, these asked Jesus straight forwardly to abandon their towns and go away. They feared for business in their temples, something very similar to what decades later would happen to Paul of Tarsus.

    What Jesus wanted to demonstrate to us was that his mission was not limited to the Jews, but rather that it bore a universal character. We did not understand this then. And the question of the mission to the heathens would constitute a great problem in the future of the beginning church.

    Jesus was convinced that his teachings were compatible with many religions, even with pagan polytheism, in a great vision that some development would be possible, as we can observe today in India, where intellectual Hindus no longer speak of thousands or millions of gods, but consider them rather as different aspects of one supreme being, with their accompanying mythology. And in some way, that is what would happen during the conversion of the heathens. The Master's teachings would mix with many aspects of paganism, which today are considered highly Christian, but which are not. I may mention, for example, the celebration of Christmas, Eucharist, Trinity, and there are many more examples, which we will deal with in due course of time.

    Nevermore, during the year 26, Jesus would venture into the pagan countries, but he would rather focus on his work in Galilee, with a few excursions into Judea, in the context with the obligations for the believing Jews, attending the Hebrew feasts in their capital Jerusalem.

    In the Biblical story that we have dealt with, remote memories of the Master's activity mix with exaggerations of a mythological character, and certainly, with some resentment against the Romans, which nobody dared to express openly.

    Now, my dear brother, I want to direct some more personal words to you.

    I am very pleased to say that you are right in your following appreciation:

    True faith can only be born of spiritual experience. It is not only so that the inflowing of Divine Love brings us that faith, that is, it expands our spiritual horizon, but also that the conscious experience anchors this faith as "certainty" in our reasoning mind. It is absolutely useless to discuss religious themes with arguments. The only possibility for "convincing" others, is showing them the way to their personal and unique spiritual experience. As with all mystics of all religions, the transcendental experience transforms that, which in most cases was conceived merely a hope or a doctrine, into part of our reality we are living in. This personal experience can be repeated time and again, gaining ever more depth. This is the marvelous point in Jesus' teachings: You can put them to the test right now. His teachings are not a matter of believing but of experiencing. You had suspected this already. Congratulations!

    It is a sign that you have progressed one more step in your development. Your horizon has really been enlarged.

    It is always good to take a look back at the past. Then you can see that something has really moved. What seems, at first glance, like stagnation, in fact is a great progress along the way toward true understanding.

    Look back, and recognize the long road that you have already traveled. Recognize how your life and your attitude have changed to the positive. And then you can await the future full of happiness — not await, but prepares the future actively and come closer to it.

    If you allow me to formulate it so, in your world, time runs and drags men along with it, no matter if they have developed or not. In my world, we drag time along with us, that is to say, if we are immobile, time neither moves, and if we advance, we drag time along with us. Do you understand that? You do not grasp all, I know.

    I just want to say that it is an error to wait for the future and what it might bring, because the future is our creation. Therefore, so many people are like a living anachronism on two feet, dragged along by time, without having contributed to its formation, lumps of the past in the torrent of time.

    You have to learn to be the torrent and not that, which is dragged along by the torrent. Anyway, in the spirit world you will learn this.

    I know that you do not understand me, but write it down and leave it so for the time being.

    The Padgett messages were written eighty years ago. However, what does this mean? For some, they constitute the living present, for others, as yourself, part of them are the past, because you have progressed further on in some aspects, for even others, they are still the future, because they do not know them. Remember, when you discovered them, you felt as if a window had opened up, allowing you to glimpse at a brilliant future.

    It is time to say good-bye. See you soon, and I would appreciate if you could dedicate me a little more of your time.


    God bless you,

    Judas


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