All that glitters is not gold
Not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so. Lots of of salmons get a chance to learn that not every shiny and attractive bait is valuable to them.
What can the hook of Jesus be? Hook is short for fish-hook. In a more figurative sense, it means a trap or snare, something that attracts. If Jesus is used as a hook, fish may swallow the baits, hook, line, and sinker. "I will make you fishers of men," said Jesus to his future apostles (Matthew 4:19). Let us not forget - he wanted to fish lots of people. And the best for a fish in almost all cases is not being fished and made use of. That is how it most often is.
A lot of fishes may have learnt too late that folks with hooks act like crooks in that they entice with bait, but do not aim to let the fish have it in peace as they please. A fish needs to see the bait is not a great gift from above, that it is not meant to save, but to catch a fish. It is a call for sacrifice -
A corn that fell to the ground and died was Jesus. He was crucified and got rid of and cold before he got old. But this released a Holy Ghost, we are told. And from Acts 15 we learn that the indispensable "thing" for Christians (non-Jewish followers) is that Spirit of Truth and four requrements: (1) not to eat blood food; (2) not eating wrangled poutry (3) no Biblical adultery and (4) one more.
But Jesus is not into the Apostolic Deal (Acts 15), that is, the founding pact and corner-stone of all genuine forms of Christianity, Acts 15 shows. It makes sense, since Jesus taught clearly that his teachings are for ill (depraved) Jews only. There may be no doubt about that. [Gospel quotes]
However, in later flows of gospels that were written decades after his death, sayings and tales were ascribed to him. Such gospels - including the four chosen, edited and canonised gospels, contain forgeries. Also, the missionary commands in Matthew and Mark, are later additions, look like forgeries, says the bible scholar Geza Vermes (2012). So . . . A textual Bible critic can tell you more about it. There are many details in books by Bart D. Ehrman, for example. Most of the much later-added texts were not regarded as essential in the church that was founded decades before they were written - and forged, in part wholly. [A forged missionary command taken apart]
To revert to fish and fishing: For a few centuries later writers and editors tailored a New Testament where Jesus serves as a hook-and-bait to fish inexperienced guys and set them on a path of deprivations, much hardship, if not total disaster. [Consider hardships along that line]
Jesus said he wanted his fished followers to be set apart. There is a parallell to people who were set apart to Jehovah as embodied, "consecrated sacrifices" (Deuteronomy 14:2; 2 Corinthians 6:17) Or: "My old self has been crucified (Galatians 2:20)." A fished fish might say "caught by a hook."
"If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the Lord as a Nazirite, he must abstain from fermented drink. He must not eat grapes or raisins, not even the seeds or skins. No razor may be used on his head. He must be holy; he must let the hair of his head grow long. Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to the Lord (etc.) (Numbers 6:2-21, passim)
So much for parallels. There is no grandeur in being a little fish and fished, or eaten by bigger fish, nothing very original. Why should Jesus think it to be grand to be executed at all? He said it was for Jews, and they rejected him almost wholesale. His sheep did not recognise a shepherd's voice. Or maybe they did! The gospels tell in short that God's plan failed (Mark 14:36), and Jesus died without the results he was after: to gather ill Jews as a flock of sheep alerted to his teachings, or shepherd's voice. Or maybe they saw through things, like good fish do when fishermen are about.
Also see that Jesus tells in several passages that healthy ones do not need him, that sound people do not need a doctor. Many doctors in such times were amputators also - sawing off limbs. To be set on an "amputating way of life" by teachings, that is being subjected to losses. Now, if you are in good health you can escape that, and Jesus too. Not to forget: He also says he came for depraved Jews only (Matthew 15:25; 10:5-8).
◎ To be phrase-independent can show real house-wife grandeur with skills fit for living on by planning for tomorrows.
A Gift or a Bait
Jesus taught that salvation comes only from the Jews, and his kingdom and teachings are only for Jews (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8) Since his time, being saved is said to be a gift of heaven. Acts 10:
A voice from heaven told Peter to kill and eat unclean animals, and soon the Spirit fell on non-Jews: they were held to be unclean by Jews and not meant to be taught or saved through Jesus, said Jesus when alive. (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8)
To be thought of as unclean (at least inwardly) and mean and become host to a hidden ghost, then eaten and killed, or killed and eaten - that is not for kind (merciful) and healthy guys. That is one of the main teachings of Jesus.
The Thing in Christianity, even its sine qua non (without which, naught, i.e. what is indispensable) is it "be thrilled to be killed and eaten"? Who knows? The chosen of God, are they human sacrifices, like nazirees of the Old Testament? Consider the textual evidence as calmly as you can.
A repeat: Jesus had come to call sinners only, but not righteous ones. (Matthew 9:12-13) The healthy and righteous are said not to need him.
It is wise to accept that slave-takers are robbers and cruel also. Without reservations Jesus vouces for slavery in Matthew 5:17-19. (Cf. Mark 3:27; Matthew 12:29) Jesus thereby vouched for "Keep the Canaanite slave forever" (Leviticus 25:46). Historically, slavery was common among Christians until into the 1800s. [Link] (Titus 2:9-10)
Jesus' alleged father, Yahweh, instituted slavery in Exodus 22, a lot of execution reasons and vicarious sacrifice and scapegoating, and went for genocide of the Amalchites.
Now it is called a Human Right to be free rather than taken a slave. That the Christian slave is "made righteous" may be of nothing but of appearances.
◎ Vicarious sacrifice, which permeates the Law instituted by Yahweh, is based on letting innocent animals suffer and die for the sake of scoundrels.
The alleged mission of Jesus
First Jesus said he came for Jews alone and that his teachings were for Jews exclusively too. But Jews did not want him, no matter what he talked about his sheep who knew his shepherd voice, no matter how he longed for them like a mother hen (Matthew 23;37)! Then, when his unseen father (that he was one with, he said) had planned to sacrifice him to assist the Jews (cf. Leviticus 16), Jesus gave in and accepted to be butchered like a sacrificial lamb for them. The Jewish authorities soon saw to it that he was crucified as a blasphemer, according to the Law they had (Matthew 26:63-7).
You know that you are not popular when people want you crucified and prefer a highwayman instead of you (John 18;39-40). The Father's Jesus-declared save-the-Jews mission failed. So did major decrees for Jews only, uttered by his own son. His doctrine was reserved for the Jews, he insisted. Adherents of Jesusism who have their foreskins but little Saturday-sabbath rest, may not actually qualify as followers. Let it be their problem. (Matthew 10:5; John 4:22)
Despite the Law what Jesus had vouched for in Matthew 5:17-20, he waived ritual slaughter of animals that the Bible tells God Father had instituted by the Law. And he waived the cramped and rigid sabbath rules that his Father had intended to be a main token of the right belonging. Yahweh had been so strict in such matters that right after he had delivered the Ten Commandments, an old man who had gathered some wood in the wilderness on the sabbath, was executed for it on His command. (Numbers 15:32-36)
Apostles of Jesus and the Holy Spirit soon followed up some waiving when they established Christianity as shown in their Apostolic Decree. They waived the need for Gentile followers to be circumcised (Acts 15), the other of the two key criterions for being God's own - added to the enforced sabbath rest. In the end it stood out that eating blood food was about as bad as adultery - maybe even worse for what we know - and so on. (Acts 15).
Jesus was very, very likely circumcised to be acceptable in the Jewish community, for such was the Law-enforced, ritual custom. The Christ, the image of God or the highest representation, was not found to be quite good enough unmaimed: they cut off his foreskin. He was maimed to be one of them. In the end they got rid of him anyway. A waste of foreskin it was.
◎ The cramped "God's people" found their "sure schemes".
"Fallen is Virgin Israel" - destroyed, and never to rise again
While he was alive, Jesus said he was sent only to "the lost sheep of Israel", whatever he meant by that. (Matthew 15:24). If he meant the ten northern tribes of Israel, God had already crushed and killed them all, Amos and Hosea say, and they - the ten tribes - were never to rise again.
So there were no such lost sheep to save according to two books in the bible. To the degree Jesus tried (Matthew 10:6; 15:24), he and his sent disciples were on a wild goose chase.
"I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel." (Hosea 1:4)
As for Judah,
It does not say when and for how long none can live in Judah, though. At any rate, many disregard the Bible's words that there were no lost sheep alive at the time of Jesus. Israel was fallen long ago (in the 700s BCE), destroyed, says Amos and Hosea, even though King David (10th century BCE) vainly bragged, "The Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever . . . He was pleased to make me king over all Israel. (1 Chronicles 28:4)."
Israel did not last, the kingship did not last, and 1 Samuel 8 describes the king as a slave-holding enemy of his people. Jesus as a Jewish king? Ow-oo.
◎ Don't always be deceived by religious and murky propaganda.
◎ Study to detect what is right, instead of just getting jammed.
Jesus held for a long time that his mission lay in reserving his efforts and so on for Jews. That failed. Even neighbours of his and his own family wanted him stoned. That failed too. In the end even the Ghost saw the plan had flopped or failed big time. And then "the net" of Christianity was cast on Gentiles.
Terrible things started to happen to millions of such followers. Murders, Colosseum, beastly killings for the sake of Roman entertainment, but with a firm faith that the end of the world was near anyway - an initially strong faith that proved wrong and in time gave way to Christians not turning the other cheek, but instead getting drafted as Roman soldiers. The Empire crumbled and fell, and further terrible things happened, like much looting.
Many Christians in the first century believed that Jesus would return during their lifetime. When the converts of Paul in Thessalonica were persecuted by the Roman Empire, they believed the end was upon them. (Matthew 24:15-22; Mark 13:14-20; Luke 21:20-33)
Dr Bart D. Ehrman shows in Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (2001) that Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher, that is, his main message was that the end of history was near, that God would shortly intervene to overthrow evil and establish his rule on earth, and that Jesus and his disciples all believed these end time events would happen in their lifetimes. Many academics agree that Jesus was one of many Jewish apocalyptic prophets, so what Dr Ehrman shows does not lack backup. Ehrman also analyses New Testament passages such as Jesus' supposed birth in Bethlehem of a virgin and finds them not historically credible.
Now, are you ready to see that Jews was a false prophet who said his teachings are for Jews only? That could be good if you can handle it. (Matthew 5:1-10; 15:24) In the Old Testament prophet that foretells something that does not happen, is termed a false prophet, and the Law of Moses that Jesus vouches for completely, says he should be put to death for his false prophesying (Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Matthew 5:19-20).
Also consider how to execute Jesus a false prophet after he is dead and gone, or after the world is ended -
End-times beliefs in Protestant Christianity vary widely.
◎ That the end time that was near was a misconception among early Christians; it stemmed in part from sayings by Jesus.
Will all our ritual prayers go unheard since God refused to answer Jesus in the olive grove and on the cross?
If all things are possible with God, and everything is possible for him who believes, then 'possible', fails to come true lots of times. Is it possible for God to create a stone that is so heavy that he cannot lift it? (Mark 10:27; 9:23)
If he cannot create the stone big enough for him to be unable to lift it, it was not possible. If he can create the stone so heavy that he cannot lift it, that feat was not possible either. The word 'possible' has many limitations, and besides there is often a big difference between 'actually' and 'possibly'.
Towards the end in Gethsemane Jesus felt anguish and sorrow nearing death and fell with his face to the ground, praying that a cup should be taken from him, if possible. (Matthew 26:36-9 extracts; cf. Luke 22:44; Mark 14:35-41).
No, it was not possible, not with his God. Or if it was possible, it was denied anyway, contrary to "Pray and get" by Jesus in Mark 9:23 and 10:27. The latter includes "All things are possible with God." It shows up that it was possible with God to refuse the prayers of the angushed Jesus who was so sad that he was near death, falling with his face to the ground.
The betrayer Judas had been hand-picked by Jesus and never sent to the South Pole area to prevent a future calamity either. Nor did Jesus dispense with him in other ways when there was plenty of time. As he said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you" (John 15:16).
Jesus chose largely illiterate persons and a deceiver to follow him around, with all his foreknowledge and mind-knowledge. Hm.
Don't freak out: It is better not to be in contact with a crook
"I will ask the Father will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth." (John 14;12-3,15 - Excerpts). "The Spirit of truth" - it sounds so good. For all that, those who wrote the four gospels did not get it right even when they wrote of core happenings in the gospels and Acts. For example, Judas died in two different ways, it says. [Link]
So we see that ardent prayers of Jesus were done away with; he was to be slaughtered, sacrificed for the sins of others, even though two goats well handled should be quite enough on a yearly basis "for all time." (Leviticus 16:21-22; 29-34).
Slaughtering an innocent for the sins of others, be it animal or Jesus, is corrupt. The Norwegian poet Johan Herman Wessel (1742–85) wrote a poem about a similar event: The people of a town executed an innocent baker instead of the smith who had killed someone, for the town had only one smith, but two bakers - and corruption.
◎ Things are finally clearing up.
Scapegoating and victimizing bully - still alive
Normal people know that if a father loves his fairly all right son or is just, or both, he won't have his son slaughtered for the misdoings of others.
We can see that Jesus prayed to the Bible God as "righteous Father" (John 17:25). But see through the demagoguery: God of the Old Testament (and Bible) instituted not only slavery, but also a hard scapegoat religion with heavy butchering of innocents - prime cattle, other animals and birds were to be killed for sins, neglects and gross offences of guilty guys. This went on year by year by year with no reneging. "Sin, but let animals pay and feed priests!" In psychology, those who succumb to primitive scapegoating may turn into hard mental cases. It could be good to be warned.
The basic scapegoating plot permeates the New Testament too, with some obvious links to mental cannibalism in the sacrament: "eat his body, drink his blood".
God had Jesus slaughtered like a lamb because he was not better than that, regrettably. Today we call brutal ones who kill innocent people to favour criminals, something else than righteous. Besides, there was no real need for man-slaughter: A couple of goats would have averted the calamity that year, if anyone had remembered what is in the Old Testament. Two goats were enough to clean the Hebrews for a year. "You will be clean from all your sins . . . it is a lasting ordinance . . . This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement [by two goats] is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites," the Lord commanded Moses. (Leviticus 16:21-22; 29-34). Well, well well!
The idea behind sacrificing Jesus was to help criminals on and up. How many criminal activities today are due to that!
Few Jews converted to Jesus, so don't be taken in. God's plan may seem mysterious, cruel and corrupt, but it failed to the degree God really was out to save Jews by letting them welcome Jesus in the first place. Heart-felt prayers of Jesus were denied, but a scapegoating killing was welcome, nay, planned. The sacrifice of Jesus was not in vain if the secret mission of Jesus was to make the world a better place for criminals - sinners. Compare the proverb, "He that helps the evil hurts the good. (Fergusson and Law 2000, 134)"
You are luckily called to surpass Jesus. The question is how you will do it.
◎ Mental cannibalism seem to help only misbehaving crooks on top of fools.
A passage where Jesus claims he has been given all authority in heaven and on earth - telling his apostles to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything he had commanded them, is in Matthew 28;18-20)
The passage is a later addition and very likely a forgery, as the bible scholar Geza Vermes sums up (2012). Why? It goes against Acts in so many ways, and contains concepts that are alien to the gospels otherwise. [More] Further, Acts tells of no baptisms in such names; only in the name of Jesus. (WP, "Baptism in the name of Jesus")
We cannot say that Jesus exalts himself to be humbled by any later-invented, forged passage. (Cf. Matthew 23;8-12, excerpts).
Two gospels say that Jesus meant he was a gate for ill Jews, the sheep, the vine for his branches, and none could serve two masters (John 10:7-10; 15:5; Matthew 6:24). But see what happened: The vast herd of sheep (Jews that were ill, depraved) did not recognise him well, and did not want him. They did not want such a gate, such a vine, and went on as best they could, waiting for a real Messiah. Jews consider Jesus one of the false Messiahs. (WP, "Messiah in Judaism;" "List of Jewish messiah claimants")
A decent life may build up of many parts on a sound foundation. According to Dr. Abraham Maslow you may go for this and that by stages and thus reach fulfilments in a process called self-actualisation. It can be done; that is a good idea. Decently had wealth may hinder or ease higher attainments. It depends on who you are, where, and the wider connections. There are such possibilities, and many others (cf. Maslow 1964, 1968, 1987).
One should choose one's friends carefully: Jesus came for sinners, not healthy ones, who absolutely do not need him, says Jesus. (Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:13)
◎ Be as classy as you can and live well.
The Christ, in part a repeat
In the New Testament the essential meaning of Messiah (Christ) swelled to include subtler sides of the universe, and the Greek translation 'Christ' took the place of the Hebrew 'Messiah'.
The healthy don't need a doctor with a strangely expanded title anyway.
The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah during the reign of Josiah:
Either it will be true, or it will not.
The God of the church breaks his word more than once
An intriguing question could arise here: When God promised something to someone deep asleep in the Old Testament - whether (1) vast tracts of lands for Abra(ha)m and his descendants, tracts Abraham has not got so far (Genesis 15:12 ff, Exodus 32:13), (2) a tent with eleven curtains of goat hair (Exodus 26:7), (3) ritual service around a chest of acacia wood (Exodus 25:10) - all of it instituted "for all time" but (4) abandoned like his lasting dynasty for that did not last but was destroyed - why did not what he promised and instituted come true to last forever? anyway? That is part of an ongoing problem - but a problem that pales in the glimmer of hope from another look:
That God and Jesus break their promises is something to thank for
Broken promises put in the mouth of the Lord leave hope that there will not be an end of the world either. Let us hope that.
And yet, it can be worse than a cheap thing to put faith in a breaker of promises. Another problem rises and overshadows the others, perhaps.
A God-promise that is not coming true
A complex of problems - A dilemma arises, akin to "Too much of a good thing is a bad thing": If the whole of God's promise to Abraham had been fulfilled, the planet would be fabulously overcrowded. Just consider: "I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever." (Exodus 32:13)." It sounds nice to some, but happily for all of us they are not coming true:
According to current estimates, there are about 200-400 000 million stars in the Milky Way. The newest estimates gained by the Hubble space telescope are that there are 500 000 million galaxies in the universe, each with about 300.000 million stars, give or take. Thus, one estimate is there are 150 000 000 000 million stars around us. Compare that vast number to how many thriving inhabitants the Earth can hold, and get terribly dismayed. Some impressive-looking promises had better not come true.
As for another big promise, (Genesis 22:17), how many grains of sand are there on Earth? To form an estimate, count how many grains makes a spoonful. Using a similar way of counting, plus some additional information, mathematicians at the University of Hawaii tried to guess how many grains of sand are on the world's beaches. They came up with 7,500,000,000,000 million grains. It means they would overcrowd the planet even if stacked. So luckily, that promise has not been fulfilled either. Look to the bright side of old God-promises he has never kept, and learn to consider.
Loose estimates are not the problem in this, but hard-headed belief in foolish or rash or just seeming promises that go blatantly unfulfilled. All promises in the Bible have not been fulfilled, and some of that God's promises never will and never can. Therefore there is still be time for innocent fun and development.
Unreliable and impressive
And if it is seen that the Christian's God is faking and unreliable, as judged by his non-deeds in the Bible and by the fact that many of his promises there go thwarted and unfulfilled to this day, there is perhaps a measure of sound hope in bearing in mind the Bible was written and edited by Hebrews who tried to make Jehovah appear awful and impressive.
Anyway, to be true to one's fit word is very, very good, and tends to be crucial for a man.
The secret value of not bringing the gospel to all nations -
Sound smartness is allowed, if not called for: When Jesus says that the gospel will be preached to all nations before the end of the world comes (Mark 13:10 ff), it matters not to bring the gospel to all nations of the world, for example on Borneo, and further. That might save the world from ultimate disaster according to God's Word . . . Do your part in hindering an ultimate bad thing. Hope actively.
We have to be fair and live up to the Spirit of Truth, or what?
"The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger. On that day you won't be put to shame [but not to death?] Sing, Daughter of Zion; shout aloud . . . Be glad and rejoice with all your heart. God . . . will take great delight in you. At that time I will gather you . . . bring you home. I will give you praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes," says the Lord. (Zephaniah 3:8-18, passim)
In these passages we are told that the whole world will be destroyed, but not all. Is it a kind of "You can eat your cake and have it too"?
Misplaced trust of old in the end of the world
Be that as it may, one can get outsmarted by great belief in tommyrot or scares. There are well over a hundredself-contradictive Bible sayings, by the way. Be sure you know the alternatives to be worst phrases there.
When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13)." The evidence is that the tongue-talker Spirit failed to do that, since the apostles and others believed and taught that the end of the world was near in their generation or so. They were wrong.
It shows up that Jesus passages were not considered necessary for non-Jewish followers - that is what all the apostles and the Holy Spirit concluded throughout Acts 15 and Acts 21:25, and formed a New Deal. Not one original word by Jesus was included. In the light of his self-maiming decrees and woes to hypocrite followers, that should be good news to lots of men -
Such things matter to realise thoroughly, to avoid making the mistake of misplaced trust. You can go for a rewarding, fulfilling and blossoming marriage, then, if that is best that you can do along life's journey.
Much adversity and no salvation
(no liberation) may finally be reaped by being taken in by a parading massa of inconsistencies that might well foster future misfortunes where even the details of your sex-life is guru decreed. Now man and woman were supposed to function above the animals. Savoury autonomy is part of it. Mending one's predominant thoughts to escape from wishful thinking is better than no own future. Allow yourself feelings and feel into fit persons of similar interests as you have. One of them you might want to marry.
◎ Do not let wishful thinking and unbiblical pledges get the best of you.
◎ To get stupidly religious often means getting duped, unprofitably conform and maybe quite idiotic too. We had better not want that.
Fergusson, Rosalind, and Jonathan Law, eds. 2000. The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs. London: Penguin Books.
Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.
Maslow, Abraham. Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences.Columbus: Ohio State University, 1964.
Maslow, Abraham. Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1968.
Vermes, Geza. "From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity." Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.
Harvesting the hay
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