Religions and Christ are opposite paths
Religions and Christ are opposite paths
Writter: Evangelos D. Kepenes (January 28, 2022, 12:50)
"O Timotheus, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding prophane, empty babblings, and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called: Which some professing have erred from the faith. Grace be with thee." (1 Tim. 6:20-21)
From ancient times, the birth and evolution of theogonic and cosmogenic myths (which were the result of philosophical thoughts on the interpretation of nature and the place of man in it) and religions (which have always been associated with national purposes) have been and are the most important factor in the formation and evolution of cultures and the troubled history of the world.
According to religious scholars, Animism (man's religious belief in spiritual beings that animate nature, which led to the primary fear of the spirits of the dead) was born in prehistory. Animism can still be found in Shamanism, in religions, in the beliefs of the “New Age” and in television or printed tales for children, where matter has a voice, hears, sees, cries, etc. This was followed by Totemism (a handmade construction of a wood-carved depiction of an animal or plant created by the magician of the tribe, which was considered to have sacred properties and protected the homeland or the tribe) and Ancestor worship (dualistic belief that the souls / lives of the ancestors are immortal spiritual entities and after the death of their material body continue to protect and help their offspring).
The growth of populations and the creation of nations and states promoted special sacred religious beliefs, folk customs, musical and artistic traditions, and mythical associations of earthly powers with divine powers, which proved useful for the cohesion of societies and their discipline in power. The result was the birth of many religions and authoritarian priesthoods, each with its own particular mode of election, whose worship practices were intertwined with social and public life and identified with the notion of homeland and nation. With the unknown and fear as the main religious stimulus, each religion introduced its own protector and miraculous god or gods, had its own worldview and interpretation of human life and its extension after death; but religions also had similarities due to common roots from the interaction of cultures and the constant tendency of converts to adapt their new faith to the existing old one.
In ancient Mesopotamia, the Sumerians developed a complex polytheistic religious system with various female and male deities and demons, and a variety of worldviews. The king of every city-state of the Sumerians was “the substitute of God on earth” (patesi) with excessive powers. The city was protected by its patron saint and a house-temple (Ziggurat) was built for him, which was a high massive construction in the form of a stepped pyramid. This construction depicted the innate need of the earthly man to connect with the Divine. The land of the Sumerians was inhabited by the Chaldeans, who developed the science of astronomy and mathematics, magic, divination, and made Babylon the cradle of ancient wisdom. For the Chaldeans, the stars were autonomous divine entities that influenced people's lives and through theurgies they could fulfill their desires (Astrology). In Daniel 2:2, the Chaldeans are referred to as magicians and enchanters (= those who practice sorcery with psalms).
These beliefs, along with Persian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna (sources οn the year of its birth differ) and the emergence of Confucianism in China, Orphism in Greece and Buddhism in India in the 6th century BC, also shaped the history of nations.
The birth of the Church of Christ
The dispersion of the descendants of Abram to the nations, who came from Ur of the Chaldeans, whose historical monotheistic biblical Judaism was the forerunner of the original genuine Church of Jesus Christ, was completed with the captivity of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 752 BC, and the Babylonian captivity of the two-tribe kingdom of Judah in 586 BC.
The birth of the Church of Christ “which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Eph. 1:23) was not the result of an evolving human religion, but was the result of the fulfillment of the biblical promises and the types of biblical Judaism through Jesus Christ, given by the One True extra-universal God, through His Jewish prophets. It was through the Church that the diverse wisdom of God became known to the authorities and powers in heaven.
“so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph. 3:10-11)
The established Church of the living God was and is the offspring of God from incorruptible seed and not a draft of an imperfect religion or a philosophical system that God handed over to the “philosophical fathers” of Orthodoxy to shape it formalistically, to crystallize it dogmatically, and to establish it universally by institutional coercion violating the “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mat.16:24). The Church of God was and is “the pillar and ground (= firmament / foundation) of the truth, which the Lord God has acquired for Himself with His own precious blood to declare His Praises and not the constitutional charters of religions.
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field shall honour me, the jackals and the ostriches [he refers to the Gentiles in the flesh (see Acts 10-11-12)], because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen (Grk text: my offspring): the people which I formed for myself, that they might set forth my praise.” (Isa. 43:18-21)
“having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth.” ((1 Pet. 1:23)
To those whom the Holy Spirit appointed bishops to the first Church (and not to religious professionals or self-appointed bishops), the apostle Paul said:
“Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in the which the Holy Ghost hath made you bishops, to feed the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
Purchased is simple past of the verb purchase = guard [something] for myself // save [something] for myself // acquire [something] for myself // take something into my possession.
The apostolic teaching
The “uninterrupted apostolic succession” of the professional religious bishops, invoked by the Orthodox mystical religious system, as well as the “continuing apostolic work,” invoked by today's self-appointed [servants of God], do not recognize the completion of the authentic apostolic work. But the ecclesiastical literature and the historians of late antiquity accurately highlight the absence of new apostles with the prestige and action of the Apostles of the First Church. This ascertainment is the greatest proof that God's unique work for the salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ was fulfilled in the generation of the respected Apostles. We are simply called to believe in it and rest in it by glorifying the biblical Jesus and proclaiming His virtues, which is to live a virtuous life. By loving and forgiving one another and teaching and being taught the truth of God, we prove that we are His true spiritual children, who fight for peace with the weapon of love, having the Redeemer and True God Jesus as our flag.
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1 Jn. 5:20)
Since then, endless Christological controversies and analyses have led to the acceptance of the “philosophical Jesus,” who is a copy of the mythical “Aeon Jesus” of the Gnostics and different than the “biblical Jesus.” The Synodal decisions of the philosophical “fathers,” who read the texts of the Prophets and Apostles having the teachings of Greek Philosophy and Mythology as a compass, were intended to contradict other religious versions that were “deviant” from the “patristic thought,” offspring of Syncretism in those years.
Over time, the ecclesiastical reforms or counter-reforms and the constant founding of new churches with ambitious colonial aspirations and absolute dogmatic beliefs only succeeded in fostering rivalry, theological arrogance, intolerance, vanity, and shedding rivers of blood, not understanding the sayings of Jesus.
“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Lk. 10:27)
«Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.» (Μαt. 26:62)
The old one has never ceased to exist
Today's Christian doctrines and churches, which have shaped the modern declining Western civilization, are adaptations and adjustments of old post-apostolic blends of Judeo-Christian, Gnostic, Eastern, astrological, mythical and other religious versions that were transferred or reignited over time. They are strongly reminiscent of the controversies and disputes of the few ancient philosophers (diverse Greek thought), some of whom were either dragged into “trials of impiety” by their modern theocratic establishment, such as Anaxagoras, Socrates, etc., or were persecuted and murdered, such as Zeno of Elea, the Pythagoreans, etc., whose theogonic and cosmogenic theories failed to give their students the knowledge of the true God and correct answers to their existential and posthumous quests, a position that is clearly reflected in a letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
“… the world did not know God through wisdom …” (1 Cor. 1:21)
This opposition is expressed in the Old Testament for the Jews as well.
“Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? He hath made thee, and established thee.” (Deut. 32:6, ERV)
“The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?” (Jer. 8:9)
These verbal objections to the “wisdom” of the people referred to the knowledge of God and not to the research / scientific achievements of the ancient intellect. This was done later, sometimes with the use of armed legislative force (see Hypatia), by fanatical exponents of “Roman Catholic Christianity,” such as the African orator Augustine, a former Manichaean, whose view of mathematics was as follows:
“The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.”
In the national “Christian” churches and their offshoots, every word about the Creator God and His accomplished work for the salvation of man is incomplete without reference to the end of the world. Having transformed useless and outdated Jewish formalities and invoking Gnostic sophistries, folk traditions and institutionally imposed, post-apostolic, philosophical Synodal decisions, they promise redemption through them. They advertise the omnipotence of the All-Merciful God, who will prove it by eliminating humanity and the evil material world through ekpyrosis (= conflagration), condemning the immortal souls of mortal unbelievers to incessant torture. They are the ones who myopically scaremonger, refusing to experience the fruit of the complete and Eternal work of the crucifixion and resurrection of the only Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ, whom they accept, but only in accordance with their constitutional charters and not by biblical truth.
“for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” (Eph. 5:9)
The Acknowledged Jewish Apostles received a Divine Command and successfully completed their Mission
“And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.” (Mk. 16:20)
The execution of the unique and unrepeatable apostolic work, during which “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will,” and the destruction of the earthly Jerusalem and its earthly Temple with its typological elements in 70 AD, which were replaced by the heavenly Jerusalem and its heavenly Temple, sealed a) the fulfillment of the Messianic Prophecies, which had a universal dimension and b) the completion / end of biblical Judaism. (Heb. 2:4, 12:22, Gal. 4:25-26, Rev. 21:2, 22)
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:14)
Jesus warned His Jewish disciples of His impending coming, the imminent destruction of the earthly Temple of Jerusalem, and the end of the Mosaic Law, not the end of the existing, evil according to Gnostics, visible, sensible world. The following were coming soon (“quickly”) for the primitive church:
a) The Coming of the Lord Jesus with the Glory of the Father. (“I come quickly”) (Rev. 22:20)
Note: “Come” is a verb in the present tense. The simple present tense is a “p r e s e n t” tense and indicates that something is happening in the present and not in the future.
b) The destruction (end) by fire of the visible earthly Temple and the elements that constituted it, which were the types of the invisible heavenly ones. (“the elements shall melt with fervent heat”) (2 Pet. 3:10)
c) The judgment of the ungodly Jews who watered the soil of the Holy Land with the blood of the Prophets, Saints and Apostles, (“the earth also and the works that are therein”), as Jeremiah had testified to the earthly people of Israel, the “fruitful vineyard” of the Lord: “Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents…” (2:34, LXX)
For the living type worshippers and ungodly of the Jews of those days who rejected the “Salvation of God” that Simeon saw with his own eyes, the day of the Lord Jesus would come as “a thief in the night.” (Lk. 2:30, 1 Thess. 5:2-6, Jud. 1:15)
The Administration of the Mystery
“The administration of the mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things,” which was not made known to previous generations [that is, the Gentiles in the flesh (the beasts) are heirs together with the twelve-tribe nation of Israel (the sheep), members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise of life], was finally revealed to the church of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, through the preaching of the Apostles. (Eph. 2, 3:9, Rom. 16:25-27, Col. 1:21-28)
“and coming, He proclaimed the Gospel of peace to you who were afar off (the Gentiles in the flesh) and peace to those [who were] near (twelve-tribe Israel), because through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” (Eph. 2:17-18)
This world-shaking event, which was the Eternal Gospel of Salvation, which was “made known to all nations” fundamentally overthrew -once and for all- modern Jewish nationalism (Zionism), ancient Jewish and other national occult or metaphysical worldviews, and theogonic and humanistic beliefs, such as Kabbalah, Zoroastrianism, Gnosticism, Platonism and Hermeticism. It also overturned every ancient religious belief, which was the product of human interpretation and logic and powerless to stand before the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, whose message was:
The Kingdom of heaven, therefore His triumph and dominion over the heavenly wicked powers, angels, authorities and powers. (1 Pet. 3:22)
The knowledge of the True God, the One Authority, and His worship “in the Holy Spirit.” (Jn. 4:23)
The active love for the neighbor. (Matt. 22:39)
Social justice. (Matt. 6:1)
The gift of immortality, through His crucifixion and resurrection, for the Jews, the Greek Jews and the Gentiles in the flesh under certain conditions. (Eph. 1:2, Col. 2:15, 1 Pet. 3:22, Jn. 1:18, 13:34, 3:14, 1 Jn. 5:20)
His impending Presence with the Glory of the Father, and His Judgment for the blood of the Prophets, Saints and Apostles shed in Jerusalem by its theocratic system. (Isa. 4:4, Matt. 23:29-31, Rev. 16:5-6)
The end / completion of the century of biblical Judaism and its type. (Rom. 10:4)
The endless century of grace. (Heb. 13:8)
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ was not of this world
Jesus Christ did not conquer the Roman Empire or any other human kingdom in order to regulate its political and strategic developments and religious reforms. His Heavenly Kingdom dominates heaven and earth and is not threatened by the defeated and destroyed wicked spiritual powers and the defeated world rulers of darkness, nor by the embattled, utopian, philosophical, religious systems of men. (Matt. 28:28, Heb. 2:14, Psa. 8:2, 1 Chr. 29:12)
“Jesus answered, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from hence." (Jn. 18:36)
“And being asked by the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God is coming, He answered them, and said, "The Kingdom of God comes not with observation; nor will they say, 'Lo, here!' or, 'Lo, there!' for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you." (Lk. 17:20-21)
Life defeated death
“Be not ashamed, therefore, of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner; but suffer hardship with [me] for the Gospel, according to the power of God, Who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose, and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before eternal ages, but now made manifest through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus; Who abolished death, and brought to light life and incorruption through the Gospel; for which I was appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher.” (2 Tim. 1:10)
Jesus who was sent from God [Aramaic: Jeshua, meaning “God is salvation,” Hebrew: Yehoshua, meaning “God is deliverance”] was the very Life that was revealed to overcome and destroy the eternal death, which had reigned because of the transgression of the first earthly man. Those mortals from the twelve-tribe Israel and from the Gentiles in the flesh who got the resurrected Jesus, the last one, the second man, who was from heaven, received Life, became alive with him, became immortal / eternal, became spiritual children of God and called Jesus “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us,” thus recognizing Him as the One Living and True God, the One Authority that gives life. (Matt. 1:23, 1 Jn. 1:2, 5:20, 1 Cor. 15:45-47, Gal. 6:1, Col. 2:13, 1 Tim. 6:19 WH)
“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (Jn. 6:33)
So, Jesus was “the Bread of Life,” “the One who took away” the sin of the world, the One who defeated death, and the Giver of Life. (Jn. 1:29, 6:33, 10:10)
He was the Redeemer of the Jews from the curse of the Mosaic Law, so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the nations as well. (Gal. 3:13-14)
He was the One who disarmed the authorities and powers in the heavens and broke the power of him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, the spiritually wicked ruler of this world. (Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14, Eph. 2:2, Jn. 16:33)
He was the One who did the Regeneration. (Matt. 19:28, Tit. 3:5)
He was the Word of Life that gave birth to the New, Living Creation, which is no longer fleshly, but is spiritual and eternal, “in the image and likeness” of its Father.
James, addressing the twelve scattered tribes of Israel, wrote:
“Of his own will he brought us forth (gave us birth) by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (Jm. 1:18)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
The work done by the One who is the End of the Law and the One who defeated the kingdom of death and the devil, Jesus / Life, does not evolve, nor does it upgrade, nor does it change, nor does it need any reform or dogmatic crystallization or the establishment of a religion. And a winner is always a winner, yesterday and today and forever, and no confrontation (rematch) is expected with the forces of darkness. (Rom. 5:17, 10:4, Heb. 13:8)
On the contrary, the various dead religious systems evolved and were formed according to their economic, political, social and cultural environment and through their interaction and assimilation with elements of other religions. They will always do the same, constantly producing new religious shades that cannot enlighten or give life. Of these, the dominant ones allied with the secular power, sometimes exercising it, thus changing into complete religiopolitical systems.
This has been and is happening because religions serve the aspirations of earthly interests (national, individual or corporate interests), under the pretext of God's will and utopian religious ideals, such as that the lost earthly paradise will be restored with the coming of the Messiah who will establish a one-thousand-year peaceful kingdom on earth, or that the earthly kingdom of the fleshly "Israel" will come, or that the "Christian" Byzantium will be revived, or that the earthly kingdom of Islam or the earthly kingdom of the historical Antichrist will come, or that the end of history is near, and other ridiculous things.
By creating appropriate power structures with career opportunities and scaremongering in order to intimidate people (Antichrist, eternal hell, rapture of the church, end of the world), religions manipulate the spiritual freedom of ignorant religious people, inactivating their ability to think critically and making them zealously religious people, fans in the stands, and passive receivers of fiction.
Apostolic Christianity is not a religion of expectations, but it is the fulfillment of the prophecies of Judaism (“Christ is the end of the Law”), nor is it a religion of the Book
“but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Jn. 20:31)
Apostolic Christianity does not need mediators, priesthoods and earthly temples. Christ is the true Temple of God (Jn. 2:20-21), and those in Christ are His body, they know Him, and they are known by Him
“And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” (Heb. 8:11)
“Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God has been standing, having this seal, "The Lord knew those who are His:" and "Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness." (2 Tim. 2:19, Worrell)