Posted by Roberta Grimes • February 01, 2016 • 15 Comments
Afterlife Research, Jesus, The Source, The Teachings of Jesus
Christianity buries the eternal teachings of Jesus in first-century Jewish beliefs. The root of this problem lies in the councils which decided which books to include in the canon that became the Christian Bible. Having majored in early Christian history in college half a century ago, I can tell you that my study of the Council of Nicaea that was held in 325 A.D. felt like watching sausage being made.
The whole Christian Bible is not the Inspired Word of God. Thanks to nearly two hundred years of abundant and consistent afterlife evidence, we can independently confirm that fact. The dead uniformly insist that neither God nor any religious figure ever has judged anyone; that the death of Jesus on the cross has never made any afterlife difference; and that you don’t have to be a Christian to get into the highest heaven.
But we also can confirm now, wonderfully, that two thousand years ago Jesus told us things about God, reality, death, the afterlife, and the meaning and purpose of human life that the dead abundantly validate. So Christianity is wrong, but Jesus is right!
The teachings of Jesus are of extraordinary importance. I have been amazed to find how well they work in aiding our spiritual development, and it is only very recently that I think that I begin to understand why. In strictly following the teachings of Jesus, we are not learning anything new. Instead, we are un-learning cultural errors and beginning to remember who and what we are.
So it is time now for professed Christians to put the teachings of Jesus FIRST. If you love the Lord, then listen to Him! This should be simple common sense, but sadly, for most Christians the church fathers’ decision to call the whole Bible the Inspired Word of God makes our following the teachings of Jesus all by themselves a Christian heresy. Even eighteen hundred years later, Christianity remains stuck in the fourth century.
There is good evidence in the Gospels that Jesus intends His teachings to stand alone. Someone asks Him one day whether what He is doing with these new teachings is really just abolishing the Law and the Prophets, which is what the Jews of His day called the Christian Old Testament. With one eye on the listening Temple guards, Jesus says, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (MT 5:17).
What does Jesus mean by that? Different day, different guards, someone asks Him what is the greatest commandment. Jesus says, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40).
Do you see what He is doing here? He is saying that when He said earlier that He had come to fulfill the Old Testament, what He meant was that now that we have His teachings, we don’t need religious rules anymore. Jesus takes the entire Old Testament and replaces it with the beautiful directive that we love God and love one another.
The Lord begs us to keep His precious teachings separate from religious texts! “But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved” (MT 9:16-17). He told the clergymen of His day that even though His teachings were a new philosophy, Jewish clergy still could be disciples of God’s law of love without abandoning their old religion. “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old” (MT 13:52).
Sadly, though, few Christian leaders consider the Gospels to be uniquely important. Instead, for them the teachings of Jesus are equal to the other sixty-odd Bible books, which in many places contradict what Jesus says. And the result is a mess! It’s a mess on every level. Since this post is already overlong, I will give you just one example.
Jesus tells us that we must never judge anyone. “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” (MT 7:1-2).
But since the rules-filled Bible beyond the Gospels is all seen by Christians to be God’s Inspired Word, Christians believe that they have been given a mandate from God to be highly judgmental. A fundamentalist minister whose blog I read gives a great example of how these folks get lost in a whole vast Bible forest and thereby miss the Lord’s precious trees. It is this fellow’s stern contention that Christians must judge Donald Trump because the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5, “I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even to eat with such a one….”
Our fundamentalist friend blithely announces that this pronouncement by an Apostle who never met Jesus or heard Him speak modifies the passage from Matthew quoted above. He tells us that God demands that we judge a fellow Christian, and thereby he has God altogether negating the Lord’s Gospel teaching.
All of this has nothing to do with Jesus. Nor does it have anything to do with God. And for so long as clergymen continue to use the rest of the Bible to obfuscate the most perfect set of teachings that God has ever given to humankind, the whole world will continue to flounder.
Christians needn’t abandon Christianity in order to follow Jesus. We can keep the rituals and music that so many of us dearly love. But Jesus insists that we put Him first! We all pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” and indeed with His teachings we have the power to bring God’s Kingdom to all the earth. Jesus is saying to us, then and now, “If you hold to My teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (JN 8:31-32)
15 thoughts on “Out With the Old!”
As a retired pastor I have shared in small bible study groups the deeper meanings of Jesus teachings. As you have so skillfully stated, literal reading of the Bible as the inerrant word of God, does more to obscure Jesus teachings than to bring light. The Jesus saying about Judgement is one of the greatest in the Bible. When we judge others we do little to reveal their faults, but with certainty and immediate results we reveal our own level of consciousness. We are not judged by God or Jesus in return, but by divine law our judgement reveals us and the state of our lives at that moment. If we were to decide to watch ourselves and the way we think and act from judgement, we would gain a great way for seeing our own lack of love. If one wants to grow in love, a great tool is to see our judgements as an act that separates us from others and brings negativity to ourselves and our environment. The very judgement we use determines immediately our ability to love, therefore our level of consciousness.
Thank you, dear friend – very illuminating, as always!
Just before The Fun of Dying was published, I was given three titles by my primary guide (they were in my mind when I woke up one morning). I had just written the first book, and I could guess what the second would be about, but the third book of the trilogy my guides were planning – which apparently I had been told would come out in 2017, since I have had that in mind ever since – was a mystery. I thought it would likely be further details about the afterlife levels. But of course until a year ago this month, I didn’t know that Liberating Jesus was about to descend on me!
The Fun of Growing Forever will be out a year from this spring. It will be a handbook for using normal 21st-century life and the Gospel teachings to build as much spiritual growth as possible into this lifetime. For five years I have been living it; now I’m thrilled to be able to share it!
The very advanced beings around the Master are determined to transform the world and to bring the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The only way to do it is heart by heart. And that process is beginning now….
This is such a refreshing look at the teachings of Jesus. Well done, Roberta!
Thank you, dear Pavel!
There seems to be nothing more powerful than an idea whose time at last has come ;-).
Very much enjoyed this, Roberta.
I read a book a few years ago called “The Jesus Wars” by scholar Philip Jenkins. In it, he traces all the waring factions in early Christianity, some which fought each other rather violently, of all things.
In it, he also recalls the various Councils that were called to put together and change what we now know as the New Testament. He said that Councils of Nicea, there were two, were NOT polite discussions and friendly debates between scholars. No, they got downright mean and raucous. There were cabals formed, backroom deals on what to change, scholars formed to edit at sword point, and back stabbings, both literal and figuratively. Yet, none of this is taught in churches or Sunday Schools, even today!
It’s a wonder we have the Gospels that we do! (And I like to include some of the “Lost Gospels” like the Gospel of Thomas and Gospel of Mary(Magdalene). I know you don’t emphasize these much, though.
Thanks for sharing your wise thoughts!
P. S. Really liked your recent podcast with Dr. Gary Schwartz!
Hello dear Michael! Heh – it was Gary’s idea that he interview me, and I thought he did a wonderful job. He is a sweet and playful man at heart.
And of course it was studying the early councils in college that seems to have begun my disillusionment. We got into the details in college classes as people never do in Sunday school, and all those councils were as venal and appalling as you suggest!
I love the non-canonical Gospels, too. If it had been up to me, I would have included at least the Gospel of Thomas. I did suggest it, meekly, toward the end of the writing, but I was turned down flat. It is only now, as I see the way Liberating Jesus is affecting readers, that I begin to understand the greater wisdom of the actual Author. He is speaking directly to Christians most of all, and those are the Gospels that they will accept. He is taking the precious teachings that they have had in their hands for two thousand years and using just those words to teach Christians freshly.
The Master seemed to want me to subtitle the book His “new revelation.” I heard that in my mind a number of times, but He didn’t write it except in the last Appendix. Now I tell people that it’s “His new revelation, which is just the same as His old revelation.” That seems to break the ice a bit!
I really do not understand how you can place so much faith in something that has been re-written, re-interpreted by so many people, especially for personal political agenda,… ie, “The King James VERSION””…. Henry the VIII also re-wrote the bible for his own purposes… How can this be “believable”.
Also,… what about people who commit suicide…. how is this viewed in the next level??
Thank you for two great questions, Chris!
1) I absolutely agree that it seems to be impossible for us to have the actual words of Jesus today. And the King James version is nothing that I would recommend; I suggest that people read modern translations of the Gospels (i.e. 20th-century) exclusively. I wouldn’t consider the Gospels words of Jesus to be trustworthy if I had not spent decades studying the afterlife evidence, and then built from the testimony of hundreds of people who have completed their deaths (not NDEs) a pretty detailed understanding. Then I found that Jesus told us 2000 years ago important things about God, reality, death, the afterlife, and the meaning and purpose of our lives that we could not have confirmed until now, when at last we have the afterlife evidence assembled. Dear Chris, for that to happen accidentally is statistically nearly impossible! And since you are right about the unlikelihood of our having the true words of Jesus today, I am coming to realize that all these correspondences are indeed a literal miracle. They give us nothing less than a new revelation from God.
2) Those who kill themselves will determine how their suicides are viewed, since the only afterlife judge is oneself. They seem generally to focus not on the death itself, but on the reasons that they committed the act. In general, sub-adults, the elderly, and those with terminal illnesses seem not to judge themselves harshly at all, but people who kill themselves at midlife because they couldn’t face some obstacle that they themselves had planned into that lifetime often have a lot of trouble forgiving themselves. My strong recommendation is AGAINST suicide, since those who judge themselves harshly often come right back with the same kind of life-obstacle, but this time they make it even worse!
Thank you Roberta,… I absolutely agree with both of your answers above.
I think practicing non-judgement is THE hardest task we have as humans… it seems impossible, however with time and effort it can be done.
I just hope that my friends didn’t judge themselves to harshly… they were both amazing people. Maybe they did not realize how hard of a task they had taken on. So sad…
So well said, Chris! For me, the primary reason to learn to practice radical forgiveness while here is that doing so prepares us to be ready for the hardest forgiveness task of all: that post-death moment when we will be shown how we have affected all the people in our lives, and told that it is time to forgive ourselves.
I am confident that they are fine now, dear, especially if they were young. But you’re right: they likely thought that by killing themselves they were putting an end to their pain. But they were not. When I hear from people who want to bargain me into helping them decide that they can with impunity kill themselves, I tell them that the primary problem with killing your body is that it is impossible to kill your mind!
Someone mentioned ‘following divine law’, but I take it from what you’ve said Roberta that there is no such thing?
Oh dear Barb, divine law is absolute! It governs the physics of the greater reality; it is central to everything that is. Jesus reveals it in the Gospels:
“You shall love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. In that consists all the law and the prophets.” AMEN!!
I would like to know if anyone has connected with Paul, the apostle, to discover what he actually wrote, and what he now believes.
Hello Loren – What a great question! I have never heard him mentioned as a communicator, but he may be part of the Unity – the people working with Jesus in His efforts on earth, who include major figures like Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. I’m going to try to find out both whether he is active and whether he is willing to answer your question. If I learn more, I will expand this answer.
Thank you for bringing up an interesting area of inquiry!
Thank you, Roberta.