Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing.
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He.
The Lord of hosts His name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
– Martin Luther (1483-1546) from “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (1529)
When we try to consider human history from the viewpoint of the Godhead Itself, we can begin to see the life of Jesus a bit more as the Godhead might see it. Working this out has been a series of revelations. What seem like throwaway lines in the Gospels have a background and a purpose, and the Lord’s core teachings can be traced back to words of the prophets in ways that make sense to us. From a more Godly perspective, the march of human history over the past 200,000 years looks to be spiritually arrow-straight and highly purposeful! If you have the time, please look back at the past articles in this series, in order. What we are trying to understand as deeply as we can and from the perspective of the Creator is the actual process by which this illusory universe has unfolded for humankind. All the invented past as it now exists is the Godhead’s attempt to educate us spiritually, and we know that because the entire history of this universe is freshly created in each micro-instant. So what is in the past is only and completely what the Godhead wants us to find there Now!
Reading the Gospels from this perspective is a great exercise. It reinforces for us even more deeply Who Jesus is in relation to the Godhead. At times, you almost can see His mind working! And it lets you glimpse a little of the Godhead’s thinking while an aspect of the Godhead, having been born in a human body, interacts with people who can have no idea of the miracle they are witnessing. This exploration by itself could fill a book! But we will here consider just a couple of topics. Let’s briefly watch and listen from our amazing new perspective as the Lord goes about His earthly life:
John the Baptist Was Elijah Reincarnated to Fulfill Isaiah’s Prophesy
One of the things that we can do now is to look more closely at the role of John the Baptist. For Christians, the point of the Gospel narrative about the Baptist is that baptism itself is spiritually magical. But when we try to take the Godhead’s perspective, we realize that the ritual is beside the point: it could have been a handshake, a certain kind of hat, or almost anything that John was doing which allowed God to single Jesus out, tie Him to prophesy, and announce that He had come from God and was representing God on earth. There had to be such an anointing moment. Without it, the whole ministry of Jesus might not in retrospect have been seen as sufficiently special to have been marked out and remembered in such a way that even after two thousand years He remains among the world’s most beloved people. Note here that the word “repent” has been changed to “reform your mind,” which is closer to the meaning of the Greek word used. And John also talks about the process that was central to the message of Jesus. John the Baptist declares that the focus of his work and the Lord’s is to bring the kingdom of God (or heaven) on earth. Here is what Matthew says about the Baptist:
Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Reform your mind, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord. Make His paths straight!’” (MT 3:1-3). Jesus says of John after His death, “A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ … For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (MT 11:9-15). Especially note that final appeal for us to listen for a hidden meaning! I am coming to think that the truth of reincarnation is something else that Jesus had wanted to introduce to us, despite the obstacle of listening Temple guards nearby. The Council of Nicaea in 325 reportedly removed from the Gospels all the references to reincarnation it was able to identify, but these more subtle hints remain!
One thing that strikes you now is that Jesus didn’t simply begin to teach, but rather He burst upon the scene when John baptized Him in a tableau that seems to have been divinely scripted. As is true of so much that is in the Gospels, Christianity later added a nonsensical religious gloss by calling this the moment when the Holy Spirit entered Him; but we know now that Jesus was born in that body as a Being already perfected and divine. Here is a description of the Lord’s baptism:
Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (MT 3:13-17). This appears to be the way that God chose to introduce Jesus as being an aspect of the Godhead. Of course, primitive people then took the word “son” literally and created a whole virgin-birth narrative, when what the Godhead seems to be saying is that Jesus is an aspect of God and is acting as God’s emissary.
Later in His ministry Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a mountaintop where they encountered Moses and Elijah. Jesus was there “transfigured,” with His face and clothes shining bright. Then “a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (MT 17:5). Christianity makes this scene all about the Lord’s bodily transfiguration, but in fact He just briefly showed Himself to His disciples in an astral body to match the astral bodies of Moses and Elijah. What was significant about this scene was the Godhead’s reiteration that the teachings of Jesus are the most important part of His mission. And even with that, those teachings are not being taken seriously by Christianity, even today! Jesus told us that His teachings are the point of His mission when He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32). And here we see the Godhead making that same point!
Jesus Was Establishing a Narrative About Who He Was
One of the things worth wondering about is whether Jesus always was aware that He was God on earth. I suspect that, like the rest of us, His life-plan was initially internal and not entirely clear to Him, but He was feeling driven toward it even in childhood. When He was twelve, His parents took Him to Jerusalem for the Passover and He stayed behind when they started for home. They returned to the city and spent three days searching for Him, and they found their little boy in the temple in learned discourse with the teachers there. “When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be about My Father’s business?” (LK 2:48-49)
It seems clear that by the age of thirty Jesus fully understood His unique identity and His very special mission. Several times as He was carrying out His healing and teaching ministry, He asked His disciples who they thought He was, and who people in general thought He was. For example, Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (MT 16:13-16).
As an aspect of the Godhead, Jesus should have been able to discern what people were saying about Him without His having to ask the question! But what He seems to have been doing here was getting them to think about it, and narrowing their possible choices until they themselves could arrive at His true nature. He even argued with their wrong guesses. For example, Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet”’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question (MT 42:41-46).
That Jesus was the promised Christ seems to have been where His followers settled. Then after Jesus was arrested, the elders took Him aside and questioned Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask a question, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am” (LK 22:66-70). So, is this where Jesus finally settled? Knowing as we do now that He came to us as an aspect of the Godhead, and knowing how deferential Spirit actually is to our own thoughts and mindset, it seems possible that He found both “Christ” and “Son of God” to be close enough approximations to a truth that, even today, few people who are now in bodies are perhaps quite ready to understand.
Our five-week-long attempting to look through God’s eyes has taught us to understand God about as well as the cat dozing in your lap understands you. She has no way to envision your trips outside your home, your reasons for changing clothing, or what you are doing now on your computer. All she has learned about you is that you are worthy of her trust. You meet her needs. You are infinite kindness and perfect love. And that is quite a bit, as we think about it. Perhaps it is all that really matters.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth.
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also.
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever!
– Martin Luther (1483-1546) from “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (1529)