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Substitutionary Atonement

Posted by Roberta Grimes • June 05, 2021 • 54 Comments
Afterlife Research, Jesus, Understanding Reality

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before!
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle, see his banner go!
– Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), from “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (1865)

Christianity itself is the central obstacle to the advancement of Jesus in the modern world. Jesus is an extraordinary historical figure! His is the only documented instance where an aspect of the genuine Godhead lived among us as a human being in order to better understand what it is to experience human life so He could teach us more clearly how to use our lives to achieve greater spiritual growth. The more we learn about the life of Jesus, the more gigantic that life becomes! God chose to be born as a human being. God lived among people as one of us. There never has happened, before or since, an event so extraordinary, so flat-out cosmic.

Please pause now and really think about this. As you think, you will find that worlds of amazing and empowering information about what God really is, what you and I are, and the depth and height of God’s perfect love will dawn in you, and will uplift and delight you. We aren’t talking about just some religious ideas! Jesus is a genuine historical figure. There is in fact a Collective of Perfected Beings that continuously manifests what we perceive as reality. And Jesus is of the highest aspect of that Godhead. All of this is TRUE. God chose to be born on earth out of love for each of us individually. You can sit like the Buddha in lotus position and contemplate this simple set of facts, and your heart will swell with joy. The name of Jesus has been widely known for almost two thousand years, but it is only now that we understand enough of what actually is going on to be able to start to appreciate what a truly gigantic figure He is!

But even to this day, very few people have any awareness of the genuine Jesus. He is silenced and belittled by the very people who claim to most revere Him. The Christian religion doesn’t teach what Jesus taught, except in vague and general terms; but instead, it teaches a barbaric doctrine that is the opposite of what Jesus taught, and also the opposite of everything that we now know about the Godhead. That brutal doctrine is the reason why our churches are filled with instruments of torture, why so many Christians are afraid of death, and why the most devout Christians so often seem to be truly unpleasant people, insular and judgmental of others. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Christian scholars refer to that despicable core Christian doctrine as “substitutionary atonement.” It is the primary teaching of the Christian religion, this notion that Jesus came to sacrifice Himself to God on a cross as a substitute for us, and His sacrifice means that if we are Christians we can escape God’s judgment and condemnation. Without the Lord’s sacrificial death, God would not forgive us even for Adam’s sin, and God certainly wouldn’t forgive us for our own sins. Incredibly, that barbaric set of beliefs is the core and heart of the religion that actually was named for Jesus! He told us two thousand years ago that the genuine God is perfect love, but even today the Christian God continues to demand that we claim participation in the torture and murder of God’s own Son or God will send us straight to hell. Please pause now and think about this. Was there ever a more petty, sadistic, and venal human-made idea than that? Was there ever any idea that more completely went against the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ than the notion that God needs to see Him murdered before God can forgive us for being human?

Christian theologians have tried in various ways to put lipstick on this pig of an idea. Some have turned the study of the Gospels into a mere technical study of their words, with little effort made to use those words to better understand the events of that truly remarkable life that God spent on earth. Others have celebrated the concept of substitutionary atonement as the culmination of Old Testament law, and  challenged squeamish modern Christians to get past the off-putting ickiness of it and embrace it as God’s most powerful gift. But most Christians just try to accept it without having to think too much about it. Jesus is each Christian’s get-out-of-hell-free card. To question that is to risk damnation, so anyone who questions it must be cast away from Christian society and ignored.

I have heard from many hundreds of lapsed Christians over the past decade. Most of them were in their fifties or older, many had been lifelong members of one of the primary Christian denominations, and nearly all of them had fallen away from church attendance for one main reason. They no longer found the primary Christian teachings to be believable. That image of God as a loving Father Who nevertheless wants to watch His Son being tortured and murdered may have made sense to more primitive people. But it makes no sense whatsoever now.

And it is all bogus, anyway. It’s a set of entirely human-made notions, with no connection to the genuine Godhead. Christianity features the patriarchal and cranky human-made God of the Hebrew Old Testament, which bears not even a passing resemblance to our perfectly loving Godhead. And the Christian dogma of substitutionary atonement is solidly rooted in the basic Old Testament concept of providing sin offerings so the Hebrew God will forgive us for our shortcomings (see, e.g., Lev 4&5 and Num 6). We know where it comes from! And more to the point, we know that it is anathema to the glorious God on earth Who is Jesus the Christ. Let’s see how the basic Christian teachings that are attendant on substitutionary atonement directly contradict the words of Jesus. Christianity teaches that:

  • We are all fallen and sinful by nature. Nearly all versions of Christianity teach that every human being inherits Adam’s sin that was committed when he disobeyed God and ate that dastardly apple. But Jesus Himself was so casual about sin that we have speculated here that He might in fact have been trying to wean us from the notion of sin altogether, although with Temple spies so often nearby He couldn’t say that plainly. Jesus freely forgave sins as He healed people (see MT 9:2-7), dined and spent time with sinners (MT 9:11), was casual about breaking religious rules (MK 2:23-28), and informed us that His ministry was actually primarily to sinners (LK 5:32).
  • God judges us for our sins. If God doesn’t judge us, then the whole notion that God needs a sacrifice in order to forgive us goes right out the window. And in fact, Jesus tells us directly that God doesn’t judge us. He says, “For not even the Father judges anyone” (JN 5:22). This statement from the Lord is amply confirmed by the testimony of the not-really-dead; and since it has always been in the Gospel of John, the whole bogus idea of substitutionary atonement never should have gotten started in the first place. Sadly, though, no such luck.
  • Without the sacrifice of Jesus, we would go to hell. It is a plain truth known and verified now in abundant ways that there is no fiery hell, and no eternal damnation. Case closed!

There is no justification whatsoever for any professed Christian to continue to believe that “Jesus died for our sins.” Or needed to. That may have made perfect sense to iron-age primitives who worshiped a human-made and human-shaped God, and it might have made at least a modicum of sense to Medieval monkish scholars who had no way to get better information. But now it makes no sense at all. Christians can justify substitutionary atonement only for the sake of Christianity’s longstanding tradition. And what would Jesus have to say about that?

“Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? … You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (15:3, 7-9). Ouch.

You cannot objectively sit down and read the four canonical Gospels without realizing that Jesus was trying to wean us from outmoded religious ideas and help us to begin a new and more intimate relationship with Spirit. What else can He have meant when He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8). I think it even can be argued that He was trying to abolish the idea of religions as outmoded by His Gospel teachings, but we needn’t go that far to see that He was trying to do some religious housecleaning! And He plainly considered His Gospel teachings – the same teachings that Christians now largely ignore – to have been the heart and core of His mission on earth. 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). Doesn’t it strike you now that His saying He had come to give us the “truth” that will “set you free” is rather a curious thing, if Christianity is right, and all He really was about was redeeming us from God’s judgment?

The Gospel teachings of Jesus on love and forgiveness are not just the easy platitudes that Christianity has made them out to be. When He gave us those teachings, no one could have known that we come to earth to raise our consciousness vibrations away from fear and toward more perfect love, and that the Lord’s teachings are the most effective way to achieve the most rapid spiritual growth. But we know that now! And since we know that, we also now can see that the fear-based teachings of Christianity, based as they are in a false notion of God, have become the literal enemy of the genuinely saving work of Jesus as He teaches us ever more perfect love. Next week we will courageously consider the most fear-based Christian teaching of all….  

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod;
We are not divided; all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
– Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), from “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (1865)

Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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54 thoughts on “Substitutionary Atonement

  1. Roberta, This is the deepest and most powerful commentary yet, The Christian religion imposes a fake guilt for past sin and offers a get out of Hell card for simply accepting on faith that obedience to church doctrine is the primary deed, whereas the primary deed is simply honoring the Golden Rule, just as Christ tells folks having an NDE. Because Heaven, in which we enjoy our eternal existence, is free of stressors of any kind, there is no compelling opportunity for spiritual growth. Earth life cannot logically just be some other place to have a brief mortal life away from Heaven. Life as a mortal on Earth is designed to produce stresses that cannot exist in the bliss of Heaven, and the stress of mortal life’s is what provides the opportunity for spiritual growth. We ought not be expecting to make Earth into Heaven, although that is a noble goal.

    1. Thanks, Jack! I agree that this is an important blog entry. I will have more to say in a separate comment later.

      I just want to add that I agree it is a noble goal to make heaven on earth. I do think it is possible. However, I think most of the work now needs to be done with help on the “other side.” Dr. Craig Hogan refers to this experience that we perceive as incarnation as Earth School. Roberta has in other blog entries called it a spiritual gym. School has many kinds of course offerings. Gym has one. I always hated gym as a kid. I liked sports and I liked exercise, but I hated gym because of the way it was conceived and formatted.

      I think many soul groups in their zeal to “pump up” are creating gym programs for themselves that are the torturous curricula of Planet Fitness.

      There is a broad diversity of service, seminars, internships and research to be done in Earth School as Craig Hogan puts it. I now realize that much of what my beloved spirit guide was recruiting me and others on my soul team for was Earth School but here I put myself in the one class I hate!

      1. Dear Mike, most teachers in this field call life on earth a school, rather than a gym. It really is more like a school, but it also really is more like a gym, and this fact that two contrasting things are true simultaneously is actually more common in this field than you would imagine; or some things are individually simultaneously true and not true. The more I do this work, the more I get glimpses of just how much more powerful our minds are at understanding complex concepts once we are back in our right minds.

        Life on earth is more like a school, for example, in that we come here to learn much more in spiritual terms than we can learn when we are away from earth’s stressors; and it is more like a gym, in that the whole point of coming here is those stressors, which simply do not and cannot exist beyond materiality. I think the problem is the fact that neither word or concept really fits!

        1. I agree about the failure of human language and its ability to deal with this and other realities. Craig Hogan does a good job in his latest book (others do a good job too, but Hogan just did a presentation sponsored by the Zammits, so he’s fresh in my mind) conveying what, as you point out, are complex complex to this experience that we perceive as incarnation, but simply natural from the perspective of the Eternal Mind.

          1. Dear Mike, Craig Hogan really is amazing! He has done four books this year (one is a rewrite/reissue of Your Eternal Self), and all four of them are great. I am excited to add them to my Fun books bibliographies!

    2. Dear Jack, it’s very sweet of you to say this one is deep and powerful! I wrestled with it more than usual – I knew what it was supposed to say in general terms, but it didn’t come together until Saturday morning. And then it was clearly channeled, because it ended up being very different from what I had thought we were writing. I have come to rely on the fact that he will backstop me that way. If ever we skip a week, it will be because he is on vacation!

      Yes, life on earth is supposed to be hard! We come here eager for that. Psyched for it. Determined to shine when things here get touch, which is something that most people going through touch times flat cannot believe. Thomas has even expressed frustration about that – just as it probably frustrates all our guides: the fact that we simply forget what’s really going on, and by design. I have come to think from things that he has said, and things that Mikey Morgan has said, that rejoining our vast, eternal minds really does bring a gigantic difference in our perspective on everything!

  2. Dear Roberta!
    Yes! I totally agree with Jack! For years, I held this notion that Jesus came from “the highest aspect of God” but didn’t fully logically comprehend, only felt it. In addition, two days ago, I told Jesus in prayer that though I still harbored “worry” about heaven and hell and all doctrine I was taught, I also just could not go back to it. Then I asked to know the “real” Jesus, without the trappings of religion and all its dogma and doctrine. I felt sad that I couldn’t “get close “ to this Jesus I had learned of through my church, because he didn’t feel “right” or loving or real. It no longer matters to me what family thinks or believes. I read this today and I feel a resounding “YES!” In fact, I sat up saying “I knew it!” Thank you for this brilliant and truthful writing today! I am grateful!

    1. Oh my dear Fran, Thomas is due all your thanks on this one! He does know Jesus, and he does get it, so whatever you are taking from what he has written above is his gift to you much more than it is mine.

      I think that for us to know Jesus individually depends on His making the effort to tone down His energy by a lot! And when He doesn’t do that, to be in His presence is like being in the presence of the sun, very close: it is overwhelming.

      But the point you are making is a great one. The Jesus we encounter in Christianity isn’t even the toned-down real Jesus. It is a paper figure of a pure martyr, without even the personality of a full human being. To be the sin offering without blemish that the old Mosaic law requires, Jesus can’t even be as interesting and in-depth and believable as a normal human being would be – he can only be perfect. He is allowed to have one facet only – complete purity, not a single blemish – and the result is this paper figure we have trouble relating to. We cannot know the “real” Jesus because the church’s doctrine makes Him so unrelatable!

      But there was a time when He let me see Him feeling vulnerable, and five years later I find that is what I hold in my heart most of all. For the two weeks when He channeled Liberating Jesus I had that enormous, extraordinary energy in my mind – toned down by a lot, Thomas assured me, but still so big that He occupied all of my mind and I could do nothing more than to function as His word-processor. But then, in the second week, I think He let me have a glimpse of what He was thinking. He was’t talking to me. He was talking to humankind as He wrote. He thought, and in a voice of frustration, “You say you love Me. Then listen to Me!”

      OMG. God said that. Just thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes.

      1. Roberta, thank you sharing that cherished and special experience with Jesus.
        I am very grateful for Thomas’ persistence and desire to share wisdom and your willingness to bring us this wisdom.

        1. My dear Fran, I am grateful to Thomas too, for so many things. I know that sometimes my thickness exasperates him, but still he carries on! And still he is loving and supportive. I couldn’t be the same if I were in his place, I don’t think. Thank you for giving him a shout-out!

  3. Jesus is very clear that we do not need a middleman and rather than blame everything on word misinterpretation, I feel that down and out lies were added to his teachings in order to generate fear for the purpose of control. This, of course, led to more and more money for the Vatican, which is now worth an estimated 12 to 15 billion dollars. You can’t accumulate that kind of money by telling people that it isn’t necessary to have a church or a priest to act as a middleman so that God will forgive our sins.

    1. Dear Lola, you have captured what to me is the very essence of what is so wrong with Christianity, and indeed with all human religions. They are about earthly power – symbolized by money, in this case – and therefore they are about (and can only be about) the power of some people over other people. My husband and I and one of our daughters were talking about this just yesterday!

      I can get rather heated where the Catholic church is concerned, perhaps mostly because I still love it so its shortcomings especially pain and infuriate me. So my husband and daughter kindly pointed out to me that, yes, the Church has money, but throwing money at the poor has been shown not to be of much help. And I said, “Don’t you see, that is not the point! Jesus told the rich young man to give his wealth away and follow the Lord. That money itself is a burden! It separates people. It is spiritual dross, a spiritual handicap, worth less than nothing!” So they tried to change the subject, politely and kindly. If I have any real wealth, it’s these beautiful people in my life 🙂

      1. I have to wonder why your daughter thinks that the church is so generous and throws money to the poor. The truth is that there is very little money given to the poor by the church. Besides, money does in most cases separate people as you pointed out.

        1. Oh, of course she doesn’t think the church gives away too much! Effectively, it gives almost nothing. And like her brother and sister, she was reared by a troubled Catholic mother so she is not religious now at all. No, but we all are aware that any effort to spend a lot of money to “help” the poor quickly becomes just a bureaucratic mess. President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” actually did so much harm – the worst of which was destroying so many intact families – and did so little to uplift anyone that we would have to say that poverty won.

          Yes, there is far too wide a gap between even the upper middle class and the poor! But taking money away from those who have worked hard and earned it is not the answer. Surely the answer must be to improve education and opportunities for the poorest among us, so they can have the joy of working hard, too, and succeeding mostly on their own!

          1. Absolutely. Helping with just money alone is only a temporary solution and achieves nothing.

  4. Roberta, it’s very timely that this subject of paying for the sins of our fathers in order to obtain the “get out of hell free” card is brought up today, when you wrote:

    “Nearly all versions of Christianity teach that every human being inherits Adam’s sin that was committed when he disobeyed God and ate that dastardly apple.”

    I realize that this forum is not conducive to political issues of the day, but bear with me because I have a question for you. I just had a conversation with a friend last night about the idea of reparations. This may seem a far-fetched subject, but I am learning to pay attention to messages that may come in unexpected ways. The fact that this conversation from last night was heavy on my mind this morning and then I read your blog, only to hear the same message coming through in a different format, was astounding to me.

    My question for you is: Does the idea of original sin and our needing to atone for that sin send the same message that is being offered up today in the form of our being told that we must make reparations for the sins of our fathers?

    Thank you for your uplifting and cogent messages. I look forward to reading them every Sunday.

    1. Dear Janelle, you make an interesting point! I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. My first reaction was that they are different, and I came up with reasons why they are different, but now I realize that they are pretty much the same since both spring from the very human ideas that sin even exists, that humans are capable of spotting what is sinful, and that human-designated sin is a form of cooties that attaches to descendants and must therefore be cleansed away by actions of those descendants. And even can be cleansed away! Yep, you’re right. It’s the same human idea, and nonsensical and counterproductive in both cases.

      Original sin cooties and slaver cooties are two things that don’t really exist. The very notion that sin of any kind exists seems to be just a human idea – we have talked about it elsewhere in this blog – and the more we focus on “sin,” the more we lower our consciousness vibration so all of it is utterly counterproductive. The idea of sin is therefore questionable, and it’s even more questionable in the case of a newborn child of someone who did something bad! What, now it’s genetic?

      And how do you trace it? My ancestors all happened to come here from Denmark around the start of the 20th century. We have zero American slaver cooties. But we likely do have abundant Viking cooties. To whom do we pay reparations for those??

      1. Roberta: I have “Viking” cooties as well (Sweden). Does that mean we are responsible for the actions of the Vikings? I also have Irish cooties as well. It sounds beyond ridiculous to me that we carry over “the sins of our fathers” I agree that another word should be used instead of the word “sin.” That is definitely a man made concept. Maybe original sin means that we are born with a tendency to make mistakes. If so, then that makes sense. Certainly, no one can seriously think that all the atrocities caused over centuries of time occurred because Eve ate an apple!

        1. Dear Lola, I am coming to think that the whole idea of “sin” is man-made. We know now that we come into earth-lives specifically to raise our consciousness vibrations, and of course any mistake we make that hurts others – every “sin” – itself is also fear-based and negative in the very act. So to label it negative doesn’t contribute to our spiritual growth at all, does it? Indeed, it makes it worse. Now, between the two individuals it seems to help for the wrongdoer to make amends – the Eastern term for this is “karma.” But karma isn’t punishment. It’s an effort at improving both wrongdoer and wronged. More and more, I think that even to label something a “sin” is spiritually harmful, and therefore a lineage sin is obviously a man-made and bogus idea!

      2. Hello, Roberta Grimes.
        Jason decided to get on his dragon, with his trusty eagle and serpent for company, and come over. I am noticing traces of A Course In Miracles with this answer. I notice I am moving a bit slow in the lessons, about to start Lesson 29, but have a question about the Course in this practical matter. Unlike the Vikings, this animosity in race relations (ie. Tulsa Race Massacre, the Tuskegee syphyllis experiment, the recent killings by the police) seems to be the gift that keeps on giving, that refuses to stay in the past. Does A Course in Miracles have any suggestions about this situation, or should one look at another map?

  5. While I am on board with all your comments, it often appears we are a little too harsh on Christian religions in general. For example, what can be said about passages like “You are Peter and Upon ths Rock I will build my Church and …”
    Hearing such words adds some sympathy to my negative feelings for organized religions.

    1. Dear Tom, thank you for bringing this up here! There were a number of things that were added to the canonical Gospels by the later church councils (mostly First Nicaea in 325), and this passage is the easiest to spot of all those later additions. Here it is:

      “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (MT 16:18-19).

      Jesus never said it! How do we know that? Here are some of the ways:

      1) The word “Petros” for “stone” is Greek, while Jesus spoke Aramaic. So this is a great Greek pun, but in Aramaic it would have been nonsensical.

      2) Jesus never elsewhere talks about wanting to establish any religion, never mind a “church,” and in fact He spoke strongly against building a religion based on his words (we have talked about those passages here in several posts).

      3) There is no hell (or Hades), and it has no gates. And Jesus knew that, but the churchmen in 325 did not.

      4) The kingdom of heaven emphatically does not have or need “keys.” Spiritual power doesn’t work that way. Again, Jesus knew that but later church leaders did not.

      5) Nowhere ever does Jesus even hint at giving spiritual power to earthly religious leaders! Quite the contrary. He never would have said that what fallible human beings might do would be “bound in heaven.” Even if none of the above were problems, these words would be a gigantic red flag.

      One of the purposes of First Nicaea was to turn a loose and varied spiritual movement into a formal religion, and to do that the councilors had to find ways to tie what they were doing back to Jesus. They added every bit of this passage, and fortunately they were clumsy enough about it that its falsity is clear!

      1. I love your last paragraph, as it kind of answers a lot of questions about the contradictory statements in some parts of the bible. In this way they could convince people that Jesus himself said these things. I guess that was the only way they could incorporate him into a church type scenario and make him into a rather scary person – someone to fear. Not only that, but he was the one and only way that people could gain access to heaven

        1. Dear Lola, I have praised God a thousand times that First Nicaea didn’t do even more harm than it did! We have the testimony of upper-level beings, who tell us that while things were taken out – they say it was mostly references to reincarnation – nothing was added that isn’t obvious (and it’s also mostly grouped toward the back). Everything they added was fear-based (End Times, judgment, and sheep-and-goats) or related to church building. Given its age and the fact that it spent two thousand years in potentially adversarial custody, the testimony of the Gospels is amazingly true!

          1. Roberta where exists a version of the 4 books of the New Testament that have not been corrupted by the Nicaea council?

  6. Hi Roberta and everyone. It seems like a good “substitutionary atonement” would be to substitute in the original meaning of atonement, which is unity or at-ONE-ment, as what Jesus came to bring us – that God is one, and that we are all therfore one with God and each other as part of that one universal field of consciousness, spiritual brothers and sisters who should love God and each other perfectly, rather than for Jesus to be
    a sacrificial goat to carry away our sins, like what Christian dogma turned him into. That get out of hell free card obscured the need to truly understand and follow his teachings, to learn the truth, and to be set free. The Church wasn’t into freedom, but rather power, domination, and wealth.

    1. Scott– you nailed it. Interesting too to see you referring to the “universal field of consciousness,” as that is the very phrasing that I use to describe how personal consciousness functions in Heaven so the we are always in communication with God and each other.

      1. This is an interesting point, my dear Jack. Those newly arrived in the afterlife have found it fascinating and very convenient that communication is by mind to the point where it seems to be something like a mental internet. If you would like to attend an early Elvits concert, for example, you just think that, and when one is about to happen in Lithuania or on Mars or wherever (their astral mimics, of course), you are given to know that. You are then whisked to it, front-row-center! This whole “universal field of consciousness” thing is very handy indeed!

    2. Dear Scott, as you point out, building trains of thought on basic misunderstandings only further obscures whatever understandings there might have been at their base. Our universal at-one-ment is indeed the ultimate goal of all the teachings of Jesus! But the biggest tragedy of all that early church-building seems really to be that the church’s need to give some people power over others in order to build its own power seems to have made such a complete botch of that. 🙁

  7. Could someone define the word church, it seems to go back to Greek.
    So what would Jesus have originally actually said to Peter.

    How often we use that word rock about people as being worthy, dependable, always there to lean on.

    I got to ‘calling out to’ perhaps Peter had a very loud voice that people listened to, what if it were a joke, so many what ifs.

    To me, large expensive buildings with a very hierarchical group with strict rules, does not gel with a man teaching love and a very personal relationship with dad, our father. Wandering around a lake eating heads of corn on the sabbath. Breaking the social rules too, mixing with all whatever the status. Story telling that everyone understood at the level of their own understanding but with hidden meanings to those could really hear.

    I am enjoying your writing and the groups replies, Roberta thank you.

    1. Dear Maureen, of course you are right that the use of the word “church” in that quotation about Peter is indeed another “tell” that this passage is from the later Greek, and never was said in Aramaic. I didn’t say that in my comment above because it isn’t a pun – it is just a word that doesn’t have a direct Aramaic counterpart. But in fact, Jesus said none of this. It appears to have been entirely added, whole-cloth.

      And you are getting, too, the whole vibe to be found in the teachings of Jesus – it’s subtle perhaps, but distinctly there. He couldn’t do what perhaps He might have wanted to do, just stand up and speak plainly, but in every way that He could He certainly showed that all people are alike, that religious rules are to be broken, and that God is not the stern king of the old Hebraic Law but rather God is more like your own lovable Dad. He did what He could do in those times, and He did it creatively.

      We enjoy having you with us, too, Maureen. Thank you for your thoughtful comments!

  8. “You say you love Me. Then listen to Me!”

    Roberta, when you first told me you heard Jesus say this, I gasped. Perhaps I felt something of the vastness and the sheer vital importance of this clarion call to us from Our Lord Jesus. Surely this is the whole point of His life events and teachings while He was on earth with us! Certainly this is the reason for the Spirit’s miraculous preservation of Jesus’ key message, despite all the human tampering and twisting of the New Testament, and the fashioning of the new Roman religion of Christianity from 325AD onwards. Jesus the Christ is The Teacher and we were meant to listen to Him and take His precious teachings to heart.

    And it occurs to me dear Roberta, that the only way to truly learn something – to really get it – is to LIVE it.

    I guess that is why we come to Earth School or Earth Gym; we live through all the joys and sadness, all the triumphs and losses, and only then do we truly learn. Then we go Home changed; hopefully brighter and closer to Oneness with Spirit.

    It may be that the guy who has been homeless for years really understands the meaning of ‘home’ when he gets housed at last. The woman who has lived alone for decades truly gets the value of ‘life partner’ or ‘husband’ after years of having no one with whom to share her life. The teen who beats cancer after harrowing radiotherapy has really understood ‘courage.’

    So I’m compelled from within to ensure that I listen to Jesus and truly LIVE love, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, faith and yielding my ego to Him. Sure, I’ll stuff it up at times and fall short, but I know that I need to take His words to heart and not allow the whole thing to become a mental exercise. Reducing such teachings to soothing platitudes uttered in comfortable settings, among agreeable folk cannot be the ends to which these key teachings are put.

    Jesus will show me the Way, this I know. And the first steps are taken when I exemplify these sacred teachings from the inside out – whatever it takes.
    😉🙏🏼🌅

    1. Oh my dear Efrem, such wise words! I don’t profess to understand quite how this process of spiritual growth works, but forgiveness seems to come first: it feels like throwing off ballast, so we begin to rise naturally. And the gym effect I think is really noticeable – we turn away from and push against negative stressors, and thereby we grow our positive energies. But as you say, there are other elements, too. The man who has been homeless does appreciate his home much more! The person who has been jilted in love will all the more appreciate real love and caring when he finds it. At this basic stage, raising our consciousness vibrations feels almost mechanical; but at higher levels, it looks to be more a deepening of understanding, a richer shading of awareness. At the level of the Godhead, I cannot imagine how finely tuned our consciousness must be! So when I clearly heard Him speak those words in my head – and I imagined Him feeling frustrated that He had taught this basic stuff two thousand years ago, and now here He was back having to explain it again – I thought it was the most poignant thing imaginable. So touching, And in the love that it showed for us all, so beautiful.

  9. The idea of universal consciousness is so mind boggling! Especially the idea that we are all connected with God and with each other, as mentioned above by Dr. Hiller.. Of course most people don’t realize this. Like any other idea that gets ignored, it won’t work for us unless we become aware of it and utilize it in our lives. I think that this is the most important of all truths

    1. My dear Lola, this likely is indeed the most important of all truths, but there is so much evidence of it that I find it hard to believe that there is anyone who doesn’t yet see the sense of it! Clearly, those who have returned home can see that it is obviously true: our minds there are deeply connected always, and we generally communicate by mind. So much plain fun awaits us when we at last get to go home!

      1. I can’t believe it either. It seems odd to me that many won’t accept a universal consciousness, but will believe without question that Jesus came here to be tortured and killed for our sins

        1. Lola, the reality of universal consciousness is misunderstood. Differentiation is not separation, but it nonetheless is individual identity. People confuse Oneness with erasure of identity—a fate worse than death?

          1. Dear Mike, the fear of loss of individuality has been a tremendous barrier to people’s understanding. Maybe forty years ago, when I was first beginning to get what is going on, I encountered in the afterlife literature and at conferences what they called “the second death.” It was optional – you didn’t have to accept the second death – but if you did, then you would be extinguished as an individual. You would lose awareness and become only energy forevermore. And, what was the second death? It was merger with God, which would happen if you advanced above the top of the sixth level.

            I didn’t realize how much of a core fear that had become for me until I was trying to get past what my Course in Miracles study group called “the extinction of the ego.” It was really just the vanquishing of the ego’s fear of extinction, but the ego fights it hard; and my ego was terrified of that second death! Worst time of my life, to be frank.

            Then one morning I woke up hearing Thomas say, “You will never lose awareness. You will have God’s awareness.” And my ego promptly deflated like a balloon.

            We now know, of course, that even the Godhead is individual awarenesses that have become so spiritually advanced that they function as one Godhead. Jesus came to earth from the Godhead, functioned normally in a body, and returned to the Godhead, where He still is one awareness. But still, some of that fear of loss of awareness that I think everyone had 40 years ago is in the background for most people. Fortunately, from my own experience, I also think that last fear will be easy to vanquish!

          2. True, Mike. We are all different expressions of this universal consciousness, but to many people, oneness would mean that we lose our individuality and that we would have to become cookie cutter versions of one another – something the ego would never allow.

        2. My dear Lola, humanity has an innate craving for reunion with the eternal Godhead. I think it might come from our subconscious memory of Home, and it is the reason why religions have for so long been able to exert such a hold on us! Primitive people were therefore easily indoctrinated and led by religions, while without that craving there would have been more resistance. And when leaders added fear of God – which I think is easily inspired in people because we innately fear separation from the Godhead in the same way that a suckling infant fears separation from its mother, so we fear the Godhead’s power to separate Itself from us – then the hold that religions have long had upon us is easy to understand! I think that the fact that humankind is turning away from religions now is just what you point out: the fact that what we are being asked to believe is so unbelievable. But we still crave God! We still fear separation from God! So what I consistently hear from people who have been living their lives as Christians but are falling away now is that they can’t believe the Christian teachings but they love Jesus more than ever. I think basically that humankind is finally outgrowing its ability to believe without question, but we never will lose our core-deep craving for reunion with the Godhead.

          1. I totally agree. People are slowly coming to realize that Christianity in and by itself has nothing at all to do with the teachings of Jesus. In the past, it was insinuated that if you followed the teachings of a certain religion, you would be guaranteed “salvation” (whatever that means), but in the newer way of thinking, God accepts everyone, and there is no need to jump through certain hoops set up by man made rules which differ from one religion to another (each thinking that theirs is the correct one),

  10. Roberta, I cannot thank you enough for your detailed response to my question about Peter and the Church. I will definitely keep it for future reference.

    1. Dear Tom, that passage used to bother me, too!. I was sure it didn’t fit, but I had to do some research to really figure out why. My Thomas is particularly bothered by it, actually – he considers it to be an insult that the council tried to pull off such a blatant falsehood!

  11. Dearest Roberta,

    I can attest to this: “The Gospel teachings of Jesus on love and forgiveness are not just the easy platitudes that Christianity has made them out to be.” Recently I was reading “Liberating Jesus”, in particular this sentence: “If you believe that you have harmed someone during this lifetime, you would be well advised to apologize now and seek forgiveness. Otherwise, there is evidence that you may find it impossible to move on.” I was stung reading this as an incident where I gave my daughter a whack came to mind. I felt I had to ask her for forgiveness via eMail, which is the way we corresponded in the COVID-19 episode.

    I went ahead and asked her forgiveness knowing that she might not forgive me and even the possibility that she would forward my email to the assistant attorney general who handles that sort of abuse. Fairly soon I got this from her: “Apology accepted and forgiveness granted.”

    Since then I have been reminded of other incidents that need to be forgiven. When you wrote that this was not easy, I agree 100%

    Yours,

    Cookie

    1. Oh my dear Cookie, I am so glad that your daughter is wise and compassionate! And fortunately, I have discovered that the more we apologize for big and little things the easier it becomes. And the better it feels to do it. When you are used to offering quick apologies, you start wanting to do it! Apologizing feels like gladly setting down a burden. You feel light and free. And do you know, for all times I have apologized in the decades since I began to make a habit of it, even in cases where I had honestly screwed up, I cannot remember a single instance when someone said they couldn’t forgive whatever I had done!

  12. Quote from above: “…contemplate this simple set of facts, and your heart will swell with joy.”

    Implicit in the true nature of who Jesus was is the fact that God is humanity and humanity is God. Against the traditional Biblical teachings over many many centuries (time measured only by human construct), this sounds like blasphemy.

    But the differentiation of our human experience from the Godhead is not the same as separation from it. The act of Creation and the Created are the same. What a tiny identity we have constructed for our human purpose when we separate ourselves from this fact of our Divine Oneness.

    Were we to truly contemplate it, as the original post — and previous posts before this week’s — points out, we would find all that is dogma to be very odd indeed.

    1. Dear Mike, you are entirely right: the very concept of dogmas is now outmoded, and has been outmoded by Jesus the Christ. Dogmas are ideas that must be accepted, without proof of their validity and even without any verifiable connection to the Godhead – and they are as outmoded now as is using horses to provide all our transportation.

      Now we have the genuine, verifiable truth about what is going on! We have the truth!! And as Jesus told us it would do, it has so beautifully set us free 🙂

  13. I like that line, Mike – “The act of creation and the created are the same.” It encapsulates the paradox of reality in an intriguing way. It is like an unfolding that goes on and on. And in this process of unfolding, is it that we created ones on this earthly plane are learning to create as well, to be the next unfolding? It reminds me of videos of fractals that just go on and on. In this very dense slow moving reality it is not as obvious. We are like toddlers making stick figures and blobs of color, but at the higher levels “how finely tuned our consciousness must be” as Roberta put it, and our ability to create must be very finely honed as well. What masterpieces might we create then, especially if we do so in collectives, as Roberta states? Creation and created, a beautiful dance of that universal field into differentiation, as you put it, of the seeming, but illusory, I and Thou that goes on forever. Where’s fun and adventure without that differentiation, if the field stays unmanifested?

    1. Oh my dear Scott, this is so wonderfully said! And this dance has been going on for what now seems to have been two hundred thousand years of artificial earth-time. I have tried to think it through, to game it out, and while of course we have just puny earth-minds while we were here, it is possible to imagine that dance. It could have begun with just a flat material plain full of material animals to hunt, and perhaps not even with any light beyond the light of love that illumines the astral plane. Just a tiny Godhead then of perfected Beings, and creation happening freshly in each micro-instant. It is indeed possible to imagine even the order of creation from there, just as it happens in Genesis 1! Solar system, universe, and eventually a Big Bang in our manufactured history that was being freshly created as well in each micro-instant. More and more Beings becoming perfected in this Earth School (as Craig Hogan calls it) and adding their power to the Godhead, until It numbers in the thousands.

      It is possible to imagine it. As Albert Einstein said, we want to imagine God’s thoughts. And we begin to be able to do that. Oh, how he must be enjoying learning those thoughts from his present much better perspective!

  14. “Substitutionary Atonement” is just one of many “pig ideas” in traditional Christianity. As a small (innocent) child in a Christian church, I was told I must recite the prayer below. It wasn’t until I grew up and analyzed the wording, that I realized how preposterous this is. It conveys *nothing* of the sense of love that Jesus is supposed to be about, esp. when a small child believes, from these words, that he/she is a “miserable offender” and “there is no health in us”.

    ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

    1. Oh my dear Ed, I am so sorry! I cannot bear to think of all this fear and self-hatred being rammed into the minds of innocent children, and how it must make Jesus weep! I hope, dear precious friend, that you have managed to get past it enough to know for certain that you have always been, and you still remain, the Godhead’s very best-beloved child!

      1. Roberta: This prayer doesn’t even scratch the surface as far as instilling fear and a sense of worthlessness in vulnerable children (I am referring to my Catholic school experience). The slightest infraction led to condemnation and kids only 6 or 8 years old were made to feel like they were guilty of a major sin. This brainwashes children, and that can last for a lifetime and isn’t easy to get rid of completely, as the best time to promote fear is when a child is under 12.

  15. Ed: This prayer you quoted sounds like the ultimate guilt trip. Following the “desires of our own hearts” is not necessarily sinful

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