Is Bush the Antichrist
With Commentary by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
by Tim Appelo of the Seattle Weekly
The Christian right and the Christian left are engaged in a debate over who 'owns' Jesus—and whether Dubya is a force for good or evil.When President George W. Bush was appointed by five Supreme Court justices in 2000, right-wing Christians sang hosannas for the triumph of God's will over the electorate's. "President Bush is God's man at this hour," said Tim Goeglein, Bush's liaison to evangelicals. Though the Methodist president dishonestly conceals the whole truth about his apocalyptic religious beliefs, he has acted as an evangelist in office. As Esther Kaplan demonstrates in With God on Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush's White House, he's doled out millions to far-right Christian groups, systematically crushed secular left and nonright mainstream organizations from Head Start to the Audubon Society, and replaced policy and scientific experts with comically ignorant yet politically cunning fanatic provocateurs. Out with the American Medical Association, in with the American Family Association. Before Bush, the Internal Revenue Service hounded the Christian Coalition; now that Bush is, in extremist Gary Bauer's opinion, the de facto leader of the Christian Coalition, the government selectively harasses non-Christian groups, and a rightist apparatchik tried to sneak through Congress a bill legitimizing the kinds of politically targeted IRS abuses that would have made Richard M. Nixon proud. Televangelist and onetime presidential candidate Pat Robertson once rallied millions to lobby God for the deaths of liberal Supreme Court justices, recommending prayers for coronaries and cancer. "We ask for miracles!" preached Robertson. Today, the judiciary's Clinton-era moderates haven't even a prayer against the Reagan/Bush rightists. Author Tim LaHaye, whose Left Behind thrillers based on the Bible's "end times" stories are America's best-selling books for adults, once helped destroy the Jack Kemp presidential campaign he co-chaired by demanding 25 percent of government jobs for the Christian right's 25 percent of the population. Today, no way does Bush's "Evangetaliban"—which claims responsibility for winning Bush a second term in 2004—intend to settle for less than 100 percent. But not every follower of the Prince of Peace is shouting amen to Bush/Robertson/Falwell's Killer Christians. Granted, the fastest-growing churches are either evangelical—Bible believers out to win your soul—or fundamentalists, out to bend your soul to their bluenose will and so literal when it comes to the Bible that some insist Christ's parables refer to actual people and events. Fundies also incline to the authoritarianism of Oswald Chambers, the 19th-century Christian whose harsh sermonettes against rational analysis and for a gut response to God Bush reads each morning (perhaps on this Web site: www.gospelcom.net/rbc/utmost). Yet the more love-thy-neighbor-advocating mainstream church is not dead. In The American Prospect magazine, Baptist Sunday school teacher Jimmy Carter charges the fundamentalists with "the abandonment of some of the basic principles of Christianity." And in his brilliant 1997 book, Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity, author Bruce Bawer accuses fundamentalism of replacing Christ's Church of Love with a Church of Law, lamenting "the horrible monster that 20th-century legalistic Christians have made out of their God and Savior and the hateful institution that they have made out of his church." He notes acidly that the movement got its biggest boost in reaction not to the Supreme Court's 1963 school-prayer ban but to the Carter-era IRS crackdown on segregated Christian schools. "The Religious Right didn't grow out of a love of God and one's neighbor—it grew out of racism, pure and simple." "Kids growing up in Church of Law families nowadays think that the only two sins, or at least the only two really, really important ones, are having an abortion and having gay sex," Bawer told Seattle Weekly. "The notion that love, tolerance, and inclusiveness are moral values has been dropped down the memory hole." A soldier in the U.S. Army e-mailed Seattle Weekly, "I'm just a citizen who was raised in a Christian community and is tired of having my values hijacked by a conservative movement that only applies them selectively at home and hardly at all overseas." The soldier asks to remain anonymous. Perversion of Christian Faith? "Bush is one of the key figures leading the church away from Jesus," says Christian author Don Miller, who wrote the nonbluenose Christian best seller Blue Like Jazz. Miller is no pantywaist—he had the balls to run a ministry at Reed College in Portland, Ore., which is so godless that its soccer team is said in campus legend to have once staged a halftime crucifixion in a game against a Christian school. But he couldn't stomach it when, for instance, Texas Gov. Bush not only allowed the execution of his fellow born-again Christian, the penitent ax murderer Karla Faye Tucker, but made vicious fun of her ("Please don't kill me!" Bush said, mocking her prayerful plea for God's mercy). Miller classifies Bush Christians as modern Pharisees—the allegedly proud, rigid, legalistic hypocrites John the Baptist called "a generation of vipers." "The worst condemnation that Jesus has for anybody, I mean the worst, is for Pharisees," says Miller. "If you asked Jerry Falwell who the Pharisees are in our society, they can't point anybody out." There are no mirrors in Bush's church. "People of faith—especially those whose moral values differ from the values exploited this time around—need to figure out a way to be figured into the political landscape," Philadelphia Presbyterian minister Cynthia Jarvis editorialized in The New York Times. "Maybe four years from now, when the number one issue cited by voters in exit polls is again 'moral values,' those values will have something to do with economic justice, racial equality and the peaceable kingdom for which we all were made." But few have preached harder against the Christian right's wrongs than the Rev. Rich Lang of Seattle's Trinity United Methodist Church in Ballard. "This administration is a culture of death, and so is the religious right," says Lang. In his Open Letter to George Bush, published in Real Change, Lang thunders, "You claim Christ but act like Caesar. There is blood all over your hands with the promise of even more blood to come. You sit atop the nations like the Biblical Whore of Babylon openly fornicating with the military men of might." His sermon "George Bush and the Rise of Christian Fascism" (posted like Luther's theses on the church Web site, www.tumseattle.org) rails that "the power and seduction of this administration emerges from its diabolical manipulation of Christian rhetoric . . . the mirror opposite of what Jesus embodied. It is, indeed, the materialization of the spirit of Antichrist: a perversion of Christian faith and practice." Lang is not using "Antichrist" in a tone of bitter sarcasm, as many do. Google "George Bush is the Antichrist," and you'll get a startling list of Web sites that argue the case, but with sardonic intent and whimsical 666-numerological riffs. Unwhimsical pundit Robert Wright, who attended Calvary Baptist in Bush's Midland, Texas, hometown, uses modern science to puzzle out what may be God's plan in his bold book Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny. When he notes in Slate magazine that he supported John Kerry because "He's a long way from being the Messiah, but at least he's not the anti-Christ," Wright says not to take this as gospel. "Obviously, I was kidding—Bush isn't literally the Antichrist. But I do think he could conceivably do some pretty cataclysmic damage to the world. . . ." Even Christian Bush-basher Miller urgently distances himself from the Bush-as- Antichrist meme that's sweeping the Web: "The last thing I want is for someone to say, 'Don Miller thinks Bush is the Antichrist!'" "He's not the Antichrist, he's just a cynical, callous politician," objects Stealing Jesus author Bawer. "I gather some liberal Christians have gone off the rails." He refers to Lang's identification of Bush with the "spirit of Antichrist" warned against in the Bible's 1 John 4:3. "This kind of inane proof texting is the province of the Church of Law types, the right-wing Darbyites," believers in Left Behind–style apocalyptic prophecy. "It's depressing to see it practiced by liberal Christians, too." Bawer is appalled by Bush's attempt, "in the name of Christianity, to add to the Constitution what would be far and away its most un-Christian amendment. But I'm also unsettled by the extreme way in which he's been personally characterized by many people." Granted, Bawer says the right "worships evil," and has "warped Christianity into something ugly and hateful that has little or nothing to do with love and everything to do with suspicion, superstition, and sadism [and] denies the name of Christianity to followers of Jesus who reject its barbaric theology." But "when people start calling somebody the Antichrist, we're in right-wing fundamentalist, Church of Law territory, and I don't like it one bit. . . . Demonizing (literally) individuals in this way is ugly, scary. . . . " Lang, though, stands his ground against his famous accuser, and insists that he's missing some crucial distinctions. "This is not about George Bush, this is about this whole administration. It's about Karl Rove, it's about the neocons, some of whom are Christian, some who aren't, but who are using Christian rhetoric. James Dobson [of Focus on the Family] has direct access to the highest echelons of American government. And Robertson and Falwell." Still, Lang means what he says about Bush. "He has the spirit of the Antichrist. Literally, break the word apart. It is a spirituality that is anti-Christ." Meet the Beast So what's an Antichrist, anyhow? The concept has evolved bewilderingly throughout biblical history. As definitively explained in Bernard McGinn's Antichrist: 2,000 Years of the Human Fascination With Evil and Robert Fuller's Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession, the character can be traced to Old Testament authors' horrified response to the oppression of ancient colonizers. When Alexander the Great's conquests led to a statue of Zeus in the Temple in Jerusalem, Jews envisioned a final conflict story wherein the Syrian Greek tyrant Antiochus, reimagined as a beast, got burned in God's "fiery stream" on Judgment Day. Early Christians grafted the Roman Emperor Nero onto the tradition as the Beast from the Abyss in the Apocalypse, known to current Christians as the book of Revelation, the Bible's astonishing finale about the final days. Nero dressed in animal skins to ravage men's and women's genitals, burned Christians in ghastly dramas, demanded to be worshiped as a god, and was rumored to have disappeared to the East, threatening to return one day to rule the world from Rome, or Jerusalem. Actually, he killed himself, but he lives on in beastly legend. To this day, the word for Antichrist in Armenian is "Nero." Though the story of the Beast and various other biblical verses are associated with the Antichrist, the word itself, "Antichrist," only appears four times in the Bible, in the letters of John. Christians have eternally argued about the Antichrist. Revelation was nearly banned from the Bible, and permitted strictly on condition it should never be used as it is by fundies today. Church father Augustine ordered Christians to quit reading apocalyptic Left Behind–style scenarios into scripture and think of the Antichrist as anyone who denies Christ—and he said the first place to hunt for him is in your own heart. In my evangelical Lutheran childhood I often feared the Rapture had left me behind, even though my church was liberal with Christ's love. But now I'm with Augustine—and also with Robert Wright, who finds in his book The Moral Animal a biological basis for original sin. For a Darwinist Christian, the Beast is within: the lizard brain fighting the higher mind for control of one's soul. As Darwin cried out to heaven in his notebook: "The Devil under form of Baboon is our grandfather!" But people crave apocalyptic stories and an easy answer to spiritual struggle. As the narrator says of a character in Left Behind, "He wanted to believe something that tied everything together and made it make sense." The most popular story today was concocted by an English law-student-turned-self-taught-theologian named John Nelson Darby in the 1840s, and popularized by a Kansas City lawyer named C.I. Scofield with his best-selling 1909 Scofield Reference Bible. The Scofield Bible cross-referenced Old and New Testament verses to illuminate the hidden figure in the bewildering carpet of scripture, weaving the phantasmagoria of apocalyptic visions into a single system—a magic carpet of narrative to whisk them safely out of time and into heaven. Its systematic beauty was designed as a kind of counterscience to rebuke and refute Darwinism and historical biblical scholarship. And man, is it a great story. It's not a literal interpretation, but an imaginative deduction as breathtaking as Charles Kinbote's commentary on John Shade in Nabokov's Pale Fire, or Charles Manson's prophetic interpretation of the Beatles' White Album. The Bible describes Christ's Second Coming and the Rapture of the Saints—the whooshing of Christians bodily into heaven. Anybody reading it for the first time would think these are supposed to happen at the same time, at the end of time. But Darby hawked the notion that the Rapture happens first. Exeunt Christians. Enter the Beast/Antichrist, who perpetrates a hellish seven-year Great Tribulation. Then Christ returns, kicks Beast butt, and reigns for 1,000 years—the Millennium. Fifty-one percent of Americans voted for Bush; 59 percent believe Revelation will come true. Without one scrap of scriptural evidence, almost one-quarter of Americans believe Revelation predicted 9/11. The Independent newspaper called Revelation "that earliest of airport novels." LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' Left Behind dazzlingly turns it into one. Planes and cars crash, deprived of pilots by the Rapture. Even fetuses get Raptured, deflating their mamas' bellies. The Antichrist becomes Nicolae Carpathia, People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, seizing control of the U.N. to impose one world government! The faithful get saved! The secular humanists get what they deserve! Since latter-day Darbyites believe end times scripture predicts and mandates Israel's resurgence to usher in Christ's return and the Antichrist's smackdown, they help drive Bush's rubber-stamp policy for Israel. The real Middle East road map may be the Scofield Reference Bible. "That's a completely foolish and erroneous interpretation of the scriptures," snaps Jimmy Carter. "But this administration, maybe extremely influenced by ill-advised theologians of the extreme religious right, has pretty well abandoned any real effort that could lead to a resolution of the problems between Israel and the Palestinians." "It's deeply dismaying that millions of Americans who call themselves Christians are believers in something that has virtually nothing to do with the gospel message," mourns Bawer. "Darby, Scofield, and company have been a disaster for Christianity in America. Millions of people think they are adherents of 'traditional Christianity' when, in fact, they have been roped into a newfangled religion based on bizarre theological propositions that Jesus would never recognize." "It's so ludicrous!" laments Lang. "Such a twisting of scripture. That history is scripted is something that it seems to me Christians ought to have an instinct to be repulsed against. You follow a code, there's magical meanings in the text." But Lang knows why people cling to millennial dreams—like Dubya's, his life was saved by a fundamentalist church. "It attracted me because I came out of chaos. Alcohol and drugs; 19 years old and I was dyin'. I needed a strong fence around my life and people who cared for me, and I got both. But after about a year of reading what they taught me, I started to raise questions." Further study convinced him that Augustine was on the right track, after all, in reading apocalyptic literature as spiritual advice, not a sneak preview of tomorrow's headlines. "Revelation is written to the churches in its time, not to the churches in the 21st century. It's written to seven churches in Turkey." As for the Antichrist warnings in John, he reads them not as a literal prediction of Bush but as a warning against the eternal danger of his hypocritical, Mammon-worshiping, proudly elitist, heartless, narrowly legalistic spirit. "1 John seems to be obsessed with language like this: 'How can you say you love God, who you have not seen, if you do not love your brother and sister, who you have seen?' Who are in need of food, clothing, shelter? The implication of the doctrine of the Antichrist is that there is an economic disparity in the community, and people are using their religion, not practicing it." Bush policy is based on what he told his Harvard Business School professor— "Poor people are poor because they're lazy." Responds Lang, "Again, anti-Christ. It's just the opposite [of Christ's teaching]. The thrust of right-wing Christianity—their solution to poverty is to discipline the poor. Now, there's a lot to be said for that. I mean, if people would clean up their negative habits. There's some common ground where we can meet. But the right never addresses what Jesus called 'that fox Herod'—the systematic problem that has given rise to homelessness and poverty." Bringing Back Heresy Lang argues that followers of Jesus, not Bush, should call an Antichrist an Antichrist—or rather, its spirit. "The progressive church should bring back—and this sounds so crazy—the word 'heresy.' The end times theology and this other thing called Dominionism or Christian Reconstruction—those are heresies." Lang says not to believe Christian Coalition leader–turned–Whore of Enron–turned Bush/Cheney campaign lieutenant Ralph Reed when he claims the Christian right has no plans to upend the Constitution and impose its religion on civic life. "He's a liar," says Lang. "Dominionism is the notion that God has given the dominion, the governance of the world, to the church. And so Christians literally are born to rule, by force if necessary, to bring the Kingdom of God on Earth. I believe that the theology that drives the Bush administration affirms this." When Falwell preached, "We must take back what is rightfully ours," his ambitions did not stop at U.S. borders. This is a Church of a Law Unto Itself. In the Greek, the word "anti" doesn't just mean "against." It also contains the meanings "equivalent to" or "a substitute for." Nero was anti-Christ because he falsely claimed to be God. The idea of deception is crucial. The Antichrist isn't the devil, the opposite of God. He's an evil human masquerading as a golden god. The Antichrist appears to humanity not as the hideous Beast but as handsome Nicolae Carpathia, who resembles Robert Redford without the facial erosion. "That could be our next Republican president," quips Lang. In this sense, the Bush church is Antichristlike indeed. It is institutionalized deception, anti-American ugliness with a beguiling face, a neocon job. Only when necessary does it employ the perilous bald-faced lie, the outrageously transparent duplicity—the political equivalent of Robertson arguing that "Do unto others" indicates Christ's support of capitalist selfishness. More often, a smoothly dissembling surface is preferred. Rove notoriously emulates Machiavelli; the Christian right is a stealth movement, infiltrating school boards and mainstream churches and every institution of democracy like a thief in the night—in order to undermine, overthrow, and replace democracy with theocracy. Bush is the father of lies. The Union of Concerned Scientists proclaims Bush's lies about science "unprecedented." In With God on Their Side, Kaplan concludes, on mountainous evidence, "The goal is not to engage your opponents in the public square, but to kneecap them, or send them into exile." "It is a conspiracy in the sense that they have not been public and accountable to their ideology," says Lang. "Follow the money! The same filthy-rich foundations that have funded the rise of neocons are funding the rise of the religious right." He suggests that you check out the exposé Web site www.yuricareport.com for the terrifying particulars. [...] Ultimately, despite his despair, Lang is a man of faith. "I really do believe that we're in for several decades of a very dark time. But that's not the end of the world."
Comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk: The above article states: "Revelation is written to the churches in its time, not to the churches in the 21st century. It's written to seven churches in Turkey."I have researched this subject for many years and, while I agree that the Apocalypse of John may have been written at a specific time, for a specific reason, additional historical research shows us that history is cyclical and repeating. Since this is the case, we may be able to analyze our position on the historical circle by careful study of the past. This is, of course, problematical since our history has been composed mostly of lies, having been written by the “victors,” most of whom are victorious due to deception and guile. I would also suggest that Augustine's Christianity was as much a whitewash of the original teachings of the man around whom the Jesus myth was accreted as the theories of Darby. Moreover, there are certain characteristics of the book of Revelation that suggest it IS an "End Time" prophecy that is specific to our time. One example would be from Revelation 13, where it says: 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
It is only in our present day that man has the power to make "fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men" in the form of modern military weapons. (Unless, of course, you wish to ascribe a mystical or supernatural explanation for the above comment.) It could even be said that the attack on the World Trade Center was an exemplar of such activity due to its continued and repeated broadcast via TV around the world for days on end. It is certainly true that, as a result of this event, we are seeing what is described in the following verses, an effort to bring the entire world under the military dominance of the US as the Beast. Keep in mind that "worshipping" does not have to take place in an overt religious context. For example, valuing money over the lives of other human beings, over peace, amounts to "worshipping the Beast." There is another passage in the Bible that interests us in the context of the above article, from 2 Thessalonians, regarding the "Great Apostasy" which certainly seems to describe those Christians following the Bush Reich agenda:
Note that Paul declared that the "Mystery of Lawlessness", or the antichrist, was present in the early days of the Church, and he makes it clear that thise "Mystery of Lawlessness" related specifically to "believing lies."
Part of the above passage has been interpreted by Darby and others as referring to "The Rapture." The idea is that it is the Holy Spirit that has "hindered the revealing of the Antichrist, and that this Holy Spirit will "leave the planet" with the saved Christians during the rapture. This event is supposed to leave the rest of the world wide open to oppression and the beginning of the Tribulation.
However, it is clear from the above passage that what is actually "hindering," what is to be "taken out of the way," is the "strong delusion."
Paul (or pseudo Paul, according to some analysts) says at the beginning:
This is the foundational idea of Tribulation. The word "Tribulation" comes from the word "tribulare," which means "to thresh". This means that the useful parts of the wheat are separated from the chaff. In the parable of the wheat and the tares, it should be apparent what happens to whom. This parable is given as a description of the end times. The farmer plants wheat and in the night the enemy sows weeds which look like wheat in the field. The workers come and ask the owner of the field what to do. He instructs them to let all grow together and, at the time of the harvest, pull up the weeds and burn them first, then gather the wheat into the barn.
In other words, this idea contradicts completely the idea that there will be any "Rapture."
Theologians have endlessly distorted the last part of Matthew 24 to support an unfounded myth of being "raptured" into the sky. According to the proponents of this theory, only Christians who meet certain criteria based upon any number variations in doctrine are eligible.
The passage in Matthew reads:
To get the correct sense we must stop right here and rearrange the sentence for our Western linear minds.
It is obvious, in the context, that those who are "taken" or "swept away", are the very ones who have not watched and kept ready, and that this is not a "Stealing away of the Saints to some Heaven like city of God to wait out the disaster!"
Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5:2-03:
This last passage makes it obvious that the "Thief" is unforeseen destruction. Obviously, one who is ready and "guarding his clothes" will not be looted by the thief nor would anyone expect a vigilant householder to go with a thief?!
Paul also writes:
...which clearly associates the "thief effect" with wrath, NOT salvation!
The word "thief" was used to emphasize the need to watch and be prepared, not to indicate an absurdity called a "Stealing Away." The idea of being raptured out of tribulation is, naturally, attractive, but this is not supported by the Bible nor does it stand to reason.
The idea of "enduring to the end," on the other hand, is mentioned not less than 13 times in the New Testament. The doctrine of the rapture is an assumption made by twisting scriptural references and is, in truth, an example of the following:
There has long been a tradition of the "Secret Teachings" of Jesus, and any astute reader of the Bible can immediately perceive that much is alluded to which was either never recorded or was later expunged. That is not surprising since Paul noted that the spirit of Anti-Christ already existed in the early church. But, what is apparent is that, since these things were hidden, they are the very meat of the matter -- the foundational truths of Christianity!
In at least sixteen passages in the Gospels, Jesus is described as "teaching", but the words he taught were never recorded.
Mark wrote in his Gospel, that Jesus taught the multitudes only in parables and expounded and explained to his disciples only in private. Precious few of these explanations were included in the text.
Some theologians have supposed that these "Deeper" truths are fully covered in the epistles, but a careful reading makes it apparent that this is not the case. Social commentary, mundane advice, allusions to deeper truths revealed in past conversations or promised in future conversations; this is the primary composition of these letters. And, as a result, most Christian denominations concern themselves primarily with such matters, believing that this is sufficient to ensure "salvation". But, we can determine that the fact that deeper teachings exist is supported by the text of the Bible itself, but that they are not contained within the Bible.
Getting back to the passage from 2 Thessalonians above, as the analyst above noted, many of the "Rapture Christians" firmly believe that Israel must be reconstituted and the Temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt to prepare the way for the return of Christ. They base this also on the passage from 2 Thessalonians quoted above, that the Antichrist proclaims himself to be god and takes his seat in the temple in Jerusalem.
One of the keys to this prophecy is the word anthropes translated as "man" of lawlessness. This is the same Greek word Timothy uses in 3:17 "That the man of God may be perfect." It is also used similarly to mean many people in Hebrews 2:6. In I John, 2:18-22, the term "antichrist" is used to describe many people -- not just those who deny Christ, but also those who claim to be Christians but, in fact, deny the true teachings of Christ.
Paul speaks of the temple of God. Many ignorant preachers and pseudo theologians say that this refers to the Temple in Jerusalem. However, Paul is addressing Christians about falling away from true Christian teachings. If Paul is addressing Christians about Christian concepts, the word "temple" must refer to the body of man. For example:
The Greek word used for temple (Naos) in the scriptures cited which refer to man as the temple of God is the same Greek word used in II Thessalonians 2:4 for temple.
However, a completely different word is usually used when referring to the Temple in Jerusalem, (Hieron).
Whether it was Paul or a later writer attempting to imitate Paul's style, he was not speaking of the Temple in Jerusalem in II Thessalonians, he was talking about mankind -- the temple of God's spirit. And, though a man may claim to be following the standards of Christianity, he may, in reality, have set himself up as his own god because he exalts himself -- his own interpretations and preconceived notions -- against every so-called god or object of worship as has George W. Bush.Lets organize this and look at it in the light of reason. We find the following points: 1 A great many people are involved, not a single man; "son of doom and Son of Perdition" must be seen as amplifying expletives added to anthropes (plural=MEN) of lawlessness. 2 They profess to be Christians -- and, in fact, constitute the majority of Christianity. 3 They are self-righteous in their belief that they possess the only true knowledge -- this is shown by the fact that they place this human judgment before all other evidence, assuming their view to be divinely inspired - taking the seat in the Temple. In this way, they have taken the authority of judgment from God and placed their own will in its place -- thus "opposing and exalting themselves over God ... taking God's seat in the temple (the body of many people - man of lawlessness); in short, proclaiming themselves to be God!
4 The principle of lawlessness was already active in the early church.
I have often wondered about the total absence of very early Christian documents and manuscripts. It has been explained that the originals were passed around until they were tattered, then copied and the copies passed until they were worn out also. By the time the canon was assembled, all that existed were copies of copies of copies of copies. Considering the reverence and awe the early Christians attached to relics and so forth, it seems far more likely that, say, a manuscript written by Peter himself would have been carefully preserved and copies taken from the original to be passed around. However, if the early church leaders, anxious to strengthen their control over the masses, saw to it that all originals were destroyed and only carefully edited and altered copies remained, this would explain both the activity of the Mystery of Lawlessness as well as the loss of the Secret Teachings -- if they had ever been written at all.5 The word "restrain", (hinder in the KJV), is used in such a way that it can only mean "hiding". What is being hidden is the Mystery of Lawlessness, the Hidden Purpose of God, not the identity of a pagan world ruler who craves to be worshipped! This mystery is to remain hidden until just before the time of the end and then the Lord Jesus will slay "the man (anthropes=MEN) of sin" with the breath of His mouth.
Who gets slain by the "Breath" or "Sword" from the mouth? Not the beast nor the false prophet, long identified as "The Antichrist" and his high priest. No, the clarifying sentence states that nations are slain! Let's hear what Paul (or pseudo Paul) said one more time about the "Mystery of Lawlessness":
Did you catch that? What it clearly says first of all is that "the coming of apostasy" is the work of Satan...UNLIMITED SEDUCTION TO EVIL... and in the very next breath says that GOD SENDS UPON THEM A MISLEADING INFLUENCE, A WORKING OF ERROR AND STRONG DELUSION TO MAKE THEM BELIEVE WHAT IS FALSE... Now, let's just take a deep breath here and think about this for a minute. There are a couple of other passages in the Bible that are comparable. The one that comes first to mind is the story of Job, where it says:
Curiously and significantly, Satan is described as one of the "sons of God," and even as an "angel." Remembering also that Paul stated that Satan can "appear as an Angel of LIGHT." Then, the next significant thing is that when Satan suggests that God "put forth your hand, and touch all that he has..." God responds by saying: "Behold all that he has is in your power..." which clearly implies that the "hand of God" in terms of destruction and trials IS SATAN! Put it another way: Satan is an ASPECT OF GOD, and therefore, NOT a rebellious angel who will be "destroyed" at the day of judgment. Satan is simply the force of entropy. The next interesting comparison is from I Kings and goes as follows:
Again, we have clear statements of the "manipulations" or "testings" of God in a Biblical context. And we also have evidence that "angels and spirits" are NOT necessarily all "goodness and light" in their natures. So, we find the "hindering" or "hiding" aspect of the passage from Thessalonians to be, in effect, the "working of God via Satan," or a "lying spirit" in the mouths of teachers and prophets, in order to discover who REALLY loves truth. And it is only when this "lying spirit," or "working of Satan" in terms of deception is "removed" or taken away, that truth is finally revealed.
According to the texts of the Bible, the removal of the hindrance, or the revealing of the mystery of God is described as the breaking of the "seal" on the prophetic truth -- the pouring out of the Spirit of God -- the Coming of the Spirit of Truth in the last days -- to overcome the "misleading influence sent by God," which was in operation from the early days of the church until just before the Day of the Lord! This misleading influence, the "working of Satan", sent by God, has been the spirit operating in all of the Christian Churches as described by Paul!
The Hindrance is a delusion to error, a concealing of the truth that began long agon. Thus, the traditions, the doctrines and dogma as taught until the present, within the Christian demonimations themselves, are scripturally defined as predicated upon lies and deception!
What event brings forth the Spirit of Truth?
Jesus is quoted as saying: Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.
In Revelation, this bringing forth of the Spirit of Truth is described as the "Breaking of a Seal". We are here reminded of a passage in the book of Daniel:
This suggests that the Truth will only be known at the time of the End, when knowledge has been increased. That suggests that the Bible isn't the whole cheese, for sure.
In any event, the end result of this analysis is this: the "removing of the hindrance" CANNOT be the "Stealing Away of the Saints" as interpreted by many denominations.As an interesting aside, Nostradamus wrote:
This astrological square is very rare. It last occurred in July, 1751 -- that is, until it occurred again on December 16, 1986. Within 25 years of its previous occurrence, the United States was at war with Britain. The French Revolution followed soon after and the 1700's was a period of great change and turmoil due to the repercussions of the industrial revolution and the blossoming of Humanist philosophy. Since no human army - or "great force" - of global import passed over any mountain or breached any barrier at or around this time, perhaps this quatrain has a cosmic significance. After all, one might think that the breaking of a seal might include a "Great Force" traveling our way? It is interesting to note that 25 years from December, 1986, happens to be December, 2011. Getting back to our subject: being "antichrist or "lawless" is equated with refusal to love, seek, and accept truth. As noted before, truth is very often defined as that which pleases a given individual or group. 6 The loss of true knowledge within the Christian church is foreordained and planned -- for a purpose! These clues, when properly understood, make clear that the "Antichrist" is, in large part, the Christian Churches. It is not, as these many fundamentalist churches teach, a world taken over by Satanists, among whom they include everyone who doesn't believe as they do individually and collectively. Specifically defined in the very words of the Bible, this Antichrist Society will consist of those who claim to be Christians or those who act in the name of Christ. Jesus' diatribe against the Scribes and Pharisees of His own time is a prophetic injunction against the established churches of our time:
When one considers the elements of the foregoing passage, the deeper truth emerges. Christendom has been rabid in its persecutions and attempts to convert "heathens" who are considered by the Church to be unsaved and on the road to hell.
Jesus, the man, was the gift on the altar, the Christ spirit, representing God on earth. Jesus was the first-fruit of a way of transmutation or "resurrection" and was an exemplar of the pattern that must be striven after in order to achieve this transmutation. The Christ Spirit, the Word, exists as a template, and has existed from the Beginning as the consciousness of the Cosmos, what we may call God.In today's Christianity, the worship of the man, Jesus, has replaced the worship of God's Logos. Statements to the effect that Jesus is the only name by which a man may be saved, and that acceptance of this view is the key to God's plan of salvation, is the most grossly misrepresented teaching ever to come out of the Christian church. This amounts to worship of the offering while disregarding the altar. For those of you who stumble over "Jesus as the only name by which a man may be saved" I ask you to seriously consider the fruits of this doctrine and the probable impetus for its propagation. Just consider the Crusades -- in the name of Jesus only. Consider the Inquisition -- in the name of Jesus only. Consider the annihilation of the American Indians -- in the name of Jesus only. Consider of the murder of over 65 million fellow human beings in our own time -- in the name of Jesus only.
In examining the expression of the various religious beliefs around the world, the Christian faith stands out as claiming to exclude all others on a fundamental point of doctrine. The Christian faith holds that belief in Jesus as the Son of God, a god himself, and Savior of the World and profession of this belief is the key to salvation. Any person, regardless of the conduct of their lives, is doomed to judgment (that is, some sort of after-life punishment) if they do not make this confession. Conversely, anyone who makes this confession, even on their deathbed after a lifetime of "sinfulness," is saved instantaneously.
(George W. Bush, as the new arbiter of this form of Christianity contradicted his theology when he executed Karla Faye Tucker, by the way.)The Epistle of James, in discussing faith versus works says:
The Gospel of John states:
The latter statement was made by Christ prior to his crucifixion and resurrection and clearly indicates that salvation is not hinged upon a belief in the man Jesus. Jesus referred to himself repeatedly as "The Son of Man," NOT the "son of God." It is only men who have made him thus... swearing by the gold on the altar and disregarding the altar itself. On the other hand, there are numerous statements in the New Testament which declare that salvation hinges solely upon believing in the name of Jesus. Contradictory to this is Jesus' statement that
So, we have a fundamental doctrinal confusion and can easily see the working of the Antichrist in the early Church in these conflicting doctrines. In describing false prophets, Jesus set up criteria for evaluation: "By their fruits you shall know them." Since he was talking about prophets and teachers who were described as performing miracles and signs and wonders, we may assume that such are not to be considered fruits. What are fruits? A given plant or tree bears fruit after a period of time known as the growing season, so we may assume that fruit becomes evident after a period of time. Fruit also has the capability of propagating other fruit after its own kind. Galatians 5:22 says:
So, it might be said that, by the criteria established by Jesus, himself, an individual who possesses these qualities or "bears these fruits" must be "saved" regardless of his religious affiliation! The fact that God can work in and through all kinds of people of all faiths should be evidence that doctrines are creations of men and God - the consciousness from which the Cosmos emerges - is the only truth. Yes, Jesus was an exemplar in the flesh -- the way, one of many - yes he "bore our infirmities" in that he also was subjected to the weaknesses of the flesh over which he triumphed; and, yes, by his stripes and His sacrifice we are healed -- but this healing is due to a change in understanding, thought patterns, knowledge of our true inner capabilities, by discovering the TRUTH that will set us free. When Jesus said: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no man cometh unto the Father but by me," he spoke as the Christ, and His words are true. The Christ spirit is present in all who manifest the fruits of the Spirit. It doesn't matter who the messenger was, or the specific doctrine followed. If we follow the pattern of the life of Jesus - once we have waded through the lies and cover-up to discover what that was - no matter who taught it to us, we have the possibility for transformation. This inner knowledge, this following of the pattern, is that which can change our lives and make all things new. Through faith, as described in the Parable of the Talents - a willingness to take risks, to exchange what we formerly believed for something new and greater - we can align ourselves with the Word, the Logos, the Christ -- and receive power to perceive, through psychic potentials, truth relating to all those things necessary to pattern our lives after the Master and thereby manifest our true nature as Children of the King. Jesus accused the Pharisees of shutting the door of the kingdom of heaven in men's faces, and this is a clue to how the Christian churches have accomplished their perversions of the truth. As noted, some of the teachings of Jesus may well have been withheld from the masses for fear of distortion. Others have, of a certainty, been expunged to make the masses more compliant and dependent upon the Church hierarchy. The true teachings of Christ have never been fully expounded to "all the nations." This is due, primarily, to the "anti-Christ" elements in the early church which sought to expunge all teachings which would not lead to the masses' dependance upon the church hierarchy. They destroyed those manuscripts they could, banned those they couldn't destroy, and altered what was left. Fortunately the alterations were neither expert nor consistent. In this way. the very contradictions apparent in the Gospels and Epistles can lead us to a fuller understanding of the truth. But only if we love truth sufficiently to read, search, and analyse, the very dynamic described in the Parable of the Talents. If the kingdom of heaven is within, as Jesus suggested, how can the church leaders prevent one from entering? The only answer is that the Church can do this by inducing seekers to believe lies. The standard argument against new knowledge and added revelation is based upon the last part of the Book of Revelation which states "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book," and is further amplified by the standard doctrine that, "If an individual stands in opposition to the entire evangelical Christian doctrine as espoused through Martin Luther, he has to be without truth because the majority must be right." Two points: 1. The Bible, as a book, did not exist at the time of the writing of Revelation. John's curse cannot possibly be construed to extend to the other documents assembled by very human hands some three hundred years after Christ. 2. The Bible itself prophesies that, "The love of the great body of people will grow cold, because of multiplied lawlessness and iniquity." This can only be reference to those who formerly loved -- the Christian Church -- a majority in error! The apostate condition of the established churches is also shown in the parable of the wheat and the tares. The common translations of today have left out a very important key word. The question is asked in the text: "Did you not sow good wheat in your field? Then how does it have darnel shoots in it?" The original Greek translates: "An enemy-man this did," but the Bible reads: "An enemy has done this." and is generally interpreted and taught as referring to Satan, losing the sense that the errors were initiated by men. Jesus said "if you abide in my word -- hold fast to my teaching and live in accordance with them -- you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31) But we must consider this statement in light of the fact that there are literally hundreds of Christian sects espousing dozens of variations on different doctrines, some of which are diametrically opposed to each other. Each group believes that their own group has the one true interpretation and are invariably convinced that all others are in error. Most sects base their interpretations upon "Revelation through the Spirit" as described in John 16. "But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth -- the whole full truth." The question arises: Among all these denominations who claim to possess the truth received by them from the Holy Spirit, who is telling the truth? Some theologians admit to these problems explaining that many teachings are just "ideas of men". These ideas however are taught as doctrine and accepted as doctrine, or truth, by the masses of adherants of any given group. If any one of them ever admits error to what was supposed to have been divine inspiration, what must we see in the spirit leading that group?
I John 2:21 states:
Do the evolved doctrines of Christianity demonstrate absence of confusion? Purity of teaching? Peace? Courtesy? Yielding to reason? Compassion? Good fruits? I would like to say that the great confusion of doctrine is an indication of the loss of purity which often leads to acts of discourtesy, absence of peace, and lack of compassion.
But what about yielding to reason? James said that wisdom yields to reason. Wisdom is defined as: "...the power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action based on knowledge, experience, and understanding."
In short, Knowledge is the only possible way out of the dilemma. With greater knowledge, the seeker can read and weed through the Bible, and many other sources, and discover truth. Only in this way, with work and dedication can the individual demonstrate that they are one of those who "Love the Truth." Only in this way, can the "strong delusion to error" be overcome.A general estimate tells us that 32.9% of the World's population are professed Christians. Christians outnumber any other single religion on earth. What is the HISTORY of this domination? What are the fruits of this domination? What is the condition of the world TODAY under the influence of the George W. Bush Theology? The conclusion of this is that the antichrist is the spirit of perverse Christianity which prevails in most churches in our day and the teachings of most of them are the acts of men deciding what is true and thereby taking the seat in the Temple, and that this misconstruction of the Christian teachings began during the time of Paul and has continued down to this very day. This returns us to the foreordained and planned purpose of this lawlessness, this delusion to error. The ultimate purpose of the "misleading influence" is described within the pages of the Bible itself:
What is this Design?
Metamorphosis -- The unity of spirit and matter -- the ultimate alchemical event; matter vibrationally altered by atomic interaction between the bodies of the solar system - The WAVE.
The earth and mankind returned to the Garden of Eden, literally.
You are visitor number .