Editor's Choice

“Equally appealing for modern believers, the Jesus of the hidden gospels has many points of contact with the great spiritual traditions of Asia.”


Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way
"Despite its dubious sources and controversial methods, the new Jesus scholarship of the 1980s and 1990s gained such a following because it told a lay audience what it wanted to hear. For some ideological perspectives, the new view of early Christianity has been almost too good to be true, in validating postmodern approaches. The hidden gospels have been used to provide scriptural warrant for sweeping new interpretations of Jesus, for interpreting theological statements in a purely symbolic and psychological sense, and for challenging dogmatic or legal rules on the basis of the believer's subjective moral sense. Generally, the hidden gospels offer wonderful news for liberals, feminists, and radicals within the churches, who challenge what they view as outdated institutions and prejudices. And this is by no means true of the churches alone: since Christianity is so fundamental a component of Western culture, any radical reinterpretation of the movement's core message is bound to reverberate through contemporary issues and debates. Though proponents of the radical view usually write as scholars, there is rarely much pretense of objectivity, in the sense that orthodoxy and the institutional church are regularly blamed as authoritarian, patriarchal, and narrow, while the heresies suppressed were egalitarian, creative and libertarian.

The rediscovered texts help shift the whole ground of debate within the churches, permitting liberals to argue from their own distinctive version of the primitive gospel. Feminist scholars in particular note the central role which women play in texts like the Gospel of Mary, which is believed to show that women were apostles, leaders and teachers in the earliest Jesus movement: if this is the case, how can modern churches refuse to grant priestly authority to women today? Apart from the obvious appeal for women, the new portrait of Gnosticism is profoundly attractive for modern seekers, that large constituency interested in spirituality without the trappings of organized religion or dogma. For such an audience, texts like Thomas are so enticing because of their individualistic quality, their portrait of a Jesus who is a wisdom teacher rather than a Redeemer or heavenly Savior. Modern readers are drawn by the work's presentation of the mystical quest as a return to primal innocence, an idea that recalls the psychological quest for the inner child. Regardless of the work's historical value, reading Thomas undoubtedly can provide the basis for meditation and spiritual insight, as well as justifying diverse forms of contemporary spirituality. As N. T. White remarks, the emphasis on the 'real' Jesus of the alternative gospels 'appears to legitimate precisely the sort of religion that a large swathe of America yearns for: a free-for-all, do-it-yourself spirituality with a strong agenda of social protest against the powers that be and an I'm-OK-you-are-OK attitude on all matters religious and ethical. You can have any sort of spirituality you like (Zen, walking labyrinth on church floors, Tai Chi) as long as it isn't orthodox Christianity.' Some have given this eclectic creed the suspect title of 'flexodoxy', flexible orthodoxy.

Equally appealing for modern believers, the Jesus of the hidden gospels has many points of contact with the great spiritual traditions of Asia. This concept makes it vastly easier to promote dialogue with other great world religions and diminishes any uniquely Christian claims to divine revelation. Pagels has written that 'one need only listen to the words of the Gospel of Thomas to hear how it resonates with the Buddhist tradition... These ancient gospels tend to point beyond faith toward a path of solitary searching to find understanding, or gnosis,' She asks, 'Does not such teaching—the identity of the divine and human, the concern with illusion and enlightenment, the founder who is not presented as Lord but as spiritual guide—sound more Eastern than Western?' She suggests that we might see an explicitly Indian influence in Thomas... The statements of this Jesus even have something of the quality of Zen kaon: stories like the woman with the jar of meal are obvious examples. Coincidently or not, the Jesus movement was initially known as the Way, which is the same self-descriptive term used by other great religions and philosophical systems, including Buddhism and Taoism. Jesus thus becomes far more congenial to modern sensibilities about both gender and multiculturalism.”

Philip Jenkins, Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way
Oxford University Press (Feb 18 2003) pp. 16-18





Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions?: Jesus, Revelation & Religious Traditions
Introduction

“When Lin Yutang was growing up as the son of a Christian pastor in early twentieth-century China, Chinese Christians regarded the Confucian classics as dangerous pagan nonsense . So Lin's father never schooled his son in the rich cultural heritage of their ancient civilization. In his culture, he was enraged. “I had been cheated of my national heritage. That was what a good Puritan Christian education could do to a Chinese boy. [So] I determined to plunge into the great stream of our national consciousness.”

With the delight of an orphan finding his long-lost parents, Lin devoured Chinese philosophy and folklore and abandoned the Christian faith in which he had been reared. He went on to become one of China's leading literati of the twentieth century. He wrote many books extolling the glories of Far Eastern thought and culture, and, by implication, denouncing the cultural insensitivity of Christianity.

In the twilight of his life, Yutang returned to the Christian faith of his childhood. His new faith was deeper and wiser than that of his youth, both chastened and enlightened by his earlier encounters with the Buddhist, Confucian and Daoist traditions.

American evangelicalism today is more worldly wise than the fundamentalism of Lin's boyhood. It is more open to human culture and plays a much larger role in the production of culture. Yet in its attitude toward other religions American evangelicalism is remarkably similar to that Chinese fundamentalism . Like its distant Asian cousin it has often regarded non-Christian religion as taboo- consisting of either foolish nonsense or demonic delusions. Sometimes it has granted these religions a certain benign respect that acknowledges limited points of convergence with Christian doctrine. But rarely, if ever, has it regarded non-Christian religion as something from which it can learn. As a result, Christian understanding of its own revelation is less than it could be. More important, Christian witness to non-Christians has created a rock of stumbling for Christians and non-Christians alike. How many non-Christians have decided to stop listening because Christians have shown no appreciation for what might be true in their religions?

Arguably, the church's greatest challenge in the next century will be the problem of the scandal of particularity. More than ever before, Christians will need to explain why they follow Jesus and not the Buddha or Confucius or Krishna or Muhammad. But if, while relating their faith to the faiths, Christians treat non-Christian religions as netherworlds of unmixed darkness, the church's message will be a scandal not of particularity but of arrogant obscurantism.

Kosuke Koyama tells of a missionary couple arriving in Bangkok who told their host that all Thai religion (chiefly Theravada Buddhism) was the worship of demons (30 million people and 700 years of tradition brushed aside in one instant, Koyama notes) and that the (then) 800 million citizens of the People's Republic of China were-according to the missionaries- all atheists and therefore unsaved, making the country an enemy of the gospel. 4 Thankfully most missionaries I know do not display such cultural insensitivity. However, this kind of evangelistic approach, which ignorantly assumes that non-Christians have no knowledge of God and that their traditions are worthless and pernicious, may do more harm than good to the name of Christ. It tells non-Christians that Christians are not interested in learning about them and have no respect for their cultures. Often it communicates the message that Christians are interested in people not as human individuals but only as representatives of systems of thought. In the language of Martin Buber, we regard the other person not as a Thou demanding respect but as an It to be accepted only conditionally.

Recent evangelical introductions to the problem of other religions have built commendably on foundations laid by J. N. D. Anderson and Stephen Neill. Anderson and Neill opened up the "heathen" worlds to the evangelical West, showing that many non-Christians also seek salvation and have personal relationships with their gods. In the last decade Clark Pinnock and John Sanders have argued for an inclusivist understanding of salvation, and Harold Netland has shed new light on the question of truth in the religions. Yet no evangelicals have focused- as nonevangelicals Keith Ward, Diana Eck and Paul Knitter have done- on the revelatory value of truth in non-Christian religions. Anderson and Neill showed that there are limited convergences between Christian and non-Christian traditions, and Pinnock has argued that there might be truths Christians can learn from religious others. But as far as I know, no evangelicals have yet examined the religions in any sort of substantive way for what Christians can learn without sacrificing, as Knitter and John Hick do, the finality of Christ.”

McDermott, Gerald R.. Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions?: Jesus, Revelation & Religious Traditions (Kindle Locations 146-153). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.






“The FIRST TIME I met Mark Kinzer, we sat at a coffee shop in Pasadena, CA and shared our stories. As a Jewish believer in Jesus living primarily in the Christian world, I sensed intuitively the existential angst inherent in self-identifying as a Messianic Jew. I had all but buried my Jewish identity, and I knew that this was in many ways the easy road. But recently, I had felt repeatedly allured to acknowledge and explore my Jewishness, and my meeting with Mark came at an opportune time. One of my Christian mentors had told me that bridges are useful, but no one lives on a bridge. With this in mind, I mused about how isolating it must be to live between two worlds, and I will never forget Mark's response: 'Yeshua[1] never said that our way would be easy.' The gravity of this statement penetrated deeply, and I have not stopped reflecting on - and experiencing -the truth of it since.

Messianic Judaism's path is anything but easy. Mark Kinzer continues to play a pioneering role in a movement fraught with trials on all sides, and his negotiation of the numerous (and often conflicting) dynamics that characterize the movement is masterful. (p.x) Kinzer is deeply committed to Jewish tradition and life while firmly holding on to belief in the messiahship of Yeshua. For Kinzer, Yeshua is not just someone who gets tacked on to a vibrant Jewish faith - Yeshua is at the heart of that faith, giving it its true texture and its deepest meaning. As a theologian, Kinzer holds a passionate conviction that we must do theology with Jewish religious tradition in one hand and Christian religious tradition in the other.

Judaism and Christianity[2] have historically, since the proverbial 'parting of the ways,' most often been construed in contradistinction from one another, holding mutually exclusive theological claims. In this schema, Yeshua becomes the dividing line. Jews often quip that the one thing all branches of Judaism agree upon is that Yeshua was not the Messiah. Against this traditional and ingrained paradigm, Kinzer proposes a radically new arrangement of the theological puzzle pieces, one in which Yeshua is the essential link between Judaism and Christianity rather than their fundamental distinguishing factor.

Kinzer is unwilling to accept Judaism and Christianity as two completely separate phenomena and argues convincingly that this is not the configuration we see in the New Testament. Rather, the two are fundamentally linked and inextricably bound together--to each other and to God's redemptive purposes for all of creation. Of course this argument cannot undo or deny the historical development by which the two have empirically become separate, distinct, and in many ways averse to one another. In Kinzer's paradigm, Messianic Judaism and Messianic Jews provide the link that binds these two realities together. Kinzer's ideas have relevance that reaches far beyond Messianic Judaism alone--his claims, if true, radically affect both the church and the people of Israel. According to Kinzer, each tradition holds a unique component of creation's unfolding redemption, and the truth is only revealed when these two pieces are united.

Kinzer's method represents the cross-directional twin tasks of explaining the Jewish piece to Christians (who have historically perceived Judaism as either spiritually bankrupt because of its rejection of Yeshua or as a typologically significant precursor to Yeshua whose significance has since been superseded by the church) and the Christian piece to Jews (who have historically experienced and therefore justifiably perceived Christianity as a threat to the very lifeblood of Jewish existence). In the implementation of this dual representation, Messianic Judaism emerges as the critical link, and Kinzer's theology offers a call to Jewish Yeshua-believers to embody the bridge-building role to which they have been existentially assigned.

The radical nature of Kinzer's proposal has produced a host of critics,[3] yet Kinzer feels a prophetic call to speak the truth as he sees it. In a manner reminiscent of Martin Luther, the great reformer, Kinzer stands behind his controversial paradigm claiming, 'I can do no other.' The connection that Kinzer builds between Israel, Yeshua and the Yeshua-believing community (or ekklesia) creates a rich and nuanced interpretation of salvation history that opens new vistas for understanding God's redemptive work in the world. The relationship that Kinzer develops between each of these component parts lays the groundwork for his theological paradigm--a paradigm with far-reaching implications.”

Mark S. Kinzer, Jennifer M. Rosner, Israel's Messiah and the People of God
Wipf & Stock (Jan. 7 2011) pp. ix - xi.

Note:

[1] Referring to Jesus by his Hebrew name, Yeshua, issues a reminder that Jesus was (and is) a Jew and that this fact carries with it certain implications that are all too often overlooked by the church. Kinzer feels strongly about this and related terminological specifications, for they serve to linguistically reinforce his theological position. In Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, Kinzer includes the following explanation of terms: 'The one known in the church as Jesus Christ will here be referred to as Yeshua the Messiah. As a matter of historical record, all scholars today recognize that the first-century figure Yeshua of Nazareth was a Jew. However, very few of those who believe that he was raised from the dead acknowledge that he remains a Jew today and will do so forever, or consider the implications of this fact. By using an alien, Jewish-sounding name to refer to the one who is so familiar to the church, I hope to suggest that Yeshua is still at home with those who are literally his family, and that the church must reckon with the subtle ways it has lost touch with its own identity as a messianic, multinational extension of the Jewish people' (Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 22). Kinzer's early writings, including some of the sources printed and referenced in this volume, employ more typically Christian parlance. The changes in his terminology reflect his own process of theological and existential development.
[2] Kinzer understands the term 'Christianity' to refer to the religious tradition of the Gentile wing of the Body of Messiah that developed to a large extent in distinction from and opposition to Judaism. In Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, Kinzer writes: 'Because the terms themselves imply mutual exclusivity, in this book I will not use the words Christianity, Christians, and church in a conventional manner. I will employ them only to refer to the developed institutional reality that became overwhelmingly Gentile in composition and character. In speaking of realities that should be conceived of as integrally bound to Judaism and the Jewish people, or even as situated within those spheres, I will speak of Yeshua-faith (rather than Christianity), Yeshua-believers (rather than Christians), and the ekklesia (rather than the church)' (Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 22).
[3] See Kinzer, 'Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, Three Years Later: Reflections on a Conversation Just Begun,' 175-95.





ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path
The Divinity of Jesus

"Early Christians held a number of views on the nature of the divine, all of which would be eventually eliminated except for what would become the 'orthodox' view. The Gnostics, for example, believed that God was a dyad consisting equally of male and female characteristics. Valentinus, a noted Gnostic leader, believed that God consisted of the Father, also called the Depth, and The Mother, also called the Womb, Grace, or Silence28. Pagels observes that some Gnostics treated this dyadic concept of God as literal while others treated it as a metaphor, believing that God is neither male nor female. Still others believed that God could be addressed as either sex depending upon which aspect was being stressed at the time. Pagels notes, however, that most agreed that the divine is a "harmonious, dynamic relationship of opposites.'29

Others saw The Mother aspect as residing in the Holy Spirit, based on the Hebrew word for spirit - ruah - which is a feminine word. The Gospel of Philip, for example, calls the Spirit the 'Mother of many,' and in the Gospel of Hebrews, Jesus mentions 'my Mother the Spirit.'30 Every early Christian text that dealt with the divine as feminine was omitted from the canon that would eventually be called the Bible, and was declared heretical by the orthodoxy. Pagels notes that by the time the sorting of the writings ended around 200 CE, 'virtually all the feminine imagery for God had disappeared from orthodox Christian tradition.'31

Early Christians also held a number of views about the nature of Jesus and whether he was or was not divine. One school of thought believed that Jesus was a man - a very holy and wise man, chosen for a very special purpose, but a man nonetheless. Recall that Mack puts Luke's community in this category. The other school believed that Jesus was divine, that he was not a 'creature' in the sense that people and animals are 'creatures,' but that his nature proceeded directly from God and could be equated with God. This perspective was found in the congregations of the Christ, as Mack indentifies them. They looked to the surrounding Jewish and Hellenistic cultures for images to express their ideas about Jesus, and over time they built a mythology from themes familiar to the cultures around them. Noted biblical archaeologist William F. Albright, a conservative Christian, observes that the mythology developed in the gospels contains 'many striking parallels with more ancient Near Eastern religious ideas, such as the virgin birth of a god, his astrological associations, birth among cattle, imprisonment, death, descent to the underworld, disappearance for three days, resurrection, [and] exaltation to heaven.”32 Albright says that the "underlying dramatic forms" that touched the emotions of the Near East for three thousand years apparently held the same appeal for Christians of the first century, which may explain how “The messianic framework of the Gospels came to bear such a striking...resemblance in details to the corresponding framework of the cycles of Tammuz, Adonis, Attis, Osiris, etc.”33 We leave a deeper discussion of these issues for the next chapter.

As noted by Mack, the first shift in the nature of Jesus is observed in the second layer of Q, in which Jesus is identified with Sophia, or the wisdom of God. Sophia was already well known to the Jews. Theologian Elizabeth Johnson explains that Sophia was a personification of Wisdom, who in Jewish literature had been variously portrayed as an attribute of divine intelligence, a patron goddess of Hebrew schools and the Torah, an entity who mediates between God and the world, and a feminine personification of God.'34 Many of Sophia's powers and deeds were the same as those ascribed to Yahweh, and Johnson notes that female images of deity would not have been considered unusual as Judaism was surrounded by cultures that honored the feminine divine. Judaism was itself still developing into a monotheism, as we explore in depth in chapter 5, and it reconciled Sophia with monotheism by equating her with the God Yahweh. As Johnson puts it: 'Sophia is Israel's God in feminine imagery.'35 Scriptural historian Marcus Borg says: 'thus the language about Sophia is not simply personification of God in feminine form. Sophia is a feminine image for God.”36

Johnson notes that much of Christology (equating Jesus with God) was built upon identifying Jesus with Sophia. By way of example, the Gospel of John adapts or assigns many of Sophia's behaviors and imagery found in Jewish literature to Jesus, as when Jesus calls out in a loud voice in a public place (7:28, 7:37), engages in long discourses and 'I am' statements (6:51, 10:14, 11:25), is identified with the Torah and themes of seeking and finding (1:38, 1:41, 7:34), with the idea of right instruction and a revealer of mysteries (14:6), and in the view that whoever loves Jesus is beloved of God and is his friend (14:23, 15:15).37 In Luke 7:33-35, the gospel writer has Jesus identify himself as a child of Sophia.

Johnson comments that because of his linkage to Sophia, Jesus was also linked to God and then became the incarnation of God.38 As Borg notes, Jesus was increasingly spoken of as having 'all the qualities of God' and came to be experienced as the 'functional equivalent' of God. 39 The link to Sophia was pivotal to the arguments leading to the success of making Jesus into a christological figure. In the fourth century, the Arians, who believed Jesus to be only a man, downplayed his divinity by denying Sophia's divinity. According to the Arians, since Jesus is linked to Sophia, then if Sophia isn't divine, neither is Jesus. The christologists were then forced, ironically, to insist on Sophia's divinity and Jesus's equation with her, and 'argued for the Son's divinity from Sophia's identity with divine presence and activity.'40 Mack observes that the linking of Jesus to Sophia was used to 'shift from a characterization of Jesus as a teacher to one that imagined Jesus first as an envoy of the divine agent in Israel's history and then as a kind of prophet.'41

According to Mack, the third layer of additions that were added to Q transformed Jesus from a child of Sophia to the Son of God, in keeping with the views of the congregations of the Christ. The use of the word Christ in the writings signals this change. In this transformation, Jesus is recognized as the rightful heir to God's kingdom. As Mack notes, 'the idea of the son of god as heir to his father's kingdom was available in many hellenistic mythologies,'42 as you will see in the next chapter, and perhaps even earlier as discussed in chapter 5 concerning the story of Akhenaten. While the shift to Son of God seems a simple one, Mack observes that its effects were 'stupendous.' As he puts it, 'The move turned a prophet-teacher into a divine sovereign.... He would now be a king who would execute his authority over the congregation in the present, and since resurrection meant ascending into heaven, the Jesus people came to think of Jesus as a god. The Christ was installed as ruler of God's world and lord of God's people.'43

Theologian Albert Nolan can find no evidence that Jesus ever claimed christological powers and authority for himself, and believes that Jesus was unique in his time for being able to 'overcome all authority thinking.' 44 He says that Jesus did not 'expect his audience to rely upon any authority at all - either his own or that of others. Unlike the scribes, he never appeals to the authority of the rabbinical tradition nor even to the authority of scripture itself...he does not even lay claim to the authority of a prophet.'45 Nolan further notes that when Jesus 'is faced directly with the question of what authority he might have, he refuses to answer the question (Mark 11:33). People were expected to see the truth of what he was doing and saying without relying upon any authority at all.'46

Borg notes that the main sources used by the christologists to support Jesus's divinity, namely the Gospel of John and the birth stories of Matthew and Luke, are not historical accounts. The versions of Jesus's birth in Matthew and Luke differ so markedly from each other that biblical scholars have concluded they are not historical accounts, but are 'symbolical narratives created by the early Christian movement.47 Borg observes that the Gospel of John, written during the period of debate over Jesus's divinity, is also not seen as a historical narrative according to many scholars. If these writings are not historical accounts, Borg notes, then Jesus never actually spoke of himself as Son of God or as one with God, as the light of the world, or as the way, the truth, and the life; that is, he 'never spoke the words of John 3:16.'48 Mack agrees, and states that all the events in the gospels added onto the original Q material should be 'accounted for as mythmaking,' and that the gospels are 'imaginative creations.'49

As a historical figure, Borg calls Jesus a 'spirit person,' a teacher of wisdom, a social prophet, and a movement founder.50 Borg notes that 'there is a major difference between what Jesus was like as a figure of history and how he is spoken of in the gospels and later Christian tradition,"51 and also that in the gospels 'it is very difficult to discern the voice of Jesus from the voice of the church.'52) He identifies a 'spirit person' as one who has 'vivid and frequent subjective experiences of another level or dimension of reality,' experiences that involve 'momentary entry into nonordinary states of consciousness and take a number of different forms,'53 such as visions or shamanic journeys. Borg's studies of religion worldwide brought him to the conclusion that spirit persons are found in all religions and cultures. The cross-cultural existence of such persons "undermines a widespread Christian belief that Jesus is unique, which most commonly is linked to the notion that Christianity is exclusively true and that Jesus is the 'only way.' "54 Instead, Borg characterizes Jesus as 'one of many mediators of the sacred.'55

Higginbotham, ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path
Llewellyn Publications (Feb. 8 2009) pp. 38-42

Notes:
28./ Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, 59.
29./ Ibid., 61.
30./ Ibid., 62.
31./ Ibid., 68.
32./ William Foxwell Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity: Monotheism and the Historical Process, (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1957), 397.
33./ Ibid., 398.
34./ Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse (New York: Crossroad, 1992), 91.
35./ Ibid.
36./ Marcus J. Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus & the Heart of Contemporary Faith (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995), 102.
37./ Johnson, She Who Is, 97.
38./ Ibid., 98.
39./ Borg, Meeting Jesus Again, 16.
40./ Johnson, She Who Is, 99.
41./ Mack, The Lost Gospel, 212.
42./ Ibid., 218.
43./ Ibid., 219.
44./ Albert Nolan, Jesus Before Christianity (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999), 150.
45./ Ibid.
46./ Ibid.
47./ Borg, Meeting Jesus Again, 24.
48./ Ibid., 29.
49./ Mack, The Lost Gospel, 247.
50./ Borg, Meeting Jesus Again, 30.
51./ Ibid., 15.
52./ Ibid., 12.
53./ Ibid., 32.
54./ Ibid., 37.
55./ Ibid.





Who Do You Say That I Am? Christians Encounter Other Religions
Cosmic Christ: Colossians 1:15-20

“Colossians 1:15-20, perhaps an early Christian hymn, praises the cosmic Christ and is the core of Christology in Colossians. Christ is presented as the 'image of the invisible God' and the 'firstborn of all creation' (1:15). (p.101) All things in heaven and on earth - visible or invisible, thrones, dominions, rulers, or powers - have been created by and for Christ (1:16). Christ who is before creation is the source, agent, and goal of creation. Subject to Christ are the four classifications of celestial hierarchical powers: thrones, dominions, rulers, powers. As the preexistent one, Christ sustains the created order; he is the controlling and unifying personal force in creation (1:17).

Christ, in addition to his role in creation, has a role in the new order of redemption. He has not only cosmological (for cosmos, world, universe) significance but also ecclesiological (for the church) and soteriological (for salvation) significance. He is the head of the body, the church. He creates a new spiritual community by supplying life, control, and direction for the church. He was the first to rise from the dead (others were raised but died again), thus becoming the firstborn in creation and resurrection. The life which animates the church is his risen life. In this new order of creation, Christ is also preeminent (1:18). Through Christ, in whom the fullness of God dwells, God reconciles all things on earth and in heaven, bringing peace through the blood of the cross (1:20; 2:9).

On the basis of this passage, a cosmic Christ theology developed which emphasizes Christ's cosmic role in all the world. This theology believes Christ is not only head of individual believers or the church but also related to humanity as a whole. God through Christ is active in every facet of world history. Christ is said to bring light to all cultures and religions, whether or not people know of the incarnation.

According to this view, Christ is present in the best of religious traditions and should be discovered there. Since Christ is thought to be larger than Jesus, it is proposed that an understanding of the cosmic Christ enables us to affirm religious plurality by being more inclusive, whereas Christologies that are incarnation-centered tend to be more exclusive. Cosmic Christ theology makes a closer connection between creation (world history) and redemption (salvation history), rather than making a sharp distinction between world history and salvation history.

How shall we respond biblically to these speculations? If Christ is the head of the universe and present in world history, and if he is the creator of humanity, we should not be surprised to see Christlike values in other religious traditions. We expect to find such values. We should not deny them; we can affirm them. Allegiance to Christ doesn't obligate us to deny goodness in other religions and cultures. Instead, we test such goodness by the Word made flesh. Sometimes we find evidence of Christ's stirring and beckoning among people. (p.102) Often people from other religions who have become followers of Jesus indicate that Christ was there, drawing them.

However, a biblical view of the cosmic Christ is not just an abstract principle referring to the most noble concepts in other religions. Not everything good, kind, or beautiful in another culture or religion is Christ. He is not just culture's best. He is not whatever we make him. It is too easy to assume that all nice people are followers of the cosmic Christ. Even if Christ is present in all things, his presence is not always legible, and the awareness of Christ varies. To understand the fullness of God in Christ, we need to look at Jesus. Instead of speculating about the cosmic Christ, we should concentrate more on holding the cosmic Christ of creation together with the incarnate Christ, who as head of the church provides reconciliation. From Colossians 1:15-20 it is clear that creation, incarnation, and redemption are all part of Christ's life. They cannot and should not be separated. They are not separated in Colossians or in John 1.

The New Testament moves from the universal and active presence of Christ to the particularity of Jesus, who was incarnated, died on the cross, and is head of the church. The emphasis is not so much on the invisible as the visible. In the New Testament, the cosmic takes form in the incarnation, not the other way around. Christ who lived on earth, who died and rose again, is the one who was before all creation, preexistent, and cosmic. Whatever is previously understood about God had received fresh illumination in Christ, not only in regard to salvation but also in relation to creation and history (Eph. 1:10; 1 Cor. 15:24-28). The cosmic work of Christ is grounded in historical existence, not simply in metaphysical speculation. It is precisely in the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection that we discover how Christ is cosmic. Christ intends to effect complete reconciliation - with heaven and earth. Our understanding of the cosmic Christ must be determined by all that he is and does.

Who Do You Say That I Am? Christians Encounter Other Religions
Calvin E. Shenk, Wipf and Stock Publishers (2006) p.101-102





Ravi Zacharias, Why Jesus?” alt=
"Finally, I have looked at what it is about the message of Jesus Christ that, if properly understood, still offers the beauty, the power, and the only hope of any future for mankind. So much of the fake has overtaken the depth and breadth of his teaching. He said that he came to give us water to drink that would quench our deepest thirsts. Yet the superficiality with which his message has been presented and manipulated by the media has obscured if not destroyed his message. One ought never to judge a philosophy by its abuse. Yet that is what the message of Jesus has suffered. The same manipulations attend the 'new' spiritual movements, but for a different purpose. Should our pursuit be to abuse the message, or should it be to discover what is actually being claimed by these belief systems and test these claims for authenticity? At their core, the worldviews behind these new spiritual movements are completely different from that of Jesus.”

Ravi Zacharias, Why Jesus?: Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality FaithWords (2012) p. xv





The Great Adi Shakti Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
The Messiah-Paraclete
“In between Jesus Christ and His destroying incarnation of Mahavishnu, called as Kalki, there is a time given to human beings to rectify themselves, for them to enter into the Kingdom of God, which in the Bible is called as Last Judgment. That you'll be judged, all of you, will be judged on this earth. The population of the world is the maximum, they say, because all those—practically all those who had aspirations to enter into the Kingdom of God—are born in the modern times and are going to be born very soon.

This is the most important time, because Sahaja Yoga is the Last Judgment. It is fantastic to hear this but that's the fact and it's the Truth. Though you can understand that Mother's Love makes it very easy for you to get to your Realization and that the whole story of Last Judgment—which looks such a horrifying experience—has been made very beautiful and very tender and delicate, and does not disturb you.

But this is the Last Judgment, I tell you, and you all are going to be judged through Sahaja Yoga whether you can enter into the Kingdom of God or not.”

The Adi Shakti Shri Mataji
Relationship between Kundalini and Shri Kalki (8th Navaratri night)
Bombay, India—September 28, 1979



"So many people in this world, how many are realized? Very few you will find. And today it is great naad (sound) of Kali Yuga there are so many animals today; the animals without tails.

But in this Kali Yuga itself, in this dirty mud, a great work has to be accomplished. You know it is happening. In this time, you must take as much as you can. Otherwise you will be thrown out of this evolutionary process. That time is not far away I told about it in 1979; that till 1979 this work has to be done and by the year 1999 Satya Yuga* will get fully matured.

Now it depends on your wisdom, otherwise Kali Yuga will also flourish because of you only. If you people won't like to work it out then the responsibility of destruction will be on your head.”

The Adi Shakti Shri Mataji
Keep the attention on your Self
Bombay, India—December 21, 1975


*The conjunction of two yugas [Kali Yuga and Satya Yuga]
“This non-profit website—which went online exactly on 1-1-2000, the beginning of the New Millennium—is thus for the human race to examine the revelations, miracles, knowledge, truths and prophecies of the Spirit-Paraclete and Her incarnation Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, about the Kingdom of Spirit and the Resurrection.” www.adishakti.org homepage



“The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in Glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God's justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God's love is stronger than death. (626)

The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them 'the acceptable time,... the day of salvation.' (627) It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God.”(626. Cf. Song 8:6; 627. 2 Cor 6:2.)

J. C. Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church
U.S.C.C. Inc., 1994 p. 272.



“Shri Mataji's mission is to save as many souls as she can.”

Judith Coney: Sahaja Yoga” alt=
"Shri Mataji claims to be able to fully awaken the kundalini of others almost instantly. The process traditionally involves strenuous efforts, is difficult and is only achieved after many years of practice (Krishna, 1971). The speed she offers is possible, she says, because she is the Adi Shakti (Sajaja Yoga 1988, 8). Once awakened, either by Shri Mataji or her followers, the kundalini rises through the chakras until it pierces the topmost chakra, the Sahastra, and emerges at the fontanel area at the top of the head. During its ascent, the individual may feel tremendous heat. This, says Shri Mataji, is due to the kundalini burning off impurities in the chakras as it rises. However, once it has fully ascended, participants feel a cool breeze on the palms of their hands or above their heads, and sometimes more generally:

This happening of Kundalini Awakening and ultimate union with a higher consciousness are described by a Sanskrit word 'Sahaja'. This means literally born with or spontaneous.. This cool breeze is the one which is manifested by the all-pervading power of Divine Love. (Sharma 1993, 55)...

The benefits of an activated kundalini are said to include increasing good health and relief from stress (Sharma 1993, 57; Rai 1993, 46; Spiro 1993), a feeling of well-being, a more balanced outlook on life, the adoption of a more moderate lifestyle and the spontaneous abandonment of bad habits, such as swearing, fits of temper and addiction. A tract which is attributed to 'the Sahaja Yogis of the world' describes other qualities which are characteristically associated with devotees of Shri Mataji as a result of 'realisation'...

Shri Mataji is presented as a saviour who provides the ark of Sahaja Yoga for all those who would escape the evils of the world, and even its destruction. In Indian mythology, it is the god Vishnu who incarnates for the tenth time as Sri Kalki and destroys the wicked in the Kali Yuga. A new age will then commence 'with men of purity and brightness, over whom Vishnu will reign forever' (Walker, 1968: 512). In the Sahaja Yoga cosmology, however, Sri Mataji has taken over this role:

He (Vishnu) has already awakened ... [and] has come in the form of HH Mataji. Hence, in all truth, and for all practical purposes, HH Mataji is Sri Kalki. She is our hope. She is the Deliverer. She is salvation. She is the destination. No one else should be hoped for.
(de Kabermatten 1979, 173).

Sahaja Yoga is presented as a final 'salvaging operation before the last sorting out' (ibid., 239). Thus Shri Mataji's mission is to save as many souls as she can.”

Judith Coney, Sahaja Yoga
RoutledgeCurzon; 1 edition (May 24 1999), pp. 31-6





Kalki

“In Hinduism, Kalki (Devanagari [] also rendered by some as Kalkin and Kalki) is the tenth and final Maha Avatar (great incarnation) of Vishnu who will bring to an end the present age of darkness and destruction known as Kali Yuga. He will establish a new era based on truth, righteousness, humanism and goodness, called Satya Yuga. The name Kalki is often a metaphor for eternity or time. The origins of the name probably lie in the Sanskrit word 'kalka' which refers to mud, dirt, filth, or foulness and hence denotes the 'destroyer of foulness,' 'destroyer of confusion,' 'destroyer of darkness,' or 'annihilator of ignorance.' Other similar and divergent interpretations based on varying etymological derivations from Sanskrit - including one simply meaning 'White Horse' - have been made.

In the Buddhist Kalachakra tradition, some 25 rulers of the legendary Shambhala Kingdom have the title of Kalki, Kulika or Kalki-king.

The prophecy and its origins

One of the earliest mentions of Kalki is in the Vishnu Purana, which is dated generally to be after the Gupta Empire around the 7th century A.D. In the Hindu Trimurti, Vishnu is the preserver and sustainer of life, balancing the processes of creation and destruction. Kalki is also mentioned in another of the 18 major Puranas, the Agni Purana. Agni is the god of fire in the Hindu pantheon, and symbolically represents the spiritual fire of life and the processes of transformation. It is one of the earliest works declaring Gautama Buddha to have been a manifestation of Vishnu, and seems to draw upon the Vishnu Purana in its mention of Kalki. A later work, the Kalki Purana, a minor Purana, is an extensive exposition of expectations and predictions of when, where, and why it is said he will come, and what he is expected to do. A few other minor Purana also mention him.

The Agni Purana explains that when the evil men who pose as kings begin to feed on human beings and try to destroy the righteous, Kalki, as the son of Vishnuyasha, and Yajnavalkya as his priest and teacher, will destroy these evil men with His weapons. He will establish moral law in the form of the fourfold varnas, or the suitable organization of society in four classes. After that people will return to the path of righteousness. (16.7-9) The Agni Purana also relates that Hari, after giving up the form of Kalki, will go to heaven. Then the Krita or Satya Yuga will return as before. (16.10)

The Vishnu Purana also explains that, 'When the practices taught in the Vedas and institutes of law have nearly ceased, and the close of the Kali age> shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being who exists of His own spiritual nature, and who is the beginning and end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon earth. He will be born in the family of Vishnuyasha, an eminent brahmana of Shambhala village, as Kalki, endowed with eight superhuman faculties. By His irresistible might he will destroy all the mlecchas (Barbarians) and thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will reestablish righteousness upon earth, and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as clear as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who will follow the laws of the Krita age or Satya Yuga, the age of purity. As it is said, 'When the sun and moon, and the lunar asterism Tishya, and the planet Jupiter, are in one mansion, the Krita age shall return.' (Book Four, Chapter 24)

The Padma Purana relates that Lord Kalki will end the age of Kali and will kill all the wicked mlecchas and, thus, destroy the bad condition of the world. He will gather all of the distinguished brahmanas and will propound the highest truth. He will know all the ways of life that have perished and will remove the prolonged hunger of the genuine brahmanas and the pious. He will be the only ruler of the world that cannot be controlled, and will be the banner of victory and adorable to the world. (6.71.279-282)

The Bhagavata Purana states, 'At the end of Kali Yuga, when there exist no topics on the subject of God, even at the residences of so-called saints and respectable gentlemen , and when the power of government is transferred to the hands of ministers elected from the evil men, and when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice, even by word, at that time the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser. (2.7.38) It further describes Lord Kalki's activities as follows: 'Lord Kalki, the Lord of the universe, will mount His swift white horse Devadatta and, sword in hand, travel over the earth exhibiting His eight mystic opulences and eight special qualities of Godhead. Displaying His unequaled effulgence and riding with great speed, He will kill by the millions those thieves who have dared dress as kings.' (12.2.19-20)"

Wikipedia (Retrieved March 08, 2012)



“So today is the day of telling you about the danger of playing with the Divine. So far people have been taking them for granted. They have tortured people like Christ, tortured great saints; all the time human beings have been torturing and I have been warning in every lecture practically that don't try that trick today because Kalki is already on. And don't try to trouble anybody who is a saintly person, who is a good person. Be careful about it because Kalki is on and once this Power comes on you, you would not know how to hide yourself. Not only those who are Sahaja Yogis but this I am telling to the whole world today: Be careful! Do not try to harm others. Do not try to take advantage of others and do not try to show off your own power.”

The Adi Shakti Shri Mataji
Kundalini And Kalki Shakti, Bombay, India—September 28, 1979





Kalki Avatar, the Coming Prophet by Swami Amar Jyoti

THE PROPHETS ARE A DIRECT DESCENT OF THE LORD on earth, Incarnations of the Divine. They come to set things right, to harmonize, balance and uplift, to make righteousness and truth prevail. Each time the Prophets come, They are harbingers of a new age. They come at the juncture when one age is closing and another is beginning. A Prophet is not only one who makes prophecies, such as Nostradamus, although in English that is a usage of the term. Jesus, Buddha and Krishna are all Prophets, but They did not come only to make prophecies. Far beyond that. The more accurate word is Avatar, which comes from the Sanskrit avatirna: 'manifest/descent from the Lord.' As Sri Krishna revealed to His disciple Arjuna five thousand years ago, recorded in the Bhagavad Gita:

Whenever there is degradation of Dharma (virtue/righteousness)
O Bharata, and growth of adharma (wickedness/unrighteousness) Then I embody Myself
For the protection of the good (virtuous)
For the destruction of the wicked (evil)
To establish Dharma
I take forth a body in Age after Age

Bhagavad Gita IV: 7-8

HOW DOES THE SUPREME LORD WORK THROUGH HIS PROPHETS to establish or restore balance and harmony, without which the creation would not function? Does He leave His abode and come, or does He send His emissary or Son? How does He take the shape of Spirit embodied as a Prophet? What is this phenomenon? Who is the Son of God? Who is Vishnu and Who is Krishna? Who is the Father in heaven and Who is Jesus? Who is the Buddha and Who the Bodhisattva? How does this marriage of the Spirit and mind take place? The answer is not new except in context: God is omnipotent. He can assume any form. Wherever He takes form, He does not have to leave there. He can take an infinite number of forms, simultaneously.

Yogis have proved this, appearing in several places while never leaving the place where they are. If a yogi can exist in different bodies at various places simultaneously, then just magnify that for the Lord—His powers are infinite. Those who are conversant with Krishna's Ras Lila know that He danced with each gopi, or milkmaid, simultaneously, and each gopi saw and felt Krishna is with me. It may sound allegorical but yogically it has been proven.

God assumes form in a particular dimension and combination of elements, such as on Earth, without leaving His eternal abode. He can do this simultaneously in billions and billions of forms, in the twinkling of an eye. If this were not true, how could God be in everyone? He has already “Become” everything. That is God's omnipotence and omnipresence. We can easily understand from this how the Kingdom of God is within everyone, how God is in everyone, Spirit is in everyone. He comes as the Avatar and manifests the force or power according to the mission of the age.

It does not have to be only one Son—do not limit God. At different times and places He incarnates differently. Therefore it is useless to compare one Prophet with another. Comparison is our human folly. We want to compare and think ourselves great enough to judge the Prophets when we cannot even remove our own headache. We twinkle too much. When you repeat the name of God or the Prophets, be humble.

WHEN DHARMA—LAW, JUSTICE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, GOODNESS—declines below a minimum level and it is beyond the sages, holy people or yogis to raise the consciousness and purify the Earth, then God incarnates to take care of His children. He comes with special powers and bounties, among which are prosperity, beauty, strength, wisdom and justice. According to the Vedic scriptures, human or Earth evolution forms cycles of approximately twenty-five thousand years. God incarnates in each cycle, about every two thousand five hundred years. In the present cycle Lord Vishnu has taken nine Incarnations or Avatars, among whom are Rama and Krishna. Buddha, the ninth and last Incarnation, lived around twenty-five hundred years ago. The Prophet of a particular age may come as peaceful and nonviolent, or as a warrior to vanquish evil—whatever we have asked for or the situation demands. To Him, violence and nonviolence are not opposites but a means to uphold and uplift humanity and consciousness; Dharma transcends both violence and nonviolence. At any cost Dharma must prevail; justice will be done; humanity has to be uplifted. In each age, the Prophet knows best what methods are required to reach us to the next evolution.

Kalki, as per the scriptures, is the tenth Incarnation. The name Kalki means literally, 'of iron' or 'machine.' It does not imply that He is a robot made of metal, but that His birth is in the age of iron or machines. The Vedic scriptures describe time in a cycle of four ages or yugas: the Golden Age, Silver Age, Copper Age and Iron Age. Our present age is the Iron Age, therefore Kalki is the Avatar of this iron or machine age. There are varying opinions about the time of Kalki's coming. Some interpretations say that it is very near. Others say He has come already. These are not mere opinions but commentaries by great scholars and pundits. The Kali Yuga has been described as a time of adharma—injustice, unrighteousness, untruth. If we accept some calculations, we have not even reached the lowest point of this age. If that is so, imagine what it will be at its worst!

The scriptures have described Kalki coming 'as a blazing Light' when He descends from heaven; the Second Coming of Jesus is similarly described. There are parallel beliefs about the coming World Prophet in various other faiths as well. Kalki is described as coming on a white horse with sword in hand. Though in today's world of bombs and lasers, a sword seems outdated, the Second Advent of Jesus is similarly predicted to appear on a white horse carrying a sword. Buddha is described a little differently. The Prophet will have a halo of light around Him. This has been taken by some to be the aura, but auras everyone has; not everyone has a halo. Everyone is potentially Divine but the Prophets are already manifestations of the Divine.

So either there are three Prophets coming together—because the job is very serious and one Prophet will not be able to do it all (!)—or the three are One, whatever name or label we give. Their way will be terrible in any case, what in the Bible is called Armageddon. According to the predictions, Christ will come and fight the anti-Christ and his forces. He will not be nonviolent. Whatever the manifestation may be, this is a time of great change, a quantum leap—that we cannot dispute. Only the timing we do not know for sure.

ULTIMATELY HE WILL BE VICTORIOUS OVER EVIL. The mission of each Prophet is the same: to uphold righteousness, to save the virtuous and demolish evil. If previously a Prophet incarnated as forgiving and suffering, like Buddha and Jesus, that does not mean that He will come the same way next time. Even if the Prophets could repeat the same drama in different details for the same purpose, this present time is such, that not only is humanity in need of uplifting, but also the Earth's evolution awaits God's intervention. The planet itself is transforming into a higher dimension, so the Prophet's mission has to be different. Much of what will occur will be on the astral levels because the next dimensions, the fourth and fifth, are subtler than our present gross third dimension.

There is no doubt that Kalki will come and save the virtuous. He may demolish the evildoers—not every common one but those who are real devils. Were He to be compassionate or forgiving of them, they would become more wicked. It reminds me of the story in the Bible of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham was a man of God. When he heard that the angels were going to destroy the city, he had pity and compassion for the people. He prayed, Lord, there are some good people there. Will You destroy the whole city and everybody in it because of some villains there? What if there are fifty good people? Will You still destroy the city? And God said, If there are fifty good people, I won't destroy the city. Then Abraham got more pitying and asked, What if there are fifty minus five, forty-five good people? Then will You destroy the city? God said If there are forty-five good people, I will not destroy the city. It is human nature that when God relents and yields, we ask for more. So Abraham said, What if there are only forty good people? In this way it came down to thirty, twenty-five, then twenty.

At this point Abraham felt self-conscious. He said, God, I have been really insolent to You and taking too much advantage of Your leniency, but one last question. God said, What is it? Abraham asked, What if there are only ten good people? God promised, If there are ten good people, I will not destroy the city. But there were only four good people: Lot, his wife, and two daughters. Two angels entered the city and were guests of Lot; right there and then the people's wickedness came out against them. Lot's family got scared but the angels blinded everyone and told Lot, Abscond from this city safely. No one will see you. And eventually the city was destroyed. There are many wicked people on Earth and they will come out more so as time goes by. It will not be hidden anymore.

WHEN THE PROPHETS COME They trigger or accelerate karmas. Then whatever is inside a person will expose, either good or bad. That which was previously suppressed or hidden is exposed. In Krishna's days, He brought out both the virtuous and the evil, exposing people as they had never been known before. Krishna knew each soul already and so will Kalki. The Prophets create situations—time, place and opportunity—which bring forth both the angelic as well as the devilish.

During Rama's age, Manthara was a maidservant, supposedly a good lady, serving Rama's stepmother. But given the right circumstances, Manthara came out wicked and became the cause of Rama's exile. Therefore, according to Vedanta, we never take for granted: good as good, or bad as bad, absolutely. We wait for exposure or unfoldment. That is the way of the lila or play—to let it unfold by its own natural laws rather than condemn someone ahead of time. Their coming and Presence alone triggers exposure. In every Incarnation this is a fact.

Jesus' disciples appeared to be all good people. They followed Him and gave up everything. How many of them proved to be really steadfast? Probably a few, including the two Marys—Mary Magdalene and His mother. Nearly everyone else faltered—the cock crowing three times, the thirty pieces of silver, etcetera. The Prophet knows but He may not expose or declare until the right time comes. Those who are afraid of being exposed, once they are, turn evil, reviling, revengeful, inimical, negative and so on. Before that they carry on very well: courteous, honest. Exposure is the test. Whatever the Avatars do, we know that it will not be easy. If it were easy, They would not need to come.

Why does God do all this? One very simple word—whether you are Hindu, Christian or Buddhist—because He loves us. He does"horrible"things if that is the only way we leave open. We force Him to do that when we give no other choice. The only alternative is to not do anything, but would God allow adharma—unrighteousness—to triumph over Dharma—righteousness? That would be the end of the creation!

Very commonly we hear and read, God loves you, which is true, but from the Vedic point of view, it is written that God loves us so much that in every age He comes on Earth to take care of us. If He did not love us, He would not bother to come and save us. Not only does God love us—God is Love. What does this mean in relation to the Prophets? They really love us—but They do not harp on it.

ALL LIFE ON EARTH—HUMAN, ANIMAL, TREES AND PLANTS—responds to the vibrations of love. We have seen that plants grow better when we lovingly tend them; animals respond to us better if we have love and harmlessness in our hearts. If we were truly loving, we would not invite destruction. When you come to love, pure love, you will easily see why everyone, whether in family life, social life or ashram life, is hankering after love. That is the only tangible thing. Try to do spiritual practices for thirty or fifty years without feelings—it will go nowhere, like bullocks with blinders going 'round and 'round a mill grinding seeds; in the evening they are in the same spot where they started; no progress.

You have to truly love and serve the Lord with a very pure heart, not in competition with someone else or jealousy or prejudice against other cultures and religions. You cannot get near heaven or God that way. Your love has to unite with God's Love. What is more consoling and satisfying than love? If you are trying to serve the Lord to impress Him, you are doomed. Even Lucifer demanded from God that he had been near and had every right to be near. But Lucifer had lost the way and became egotistical, selfish and ambitious. Love is not a matter of rights.

We do need love; and are hungry after it. That is the only language we actually understand. God accepts love only when it comes from purity of heart. If He comes on a white horse with a sword and throws fire and brimstone, what other option does He have? Some are afraid to read or hear about such things, but what if we leave God no other choice? We seldom think about that. We do not realize what ego has become: stubborn, demanding, willful, selfish. We have difficulty in loving very purely, unconditionally, as if, by loving the Lord unconditionally, we become nothing. This struggle goes on. Therefore I consider His coming in a destructive aspect to be a blessing in disguise, His mercy. God sees our deeds and our hearts, but mainly the heart. Whatever is based upon ego separation is the greatest and worst sin. That is blindness, which is exactly what ego is.

Humility softens us, purifies us and takes us out of these stubborn ruts. It is an indispensable prerequisite to reach the chamber of love. The meek shall inherit the Earth. True humility purifies the heart. Those who are proud, arrogant, willful, ambitious, competitive, jealous and untruthful cannot love the Lord, even if they profess to. They eventually prove to be revengeful betrayers. Why? Because they were not truly humble in the first place! They may have looked good simply because they were yet to be exposed. They did not love the Lord or their Master, they cared only for themselves.

Today it is a common 'philosophy' that unless you love yourself, you cannot love others. Quite the reverse. If it were the True Self, that would be different, but those who proclaim this mean to love themselves: their ego and mind. That is the travesty or perversion of this age, the Kali Yuga—boosting the ego. The only language through which we can unite with the Lord/True Self is love, and that is the meaning of unconditional love. Every other love is conditioned and therefore selfish, possessive, attached, which brings in insecurity and weakness.

Kalki will help us. The Second Advent of Christ will help us. That is what the Prophets come for; that is Their work. Allow Them to do it. Stand by Them. Those who stand by God are devotees. Krishna openly said: I have come to save my devotees. It was not partiality; He came to save the virtuous. So if you want God's manifestation or birth on Earth, if you want to be His instrument, you have to be pure-hearted.

That ego-demolishing or humbling is what makes you wise. It is genuine love that God sees, in which ego is non-existent, or at least humbled. If you have that, the Prophet is with you. Distinguish between true goodness and so-called goodness. When Jesus sat at the last supper and exposed his own disciples, they all shuddered, fearing what He might say. Some would deny Him. Some would betray Him. Others would leave Him. Had He said more, perhaps only a few would have remained.

WHO WILL STAND BY THE COMING AVATAR? IT WILL BE MULTITUDES. He cannot do His work alone. It will be a colossal destruction. The real test is when we are put against the wall, tight-cornered. Then our true nature comes out. Do you think, therefore, that the coming Prophet cannot distinguish? Many surprises may follow; you may be alarmed.

A wound or sickness must be exposed by a doctor so it can be healed. Hiding the disease from the doctor will not help. You may not welcome exposure but accept it with humility if it is true. Then God will clear it and clean it. This the language of love: He means good even when it is painful. When a doctor operates, it is very painful, but then he puts on a balm to heal you. God and Gurus do the same: They may seem hurtful at times but then They put a balm on the injury, curing it nicely—if you humbly allow Them.

Have faith. He will take care of your salvation. Live for God's sake; eat for God's sake; look after your family for God's sake; earn money for God's sake; be charitable for God's sake; use your talents for God's sake; sing for God's sake. If you are fearful, your love is deficient. He does not like us to fear Him. When you purely, fully love Him, you will be free from all anxiety, fear, worry and doubt. Instead of focusing on your deficiencies, just love the Lord. There is nothing greater than that.

Edited from the Satsangs: Kalki Avatar, the Coming Prophet
www.cgsun.psych.arizona.edu/jforster/KalkiAvatar.htm



“The destroying Powers of Kalki ... is sharpest of all... Krishna's Powers are given to Him which are only Hanana Shakti; Brahmadeva's Powers which are only Hanana Shakti are given to Him; Shiva's Powers which are just Hanana Shakti ... is given to Him. Then Bhairava Shakti which is also ... the symbol of killing ... And also Ganesha's Paresha and also Hanumana's ... which are going to destroy are given to Him. All Buddha's forgiveness and Mahavira's ahimsa is going to turn upside down. All these eleven Powers are going to come on top of us when we will be finished with Sahaja Yoga, when we will be absolutely sorted out, and the Last Killing will be done by Him.”

The Adi Shakti Shri Mataji
Kundalini And Kalki Shakti, Bombay, India—September 28, 1979







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