Deepak Chopra: "Jesus belongs to the world. The promise of resurrection is also universal."
Deepak Chopra "I am speaking as someone outside the Christian faith, but it's my belief that Jesus belongs to the world. The promise of resurrection is also universal. If Jesus was in God-consciousness, he must have opened the same path to his followers. He told them that through God they would accomplish things as great as he did and even greater -- isn't that what we should take literally? If we don't, the awe of Christ's victory over death will remain, but the possibility of a first-hand miracle becomes far more remote." - Deepak
Resurrection Times Three
Posted by Deepak Chopra on March 22, 2008 9:29 AM
"The Resurrection is a second-hand miracle, and for that reason a bit disappointing. Spirituality is about first-hand experience, while organized religion is forced to begin with the second-hand. How strange that the literal fact of the Resurrection remains controversial. This country was founded in the Age of Enlightenment, when a new, more rational religion — the kind typified by Thomas Jefferson — was supposed to replace archaic superstition and church dogma. Spiritually, throwing out the bishops was as American as throwing out the King politically. The revolution took hold, and now as children of the Enlightenment, our society is overwhelmingly secular and scientific. But this didn't heal an aching wound, the longing for redemption that the Resurrection symbolizes. For the Resurrection to be real, it must be the key to salvation.
I think there are three ways to interpret the Resurrection and remain Christian in every sense of the word.
1. Jesus of Nazareth literally arose from the dead.
2. The divine Resurrection as the core of Christian theology.
3. The resurrection of the spirit whenever a person attains higher consciousness.
The first two versions are easier to accept because you aren't responsible for the miracle. Faith and acceptance are good enough. It goes without saying that fundamentalists demand allegiance to the first version and devout Catholics to the second. But at its root Christianity is about personal salvation, which is a first-hand miracle. It begins by following Jesus's teachings inwardly, finding the Kingdom of God within. This leads to a radical shift in consciousness, and when your allegiance shifts to allow divine truth a place in daily life, personal resurrection occurs. The "death" from which you are saved is symbolic but very real: it's the inert, selfish, lonely ego isolated from God.
I am speaking as someone outside the Christian faith, but it's my belief that Jesus belongs to the world. The promise of resurrection is also universal. If Jesus was in God-consciousness, he must have opened the same path to his followers. He told them that through God they would accomplish things as great as he did and even greater -- isn't that what we should take literally? If we don't, the awe of Christ's victory over death will remain, but the possibility of a first-hand miracle becomes far more remote."
"These leaders have prostituted the divine intention of the Gospel"
"The first role of successful merchandising is to give consumers what they want. If they want bigger burgers, make their burgers bigger. Designer bottled water in six fruit flavors? Done. Minivans with ten cup holders? Give them twenty. You've got to keep the customer satisfied. You've got to modify your product and your message to meet their needs if you want to build a market and get ahead of the competition.
Today this same consumer mind-set has invaded Christianity. The church service is too long, you say? We'll shorten it (one pastor guarantees his sermons will never last more than seven minutes!). Too formal? Wear your sweatsuit. Too boring? Wait'll you hear our band!
And if the message is too confrontational, or too judgmental, or too exclusive, scary, unbelievable, hard to understand, or too much anything else for your taste, churches everywhere are eager to adjust that message to make you more comfortable. This new version of Christianity makes you a partner on the team, a design consultant on church life, and does away with old-fashioned authority, guilt trips, accountability, and moral absolutes.
One suburban church sent out a mailer recently, promising an 'informal, relaxed, casual atmosphere,' 'great music from our band,' and that those who come will, 'believe it or not, even have fun.' That's all great if you're a coffee house. But anyone who claims to be calling people to the gospel of Jesus with those as his priorities is calling them to a lie.
It's Christianity for consumers: Christianity Lite, the redirection, watering down, and misinterpretation of the biblical gospel in an attempt to make it more palatable and popular. It tastes great going down and settles light. It seems to salve your feelings and scratch your itch; it's custom tailored to your preferences. But that lightness will never fill you up with the true, saving gospel of Jesus Christ, because it is designed by man and not God, and it is hollow and worthless. In fact, it's worse than worthless, because people who hear the message of Christianity Lite think they're hearing the gospel-think they're being rescued from eternal judgment-when, in fact, they're being tragically misled...
Christianity, in the hands of some seeker-sensitive church leaders, has become a “get what you want” rather than a “give up everything” movement. These leaders have prostituted the divine intention of the Gospel. They have replaced the glory of God with the satisfaction of man. They have traded the concept of abandoning our lives to the honor of Christ for Christ honoring us. As such, our submission to His will is replaced by His submission to our will. Since people usually reject the real gospel, modern evangelicals have simply changed the message."
John Arthur, Hard To Believe
Thomas Nelson (January 10, 2006) pp. 1-2
Primary function of the Comforter is to make men holy
"Jesus solemnly assures the disciples that they will, in the future, perform even greater miracles than He. By this He means to say that through the power of the Holy Spirit, they will bring about the greatest miracle of all – the salvation of lost souls. He promises them that whatever they ask for, in connection with their ministry of bringing the miracle of salvation to lost men, will be granted them.
The theme of this section is reassurance and encouragement. Jesus gives the disciples three basic reasons they should cease being troubled in their spirits. First, He tells them that, although He is going away, He will return for them so that they may ultimately join Him where He is going (vv. 1-3). Second, He tells them that, though He is going away, He will be the only means by which men may come to God and go to Heaven (vv. 4-11). Third, He tells them that, though He is going away, their ministries are not finished. In fact, the best is still ahead. They are going, by the Holy Spirit’s power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation (vv. 12-14)."...
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have told unto you.
Jesus now summarizes all that He has been saying in this section. Referring to the many things which He has taught them while He has been present with them in the flesh, He tell the disciples that the Comforter not only is going to remind them of these things, but also will go to teach them all things necessary to their understanding and happiness. The Comforter will recall to their minds Jesus' teachings, will enable them to understand truly and completely, and will develop and expand them into new and wonderful truths.
Jesus has referred to the coming Comforter as the Spirit of Truth (v. 17)...[whose] primary function is the work of making men holy. This is the work we call sanctification.
In v. 16 Jesus has said that the Comforter is going to be provided to the disciples by the Father on the basis of His (Jesus') prayer that He should do so. Now He says that the Father is going to send the Comforter in His (Christ's) name. These statements are essentially identical and imply a joint action involving both Father and Son."
Jack Wilson Stallings and Robert E. Picirilli,
The Randall House Bible Commentary: The Gospel of John,
Randall House Publications, 1989, page 205
"They no longer will be subject to death but will, like the angels, be immortal, for they have become ‘sons of the resurrection.’"
"When we trace this word [aion] in the new Testament, we discover that in the course of God’s redemptive purpose, there are two ages which are frequently called ‘This Age’ [The past sending of Jesus by the Father/God Almighty]* and ‘The Age to Come.’ [The present sending of the Paraclete by Jesus through the Father/God Almighty.]* In Matthew 12:32 the A.V. reads: ‘Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man , it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.’ However, our Lord is not speaking of two worlds but of two ages. The entire sweep of man’s existence is set forth in terms of this age and the age to come. The Greek word used is not kosmos but alon, age. It is unfortunate that our older English Bibles obscure this important fact; but it is correctly rendered in the R.S.V. Blasphemy against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; and the sweep of ‘never’ is two periods of time; This Age, and that which is to come.
In Ephesians 1:21, Paul describes the exaltation of Christ ‘far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.’ Here again the A.V.’s translation ‘world’ is inaccurate. Paul does not have in mind two worlds but two ages. His word is not kosmos but aion. There is no thought of two orders of society but of two periods of time.
A slight variant of this expression is found in Mark 10:29, 30. “Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brethren or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecution, and in the age to come eternal life.’ In the second half of the verse, we find again the word aion; and the translation ‘in the world to come’ does not accurately represent the idea. In the first half of the verse, the word ‘time’ (kairos) appears instead of aion or age. This makes it doubly clear that the reference of the verse is to two periods of time, not to two worlds. In this time, in This Age, we are to expect hostility to the Gospel. In The Age to Come, those who have followed Christ will be freed from all opposition and sufferings and will enjoy eternal life...
But a different state of affairs will prevail in The Age to Come, for those who enter that Age will do so by way of resurrection. Therefore, they will be like the angels in this one respect: they no longer will be subject to death but will, like the angels, be immortal, for they have become ‘sons of the resurrection.’...
When we ask what Scripture teaches about the characters of these two ages, we find a sharp contrast. This Age is dominated by evil, wickedness, and rebellion against the will of God, while The Age to Come is the age of the Kingdom of God."
George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (March 13, 1990) pp. 26-8
* emphasis ours
"But sometimes—especially when a vitally important biblical truth is under assault; when the souls of people are at stake; or (above all) when the gospel message is being mangled by false teachers—sometimes, it is simply wrong to let a contrary opinion be aired without any challenge or correction. One of the worst things a believer can do is show a kind of feigned academic respect or artificial cordiality to the purveyors of serious, soul-destroying error (Psalm 129:4–8; 1 Corinthians 16:22). The notion that an amiable conversation is always superior to open conflict is quite contrary to the example Christ Himself has given us.
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT
It may not always be easy to determine whether a disagreement is merely petty or truly weighty, but a careful, thoughtful application of biblical wisdom will usually settle whatever questions we may have about the relative importance of any given truth. Scripture makes clear, for example, that we must take a zero-tolerance stance toward anyone who would tamper with or alter the gospel message (Galatians 1:8–9). And anyone who denies the deity of Christ or substantially departs from His teaching is not to be welcomed into our fellowship or given any kind of blessing (2 John 7–11).
The principle is clear: the closer any given doctrine is to the heart of the gospel, the core of sound Christology, or the fundamental teachings of Christ, the more diligently we ought to be on guard against perversions of the truth—and the more aggressively we need to fight the error and defend sound doctrine."
John MacArthur, The Jesus You Can’t Ignore
Thomas Nelson (October 5, 2010) pp. xii-xii
The resurrection of Jesus is not the central datum of Christianity
Deepak Chopra: "Jesus belongs to the world. The promise ..."
Crucifixion demonstrates "what dies is mortal body, not living spirit"
Entrance into Kingdom of God which Jesus speaks
The granting of the spirit of holiness is viewed as yet to take place ...
The Second Birth of Man—In Spirit
Eschatological aspect of the kingdom possesses for Jesus ...
Resurrection is accomplished by the wind of heaven
The Resurrection of Christ Within You
Jesus rebukes those who seek access to God elsewhere
Jesus proclaimed "salvation through knowledge ... of the divine light"
Jesus presented "salvation .. based upon knowledge of self"
THE APOCALYPSE OF THE SPIRIT-PARACLETE
Fulfillment of the promised divine eschatological instruction
"I am the one about which Christ has talked... I am the Holy Spirit who has incarnated on this Earth for your realization."
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost
"The Paraclete has a twofold function: to communicate Christ to believers and, to put the world on trial"
Robert Kysar, John The Meverick Gospel
Bultmann calls the "coming of the Redeemer an 'eschatological event,' 'the turning-point of the ages."
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament
"The Paraclete equated with the Holy Spirit, is the only mediator of the word of the exalted Christ."
(M.E. Boring) Benny Thettayil, In Spirit and Truth
"The divine Paraclete, and no lessor agency, must show the world how wrong it was about him who was in the right."
Daniel B. Stevick , Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17
Stephen Smalley asserts that "the Spirit-Paraclete ... in John’s Gospel is understood as personal, indeed, as a person."
Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John
"The Messiah will come and the great age of salvation will dawn (for the pious)"
Eric Eve, The Jewish context of Jesus' Miracles
"The remembrance is to relive and re-enact the Christ event, to bring about new eschatological decision in time and space."
Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God
"The Spirit acts in such an international situation as the revealer of 'judgment' on the powers that rule the world."
Michael Welker, God the Spirit
The Paraclete's "appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed."
Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
"While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors."
T. G. Brown, Spirit in the writings of John
"The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit."
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit
"The pneuma is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life."
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel
"The gift of peace, therefore, is intimately associated with the gift of the Spirit-Paraclete"
Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John
"This utopian hope, even when modestly expressed, links Jesus and the prophets to a much wider history of human longing."
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith
"Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present"
Robert Kysar, John
"But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete...—will teach you everything."
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ
"Grammatical nonsense but evidence of the theological desire to defeminize the Divine."
Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything
"The teaching of the Paraclete, as the continuation of Jesus’ teaching, must also be understood as the fulfillment of the promise of eschatological divine instruction" Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity
"Jesus therefore predicts that God will later send a human being to Earth to take up the role defined by John .i.e. to be a prophet who hears God’s words and repeats his message to man."
M. Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur'an, and Science
"The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15... are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree."
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines
"The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world’s reaction was to Jesus."
Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
"They are going, by the Holy Spirit’s power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation."
Robert E. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary
"The Kingdom of God stands as a comprehensive term for all that the messianic salvation included... is something to be sought here and now (Mt. 6:33) and to be received as children receive a gift (Mk. 10:15 = Lk. 18:16-17)."
George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament
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