Why Christianity Must Change Or Die: A Bishop Speaks To Believers In Exile


Why Christianity Must Change or Die
"I believe in that gift of the Spirit who was called "The giver of life.” Once we located God only externally, and called this God the Father Almighty. Next, we located this God in Jesus, and we called him the Son Incarnate. Now we locate God in every person, and we call this God the Holy Spirit. I believe that this Spirit inevitably creates a community of faith that will come, in time, to open this world to God as the very Ground of its life and Being.”


Why Christianity Must Change Or Die: A Bishop Speaks To Believers In Exile
by John Shelby Spong

"So it needs to be clearly said that the God presence of this Jesus will lead us ultimately beyond every religious definition. Indeed, it will lead beyond Jesus himself. That becomes essential to human development whenever our idolatrous convictions identify the messenger of God with God. So the Ground of Being will finally be worshipped apart from any system of religious thought. It is a startling but real insight into the future of worship.

I believe in that gift of the Spirit who was called "The giver of life.” Once we located God only externally, and called this God the Father Almighty. Next, we located this God in Jesus, and we called him the Son Incarnate. Now we locate God in every person, and we call this God the Holy Spirit. I believe that this Spirit inevitably creates a community of faith that will come, in time, to open this world to God as the very Ground of its life and Being...

Religion is, therefore, not what we have always thought it to be. Religion is not a system of belief. It is not a catalogue of revealed truth. It is not an activity designed to control behavior, to reward virtue, and to punish vice. Religion is, rather, a human attempt to process the God experience, which breaks forth from our own depths and wells up constantly within us. We must lay down, therefore, the primitive claims we have made for our religious traditions. None of them is drawn from outworldly revelations. None of them is inerrant or infallible. None of them represents the only way to God. None of them can be used legitimately to coerce or compel another to belief. All evangelical and missionary activities designed to convert the heathen are base born. They are expressions of our sense of superiority and our hostility toward those who are different. The only divine mission in life that the Church of the future could possibly have is to open people to the recognition that the ground of their very being is holy and that when they are in touch with that holy Ground of Being, they can share in God's creation by giving life, love, and being to others. That is the task of those who claim to be God bearers. The Christians of the world are not here to build institutions, to convert other people, or even to claim that we can speak for God. Those aspects of our religious heritage must be sacrificed as the premodern misunderstandings of our primitive history. We are now exile people.”

John Shelby Spong, Why Christianity Must Change Or Die
HarperCollins; 1st edition (April 21 1999)


Book Review
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

The spiritual tone for this book is set when John Shelby Spong, the bestselling author and Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey, thanks his fundamentalist critics for identifying him as"A resource for the religious seekers of our world who yearn to believe in God but who are also repelled by the premodern literalizations that so frequently masquerade as Christianity.”He speaks to those who thirst for a church that is not fearful of inquiry, freedom, and knowledge.

In place of theism's emphasis on an external, personal, supernatural, and invasive God, Bishop Spong suggests recognizing the reality of God through images such as the Ground of All Being and the Source of Love. Instead of Jesus the rescuer, he prefers Christ the spirit person. Instead of praying to a faraway God, Spong posits the radical idea that praying and living fully, richly, and deeply are the same thing. Instead of traditional worship, the author envisions activity marked by"The self-conscious awareness that all of us are or can be God bearers and life givers.”And instead of the thirteenth century understandings of heaven and hell, he unspools his own beliefs about eternity. While Bishop Spong says he is addressing"believers in exile," he actually asks all the right questions of the Christian establishment.

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com Review

John Shelby Spong is the Episcopal Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, and has enjoyed a career filled with controversy, much of it thanks to his many bestselling books, such as Born of a Woman, Living in Sin?, and Liberating the Gospels. He has tapped into an audience of people who are at once spiritually starved and curious, yet unwilling or unable to embrace Christianity.

Spong refers to himself as a believer in exile. He believes the world into which Christianity was born was limited and provincial, particularly when viewed from the perspective of the progress in knowledge and technology made over the past two millennia. This makes any ideas or beliefs formulated in 1st-century Judea totally inadequate to our progressive minds and lives today. So Spong is in exile until Christianity is re-formed to discard all of the outdated and, according to Spong, false tenets of Christianity.

He begins his book by exposing the Apostles Creed line by line, then methodically moves on through the heart of Christian belief, carefully exploring each aspect, demonstrating in each case the inadequacies of Christianity as detailed in the Bible and in the traditions of the Church. The epilogue includes Spong's own creed, recast to reflect the beliefs he considers relevant to Christianity at the end of the 20th century.

Oddly enough, Spong's views do not seem particularly new. In fact, his views seem very much in keeping with the religious humanist variety of Unitarianism. What is remarkable is not the beliefs themselves, but that an Episcopal bishop would be the one to embrace and espouse them. Spong has become a trumpeter in the battle of beliefs, not just in the Episcopal communion, but in the realm of Christian faith in general in this country. His books are bestsellers and are in turn, presumably, read by those who, whether they agree or disagree, all acknowledge that in some way, Spong is involved in setting the agenda. This book, as the admitted "summation of his life's work" tells every reader what the complete agenda will be, for the next few years at least. —Patricia Klein

Review

"Bishop Spong is a passionate, illuminating original. His knowledgeable concern for the future of Christianity offers strength, hope, and theological solutions.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., author of Women Who Run with the Wolves, The Gift of Story, and The Faithful Gardener

"Should be required reading for everyone concerned with facing head-on the intellectual and spiritual challenges of late-twentieth-century religious life.”

Karen L. King, Harvard Divinity School

"Spong demolishes the stifling dogma of traditional Christianity in search of the inner core of truth. This book is a courageous, passionate attempt to build a credible theology for a skeptical, scientific age.”

Paul Davies, author of The Mind of God

Product Description
An important and respected voice for liberal American Christianity for the past twenty years, Bishop John Shelby Spong integrates his often controversial stands on the Bible, Jesus, theism, and morality into an intelligible creed that speaks to today's thinking Christian. In this compelling and heartfelt book, he sounds a rousing call for a Christianity based on critical thought rather than blind faith, on love rather than judgment, and that focuses on life more than religion.

About the Author
John Shelby Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark, New Jersey for twenty-four years before his retirement in 2000. He is one of the leading spokespersons for liberal Christianity and has been featured on 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, FOX News Live, and Extra. This book is based on the William Belden Noble lectures Spong delivered at Harvard.

Customer Reviews

Fascinating and disturbing manifesto, May 22, 2000
By Sophia (the Pacific Northwest)

In this, his latest theological work, Bishop John Spong systematically delves into contradictions and conflicts between biblical literalism and modern society. He spotlights the uneasy mix between traditional Christian faith and a modern world-view: contrasting the seven-day creation story with fossils dating back billions of years: the understanding of Earth as but one planet in one galaxy of millions are just two examples of the major shifts in the world view that have taken place since the birth and death of Christ.

For those espousing Biblical literalism and fundamentalism, this book will read like utter heresy. For the true atheist, perhaps, it will seem like goody-goody wishful thinking. Yet, throughout it all, Spong clings to the notion that God is Love, God is Life, God as the ultimate Source of All, and urges people, Christians or not, to examine their beliefs and enter into discussion and dialogue about what Christianity and religion mean in the world today, and for the next millennium. Even when I disagree with Bishop Spong's conclusions, he makes me reevaluate my own faith, and thus both stimulates and refreshes it. I am grateful for this book, even as it disturbs me.


Faith without Reason = Superstition!, April 10, 2000
By Poniplaizy (Mount Joy, PA USA)

This book is awesome! I had only gotten a few pages into it and already I felt like Spong must have somehow tapped directly into my brain! He speaks to the many, many people out there who feel disenfranchised by a Christianity that keeps serving up ancient fairy stories that are impossible for anyone with a critical (no, make that functioning) intellect to accept. He asks a lot of the questions we are asking; dares to speak the truth about the anger, defensiveness, and politicism that have characterized the Church; and liberates Jesus from the doctrinal straightjacket the Church has encased him in.

No, he doesn't really provide *answers*—but I think that's the point. So often people who question are told, basically, to shut up and believe because shutting up and believing is what faith is all about. Spong replies that questioning and reformulating is healthy. I agree with him wholeheartedly that unless Christianity wakes up and starts reexamining itself, it is going to die. Thinking people will dismiss it as a useless relic because it will be so inadequate for their everyday lives. It's happening that way now.

I highly recommend that anybody with any spiritual life whatsoever read this book! It is extremely thought-provoking (which is probably why the fundies can't stand it), and no matter what belief system you arrive at, you need to arrive there informed.


There Is Still Hope, April 25, 2003
By Peter Kenney (Birmingham, Alabama, USA)

John Shelby Spong has pointed out in WHY CHRISTIANITY MUST CHANGE OR DIE that the early church creeds were not completed until the last few decades of the Third Century and this was accomplished only after an intense theological debate among church leaders. Because of all that we have learned through science during the following seventeen centuries, many of the words of these antiquated creeds have become meaningless to us.

Countless Christians are now left without a supernatural parent figure in the sky able to intervene in their behalf. Some of these opt for the secular city while others try to carry on the struggle to maintain an increasingly weakened faith. It is the latter group in particular that Spong identifies as believers in exile whom he wishes to reach with a new message of hope.

Can Christianity survive without a theistic God and a theistic Jesus? Spong tries to answer this question by first examining some of the Christian images of Jesus. The favorite candidate for elimination by the author is that of Jesus as Redeemer. Since we are constantly evolving out of our more primitive past it does not make sense to assume that humans need to be rescued from a fall into sin from a previous state of perfection.

Spong does see Jesus, however, as a Spirit person and a God presence. There is a divine presence within all of us. Spong regards this presence as Spirit and believes that it was in Jesus in a most profound way. The author views God as a universal presence which undergirds all of life.

Spong looks upon himself as a believer who is now living in exile. When he dies he expects to enter into another existence. Meanwhile he wants to invite other believers in exile to explore with him new possibilities of Christian worship and faith.


Great references, January 22, 2003
By Adam Chen (Mercer Island, WA USA)

Nice book for its host of theological references. He has a huge library of books in his bibliography and lots of bible verses next to what he says to back up his arguments. This makes it a wonderful book for stickies!

Some of his interrogative sentences can be confusing at times, but you just need to reread them one or two more times before you get it.

I don't think his books can rescue people from fundamentalism. My mom is a fundamentalist and I know that when I argued with her in the past and got her to a vulnerable point she started using subconscious psychological defenses, such as semantic literalism, bogus questions, absolute truths, and questioning the reality of the five senses. The Freudian analysis he talks about I've witnessed through my mom and others as being quite real.

If you are aware of the damage caused by theistic belief systems, then you know how much this matters. The challenge is to temper our anger with compassion, somehow. If we really do believe in something that transcends pain and pleasure, then love, after all, is all that we have. Plus we need psychologists to help us find ways to free people from these traps, because they really are traps. It's heartbreaking that so many Christian fundamentalists don't know who they are in life and that causes them to be so destructive towards others.

Read this book, but be careful. The facts stated here will be more hazardous to some fundamentalists than drinking hemlock.


Finally, an alternative to reluctant athiesm..., November 2, 2002
By M. Nichols (San Francisco, CA United States)

It is impossible to calculate what the legacy of Bishop John Shelby Spong will be, but I suspect he will be remembered as one of the great Christian reformers of history. In all his books, including "Why Christianity Must Change or Die," he writes to an audience of "Believers in exile"—those who have fallen away from their faith due to disappointment, disenfranchisement, and increasing disbelief in the doctines of the church.

How can intelligent religious people—those with a knowledge of evolution, science, and an awareness of life's complexities, continue to profess a faith that has been disproven on many levels? How can people get meaning out of a religious tradition so hopelessly out of date that it doesn't speak to its audience? The fact is, Spong writes, many people (himself included) profess a faith that they no longer believe, and still others fall away from their faith into a kind of reluctant athiesm, unable any longer to believe the dogma they were raised with.

What Spong offers in this book is a bridge between outdated theism and the spiritual vacuum of athiesm. Spong details the alternative of "nontheism"—a religious belief that incorporates what we have come to know about science and the world with a strong belief in God and Christ. He does this through his trademark style of debunking biblical literalism and church bigotry. What emerges is a philosophy far more suited to the times than the outdated dogma that damages so many Christians today.

This book is brilliant, really. Spong seeks a spirituality that deanthropormophizes God—that appreciates the amazing complexity of the universe and human history without being threatened by the fact that much of the Bible has been disproven, that the church is too hierarchical and corrupt, and that there are no easy answers. His viewpoint is inclusive and intelligent, and he writes wonderfully.


The Good News Indeed!, August 29, 2002
By A Customer

Some time ago, I wrote the following. Having re-read the book, I would like to repeat it. I truly hope my path crosses the Bishop's some day, and I can tell him in person how much he has done for me: I loved this book. I was brought up in the Episcopal Church, but have not attended church for years. When I have found myself in church over the years, I have felt, just as Bishop Spong describes, hypocritical and rather numb, saying words that do not, in truth, hold meaning for me, yet yearning to find a home for my own spirituality. Reading the Bishop's book, I find someone expressing, and supporting with scholarship, what I feel. I am inspired by the idea of God as the Ground of Being of which we all partake; of Jesus, not as unattainable perfection, but as the model for passionate expression of that Being, which is available to all of us. Clearing all the paths for its expression is the task, but it's there, and it's ours. This is the true message of the Gospels. This is truly the Good News.


Rating: 5/5 - The true "silent majority" will delight in the honesty.

Even a reader who disagreed with Bishop Spong would acknowledge that Spong's documentation and conclusions as presented in this book are well conceived. As usual for this author, in this book he gives straightforward and honest commentary on subjects that often receive tongue-in-cheek treatment. Spong is a person of great vision and promotes an understanding of Christianity that enlightened people can use as a template for modern and post-modern eras. As revolutionary in his concepts as Luther or Calvin, Spong calls us into an understanding of Christian love as a subset of all human love, discarding the fictional legends of Christianity, while recognizing the genesis of these legends. Refreshingly different from Luther or Calvin, however, Spong makes this call in an effort to unite, rather than to encourage a schism. His efforts are universal rather than tribal. Every one of Spong's books has been astonishingly consistent with my own personal beliefs and, I strongly suspect, those of many others. If this book is his best, it is only because it is his latest. Invariably, Spong's points are clearly documented. Most importantly, they are correct. The world is blessed that Bishop Spong is willing to share his visions with us, and to explicate them so convincingly.

Rating: 5/5 - Great references

Nice book for its host of theological references. He has a huge library of books in his bibliography and lots of bible verses next to what he says to back up his arguments. This makes it a wonderful book for stickies!

Some of his interrogative sentences can be confusing at times, but you just need to reread them one or two more times before you get it.

I don't think his books can rescue people from fundamentalism. My mom is a fundamentalist and I know that when I argued with her in the past and got her to a vulnerable point she started using subconscious psychological defenses, such as semantic literalism, bogus questions, absolute truths, and questioning the reality of the five senses. The Freudian analysis he talks about I've witnessed through my mom and others as being quite real.

If you are aware of the damage caused by theistic belief systems, then you know how much this matters. The challenge is to temper our anger with compassion, somehow. If we really do believe in something that transcends pain and pleasure, then love, after all, is all that we have. Plus we need psychologists to help us find ways to free people from these traps, because they really are traps. It's heartbreaking that so many Christian fundamentalists don't know who they are in life and that causes them to be so destructive towards others.

Read this book, but be careful. The facts stated here will be more hazardous to some fundamentalists than drinking hemlock.

Rating: 5/5 - It's time to give up "childish things.”

This is a very moving and wise book. It is strong spiritual meat for those who are ready to give up "childish things," as St. Paul said. Bishop Spong refreshingly realizes that Christianity has a credibility problem. The Church has to start over again. It must stop thinking in terms of an old man in the sky, a supernatural Santa Claus who will swoop down to save us from natural disasters, illness, death, and the consequences of our own stupidity. It has to stop trying to impose moral prohibitions that have nothing to do with the truths of human biology and psychology, or with true justice and compassion. Freedom, knowledge, and wisdom must be our new commandments; our knowledge of God will based upon the truths revealed in our humanity, in which God truly exists. His style is powerful, clear, and sometimes lyrical. This is a great book by someone who speaks compassionately in a language we non-Christians can understand. I hoped to find in it some common ground from which believers and non-believers could begin a dialogue, and I was not disappointed.

Rating: 5/5 - Spong Builds His Messages.

I made the mistake of reading this book before reading "Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism.” Now this book makes much more sense. Bp. Spong does his homework, builds his themes carefully and provides references as one reads along. I suggest that his books be read in order of their publication date for the full impact.

Some may argue that Bp. Spong is no longer Christian. I would argue that he demonstrates in his every thought and action that he is a true Christ-follower and it is integrated into his very being. He is a thinker who encourages others to do the same.



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THE APOCALYPSE OF THE SPIRIT-PARACLETE
The fulfillment of the promised divine eschatological instruction
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2) An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity   
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost Robert Kysar, John, the Maverick Gospel 
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament In Spirit and Truth, Benny Thettayil
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17 Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John
Eric Eve, The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles D. R. Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God: an exploration into the Johannine understanding of God
Michael Welker, God the Spirit Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
Tricia Gates Brown, Spirit in the writings of John Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit: pneumatology and Pentecostalism
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel John F. Moloney, The Gospel of John
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith Robert Kysar, John
Robert E. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament 
“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'n, and Science

“And when Jesus foreannounced another Comforter, He must have intended a Person as distinct and helpful as He had been.”
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

“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 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 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

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.”
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 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

“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

“They are going, by the Holy Spirit's power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation.”
R. 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).”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament


“But today is the day I declare that I am the one who has to save the humanity. I declare I am the one who is Adishakti, who is the Mother of all the Mothers, who is the Primordial Mother, the Shakti, the desire of God, who has incarnated on this Earth to give its meaning to itself; to this creation, to human beings and I am sure through My Love and patience and My powers I am going to achieve it.

I was the one who was born again and again. But now in my complete form and complete powers I have come on this Earth not only for salvation of human beings, not only for their emancipation, but for granting them the Kingdom of Heaven, the joy, the bliss that your Father wants to bestow upon you.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
London, UK—December 2, 1979


“I am the one about which Christ has talked... I am the Holy Spirit who has incarnated on this Earth for your realization.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
New York, USA—September 30, 1981


“Tell all the nations and tell all the people all over the Great Message that the Time of Resurrection is here. Now, at this time, and that you are capable of doing it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Cowley Manor Seminar, UK—July 31, 1982


Guest: “Hello Mother.”
Shri Mataji: “Yes.”
Guest: “I wanted to know, is the Cool Breeze (Pneuma) that you have spoken about, you feel on the hands the Cool Wind of the Holy Spirit, as spoken about in the Bible?”
Shri Mataji: “Yes. Yes, yes, same thing, same thing. You have done the good job now, I must say.”
Interviewer: “Is it the Holy Spirit?”
Shri Mataji: “Yes, of course, is the Holy Spirit.”
Guest: “Aha... I am feeling it now on my hand through the [not clear]”
Shri Mataji: “It’s good.”
Interviewer: “Did you want to say anything more than that?”
Guest: “No, I just... That’s all I wanted to know because I...”
Shri Mataji: “Because you are thoughtless now. Enjoy yourself.”
Guest: “Thank you.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Talkback Radio 2UE, Sydney, Australia—March 31, 1981
(The guest experienced the Cool Breeze [Pneuma/Prana/Chi] of the Spirit through the baptism [second birth by Spirit/Kundalini awakening] given by the Comforter Shri Mataji over the radio. )


Second Guest: “I just want to ask Mother about a quotation from the Bible.”
Interviewer: “Yes, what’s that?”
Guest: “It says, ‘But the comfort of the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in My name would teach you all things.’ I would like to ask Her about that.”
Interviewer: “Could you just repeat the quotation again?”
Guest: “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things.”
Interviewer: “And that’s from where?”
Guest: “John chapter 14, verse 26.”
Shri Mataji: “I think you should take your realization and then you will know the answer to it. Because, logically if it points out to one person, then you have to reach the conclusion, isn’t it? That’s a logical way of looking at things. But I am not going to say anything or claim anything. It is better you people find out yourself.”
Interviewer: “Does that answer your question?”
Guest: “Is the, is the Comforter on the Earth at the present time? Has the Comforter incarnated? Mataji should be able to tell us this because She said that through these vibrations on Her hands, She ...”
Shri Mataji: “Yes, She is very much here and She’s talking to you now. Can you believe that?”
Guest: “Well, I feel something cool [Pneuma/Prana/Chi] on my hand. Is that some indication of the ...?”
Shri Mataji: “Yes, very much so. So that’s the proof of the thing. You’ve already started feeling it in your hands.”
Guest: “Can I?”
Shri Mataji: “Ask the question, ‘Mother, are you the Comforter?’”
Guest: “Mother, are you the Comforter?”
Shri Mataji: “Ask it thrice.”
Guest: “Mother, are you the Comforter?”
Shri Mataji: “Again.”
Guest: “Mother, are you the Comforter?”
Shri Mataji: “Now, what do you get?”
Guest: “Oh, I feel this kind of cool tingling [Pneuma/Prana/Chi] passing all through my body.”
Shri Mataji: “That’s the answer now.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Talkback Radio 2UE, Sydney, Australia—March 31, 1981
(Another guest also experienced the Cool Breeze [Pneuma/Prana/Chi] of the Spirit through the baptism [second birth by Spirit/Kundalini awakening] given by the Comforter Shri Mataji over the radio. )


Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011): Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage and Paraclete by duty.
The Paraclete and the disciples (vv. 25-26): The theme of departure (cf. vv. 1-6; vv. 18-24) returns. There are two "times" in the experience of the disciples: the now as Jesus speaks to them (v. 25) and the future time when the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of Jesus, will be with them (v. 26). The Paraclete will replace Jesus' physical presence, teaching them all things and recalling for them everything he has said (v. 26). As Jesus is the Sent One of the Father (cf. 4:34; 5:23; 24, 30, 37; 6:38-40; 7:16; 8:16, 18, 26; 12:44-49), so is the Paraclete sent by the Father. The mission and purpose of the former Paraclete, Jesus (cf. 14:13-14), who speaks and teaches "his own" will continue into the mission and purpose of the "other Paraclete" (cf. v. 16) who teaches and brings back the memory of all that Jesus has said. The time of Jesus is intimately linked with the time after Jesus, and the accepted meaning of a departure has been undermined. The inability of the disciples to understand the words and deeds of Jesus will be overcome as they "remember" what he had said (cf. 2:22) and what had been written of him and done to him (cf. 12:16). The "remembering" will be the fruit of the presence of the Paraclete with the disciples in the in-between-time. In v. 16 Jesus focused on the inability of the world to know the Paraclete, but in v. 26 the gift of the Paraclete to "his own" is developed. As Jesus was with the disciples (v. 25), so will the Paraclete be with the disciples in the midst of hostility and rejection (v. 16). As the story has insisted that Jesus' teaching has revealed God to his disciples, so will the Paraclete recall and continue Jesus' revelation of God to the disciples (v. 26).” (Harrington 1998, 412)

“This is the transformation that has worked, of which Christ has talked, Mohammed Sahib has talked, everybody has talked about this particular time when people will get transformed.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Chistmas Puja, Ganapatipule, India—25 December 1997


“The Resurrection of Christ has to now be collective Resurrection. This is what is Mahayoga. Has to be the collective Resurrection.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Easter Puja, London, UK—11 April 1982


“Today, Sahaja Yaga has reached the state of Mahayoga, which is en-masse evolution manifested through it. It is this day’s Yuga Dharma. It is the way the Last Judgment is taking place. Announce it to all the seekers of truth, to all the nations of the world, so that nobody misses the blessings of the divine to achieve their meaning, their absolute, their Spirit.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
MAHA AVATAR, ISSUE 1, JUL-SEP 1980


“The main thing that one has to understand is that the time has come for you to get all that is promised in the scriptures, not only in the Bible but all all the scriptures of the world. The time has come today that you have to become a Christian, a Brahmin, a Pir, through your Kundalini awakening only. There is no other way. And that your Last Judgment is also now.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh


“You see, the Holy Ghost is the Mother. When they say about the Holy Ghost, She is the Mother... Now, the principle of Mother is in every, every scripture — has to be there. Now, the Mother's character is that She is the one who is the Womb, She is the one who is the Mother Earth, and She is the one who nourishes you. She nourishes us. You know that. And this Feminine thing in every human being resides as this Kundalini.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Radio Interview Oct 01 1983—Santa Cruz, USA


The Paraclete Shri Mataji (1923-2011)

Total number of Recorded Talks 3058, Public Programs 1178, Pujas 651 and Other (private conversations) 1249

“What are they awaiting but for the Hour to come upon them suddenly? Its Signs have already come. What good will their Reminder be to them when it does arrive?” (Qur'n, 47:18) “As the above verse indicates, God has revealed some of Doomsday's signs in the Qur'n. In Surat az-Zukhruf 43:61, God informs us that 'He [Jesus] is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it...' Thus we can say, based particularly on Islamic sources but also on the Old Testament and the New Testament, that we are living in the End Times.” Harun Yahya

Good News (An Naba) of Resurrection (Al-Qiyamah): Videos 3474, Audios 1945, Transcripts 3262 and Events 2413

“Concerning what are they disputing?
Concerning the Great News. [5889]
About which they cannot agree.
Verily, they shall soon (come to) know!
Verily, verily they shall soon (come to) know!”

surah 78:1-5 An Naba (The Great News)
5889. Great News: usually understood to mean the News or Message of the Resurrection.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'n
Amana Corporation, 1989


[Moderator]: “Any other questions?”
[Audience]: “Pardon me for asking this question, but, earlier you talked about the Resurrection and you mentioned about the scriptures, where like in the Hindus scriptures they talk about the Kalki Avatar who will come for the Resurrection, and for the Christians, I know they talk about the return of Christ and all the religions talk about this Resurrection and the belief in the coming of the Messiah. So I just want to know since you say you are going to give the resurrection to us, what is your station?”

Shri Mataji: “In Russia?”
[Audience]: “And are you the promised Messiah? Shri Mataji, are you?”
Shri Mataji: “I see now I am not going to tell you anything about myself, to be very frank. Because see Christ said He was the Son of God, and they crucified Him. I don't want to get crucified. You have to find out. When you become the Spirit you will know what I am. I don't want to say anything about myself.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Toronto, Canada—October 5, 1993

“Jesus then goes on the offensive against the scribes and Pharisees, pronouncing seven woes against them (Matt. 23:1-36). The final woe identifiers them with all those in Israel's history who have murdered and opposed the prophets. From Abel to Zechariah, all the blood of the righteous will come on them as they typologically fulfill this pattern in the murder of Jesus (23:29-36). They are the wicked tenants who think to kill the son and take his inheritance (21:38). They are seed of the serpent, a brood of vipers (23:33). Their house (the temple?) is desolate, and they will not see Jesus again until they bless him as he comes in the name of the Lord (23:37-39). Somehow, through the judgments Jesus announces against them, salvation will apparently come even for the people of Israel. As Olmstead puts it, Matthew "dares to hope for the day when many of Israel's sons and daughters will embrace Israel's Messiah (23:39), and in that hope engages in a continued mission in her.”” Hamilton 2010, 377


“It is the Mother who can awaken the Kundalini, and that the Kundalini is your own Mother. She is the Holy Ghost within you, the Adi Shakti, and She Herself achieves your transformation. By any talk, by any rationality, by anything, it cannot be done.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


“She is your pure Mother. She is the Mother who is individually with you. Forget your concepts, and forget your identifications. Please try to understand She is your Mother, waiting for ages to give you your real birth. She is the Holy Ghost within you. She has to give you your realization, and She's just waiting and waiting to do it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Sydney, Australia—Mar 22 1981


“The Kundalini is your own mother; your individual mother. And She has tape-recorded all your past and your aspirations. Everything! And She rises because She wants to give you your second birth. But She is your individual mother. You don't share Her with anybody else. Yours is a different, somebody else's is different because the tape-recording is different. We say She is the reflection of the Adi Shakti who is called as Holy Ghost in the Bible.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Press Conference July 08 1999—London, UK

The Great Goddess is both wholly transcendent and fully immanent: beyond space and time, she is yet embodied within all existent beings; without form as pure, infinite consciousness (cit) ... She is the universal, cosmic energy known as Sakti, and the psychophysical, guiding force designated as the Kundalini (Serpent Power) resident within each individual. She is eternal, without origin or birth, yet she is born in this world in age after age, to support those who seek her assistance. Precisely to provide comfort and guidance to her devotees, she presents herself in the Devi Gita to reveal the truths leading both to worldly happiness and to the supreme spiritual goals: dwelling in her Jeweled Island and mergence into her own perfect being.” (Brown, 1998, 2)





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