When Jesus and Shri Mataji talk about God Almighty you (know billions have been easy prey to error of false gods, sacrifices, rituals, idols and preachers)

Note: When Jesus and Shri Mataji talk about God Almighty you have to give up all your mental concepts and conditionings about the Creator. One should realize that Jesus spoke about the Creator with far more authority, power and depth than Abraham, Moses and Prophet Muhammad. Even more significant is the fact that Jesus already existed eons before Abraham, Moses and Prophet Muhammad, and declared that without any fear: "Before Abraham was, I Am.” John 8:58-59 says explicitly that Jews took up stones to cast on Jesus when the latter said that"before Abraham was, I am", despite never claiming to be God Almighty. The Comforter gives evidence to support Jesus' extraordinary claim, and counsels us that He was in fact speaking the truth:

Shri Mataji: "He (Jesus) was the Holiest of the Holy. You accept
that position.”

Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
Sacrifice and the Life of the Spirit

"The author of the 'Gospel of Judas' draws his wild caricature of"The twelve"As priests at the altar, leading multitudes astray and offering human sacrifice, in order to point out what he feels is a stunning contradiction: that while Christians refuse ato practice sacrifice, many of them bring sacrifice right back into the center of Christian worship—by claiming that Jesus' death is a sacrifice for human sin, and then by insisting that Christians who die as martyrs are sacrifices pleasing to God'. Had this author seen church leaders encouraging others—perhaps young men or women he knew, perhaps even members of his own family—to embrace death in this way? Of course we have no way of knowing, but his writing conveys the urgency of someone who wants to unmask what he feels is the hideous folly of religious leaders who encourage people to get themselves killed this way—as though their suffering would guarantee the martyrs' personal resurrection to huge rewards in heaven, just as Justin declared to the Roman judge who sentenced him.

Yet the 'Gospel of Judas', too, pictures Jesus' death as a sacrifice, for he tells Judas that by handing him over, he will surpass them all, for"you will sacrifice the human being who bears me" (Judas 15:4). So even though Jesus tells the disciples to"cease sac [rificing]" (Judas 5:17), the issue for the 'Gospel of Judas' is not simply whether Jesus' death and the deaths of his fellow Christians should be understood as sacrifices—he agrees that they should. But what he thinks is wrong is when bishops like Ignatius and Irenaeus teach that those who"perfect"Themselves through a martyr's death are ensuring that God will reward them by raising them physically from the dead—they are wrong both in the"God"They worship and in thinking that the physical body will be raised to eternal life.

These errors arise because people are unable to perceive that anything exists beyond this mortal, visible world; they are unable to understand their place in the divine scheme of things. Because of this ignorance, the true God and Father sent Jesus to teach and heal so that people could come to know what"no human will see"And"Whose measure no angelic race has comprehended" (Judas 10:I,2). He teaches Judas that there is a wider universe of the spirit beyond the limited world people perceive, and unless they come to know it, they will never know God or fulfil their own spiritual nature. For there is another glorious divine realm above the material world, and an immortal holy race exists above the perishable human race: these, he says, are"The mysteries of the kingdom" (Judas 9:20). As long as they remain ignorant, people are easy prey to the error of false gods. (P.61) But Jesus appeared on earth in order to show the true nature of the universe and the end time so that those who understand these things would turn away from the worship of false gods—with all its sacrificial violence and immorality—and discover their true spiritual nature.

Almost half of Jesus' teaching is taken up with instructing Judas about the existence and structure of the heavenly realm above, about how this world and the gods who rule it came into being, and about what will happen at the end of time. He teaches him that the supposed"God"Whom the other disciples worship is merely a lower angel who is leading them astray by impelling them to offer bloody sacrifice. It is this false"God"Who is responsible for having Jesus killed—and his disciples prove they are just like him when they blaspheme Jesus and stone Judas to death.

As the 'Gospel of Judas' opens, Jesus finds his disciples praying and giving thanks as they bless bread for worship—but he laughs at them for what they are doing. What, then, is wrong with their worship? What provokes Jesus' contempt? What the disciples are doing is probably not simply offering thanks over a shared meal but practicing the"thanksgiving"over the bread that Christians call"eucharist", to"proclaim the Lord's death," as the apostle Paul had taught (I Corinthians 11:23-26). [1] Jesus explains to them that he is not mocking them; he's laughing because they don't understand that they are practicing the eucharist"so that your 'God' will receive praise.”They wrongly think that Jesus is the son of their"God" (Judas 2:6-9) and refuse to hear what he is saying, comfortable in their self-righteousness: "[This] is what is right," they protest (Judas 2:5).

As we saw, when Jesus tries to instruct the disciples, all but Judas resist him, getting angry when he scoffs at their pieties, and blaspheming him—proving that their"God who is within you"Is easy to provoke (Judas 2:12-15). Only Judas is able to stand before Jesus, even though he is not able to look him in the eyes but turns his face aside. But although he averts his eyes, Judas recognizes who Jesus is, and dares speak: "I know who you are, and which place you came from" (Judas 2:16-22). Thus Judas demonstrates that he is capable of comprehending what the vision reveals—that beyond the universe we perceive with our senses lies an invisible realm of Spirit that we must come to know in order to know God, and our own spiritual nature.

Jesus then takes Judas aside and begins to teach him privately what the others are not yet ready to hear: that beyond the visible world they know is a heavenly realm where a great invisible Spirit dwells in an infinite cloud of light. Although surpassing description, this creative energy is the divine source of all things, both those in heaven and those on earth. He teaches Judas that God first created the invisible, heavenly realm, filling it with divine beings, lights, and eternal realms called 'eons', each with countless myriads of angels.

In contrast to this brilliant eternal realm of light, the visible world we live in now exists only as a kind of primeval darkness and disorder. Before God created the cosmos, in the beginning there was only chaos—like the description in 'Genesis' 1:2 that"The earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep.” According to the author of the 'Gospel of Judas', God in his goodness brought light and order to this world by setting rulers over it in the form of the heavenly bodies—just as 'Genesis' 1:14-19 describes God creating"lights"In the dome of the sky to rule the seasons and illumine the earth. Jesus also reveals to Judas the names of the rulers God ordained: Nebro (Ialdabaoth), Saklas, and other angels. They are clearly associated with specific heavenly bodies: the sun with Nebro (with his face of fire), the seven-day week with Saklas and his six angels, the zodiac with the twelve angels (who are each given a portion of heaven), and the angels set to rule over"The chaos and the oblivion"With the five planets (Judas 12:5-21).

Confusing as this account might appear to the modern reader, it is crucial because it explains how evil, injustice, and suffering came to exist in a world created by a loving and all-powerful God. This conviction—that, far from being chaotic or random, the universe was constructed by God according to a harmonious order—is expressed in what is probably the original meaning of the Greek term 'cosmos' ("order"). But the author of the 'Gospel of Judas' suggests that the term also means"What perishes.”That double meaning expresses the view that God's creation is good but that nonetheless the rulers of the lower world are flawed beings, who can lead humanity astray. Jesus explains that God's goodness consists in ordering and illuminating the primeval darkness of chaos; but nonetheless, in order for the angels He creates to be able to rule over this world, they have to partake of the nature of the world they rule. That means that they are limited in power and understanding; theirs is the dim and consuming light of fire, not the glory of divine illumination. In this way, Jesus' teaching here accounts for how"fallen angels"come to have dominion over the world—much like Satan and his angels, who appear in other Christian works such as the 'Book of Revelation' in the New Testament, exercise sway over the world.

As in the 'Book of Revelation', the 'Gospel of Judas' teaches that God has set a limit to the time that these lower angels will rule. At the end time, the lesser heavenly beings will be destroyed, along with the stars and planets and the people they lead astray. The author of the 'Gospel of Judas' agrees with the 'Gospel of Mark' that when the end time comes, what God created"In the beginning"Will collapse: " (T)he sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken" (Mark 13:24-25). For many Christians, then as now, believed that the end time would be a time of judgment, when those who do evil and the spiritual powers that incite them to do evil will be destroyed. So, too, Jesus teaches Judas that when the time of Saklas's rule comes to an end, the stars will bring everything to completion, just as he prophesies; and all those people who worship the angels will fall into a moral abyss, fornicating and killing their children (Judas 14:2-8)—these are the signs of the end.

What is most striking, however, is that in all the Christian literature we know, only the author of the 'Gospel of Judas' says that those who commit these sins do so in Jesus' name—that they are"Christians!"When people like"The twelve"practice eucharist and sacrifice and encourage others to follow their lead, they have fallen under the influence of angels who themselves err, leading astray the people who worship them into error and suffering. For as the 'Gospel of Judas' explains, although these angels were created and appointed by God, they are deficient beings. Unlike the heavenly angels in the divine realm above, they are mortal, limited in their understanding, and sometimes make mistakes. This suggestion is not original to the author of the 'Gospel of Judas': Other Jewish and Christian sources of the time also introduce such angels into the creation story to help account for the sufferings and mistakes that characterize much of human experience — while at the same time exempting God from creating anything evil.

Those who fall under such sinister celestial influences may be driven, like"The twelve", to commit violence and sexual immorality — even killing their own children in the name of some lesser heavenly power they mistake for God. As we have seen, Jesus rebukes"The twelve"for making such a mistake—a fatal one, because, he teaches, the way a person envisions God affects the way one lives. What was wrong with"The twelve"Was that they 'believed' they worshipped the God who was Jesus' Father but mistakenly imagined that"Their God" required sacrifice—not only the death of Jesus but also the "sacrificial"death of their wives and children, who no doubt represent the martyrs of the author's own day whom church leaders encouraged to die for their faith. Even when they worship God, they"celebrate"Their eucharist by re-enacting a death—the crucifixion seen as a sacrifice. When Jesus laughs at their worship, instead of asking him why or considering that they might be making a mistake, they angrily blaspheme him to his face. Thus their own angry violence mirrors that of"Their God.”But the reverse is also true: When Jesus reveals to Judas a different vision of God, this different vision creates within him and all who worship God a very different sense of who they are—and what God requires.

According to the 'Gospel of Judas', then, the fundamental problem is that"The twelve"— here, stand-ins for church leaders—do not know who Jesus is and do not understand who God is, either. They wrongly think that God requires suffering and sacrifice. But the author of the 'Gospel of Judas'—and others within the early movement as well - was asking questions like this: What does such teaching make of God? Is God, then, unwilling or unable to forgive human transgression without violent bloodshed—from either the cut throats of goats and bulls, or—worse—human sacrifice? [2] Are Christians to worship a God who demands what the Hebrew Bible says that the God of Abraham refused—child sacrifice, even that of his own son? What kind of God would require anyone—much less his own son—to die in agony before he accepts his followers?

Over the centuries, Christians have answered these questions in various ways. [3] One answer is that God is, of course, merciful and loving but also just in requiring sacrifice to atone for human sin: Somehow, the debt incurred by sin must be paid. But the measure of his love, as the 'Gospel of John' says, is precisely this — that"God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" (John 3:16). What could demonstrate God's love more fully than that?

Yet the 'Gospel of Judas' and other newly discovered works show that some Christians argued instead that people are gravely mistaken in worshipping such a limited, angry—even cruel —"God.” As we saw, when Jesus mocks his disciples' eucharist, the author of the 'Gospel of Judas' says they do not realize that they worship in error—not the true God but, as Jesus tells them," your 'God.'"Astonished, the disciples protest that"'you are' the Son of our God," but they are wrong. Jesus is the son of the true God. The 'Gospel of Judas' pictures such worship as a nightmare—one that distorts Jesus' teaching, mistakes the meaning of his death, and gives a false picture of God.

Ingeniously, the 'Gospel of Judas' pictures the nightmare as something that the twelve disciples themselves have dreamed up—and it goes on to dramatize their horror at what they dreamed. The disciples, it says, all had the same dream in which they saw twelve priests standing at a great altar offering sacrifice. But instead of picturing a scene of holy worship, they see these priests engaged in sacrilege—not only leading animals to sacrifice on their altar, but committing violence and sexual sin: above all, killing their own wives and children as human sacrifice, and doing all this in Jesus' name! Horrified, the disciples go to Jesus to tell him the dream and ask him what it could mean (Judas 4:2-17).

Jesus' answer shocks them even more: "You," he says," are the twelve men whom you saw" (Judas 5:3). What they see in their dream is a graphic picture of what they themselves are doing. While imagining that they are pleasing God, they are actually serving their own distorted view of a"God"Who, they believe, wants human sacrifice (Judas 5:13-14). In their dream, they are seeing themselves as the true God sees them—as evil priests who lead many of their "flock"to their destruction, like animals to slaughter.

The 'Gospel of Judas' does not tell us how the twelve disciples reacted, but if their previous behavior is any guide, they must have been horrified. Certainly the charge Jesus makes would have surprised and offended most readers, for Christians prided themselves on having rejected the practice of sacrifice, associating it either with Jewish worship in the Jerusalem Temple or with the worship of the false gods of their pagan neighbors. Praying and sacrificing to idols, they believed, would inevitably lead to immorality. Paul claims that people who do such things deserve to die (Romans 1:18-32)—and that the"gods"Who require animal sacrifice, are really demons (I Corinthians 10:20). [4]

Yet Christians were not the first to denounce such practices. On the contrary, they were following traditions already well established in their day. Israel's prophets, as well as Greek and Roman philosophers, had criticized conventional religion for promoting superstition, immorality, and violence by giving people wrong ideas about God. For centuries, Jewish teachers had denounced pagan worship, accusing their neighbors of carving images from wood or casting them from metal and then kneeling down to worship what they had made. Jewish teachers, including Jesus' disciple Paul, charged that devotion to false gods—gods who, they said, are actually demons [5]—leads people into violence, sexual immorality, perhaps even murder and the killing of children.[6]

The great Jewish prophets such as Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah denounced not only pagan worship but also the sacrifices offered by their own people to the one true God in the Jerusalem Temple. Speaking in the Lord's name, Hosea declared that"I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt-offerings" (Hosea 6:6). Amos, too, speaking for God, declared:

I hate, I despise your festivals....Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon....But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:21-24)

Many Jews, including Jesus, agreed with Amos that what God requires above all is"to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8); without these virtues sacrifice was unacceptable. According to the 'Gospel of Mark', Jesus teaches that the greatest commandment is to"love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second is this, 'You love your neighbor as yourself'" (Mark 12:30-31). After he speaks a Jewish scribe applauds, agreeing that these commandments are"more important than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices" (Mark 12:33). [7]

Greek and Roman philosophers, too, criticized certain religious practices, arguing that their own myths about jealous and petty gods who fomented war and committed rape proved that these gods did not deserve devotion. [8] Some people even questioned whether slaughtering animals in sacrifice actually pleased the gods. [9] Philosophers often argued that the gods do not require the smell and taste of sacrifice for their food but rather, as the moral philosopher Porphyry said," The best sacrifice to the gods is a pure mind and a soul free from passions.”[10]

Yet everyone who criticized sacrifice—whether Jew, Christian, or pagan—regarded human sacrifice as the worst of all. The Jewish author of the 'Wisdom of Solomon', for example, claimed that God gave the land of Canaan to the Israelites because the Canaanites had mercilessly slaughtered children, and feasted on the human flesh and blood they had sacrificed (Wisdom 12:5-6). The Roman governor Pliny says that the Senate first passed a law against human sacrifice only as recently as 97 B.C.E., and until then"These monstrous rites were still performed.”[11] Pliny adds that suspect people — Druids and magicians—still practice human sacrifice; for him this proves how savage they are. [12] Whether accurate or not, these denunciations show that human sacrifice horrified people.

Since Christians were famous—or notorious—for rejecting sacrifice, and some even chose to die rather than perform it, the author of the 'Gospel of Judas' surely intends to shock his readers when he pictures"The twelve"not only offering animals in sacrifice to God but offering him even human sacrifice! Only their worst enemies accused Christians of slaughtering children and promoting all kinds of immoral behavior. Some apparently understood the symbolic Christian practice of eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus as, literally, cannibalism. [13]

Until recently it appeared that criticizing Christians for immorality came solely from the outside—notably, from Greek and Roman philosophers, who were appalled at this new"sect.”The 'Gospel of Judas' now adds a new voice to the bitter debate that was raging within Christian circles, like that of another outspoken Christian, who wrote a vehement attack he called the atestimony of Truth' to challenge what he felt was the false testimony of those who glorified martyrdom. Like the 'Gospel of Judas', this protest was buried centuries ago; it was discovered only in 1945 near Nag Hammadi. [14] This author declares that"foolish people, thinking in their heart that if they only confess in words, 'We are Christians,' ... while giving themselves over to a human death," they will gain eternal life. These 'empty martyrs...testify only to themselves.” What their actions really testify to, the author says, is their ignorance: "They do not know ... who Christ is," and they foolishly believe that"If we deliver ourselves over to death for the sake of the name"— the name of Christ —"We will be saved.”The author of the atestimony of Truth', like the author of 'Judas' suggests that such people do not know the true God. Those who imagine that human sacrifice pleases God have no understanding of the Father; instead, they have fallen under the influence of wandering stars that lead them astray ('Testimony of Truth' 34:1-11). Rather than turning believers toward salvation, such leaders actually are delivering them into the clutches of the authorities, who kill them. All that such violence accomplishes is their own destruction.

What, then, is"The true testimony"to Christ? To proclaim his mighty works of deliverance and compassion—how the Son of Man raised the dead, healed the paralyzed, restored sight to the blind, healed those suffering from sickness or tormented by demons. While these would-be martyrs are themselves"sick, unable to raise even themselves" ('Testimony of Truth' 31:22-34:11), this author declares that those who truly witness to Christ proclaim that God's power brings wholeness and life. The true testimony, this author declares, is"to know oneself, and the God who is over the truth.”Only one who testifies to this message of deliverance wins the"crown"that others mistakenly say that martyrs earn by dying ('Testimony of Truth' 44:23- 45:6).

While the atestimony of Truth' thus denounces—even ridicules - the martyrs themselves, the 'Gospel of Judas', as we noted, stops short of this choosing only to criticize the leaders who encourage would-be martyrs to court destruction. Another of the Nag Hammadi texts, the 'pocalypse of Peter', allows us to hear the voice of a third vocal critic of Christian leaders who urge martyrdom upon devout believers. This author singles out especially"those who call themselves bishops and deacons, as if they had received their authority from God"; such people, he wrote," are dry canals!" ('pocalypse of Peter' 79:22-31). Charging that these leaders themselves are the heretics ('pocalypse of Peter' 74:20-22), the 'pocalypse' says that"These are the ones who oppress their brothers, saying to them, athrough this (suffering) our God has mercy, since salvation comes to us through this,'"oblivious that they themselves will incur divine punishment for the part they played in sending so many of the"little ones"to their death ('pocalypse of Peter' 79:11-21).

When denouncing such leaders as not only mistaken but implicated in bloodshed, however, this author apparently is writing to fellow Christians who are living in fear of persecution. The 'pocalypse of Peter'—that is, God's"revelation"to Peter—opens to a scene of Peter and other disciples standing in the Jerusalem Temple in a moment of mortal terror. Peter says," I saw the priests and the people running up to us with stones, as if they would kill us; and I was afraid that we were going to die" ('pocalypse of Peter' 72:6-9). But instead of advising them to avoid suffering a martyr's death, the 'pocalypse of Peter' encourages them to face such a death with courage and hope, as Jesus tells Peter: "You, therefore, be courageous and do not fear at all. For I shall be with you in order that none of your enemies may prevail over you. Peace be to you. Be strong!" ('pocalypse of Peter' 84:6-11). Thus the reader would understand that a writing like this, which claims to convey a"revelation"Jesus gave to Peter when the terrified disciple faced his own death, was also written to console any believer who feared the same fate—and, for that matter, anyone who faces, and fears, impending death.

When it comes to our second question—How does such teaching impel people to act? - some Christians, like Irenaeus, when faced with the reality of persecution and death, advocated that people should be martyred, arguing that God wills all this suffering for people's own good. For Irenaeus, suffering and even death are meant to teach people about the greatness and goodness of God in granting eternal life to a sinful humanity. [15] But the author of the 'Gospel of Judas' not only denies that God desires such sacrifice, he also suggests that the practical effect of such views is hideous: It makes people complicit in murder. By teaching that Jesus died in agony"for the sins of the world"And encouraging his followers to die as he did, certain leaders send them on a path toward destruction—while encouraging them with the false promise that they will be resurrected from death to eternal life in the flesh.

But the 'Gospel of Judas' rejects the resurrection of the body. What meaning, then, can be found in Jesus' death? The author offers a radical answer. When Jesus tells Judas to"sacrifice the human being who bears me," he is asking Judas to help him demonstrate to his followers how, when they step beyond the limits of earthly existence, they, like Jesus, may step into the infinite—into God.”

Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
Pg. 59-75
Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King
Penguin Group—London, England
ISBN 978-0-713-99984-6

[1] During the second century," fathers of the church"show that Christians disagreed about what the eucharist meant. Bishop Ignatius, for example, declared that those he calls heretics"do not confess that the eucharist is the flesh of our savior, Jesus Christ" (Smyrneans 7:1); Ignatius himself insists that the cup of wine offers union with Christ's blood, and the bread with his flesh (Philippians 4:1); thus it becomes the"medicine of immortality, the antidote so that we should not die, but live forever" (Ephestans 20:2). Ignatius connects this view of the eucharist, then, with bodily resurrection and, for that matter, with bishops whose participation alone can ensure proper worship (Smyrneans 7-8). The author of the 'Gospel of Philip' speaks as a Christian who takes the eucharistic elements symbolically"His flesh is the 'logos', and his blood the holy spirit"), and sees the resurrection as a spiritual process, not a physical one ('Philip'. 57.3-9). Irenaeus, writing toward the end of the second century, also derides"heretics"Who celebrate the eucharist, and yet do not believe in bodily [fleshly] resurrection, for which Irenaeus regards it as the appropriate preparatory nourishment (see 'gainst Heresies' 4.17.5-18.5: "Just as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives God's invocation is no longer common bread, but the eucharist...so also our bodies, when they receive the eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.”
[2] See Tertullian's discussion in 'Scorpiace', where he enumerates questions like these as examples of"heretical poison"spread by dissidents who question whether God desires—or commands—martyrdom.
[3] The history of this position, generally known as"The doctrine of atonement", is notoriously varied, having been interpreted and reinterpreted from the early church into the twenty-first century. Christians have thought about Jesus' death as a ransom to liberate human sinners from bondage to sin and the devil (Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine); they have talked about the way human sin offends God's honor, so Christ paid off the infinite debt owed to God with his perfect obedience unto death (Anselm); they have said that Christ's atonement is sufficient for the sins of the whole world (Aquinas), or that Christ's life and death are meant as an inspiring exemplar of love and obedience to God, intended to move people to repent of their sins and reform their lives (Abelard); and so on. Here we try to focus on the kind of views present in the first and second centuries that the author of the 'Gospel of Judas' seems to take aim against. It should be noted, too, that theologians working on the articulation of atonement theory often address exactly such concerns: How should we think about God in light of Jesus' death? For further discussion, see Paul S. Fiddes, 'Past Event and Present Salvation: The Christian Idea of Atonement' (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989).
[4] This was a common charge by Christians and Jews (see the discussion in R.P.C. Hanson," The Christian Attitude to Pagan Religions up to the Time of Constantine the Great"'ufsteig und Niedergang der romischen Welt', Wolfgang Haase, editor. II. Principat 23/2 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1980), pp. 910-973 esp. pp. 925-927.
[5] Deuteronomy 32:17.
[6] For example, Paul's denunciations we saw above closely resemble those of the Jewish author of the 'Wisdom of Solomon', who charges that devotion to false gods has corrupted pagans: .”..living in great strife ... whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries, or hold frenzied revels with strange customs ... they either treacherously kill one another, or grieve one another by adultery, and all is a raging riot of blood and murder... and debauchery. For the worship of idols... is the beginning and cause and end of every evil" (Wisdom 14:22-27).
[7] See also 'Matthew' 9:13; 12:7.
[8] See the discussion of Harold W. Attridge," The Philosophical Critique of Religion Under the Early Empire"In 'ufsteig und Niedergang der romischen Welt', Wolfgang Haas, editor. II. Principat. 16.1 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1978), pp. 45-78); R.P.C. Hanson, op. cit., esp. pp. 910-918.
[9] The social critic and satirist Lucian describes what would have been a common scene of sacrifice in any city in the Roman empire: "Although ... no one is to be allowed within the holy-water who has not clean hands, the priest himself stands there all bloody just like the Cyclops of old, cutting up the victim, removing the entrails, plucking out the heart, pouring the blood about the altar, and doing everything possible in the way of piety. To crown it all, he lights a fire and puts upon it the goat, skin and all and sheep, wool and all; and the smoke, divine and holy, mounts upward and gradually dissipates into Heaven itself" ('On Sacrifices' 13, translated from A.M. Harmon 'Lucian', Loeb Classical Library edition, Vol. III. [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1921], p.169). Is this what the gods really want? Lucian scoffs. Other philosophers also mocked aspects of pagan worship: The philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus ridiculed those who worshipped images, suggesting that anyone who approaches and prays before statues as if they were gods acts like a person who tries to engage in conversation with houses (cited in Origen, 'Contra Celsum' 1.5, translated by Henry Chadwick, [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953], p.9). The Platonist teacher Celsus complains that even when images are made by craftsmen with loose morals, people still regard them as worth worshipping (ibid).
[10] Cited by Eusebius, 'the Preparation for the Gospel' 4.14d (translated by Edwin Hamilton Gifford [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981], Part I, p. 167. Although Porphyry is writing after the 'Gospel of Judas' was composed, the sentiment he expresses was widespread in the first and second centuries (see Attridge, op. cit.).
[11] See 'Natural History' 30.12, cited from Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price 'Religions of Rome, Vol. 2: A Sourcebook' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 156-160.
[12] 'Natural History' 30.12-13, For other examples of Romans offering human sacrifice, see 'Plutarch, Roman Questions' 83, ibid; and the discussion of J. Rives," Human Sacrifice among Pagans and Christians"In 'the Journal of Roman Studies' 85 (1995), pp. 65-85.
[13] Those hostile to Christians accused them of murdering and eating infants as a central"mystery"of their worship. One such critic is quoted as saying that initiates are required to kill a child, and then: "I can hardly mention this, but they thirstily lap up the infant's blood, eagerly tear his body apart, make a covenant over this sacrificial victim, and by complicity in the crime they bind themselves to mutual silence. These rites are more foul than any form of sacrilege" (Minucius Felix, 'Octavius' 9.5, cited from Mary Beard, John North and Simon Price, 'Religions of Rome. Vol. 2: A Sourcebook' [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998], p.281). How did such a slanderous charge of ritual murder and cannibalism get started? Some outsiders may have inferred this from what they heard about Christians eating"The flesh and blood" (bread and wine) of God's son (see Stephen Benko, 'Pagan Rome and the Early Christians' [Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1984], especially p.62). But in any case, it fits the pattern we have seen of condemning other people's religious practices as impious and immoral (see J. Rives, "Human Sacrifice among Pagans and Christians"In 'the Journal of Roman Studies' 85 [1995], pp. 65-85).
[14] All references to this work are from Birger Pearson and Soren Giversen, 'the Testimony of Truth', pp. 101-203 in 'Nag Hammadi Codices IX and X.' (Leiden: E.J. Brill) 1981).
[15] See 'gainst Heresies' V.2.3; English translation from A. Clevelan Coxe, 'the Ante-Nicene Fathers', Vol. I, (Grand Rapids, MI: Erdmans, 1885 [reprint 1979]), p.528.

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Muslims unable to find even one of 123,974 missing prophets
High caste Banyan forced into arranged marriage with lowly peepal
Comparing single note from Quran with entire orchestra of Guru Granth
Self-Deception and the Problem with Religious Belief Formation
According to Hindu scriptures even thousands of years of rituals ...
Each one of them hides from the ultimate test of its validity and truth
Shri Mataji: "There is so much blind faith ...”
Shri Mataji: "Christianity has nothing to do with Christ.”
Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church
To all Muslims: "You persistently closed your mind to this promise"
Shri Mataji: "And now the time has come for it to be blasted.
The Great Cover Up [of Christianity] - Emperor Constantine
The Great Cover Up [of reincarnation] - Emperor Justinian
Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy
The word"pope"Was to both Lord Jesus and the Great Adi Shakti
Shri Mataji: "Like all the thieves of the world ... have taken over.”
A willful and deliberate rejection by Muslims of the Great News
765 problems with 'god' of Genesis solved by Jesus
Gospels in Conflict: John and Thomas
Religious progressives
Sex crimes and the Vatican

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