The Real Jesus: The Avatar Who Ushered In the Passing Age
Most people in the world have the wrong idea about Jesus of Nazareth, but those at the extremes are the most wrong — like those who worship him as an idol and as “God Himself,” and those who dismiss him as a fictitious character concocted by men who established a patriarchal, theocratic religion designed to supersede all others.
However, it is no wonder that some people believe such things, because all such false beliefs have been enabled by certain distorted ideas contained in the official canonized texts that were selected in the fourth century to be in the Christian New Testament, and probably in the original texts as well. (See the articles regarding the main Christian myths.) Those distorted and misleading ideas were then summarized in the Nicene Creed around the same time, and those distorted ideas enabled patriarchal, theocratic hypocrites to hijack most of Christianity in the fourth century and throughout history ever since.
Fortunately, even within the New Testament, there still remains a good amount of truths that reveal the core, universal teachings of Jesus, which is why there have been and are now many good Christians who understand the Golden Rule and have faith that ultimately the humble and meek shall inherit the earth.
Unfortunately, much of Christianity has been hijacked by Theocrats during various notable eras in history, including the present era — marked as it is by “religious” conflict caused by theocratic right-wing “Christian” Dominionists (and also by their hypocritical, proud and militant Jewish and Muslim counterparts who also think their religion entitles them to rule).
In spite of that, there is a mounting amount of information about how and why Jesus was a real man, and fully human, and his mission was not to start a new religion but to fulfill all, as best he could at the time. The historical, archaeological and scientific evidence that has been discovered and found, particularly since 1945, along with relevant written records that include not only Christian writings but also writings of impartial first century historians like Flavius Josephus. And such evidence reveals that Jesus actually lived and died, and was accepted by many Jews and Greeks as a Mashiach or Christos, an “anointed one” who was called and chosen by God as a servant-messenger-counselor.
So those who worship Jesus as an idol, as “God Himself,” are also wrong, for many reasons. For instance, they ignore or forget that even according to the official church canon (New Testament), Jesus said such things as God “is greater than I” (John 14:28), and to his disciples he said: “You have not heard God’s voice or seen God’s shape at any time.” (John 5:37). He also said we should pray to “Our Father in heaven,” which in modern terms reveals that God is the Great Spirit-Parent of us all.
In other words, Jesus of Nazareth made many strong points which have been lost on many Christians today, especially those who worship him as an idol, as God the Deity “Himself,” because they simply ignore what they don’t want to believe, and instead focus on certain words that seem to justify what they want to believe, and on certain words and sentences that are actually either grossly exaggerated, fabricated, or simply wrong.
Fortunately, the truth is available today for anyone who is interested and seeks the truth.
An important part of that truth about Jesus of Nazareth is that originally, during the few years that he taught in Galilee, Jerusalem and surrounding cities and towns, he was accepted by many Jews as Mashiach ben Yosef (meaning Messiah, son of Joseph), and it bears repeating that he was accepted by many Greeks as a Christos, which, like Mashiach, means “anointed one” or one spiritually called and chosen by God.
He was also known as Yeshuah ben Yosef, and that name has special meaning. Yeshuah is a contraction of Yehoshua or Jehoshuah, and it has the same meaning as the name of the successor to Moses, whose name was Joshua, the son of Nun. The meaning of those names is complex, but essentially it is: "That which was, which is, and which shall always be, delivers."
In other words, God delivers the message humanity needs to hear through a servant who God calls and chooses for a specific mission to fulfill at that specific time and place. But the mission of all true servants of God is to liberate the people and unite them in the Spirit of truth. For as James wrote, the perfect law is the "law of Liberty," and God's greatest servants' greatest role is as a liberator, as well as a messenger, counselor, and teacher.
However, Jesus was far more than a Mashiach in the Jewish tradition. He was also a Bodhisattva in the Buddhist tradition. (Read Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, by Marcus Borg et al, or Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hanh, or one of the many other books on the subject.)
Jesus was also an Avatar in the Hindu tradition. That is why he broke Jewish tradition and declared his oneness with God, saying "I am the truth and the Light," and "Before Abraham was, I am," even while qualifying his fully human role as a servant-messenger of God. That is, even though he declared his oneness with God in Spirit, he clarified that he was not God, but a servant of God.
The problem is that most Christians in the world today do not know that, and they don't know who or what Jesus was. They have been misled. For even though the canonized Christian scriptures do contain a lot of the wisdom that Jesus taught, they also contain exaggerations, erroneous or misleading claims, and faulty doctrines. And they fail to explain why Jesus said that all people could realize what he realized, that we are all children of God, and one in God's Spirit.
So now it is time to set the record straight, as Jesus prophesied it would be now at the end of the age.
An Anointed One
Since the first century historian Flavius Josephus reported that Jesus was accepted by many Jews and many Greeks, and since the Christian epistles and gospels report that Jesus was accepted as a Mashiach (or Messiah in English) by those believing Jews, and by those believing Greeks as a Christos (which is the Greek word for Mashiach) – which again is a title meaning “anointed one.” And in the Jewish tradition the title of Mashiach had been held by many special figures in the history of the Jews.
In fact, even a non-Jew was anointed by God, according to Isaiah 45:1. It was Cyrus, the great Zoroastrian King of Persia, who wound up freeing the Jews from Babylonian captivity and helping them to return to Jerusalem and build the Second Temple. So, according to Isaiah, Cyrus was a servant of the God of the Jews without even knowing it, and the mission of Cyrus turned out to be unique and profoundly important to the Jews.
The mission of Jesus was unique as well, and one of the main reasons Jesus was called and chosen was to reform Judaism and make it more inclusive. But, even Jesus knew that wouldn’t happen, at least not until the end of the age (or aeon or olam or yuga) that he ushered in.
That is because after Jesus was killed, the stories about him evolved and developed to the point that beliefs about who and what he was changed because the stories about him were embellished and exaggerated. Moreover, the religion we know as Christianity was actually established when Paul produced and distributed his first seven epistles in 50 CE, about two decades after Jesus’ death, and Pauline Christianity became dominant by 180 CE, and was then later made official in the fourth century when the Christian Bible as we know it was compiled.
But again, it wasn’t what Jesus intended. It was Paul’s idea of religion, which he believed superseded Judaism, which is why Paul’s ideas alienated many Jews, Gnostic Christians and many other Christians who followed James rather than Paul.
Now, at the end of the age, today fundamentalist and evangelical Christians would say that Christianity is the largest religion in the world because it is the only religion established by “God Himself,” or God incarnate, manifested in one magically conceived human being, as Pauline Christianity and the Nicene Creed assert.
However, that is not true. The truth is that Christianity is the largest religion in the world despite such false beliefs, because most Christians in the world love the humanitarian teachings of Jesus, especially the teachings around the Golden Rule. For the best teachings of Jesus are about treating others we would want to be treated; about loving one another, caring for one another, and having faith that the good, humble and meek majority shall ultimately inherit the earth.
Who and What Jesus Really Was
There is plenty of evidence now that reveals who and what Jesus of Nazareth really was, and that evidence comes not only from archaeological findings since 1945 and 1947, but also from scholarly research that has been conducted since the 1600s and 1700s. Indeed, scholarly research has been ongoing and it markedly increased during the last 30 years to counter “fundamentalism” and the rise of the theocratic “religious right,” which rose to political power in America. with Ronald Reagan.
Furthermore, all that evidence has helped to reveal the considerable amount of other evidence that had previously been ignored or unrecognized in the Judeo-Christian scriptures — evidence which actually exposes the contradictions and fabrications contained in the canonized Christian New Testament, part of which has led people to misunderstand who and what Jesus was, and instead created an idol to worship.
Several centuries ago during the “Enlightenment,” many scholars realized that. For example, even one of America's greatest Founders, Thomas Jefferson, wrote: “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence: and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”
Many of Jefferson's peers agreed with him, as is evident in the Quotes From America's Founders Regarding Religion.
Unfortunately, such voices of reason regarding Christian scriptures have always been drowned out and forgotten, and Christian dogmatic tradition has survived and been perpetuated and even more widely spread by theocratic leaders of the "Christian" Dominionist movement. Consequently, due to a very basic misunderstanding, few people in the world understand who and what Jesus of Nazareth was, and what his role and mission was.
Due to such misunderstanding, people on opposite extremes of the issue believe he was either a Supernatural Divine Being born into a human body, or merely a fictitious character deliberately created in fictitious texts to establish the one and only religion purported to be founded by “God Himself.”
However, both those extremes are wrong because, as you will find in this and other articles related to this one, Jesus was a real man – a spiritually “anointed,” enlightened, self-realized man – born of a man and woman, as all human beings were and are.
That is why some Atheists, no doubt in response to the aggressive theocratic political action and imposition of the Christian Dominionists on the “religious right” in America, have mounted an effective campaign to call Christian dogma into question, and Atheists have brought up some very good, valid points. So in response to both Atheists and leaders of the "religious right," progressive Christians and other religious scholars have written much that also refutes traditional "fundamentalist" Christian dogma.
However, even though Atheists make some good points, the historical Jesus of Nazareth was a very real man. Even Flavius Josephus, an impartial first century Romano-Jewish historian, wrote of Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, calling Jesus a wise man who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher who “won over many Jews and many of the Greeks.” In fact, Jesus was accepted as a Mashiach (Messiah) by multitudes, and again, he was the Avatar for the passing age because of his inclusiveness and his universal message of love, truth, peace, freedom and social justice.
When the Problems With Christianity Began
The article About Christianity discussed these issues comprehensively, but here it should be said that problems with Christianity as we know it arose after Jesus was killed, and Christianity the religion became increasingly problematic between 50 C.E. and 180 C.E., and and it became even more problematic after the fourth century. Therefore, Christianity, as we know it, is not what Jesus intended, even though he knew and said that it would not be what he intended until the end of the age (or aeon or olam) he ushered in.
The irony is that Jesus actually knew and prophesied what would happen, because on one hand he knew Christianity would be spread all around the world, and he knew there would be some good Christians who would teach his universal message of peace, love, inclusiveness, compassion and justice. However, he also knew that theocratic hypocrites would claim Christianity as a political tool to control and dominate people, and he knew they would be as the blind leading the blind. That is why he said, "I came not to bring peace, but division," and of course the world has been plagued by conflict and division during most of the age, and increasingly as it draws to a close.
Part of the reason for the problems is because Christians of the world have been instructed to believe that the true role and mission of Jesus of Nazareth is reflected in the Nicene Creed, which was created in the fourth century by official church decrees to summarize who and what Jesus was and is, at least according to the Christians texts that were selected in the fourth century as official church canon.
As you may know, the Nicene Creed declares that Jesus is (to paraphrase): "the only-begotten Son of God, God of God, being of one substance with the Father; who, for our salvation, came down from heaven and was made incarnate by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified for us, and on the third day rose again and ascended into heaven, and shall come again."
The problem is that almost none of that is true, and while that wouldn’t have been a problem if all Christians would have been guided by the Golden Rule, it became a huge problem and is still a growing problem because hypocritical theocratic Christians use is as justification for trying to rule the world in the name of Christianity.
That is why it is time to learn that one thing in that creed is true: Jesus was of one substance with God. But then, all human beings are. After all, God is the Essence of all life and form, and the Divine Consciousness and Divine Light Energy of God pervades the universe. Moreover, as Jesus himself said, God’s Spirit of truth is within us, and we can realize it.
Furthermore, Jesus was a son of man and the son of Joseph, not born of a virgin (as the article on The Virgin Birth Story explains). After all, God is the Great Spirit-Parent of all of us, and the primordial "Word" of God is made flesh in us all, as we are capable of realizing. And, while the spirit-soul of Jesus did ascend to heaven, all souls can (as the article on The Martyrdom of Jesus discusses).
Now, much of the truth about Jesus was realized by revelations and research by the author, but many people in the world, particularly since the 1600s, have realized that the Christian Bible as we know contains many errors and contradictions. And, considering all the evidence presented here in this and related articles, you may see that the Nicene Creed is erroneous, misleading, man-made patriarchal doctrine designed to establish the Pauline doctrine of preeminence and superiority.
The “Enlightenment”: A Relatively Small First Step Toward Truth
One of the scholars of the 1600s who helped lay the groundwork for the “Enlightenment” of the 1700s, and who tried to help free the world from theocratic patriarchal Christian dogma, was Baruch Spinoza (known later as Benedict de Spinoza). He was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese origin, and his reasonable and rational critique of the Christian Bible posthumously earned him immense respect among scholars. His book, Ethics, solidified his place as one of Western philosophy's most important thinkers. I
It has been said that due to Spinoza’s work “refined conceptions of medieval [Christian] philosophy are finally turned against themselves and destroyed entirely." That was no doubt said by an Atheist or Deist who appreciate Spinoza’s work. But, even though Jewish and Christian leaders hated Spinoza, rational thinkers from Thomas Jefferson to Albert Einstein have also respected Spinoza’s work, and for good reason.
In fact many of America’s Founders, many of who were Deists, probably read Spinoza’s work — especially Thomas Jefferson, who was also critical of “Christianity” as we know it. It is well known by scholars that even though Jefferson loved the core universal teachings of Jesus, he was astounded at the amount of supernatural claims and theocratic theological doctrines and dogma included in the Pauline Theology of Christian Apologetics which are expressed in the Christian Bible and the Nicene Creed. And Jefferson rejected all of that.
That is part of the reason why, back in 1800 when Jefferson was campaigning for the presidency – which he won – he had to deal with attacks not only from the right-wing Federalist Party which had recently been founded by the banker Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson was also attacked by right-wing fundamentalist Christian clergy.
The attacks from the fundamentalist clergy became so bad that they accused Jefferson of “heresy,” and that was for several reasons. One was his position regarding religious freedom, which Jefferson believed could not be achieved unless government was neutral regarding religion and respected all as equal in the sight of the law. And the other was his position on the "corruptions" in the canonical New Testament.
About his attackers, Jefferson wrote: "They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me."
To give you an idea of Jefferson’s beliefs about Christianity, in a letter to John Adams in 1814, Jefferson wrote: "The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts ...."
In a letter from Montecello in a letter to another friend, Jefferson wrote: "Among the sayings and discourses imputed to [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence: and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate therefore the gold from the [refuse]; restore to him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of his disciples. Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the ... first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus. These palpable interpolations and falsifications of his doctrines led me to try to sift them apart [in the Jefferson Bible]."
The Modern “Enlightenment”
The modern Enlightenment, which is still in its infancy, takes what was learned and realized from Spinoza’s and Jefferson’s time and adds modern scholarship, archaeology and research. And the modern Enlightenment is beginning to bloom and spread.
Since Jefferson’s time, many progressive scholars have continued to seek the truth and the facts of the matter. Such scholarship increased immensely in 1945 when 52 Gnostic Gospels were discovered in twelve leather-bound papyrus codices or manuscripts which had been buried in a sealed jar along with three Hermetic Greek works. They are now known as The Nag Hammadi Library, and they have proven valuable to scholars who are trying to arrive at the truth.
The Gnostic gospels have been a great help, even though right-wing fundamentalist Christian Dominionists dismiss them because they speak of Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene. Some Gnostic gospels say that Jesus loved her more than the apostles, and one text states that Jesus said Mary was the "apostle of apostles." And some of them reveal how and why early Christians were divided into different factions, critical of each other. (More of this is discussed in the article About Christianity, especially about the schism between the groups led by Paul, who were opposed to the Jerusalem group led by James.)
To further the education of progressive religious scholars, in 1947 the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran were a great boon to our knowledge. They are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and other religious texts. They are of great religious and historical significance because they include the oldest known surviving copies of documents that preserved evidence of great diversity in the Second Temple of Judaism in Jerusalem. They are written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, mostly on parchment, with some written on papyrus. There are works of "hidden" wisdom, such as the Book of Enoch, Jubilees, and Ecclesiasticus, some of which had been known only through the existence of a few copies, some of which had been suppressed by “conservatives” and orthodox Jews.
Discoveries like these, along with archaeological discoveries and modern scholarship, have give humanity much greater understanding about the foundations of religions. So the author has learned much from them and others, and he has added his own insights and revelations to modern scholarship to reach this point of understanding – an understanding that continues to grow. And all that the author has learned from others has confirmed the core truths that he already knew from the revelations that he received in 1971.
Who and What Jesus Was
Despite the indications in the canonical Christian texts (Bible) that create a misleading image of Jesus as a human idol to worship, there are, nevertheless, clear and true indications in both the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament) and the canonized New Testament that provide enough evidence for us to determine who and what he was, and what his role and mission was.
That evidence becomes even greater when we also consider modern progressive scholarship and modern archaeological discoveries, and all the evidence combined reveals that Jesus of Nazareth was not who or what Christians have been led to believe he was.
The role of Jesus, known to his fellow Jews as Yeshuah ben Yosef, and by the title of Mashiach ben Yosef, was not to judge the world, and not to bring peace, but rather, division, as he himself said. However, his role was both to reform Judaism and make it more inclusive, and to teach all humanity, by word and by example, how we should behave properly.
Thank God, that part of his teachings, summarized by the Golden Rule, are what good Christians have focused upon. The problem is that hypocrites who masquerade as Christians have focused on, and still focus on, theocratic theological doctrines and dogma.
Why The Role of Jesus As Prophet Is So Important Now
All the above is why Jesus’ role as prophet is of great importance now, because he revealed prophecies about what would be happening now at the end of the passing age of division (which he ushered in). And it’s not just the prophecies about the terrible Tribulation that plagues us, or the wars, rumors of war and natural and man made disasters that we suffer from that are the most important in terms of how and why the world will be saved.
The most important prophecies of Jesus regarding the fulfillment of prophecy now were about the role of the modern son of man. For unbeknownst to most Christians, the prophecies of Jesus in that respect were very much consistent with the prophecies of Isaiah, and both of them prophesied about the modern “son of man,” the principal messenger for the Spirit of truth, the author of this message.
Of course, Christians have been led to believe that the modern son of man would be Jesus himself, “come again.” But in fact, that belief which was officially established in the Nicene Creed is based upon dubious phrases in the New Testament that are actually contradicted by other phrases that reveal the truth (which is discussed in the article on The “Second Coming” Myth.)
As the article on Prophecies Regarding He Who Fulfills Them reveals, the truth is that the modern son of man, the modern messenger for the Spirit of truth, as Jesus prophesied, bears the testimony of Jesus, issues the prophesied judgement and intercession, guides you to the truth, shows you things to come, and glorifies the Holy One in heaven.
The modern messenger points out that on one hand, Jesus taught the advisory Golden Rule, which the great Hillel the Elder had taught previously. And Jesus also taught the pacifist principle of turning the other cheek and forgiving even those who treat you badly. Along with that, he advised that we should judge not lest we be so judged, and he promised that ultimately the people who are humble, gentle, compassionate, generous, charitable, peaceful and meek shall inherit the earth.
On the other hand, Jesus' personal actions showed by example that a servant of God should rebuke hypocrites, scold profiteering money lenders, warn the greedy rich of their vain folly, unfairness and selfishness, and advise all wrongdoers to acknowledge and confess the error of their ways, change their ways, make amends, and start treating others as they would have others treat them. That is, we should be humanitarians, and we should also accept our civic duty and responsibility to stop and correct people who are unfair, cruel, or inhumane.
The Distinction Between the Son of Man Jesus, and The Modern Son of Man
A prophecy of Isaiah’s states that the servant of God who ultimately fulfills all the prophecies would “hear” this from God: “It is not enough that you should be My [God’s] servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the offspring of Israel. I will also give you for a light of all the Gentiles in all the nations, that My salvation may be unto the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
That is one of several Hebrew prophecies indicating that the “light of all the nations” is not merely a Mashiach for the Jews. He is a Counselor for humanity, which is consistent with other prophecies in the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament) and in the Christian New Testament.
The problem is that Rabbinical and Talmudic Jews and Christian and Muslim clergy do not understand that. And the fact that Christian clergy do not understand is no wonder, considering that the Christian canon (New Testament) reveals that most of the authors of the texts did not understand when prophecies would be fulfilled.
In fact, the texts in the official church canon purportedly written by Jesus’ followers clearly reveal that most of the authors believed that the fulfillment of prophecies was imminent, and that “this generation shall not pass before all shall be fulfilled.” They believed Jesus himself would “return from out of the clouds” magically, during their lifetimes. Even the first sentence of John’s book of Revelation says the Revelation is “to show his servants things which must shortly come to pass ...”
Most of the authors of the canonized New Testament did not know when prophecy would be fulfilled. James probably knew, and the author of the Gospel of John certainly indicated that he knew it would not be Jesus himself but another son of man or messenger for the Spirit of truth who would fulfill prophecies at the end of the age.
See, Jesus understood the context of Isaiah 49:6, which I quoted above, and even though Jesus knew to act as if he was that person, he actually knew that he wasn’t that particular person. Just read the context.
Isaiah 49:1-7 — "Listen to me, all peoples, from far: the Lord has called me, and from the womb of my mother has God made mention of my name. And the Lord God has made my mouth and pen like a sharp sword. In the shadow of God’s hand have I been hidden; and the Lord has made me as a polished arrow concealed in God’s quiver. And God said to me: 'You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.' But I said: 'I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught and vanity. Yet surely my righteousness is with the Lord, and my satisfaction with my God.' And my God that formed me from the womb to be a loyal servant, to bring Jacob back to God, and that Israel be gathered unto God — for I am honorable in the sight of the Lord, and my God is become my strength. Indeed, God said: 'It is not enough that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the offspring of Israel. I will also give you for a light of all the nations, that My salvation may be unto the ends of the earth.' Thus said the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to him who is despised of men, to him who is abhorred of nations, to a servant of rulers: 'They shall see, and they shall lower themselves and acknowledge God; because of the Lord that is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.'"
That reveals that the servant of God who fulfills the ultimate prophecies is first hidden and concealed, which is why Jesus said the following about son of man to come: “first he must suffer many things, and be rejected by his generation." -- Luke 17:20-25 And that does not speak of Jesus, because he suffered only after he completed his mission, not first or beforehand, and he was accepted by multitudes in his generation.
That is why, according to John, Jesus essentially said: "I tell you the truth: I must go away, but I will send the Counselor to you. He will righteously judge the world; because I am going to heaven and you will see me no more. I came not to judge the world, but the rulers of this world must be judged. I have much more to say to you, but it is more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of himself, because of himself he will do nothing but the will of the one who sent him. He will [write and] speak only what he hears from God, and he will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me by receiving what I have received from God, and making it known to you." (Clarifying John 8:28, John 12:47, and John 16:7-15)
Jesus clearly revealed that because he had to go away and would be seen no more on earth, he would send someone delivering a needed message, who will issue the judgment, guide humanity unto the truth, show you things to come, and declare the testimony of the Christ-Avatar who is in heaven with God.
Of course, John 14:3 reports Jesus saying: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” However, there Jesus was not talking about coming again in person on earth. He was talking about receiving you in the spiritual realm, “where I am,” so you may be there also. So Jesus never actually said he himself would come again personally (as is explained fully in the article on The Second Coming Myth).
Why Jesus Acted and Spoke As The Ultimate Messiah
Jesus acted and spoke as the ultimate Messiah because, in a sense, he was. However, it wouldn’t be fair to single out Jesus as “The” greatest servant of God, because there have been many great ones from many different religious traditions.
However, Jesus could be considered the ultimate Mashiach/Messiah in the Jewish tradition, because he was much more than that. He acted and spoke also as an Avatar, because Jesus was essentially an Avatar in the Hindu tradition. That is readily apparent in his statements about his realization of his oneness with God. An Avatar realizes and becomes one with the Divinity and the “Spirit of truth” which Jesus said is within us, and an Avatar may thus speak as and for the eternal Spirit of truth, and the “Ancient One.”
That, in fact, is why Jesus said: “I and my Father are one,” and “I am the truth and the Light,” as well as “Before Abraham was, I am.” He spoke as the Ancient One, as an Avatar does.
Jesus also knew of the Hebrew prophecies that a Mashiach (Messiah) would influence and inspire all nations and serve to fulfill other religions as well, so Jesus acted and spoke accordingly — even though he knew and said that another anointed one would follow him at the end of the age.
Nevertheless, Jesus was a Jewish Mashiach (“anointed one”), and his personal mission was to reform Judaism and make it more inclusive. Jesus understood Isaiah’s prophecies that a Mashiach’s message must address all nations and religions, which is why Jesus studied other religions as well as his parents’ religion, which was Essenic Judaism.
That is why, for instance, Jesus was an Avatar in the Hindu tradition, and it is why Jesus was also a Bodhisattva in the Buddhist tradition, which is readily apparent in the similarities of his teachings with those of the Buddha Gautama (see Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, by Marcus Borg et al, and Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hanh, or one of the many other books on the subject).
However, perhaps even more important at this particular time is that Jesus was a prophet, and he prophesied not only about what would occur during the end of the passing age (aeon or olam), he predicted that all the terrible events we’ve witnessed during this Tribulation would be signs of the coming of the modern son of man, the principal messenger for the Spirit of truth.
Jesus prophesied that the modern son of man would “first be rejected by his generation, and suffer many things,” which is very true. In fact, he has been here since 1941, and even at age 74 he is still waiting for enough people in the world to acknowledge the message he has delivered before him. (The articles such as Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them, and The Story of the Modern Son of Man discuss that.)
Jesus The Real Man
Most people in the world think that a real man is a conquering hero who uses physical force or arms to conquer or subdue his enemy. That’s why many of our favorite stories are about the humble and reluctant hero who is finally forced to take a stand and deal with the evil enemy in a physical, forceful way – perhaps even a lethal way if necessary.
Most people would say that is a real man. But some people, who are more spiritually inclined, would say that a real man is a spiritual self-realized man who has realized his oneness with God and with all humanity — a man who has realized the nature and presence of the Spirit of truth and divinity that is within him. That is why Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven comes not with observation in the world," for "it is within you."
Jesus was a very real man, a self-realized, enlightened man spiritually anointed by God, which is why he was know by the title of an “anointed one,” which is what the title of Messiah or Christ mean, and it is what the Hebrew title Mashiach means. So “Christ” was not the last name of Jesus. It was a title, and during his lifetime he was known as Yeshuah of Nazareth, and the Mashiach ben Yosef, (Messiah son of Joseph).
The fact, as mentioned previously, is that Jesus was a historic figure was indicated by Flavius Josephus, an impartial first century Romano-Jewish historian, who wrote of Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, calling Jesus a wise man who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher who “won over many Jews and many of the Greeks.”
Most modern scholarship acknowledges that the Antiquities text has been subject to alteration and expansion by Christian authorities who added more to make it more consistent with the canonical Christian gospels. However, they acknowledge that Josephus’ original text did discuss Jesus as well as his brother James. Moreover, modern scholarship has largely acknowledged the authenticity of the reference in Book 20, Chapter 9 of the Antiquities to "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" and considers it as having the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity. However, some scholars believe that Josephus may have considered James a fraternal brother rather than a sibling.
The Hebrew Masoretic Text
The Hebrew Masoretic Text was produced in part as a Jewish response to Christianity, after Christianity had been established as the dominant religion in the Mid-East and Europe. Part of its purpose was to refute some of what had been written in the canonized Christian New Testament, as well as some of what had been written in the Greek Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Tanakh.
Many Christians “authorities” reject the Masoretic Text because it reveals that the book of Isaiah does not support the idea that Isaiah’s prophecies were about Jesus – because they really aren’t. (See the article on Isaiah Chapter 53, which reveals that.) But then, the Christian claim that it was about Jesus is based mainly on two sentences and ignores the full context of messianic prophecies.
However, in modern times the Dead Sea Scrolls have shown the Masoretic Text to be nearly identical to some texts of the Tanakh (Old Testament) dating from 200 BCE (BC), and the Masoretic Text is regarded by most modern scholars as the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible. It is almost universally accepted as the official version of the Hebrew Tanakh. As Wikipedia states, the Masoretic Text defines not just the books of the Jewish canon, but also the precise letter-text of the biblical books in Judaism, as well as their vocalization and accentuation.
The important thing to realize is that the corrections in the Masoretic text corrected the Septuagint, and the corrections had been made necessary in the Masoretic Text because after the death of Jesus the stories told by Christians about him began to gradually take on mythical amplitude. By 50 C.E. (A.D.) when Paul produced and distributed the first seven of his many epistles, many of those stories were embellished even to the point of including exaggerated and even fabricated references and attributions to the Hebrew Tanakh.
Of course, Jews knew that during Jesus’ lifetime, and especially during his last three years in Jerusalem, he was accepted as a Mashiach or Christos by multitudes of Jews and Greeks. However, Jews also knew that Pauline Christianity developed and established in 50 C.E. was not all accurate, and some of what was written in the texts that became the New Testament was not true, and they felt they should make the truth be clearly known.
That is why many modern scholars take the Masoretic Text into consideration in their studies and research.
The Error of the Canonized Pauline Christian Texts
The Pauline Christian texts are most of what Christians call the New Testament, which consists of texts favored by church authorities in 180 C.E. and officially selected in the fourth century, and there are many contradictions, fabrications and errors in most of them. And some of the fabrications and errors are so important that they are discussed in specific articles listed on the Site Map under the heading: Articles Exposing Christian Myths.
However, many scholars in the world, especially since “The Enlightenment” era, have realized many of the fabrications and errors. For example, one of America’s greatest Founders, Thomas Jefferson, as has been mentioned earlier in this article, was highly critical of Pauline Christians who were influenced by Saul of Tarsus who was called Paul.
For example, in 50 C.E. Paul had written in Galatians 2:16: “Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”
Paul, in creating his theology of Christian Apologetics, had tried to establish the idea that it is only by faith in “the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” that a person is justified and may receive salvation, and that good works such as living by the law (Torah) and the Golden Rule of Hillel the Elder and Jesus of Nazareth either didn’t count or were secondary to good works. And in the seven texts that Paul produced in 50 C.E., which included Galatians, had succeed in establishing the dominant theology, which James disagreed with.
In fact, partly in response to Paul’s epistles, James wrote a relatively short, concise gospel, and in that he contradicted Paul. James 2:18 states: “Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Even Matthew is more in line with James when he wrote (in 5:16): “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify God which is in heaven.”
But Paul had also written in Romans 11:6 6: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
Furthermore, in claiming that Jesus was "the Lord and Savior," Paul ignored the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh), which says no man can be compared with the Lord our God, and besides God there is no savior, and he either ignored or was not aware that, as has already been cited, Jesus had said "God is greater than I," and "You have not heard the voice of God, nor seen the shape of God at any time."
Paul, and those who believed as he did, simply ignored the words of the prophets, and especially of Isaiah, who made it clear that only God the Holy One is the Savior, and no man can be compared to God (as the articles on Why A Messiah Is Not the Savior and The True Nature of God discuss).
These are just some of many examples of how and why Paul created his own theology, which is many instances was antithetical to Judaism and was even designed to supersede it. (See the article About Christianity, and the articles on the Site Map refuting the Christian myths.)