We probably wonder why James said demons believe that Christ is the Son of God and fear Him (James 2:19) whereas so many people do not even consider Him a real, historical person. Several passages describe actual conversation between humans and demons, proving these spirits do acknowledge Christ and tremble at His sight.
Christ is the Tormentor of evil spirits. (Mark 5:1-13) Once, He sent more than 2,000 of them into the depths of the waters. Demons are known to inhabit dry, desolate places. So, imagine how they must have anguished when the swine they entered into rushed and plunged into the waters. (Matt. 12:43) Yes, demons recognize the power of Christ, but how come so many merely speak His name in vain or out of disgust over petty things? Why do many find it hard to accept Christ’s claims? Why do they reject a truth that is taken for granted by angelic beings?
In the beginning of time, as we said previously, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God, Who is Spirit. Yes, humans could interact with spirit-beings. Belief in or fear of God was more common in the distant past than it is today; in fact, there are probably more smartphones than believers today. It was only later when Satan and his demons introduced other gods that more and more people eventually rejected the True God.
In short, whereas our first parents knew and interacted with spirit-beings as casually as we converse with other humans, today we no longer have that privilege or ability. Amusing, since in reality we interact with one another as spirit-to-spirit, not merely body-to-body or person-to-person. A general “blinding” of humans has occurred since the Fall. (John 12:40) On the other hand, demons believe God because, along with their master, Satan, many of them once served in the courts of Heaven where Christ ruled and shared the glory and power of God. They were the host of angels who rebelled against God and Whom God consigned in the bowels of the Earth. (Rev. 12:9; 20:1-3)
Along with them are wicked hybrid-humans who spawned through intermarriage with the “children of God” – humans whom God judged during the Great Flood. (Gen. 6:1-4) How some of them survived is a puzzle. They must have reproduced themselves through sea creatures or monsters. (If spirits can reproduce hybrid-humans with humans, perhaps, hybrid-humans can also reproduce hybrid-“humanimals” or “reptilians”.) Since animals had become generally wild at that time and participated in the spate of human murders worldwide, demons may have embedded themselves into animals in order to survive. For why indeed had God decided to annihilate all humans and animals except for one righteous family and a menagerie of choice animals?
The story of Moses and the Hebrews’ escape from Egypt chronicles how the multifarious gods introduced into the many tribes proved no match to the Almighty I AM in Heaven and how the return to the Organic Faith would begin in earnest. The Old and New Testaments encapsulate what God did to “redeem” humans from Satan’s dastardly plans.
Yes, Satan’s scheme to divert humans by introducing other gods (idolatry) was only one of the means he used. He also introduced another form of “faith” that involves no spirit-being: Atheism. Nevertheless, the most effective means utilized by Satan to divert people from Organic Faith was to introduce a fake kind of faith in Christ — “another gospel” or a “false teaching” – professed by numerous groups that uphold the Gospel of Christ in one or more of its aspects but not in its entirety or its organic or original essence.
We referred to this Unorganic Faith as the Shifted Peter. While effectively promoting Atheism, Satan also wages war against Christ by deceiving His believers to follow other forms of faith that replace, distort, discount or diminish Organic Faith. The apostles had their hands full trying to stem the tide of this spreading “apostasy”. (Acts 20:29) But today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon that has all the powerful mechanisms of worldly kingdoms: political power (both hidden and overt), economic clout, social network, psychological influence, military/para-military structures, cultural entrenchment and religious ascendancy. You name it. Shifted Peter has it!
But that is not all. Today, it has begun its serious push to establish a One World Religion that will incorporate other non-Christian faiths into Shifted Peter’s authority and outright control. Yes, “Peter” is not just into catching fish now but also barracudas, serpents and sharks! Anything that involves human souls as the ultimate prize! It seems, the only remaining step is to declare Atheism and non-deistic religions as other forms of faith, thereby making way for the One World Order they have always wanted to impose over all humanity. That would then totally wrest Christ’s legitimate claim over His Creation and His genuine followers. Do you really know which authority you give allegiance to?
But we are getting ahead into Satan’s ultimate goals. How did it all begin? How did Shifted Peter become so effective?
We already saw how Peter had been shifted and used to establish a faith-system that is neither organic nor genuine, neither logical nor true. With Peter as the main root of this serpentine plan to undermine Christ’s Kingdom on Earth, it was first necessary to replicate the old Jewish religion to make the sham complete. From there, we can now trace the historical steps taken to where Shifted Peter now sits and rules over the souls of millions today.
Step One: Reviving Temple Worship
Whereas Christ already fulfilled the Law and its demands through His death and resurrection and literally did away with the temple in Jerusalem (Mark 13:1-2; Matt. 27:50-51), others sought to bring back the old ways by seeking to restore Judaism in Jerusalem itself. This remains a cherished quest by those who believe that the Messiah is still to come and that restoring the physical temple will prepare his return. We will refer to this outmoded scheme as the Shifted Moses: a reconstruction of the Mosaic Law centered on the temple services in spite of the great prophet’s own testimony that Christ had fulfilled the prophecies contained in the Law. What testimony is this?
We only think of Moses as being aware of his work with respect to the Hebrew slaves-turned-wanderers and not about Christ’s establishment of the Kingdom. This is a rather shortsighted view, considering that Moses had a firsthand view of the entire human history from Creation to Judgment Day. Certainly, a prophet who talked face-to-face with God would have also known what the entire plan was of the Lord for the whole Universe and not just for humans. If not, Moses must have, at least, read Enoch’s book giving a graphic description of heavenly and earthly history. Just as Christ could claim that Abraham “rejoiced to see My day” (John 8:56), He could also say the same of Moses. And if you think that is preposterous, Christ Himself will furnish us the testimony in Mark 9:2-4. In His Transfiguration, He talked to Elijah and Moses, two prominent prophets who presaged His own work of redeeming humans from Satan’s clutches: the first from the Babylonian god Baal and the second from the Egyptian gods.
Yes, the Gospel writers proved that Moses did recognize and celebrate the final outcome of his own preparatory mission. His laws and all its requirements through the temple services were to be replaced by a new covenant between God and humans, one far better than the one he contracted with Israel on behalf of God at Mt. Sinai. (Heb. 8:1-6) Having established that, we now know and accept that all the external regulations done inside and through the temple has been removed as they had all been fulfilled through the pure and living sacrifice of Christ’s life at Calvary. And if Christ indeed brought the thief to Paradise after His crucifixion, then He must have been praised, congratulated and worshiped by Elijah, Moses and all the redeemed souls in Paradise before He “came back to life”! The real way to the Holy of Holies is Christ, not the temple. You see, the Spirit reveals how Moses also testifies to Christ’s triumphant work! (Heb. 11:4)
Hence, restoring the temple in its former condition is an unnecessary dream and plan. Neither is restoring it in some other form that is similar or reminiscent of its apparent glory through building fancy structures where people can gather to “worship”. This is obviously in contradiction to what Christ said in John 4:21-24 that those who worship God will worship Him “neither in Samaria nor in Jerusalem” (it follows, not anywhere else) but “in spirit and in truth” (thus, not locale-based but spirit-and-truth-based, as Organic Faith demands).
Step Two: Reviving the Priesthood
Evidently, a literal “temple” or a “worship building” must include a priesthood patterned after the Aaronic lineage. Hence, blood-line claimants of ancients Israelites (Moses Shifters) would want a revived priesthood to restore the animal sacrifices once offered to God. On the other hand, Peter Shifters have a priesthood patterned after his “apostolate”. And not to be outdone, thousands of denominations also have their own priests patterned after the so-called ordained or biblical offices of “Pastor”, “Bishop”, “Presbyter”, “Elder”, “Deacon” or “Shepherd”. All these spiritual words had original or organic spiritual meanings in the first-century, Church Dispensation. Today, with the removal of the temple and the Aaronic Priesthood, every believer has become a “royal priest” whose duty is to offer his or her “body as a living sacrifice” – the “worship in spirit and in truth” which Christ prophesied and fulfilled through the apostles’ lives and teachings. As we have said, each believer is a “living stone” forming part of the foundation of the holy nation of God with Christ as cornerstone – this coming from Peter (stone): Remember, the one that demons arrogantly shifted into a rock. (1 Pet. 2:4-10)
And so, with the Kingdom firmly established and the work of the apostles finally completed and recorded for posterity (after John’s death), anyone can now have access to it directly through the Word and the Work of the Holy Spirit living in that person. Any official, religious, legal or formal structure, denomination, sect or organization designed for such a simple task (for it is the Spirit’s work, not ours) is superfluous. Every believer who has Organic Faith (like a pure, original mustard seed) can plant the message of the Kingdom – the Gospel – and produce fruits, all through the power and abilities of the Holy Spirit and not through any other human means, program, process or strategy. What the Spirit did to the firstfruits (individually or not) on Pentecost Day, He can do again today anywhere and anytime. It only takes one believer to plant the seed – not a whole organization, faith-system, denomination or religious structure. If ever, all these human mechnisms only detract from the pristine work of the Spirit. Hence, the religious confusion, divisions and conflicts we see today. But if all believers worked in the harmony of love, mind, spirit and purpose through Organic Faith, the whole world will be taken over by God’s Truth.
In short, every believer/priest carrying the flaming sword of the Spirit – the Truth – can spread the brilliance of God s message through his or her life and words. Christ did it to 12 first; and it took those 12+1 apostles and a hundred other disciples to win a city and the whole world. It also takes one disciple to win another person, a family and a community through the Spirit’s power. A mustard seed can move a mountain! (Matt. 17:20) The Organic Faith living in one heart is all God needs to recover all the lost and wandering souls diverted by the thousands of unorganic faith-systems spawned by the twins: Shifted Moses and Shifted Peter. For every new and every other “Christian denominational or non-denominational” group somehow owes its origin from either of these two historically-apostate structures. But an Organic Believer owes his or her origin from the Holy Spirit alone. And to the same Spirit that person lives, grows and attains full maturity, not to any religious head, faith-system or human vocation.
Aside from the titles mentioned above, newly-devised unorganic titles came to be introduced into the shifted scheme-of-things, all invented and with unspiritual meanings and thoughts: Pope, Patriarch, Father, Reverend, Monsignor, Archbishop, Cardinal, Mother Superior and many others. These pompous titles and positions carry other functions that legitimize the new dispensation, thus, replacing the Organic Faith established by the apostles. The reader should already be adept at applying the Key of Truth to test these unorganic titles.
Step Three: Incorporating Human Traditions and Teachings
Shifted Peter did teach Christ’s basic teachings along with other old practices and beliefs in its dispensation of “modern Christianity”. For it incorporated ancient beliefs, practices, feasts and ceremonies to complete the restoration of the temple-cum-priesthood system. A whole book is not enough to discuss all these additions; so, let us look at two.
These traditions or dogmas will show how people have been diverted from the Holy Spirit’s pure and genuine intentions in accordance to the eternal truth conceived in Heaven, as finally delivered by the apostles in the words of the Messiah. The Holy Spirit is tasked to “take what is of Mine” (Christ’s) and deliver that through His own spiritual dynamics. (John 16:13-15) Meaning, through sermons, parables and His own life, Christ delivered the good news in the sight, hearing and understanding of humans around Him, thus, confirming His legitimacy as Son of God. But we do not see or hear the Spirit; neither can we carry or bring Him to people and prove He is from God. That is why so many misunderstand Him and think He works only through the written word and nothing more. And others, showing the Holy Spirit manifests power through them, regale people with displays of signs and wonders.
But do they really speak for and by Him? The Spirit does not need anyone to speak for Him because He has declared the Word. And so, Christ said, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:39) He was referring to the Old Testament which pointed to Him. He did not say “Listen to these apostles” but to Moses and the prophets to confirm that they talked about Him – The Eternal Life! Today, we search Scriptures to hear Christ’s Word through the Spirit, because He took what was Christ’s and delivered it.
The dilemma we face – or the Holy Spirit faces, without demeaning His Person or abilities – is that we have lost our connection to spirit-beings for so long and so effectively that angelic beings have a ball passing us from one place to another, being constantly “blown by the winds” of traditions and teachings, instead of following the Spirit alone. The only solution is to wean people of the effects of the Shifters and go back to the Key of Truth, exactly what we have set out to do here. If indeed He works through the Word, then His power – not the power of the word or “persuasive speech” – will work its efficacy so that we can detach ourselves from false keys, unorganic faith-systems, dead traditions and false teachings. Lawyers, in Christ’s condemning words, have “take(n) away the key of knowledge”. (Luke 11:52) Our task is to apply the Key of Truth into our lives today.
The most ubiquitous tradition we can think of that will help us apply the Spirit’s Key of Truth is one globally-practiced, like the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner which other nations now practice on different dates and for other reasons but for the same purpose. Though we might gingerly walk with Godzilla-sized monster feet, we will end up stepping upon millions of toes in our course. But for the sake of Truth and honesty in the Spirit’s work, we proceed. This tradition is approaching and ringing out more noisily each day: Christmas.
As defined by its advocates, Christmas is the birth or advent (literally, coming to) of Christ. Yes, He was first conceived 9 months earlier and came out on a special night they now call Christmas. The word is not technically a spiritual word but a religious word coined to refer to a spiritual truth, fact or event: the birth of the promised Messiah in Bethlehem. The word Christmas, therefore, is not a translation of any word in Scriptures but an entirely new word with an entirely new meaning as well.
Remember, translation is one thing, shifting is another. And saying Christmas is a true historical event is one thing and saying Christ’s birth is a true historical event another. The first carries the assumptions attached to the tradition; that is, putting a date to the event and incorporating a feast that is neither mentioned nor required by any of the apostles or writers. In fact, was it ever a practice of the ancients to celebrate the birth of any person? We find no precedent; and if there is any, it was more an exception than a rule. But, surely, someone may argue that the birth of Christ is one we can and must recall and celebrate. No issue there; but when and how are left to personal choice and manner, not set by decree of law, as it happened. The time and nature coincide with the old pagan feast of Saturnalia in honor of the Roman god, Saturn, when people celebrated the return of the Sun in winter during which people gave gifts and even wasted themselves on riotous merriment. The fact that shepherds had been out at night pasturing their flocks somehow got lost in the shifting. And all the attached activities, fables, myths, superstitious beliefs, festivities, adornments and commercial hubbub have practically been derived from Saturnalia and have made Christmas what it is today.
Is this really the pure, essential and organic intent of the Holy Spirit for us? Perhaps, it is for a faith-system, a sect or a community, but certainly not for any of the early believers or disciples. For if it were, the Spirit would have mentioned through Luke or Matthew how one day in Bethlehem that the apostles tendered a supper in honor of Christ’s birth, along with a Nativity-Scene gift to the Lord. It may sound absurd; but compared to what is happening today, that would be ironic and counterintuitive.
The Holy Spirit is not devoid of passion or emotions that we often take Him to be. For how can a bodiless Being relate to humans who suffer bodily pain, sorrow, anguish, despair, grief and fear and expect them to relate to Him at the level of heavenly glory and perfection that they do not comprehend and often do not realize exist at all? Again, we remind ourselves that that was not the task of the Spirit. That is the FINISHED WORK of Christ! The Spirit now works upon that foundation of pure life, loving sacrifice and victorious resurrection to confirm the triumphant rule of Christ as King of Kings in Heaven and, therefore, invites any person to accept Him, the Holy Spirit, to live within the heart in order to complete the Work of the Father on Earth, one person at a time.
Yes, the Holy Spirit helps us feel great joy or deep anguish through inexpressible bliss or groanings as we go through life’s seasons. But this He does not do indirectly or artificially by romanticizing salvation through emotional appeal to Christ’s human experiences, such as His conception, His birth, His sufferings, His death and His resurrection. Leading people to Christ through feasts, celebrations, commemorations and convocations that relive His human passage have only led to unorganic traditions that have replaced and corrupted the organic commandments of God, thereby undoing the work of the Holy Spirit, if not of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is, for all intents, not the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of tradition, in fact, blinds us from the Spirit of Truth.
A story about Christmas will elaborate our point. It came from a sermon aired over a Christian radio station that plays classical music. Rarely do we listen to the sermons there; but this one was particularly engaging as the speaker’s passionate voice and vivid imagery properly set the tone for the “Christmas miracle”. Waxing nostalgic over his childhood days, he related how their pastor stopped his sermon exactly at midnight when the chimes signaled the arrival of Christmas Day. The pastor took pride in greeting everyone first “Merry Christmas”, before ending his sermon. The following day brought the joyful season to a peak when the boy woke up excitedly to open his gift. It was a yearly event he had looked forward to and which definitely built up the dreamy appeal that the feast held for him as a child and as an adult later on. It is something we can all relate to somehow.
But every sermon has to end. After relating how he finally accepted Christ as Lord and Savior in his youth, the speaker felt how his childhood innocence had now been lifted to a higher and clearer appreciation of the Savior’s mercy and love through the same ritual of Christmas chimes-and-greetings in church. And with quivering voice and engaging fervor, he imagined how at that moment an angel leaned over to Christ seated on His throne in Heaven and whispered to the Lord, “It is Christmas!” I turned off the radio, laughing with unbelief and disappointment! That punch line gave me a picture of Clark Kent reporting for work at the Daily Planet on April 1 and his best-friend, Jimmy Olsen, giving him a kryptonite stone as a gift and whispering to him, “Happy Birthday, Superman!” A bad joke on God! And all for the sake of a tradition, not Truth. (Mark 7:11-13)
Traditions humanize God. Like many others, that emotional angel (or speaker) was essentially trying to bring Christ down to Earth to suffer and die again, and after having finished all He had done for humans as a human. His real victory and reward – and ours — was and is in sitting as God and King in Heaven (“David’s throne”), not in being born as a human baby (“David’s son”). But His greater glory and reward now would be to see more people listen to His Spirit and accept the pure message He had given the Spirit to deliver. How people shift the Word to become literally childish traditions must hurt Christ deeply.
A fable deserves another fable! And that sermon story was a perfect example of how people shift historical truths into myths or fables to satisfy their emotional or romantic fancies of divine realities and perpetuating their misconceptions or wrong notions of the Spirit’s Truth. Social or cultural conventions have to come from somewhere. So do Easter, Lent, Christmas and many other traditions tied to the Gospel – all unorganic words that strive to portray spiritual truths but fail because they are all contrived to shift people’s minds from the Mind of Christ. How? We answer that in the next part along with the second tradition.
The Incarnation was made possible through the Holy Spirit conceiving Christ in a virgin’s womb. Hence, He became flesh and was held, beheld and heard by humans. The proof of that event has been amply established through many witnesses. But He could not remain flesh because He is God. Hence, the Holy Spirit came to “give flesh” to His message – no longer to His Being Man-God for that had been finally proven. In fact, the Spirit was and is now the manifestation of His Being, His glory and His power. And the Spirit does it through spiritual-word/spiritual-truth combinations that form the Key of Truth to unfold God’s mysteries.
Remember, the conception, birth and Incarnation of Christ came about through the Holy Spirit, thus, making Christ both man and son of God. The Father confirmed this Himself at Christ’s baptism by John with the words, “This is my beloved Son in Whom I Am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) But when did the Father “beget” Christ as Son? The spiritual-word/spiritual-truth “beget” or “begotten” refers to a woman getting a child (Gen. 4:1); that is, it is given to her or to a family. As human, Christ was given to Mary and Joseph — and also to King David, Mary’s ancestor — to be their son. As Messiah, He was given to all humans as Emmanuel – God with us. The world had “begotten” (gotten or acquired) an anointed Messiah in Jesus Christ. On the other hand, God finally “begot” Christ only after He had resurrected and ascended into His throne, as prophesied by David in Psalm 2:7 and as Peter and Paul confirmed in Acts 2:29-36; 13:30-37.
Someone gives and someone gets. Every child – including Christ — comes from God. But who can give a child to God? It appears, then, that the Father raised Christ; or, perhaps, we can say the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit jointly raised Christ from death. Did not Christ claim He had power to raise Himself up? (John 10:18) He gave Himself to the Father as an exalted and victorious Son of God through His life, death and resurrection – the Earth (including Hades) is His literal womb. Hence, His real “birth” and the one we must celebrate daily and every moment is His present heavenly reign as King of Kings. How? By offering our body as a living and acceptable sacrifice to God. (Rom. 12:1)
Sincerely, we beg the reader’s indulgence for this article. We do not doubt the sincerity of believers in their faith and practices; but we uphold the Truth delivered by the apostles through the power of the Holy Spirit. That has been the main thrust of this series. In so doing, we cannot avoid calling unorganic things as such and comparing them to the organic or original pattern in Scriptures. In calling out the errors of Christmas as an unorganic tradition, we do not act like Scrooge denying the need to give cheer and help to those who deserve them. But Scrooge was right about Christmas all along, although he failed to show love and compassion when he should have.
The “ghosts of Christmases” Charles Dickens devised in his novel should seriously remind us that those “spirits of Christmases” are not fictional but real. If we honestly study the Word of Christ and see our traditions through His eyes – that is, the Holy Spirit’s – we will begin to see Scrooge was not dreaming at all but dealing with living spirits that believe and fear Christ. They work, in fact, to entice many into dark byways and alleys where their amusements divert us from God’s Kingdom. Why do we say that? Because Dickens was obsessed with ghosts (spirits) and even joined the London Ghost Club, a group that did research into paranormal phenomena. One had to have a certain affinity or liking to ghosts in order to do that; and, in fact, Dickens attended séances, not just to talk to spirits but also to debunk their existence. Even if he ended up rejecting them, he did make a fine living telling stories about them in his many books. So, did he simply invent his stories or did he get them through inspiration from real spirits? Likewise, is Harry Potter pure fiction or a real manifestation of witchcraft? To think we are wiser than demonic spirits is self-delusion; they believe and fear Christ and are, therefore, wiser than many of us. THINK: How can you trust someone who does not acknowledge spirits to acknowledge Christ and His birth properly? Either he was a true believer serving the Lord or a skeptic unknowingly serving demons. And beware not to belittle or revile spirits or demons. They may tremble before Christ but not before arrogant unbelievers. (Jude 8-10; Acts 19:11-16)
A novel, written by a person who neither adhered to Spiritualism nor professed to be a bible-believing Christian, that presents talking to the dead (abominable to God — 1 Samuel 28:3–25) as a tool for presenting the “birth of Christ”, again falls within the realm of using not merely a myth but a despicable deed to propagate an unorganic tradition. In that regard, Scrooge remains a lost soul wandering in a world of deceptions and shifted truths.* Hence, today, many bank on their good deeds (religious obligations or good moral living) to gain justification instead of being redeemed by the True Spirit of God through faith and righteousness in Christ.
Real joy and celebration in life come from knowing and practicing the Eternal Truth, whereas fleeting merriment and shallow religiosity are seasonal and unfruitful in the end.
In conclusion, temple vs. true-worship, priesthood vs. self-sacrifice and traditions vs. life-service illustrate the clear shifting of both the object (from God to visible things) and of the means (from real, spiritual living to empty rituals and obligations), thereby corrupting Organic Faith into a visible-Christ-based form of religion through pious impositions that reestablish the failed systems of the Law of Moses and enslaving people once more to dead works. More insidiously, the priests and their High Priest have presented themselves as the visible images of Christ and the Father through their impressive appearances and their titles that glaringly claim divine titles: Father, Holy Father and Reverend. And there, you see why these titles are indeed unorganic, presumptuous and blasphemous.
The spirit of shifted truths and traditions seeks to instill belief and fear of God alright; however, like the demons who possess humans to corrupt their bodies and souls, this spirit also corrupts Organic Faith and, in turn, the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer’s life. Unorganic Faith, with all its systems, rituals and wrong symbolisms is not the True Way.
*We all respect and acknowledge Charles Dickens and his skills as a writer and a thinker. He was a vocal anti-cleric and anti-sectarian intellectual who, on the other hand, never truly professed adherence to or faith in the teachings of Christ, as other noted writers, such as Rizal, Tolstoi and C. S. Lewis, did. An article linked below will partly express this writer’s sentiments with regard to Dickens’ writings and his beliefs:
“Was Charles Dickens a Christian?” by Richard Gunther
(Painting above by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (1852-60) courtesy of www.google.com)