Greetings everyone! For those of you, who have been here before, WELCOME BACK! For those of you who are new, ALL ARE WELCOME! I blog here from time to time. You can see from my past blogs that I randomly blog about many different topics. It just depends what mood I'm in at the time. This blog will focus on Christian meditation.
In meditation, one thinks deeply or focuses the mind for a period in silence, or with the aid of chanting for religious or spiritual purposes, or as a method of relaxation. Buddhists and Hindus have been practicing meditation for thousands of years. In the oldest texts from India, it was used to calm the mind. There are several different ways to achieve this state. It can be done through breathing techniques, concentrating on an object, or by chants. Sometimes people have experienced parts of their body vibrating during the process. Once the body is calm, the mind can investigate how things really are. This will lead to what Buddhist call insight. The ultimate form of insight is enlightenment. Christian meditation is different from Buddhist or Hindu meditation. Christian meditation requires one to focus on the word of God. The OT has several verses that specifically say the Written Law. Eastern meditation is more about clearing one's mind, while Christian is all about learning and gaining peace through awareness of God. Both can help one to achieve peace. In addition, clearer focus, and may lead to better health and relaxation.
Meditation verses from the OT include:
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
Meditation verses from the NT include:
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) 34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
Interestingly, science may have an explanation for the change in Jesus’ appearance in Luke 9:28-36, also known as the Transfiguration, after praying. In recent years, scientists have studied the effects of meditation on the body and found some interesting results. By comparing blood samples of long-term meditators and a control group, the scientists found that the meditators had 2209 genes that were differentially expressed (switched on or off). Specifically, 1275 were up-regulated (their activity increased) and 934 were down-regulated (their activity decreased. Additionally, it was found that there were 1561 genes that expressed differently between a group of novice meditators who did eight weeks of meditation training and the control group. Specifically, 874 genes were up-regulated and 687 were down-regulated. The research team concluded the following:
The RR (relaxation response) is clinically effective for ameliorating symptoms in a variety of stress-related disorders including cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other inflammatory conditions and pain. We hypothesize that RR elicitation is associated with systemic gene expression changes in cellular metabolism, oxidative phosphory-lation/generation of reactive oxygen species and response to oxidative stress and that these changes to some degree serve to ameliorate the negative impact of stress.
In short, they concluded that meditation changes your genes, and the more experience one has in meditation the more gene changes are possible. Some nurses even suggest meditation practice to ease patient suffering. Mary Grace Umlauf, PhD, RN, wrote a book titled Healing Meditation that explores this subject and suggests that nurses use meditation as part of their nursing practice.
In my book, The Essence of Perfection, I devote a chapter to the Resurrection. One possible explanation to this may also be linked or similar to a highly superior form of meditation. Of course, humans would have a difficult time replicating Jesus’ Resurrection. Over the next few weeks, I will be experimenting with podcasts. I hope to have something soon. Until next post, as always, GO WITH GOD!
1 Jeffery Dusek, et al., "Genomic Counter-Stress Changes Induced by the Relaxation Response," Plos ONE 3, no. 7 (July 2008): 1–8. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost.
2 Mary Grace Umlauf, Healing Meditation (Albany (NY): Delmar, 1997), 9.
In the modern era, Paul is one of the most misunderstood of the apostles. The New Testament informs us that Paul, known as Saul before his conversion to Christianity, was a “zealous” Pharisee who intensely persecuted any followers of Jesus. Acts 3:3–9 tells us his “come to Jesus moment” occurred while traveling to Damascus under a persecution order from the high priest, when he was blinded by light and asked by Jesus, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Paul was a Jewish-Roman, but also one of the most important leaders of the new religion known as Christianity.
Those against Paul claim that his writings undermined the authority of Torah Law in order to allow for easier gentile conversions to Christianity. Even modern philosophers have questioned Paul’s motives. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in The Antichrist,
The fate of the Gospels was decided by death—it hung on the “cross.” . . . It was only death, that unexpected and shameful death; it was only the cross, which was usually reserved for the canaille (masses) only—it was only this appalling paradox which brought the disciples face to face with the real riddle: “Who was it? what was it?”—Here everything must be accounted for as necessary; everything must have a meaning, a reason, the highest sort of reason; the love of a disciple excludes all chance. Only then did the chasm of doubt yawn: “Who put him to death? who was his natural enemy?”—this question flashed like a lightning-stroke. Answer: dominant Judaism, its ruling class. From that moment, one found one’s self in revolt against the established order, and began to understand Jesus as in revolt against the established order.
Nietzsche, no friend of Judaism either, set out to demonstrate that Western Civilization had lost faith in God. When he said, “God is dead,” he did not mean in a literal sense that God had died. It was more of a reflection of Enlightenment thinking, after centuries of being ruled by governments that controlled populations through religion and an aristocratic social order. Nietzsche was saying that God was no longer required, and faith useless. This included the Pharisees. Nietzsche believed it was their goal to create a ruling class first and to bring spiritual well-being to the Jews afterward. Likewise, the apostles sought to undermine the established authority of Pharisees by replacing the old order with the new order, Christianity. Nietzsche suggests that the apostles were passionate enough to even become martyrs to accomplish their overall goal. Paul becomes the main leader in his view of the conspiracy to establish the new order. Nietzsche even suggests that the Pauline Community had a problem not only with the Pharisees but with other strands of Christianity. One school, in particular, was the school of Alexandria. Again, in The Antichrist, he writes:
The God that Paul invented for himself, a God who “reduced to absurdity” “the wisdom of this world” (especially the two great enemies of superstition, philology and medicine), is in truth only an indication of Paul’s resolute determination to accomplish that very thing himself: to give one’s own will the name of God, thora—that is essentially Jewish. Paul wants to dispose of the “wisdom of this world”: his enemies are the good philologians and physicians of the Alexandrine school—on them he makes his war.
Throughout the Antichrist, Nietzsche blames Paul for everything from the battle between science and religion, in order to control ideology, to the battle of whether or not to allow the use of philosophy within religious interpretations of Jesus. However, in recent years Paul’s commitment to Judaism is gaining popularity. John Gager writes in his book Reinventing Paul, that Paul was not completely unaware of some of the charges against him. He states,
What is more, I believe that Paul was painfully aware of this accusation against him and sought to refute it in his letter to the Romans: “Do we overthrow the law through faith? By no means! On the contrary we uphold the law.” (3.31) “Is the law sin? By no means!” (7.7) “Has God rejected his people? By no means! (11.1)
Therefore, Paul did not call for a complete separation between the Gentiles and Jews, only for Jews to see their error in denying Jesus as the Son of God. If there existed a competition between different ideologies within the Christian community, which is what Nietzsche suggests, then many years later, the followers of the Alexandrian school would have been disappointed, as many of their saints were latter stripped of their designations during the Middle Ages. He was right on the 2nd century rift in Church doctrine. However, Nietzsche was wrong for suggesting that Paul's doctrine was against the Alexadrain school, and that Paul was against knowledge. Clement of Alexandria, one of the schools most important leaders said of Paul in Chapter 11 of The Paedagogus (Book I),
For Paul says that it was given to be a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Galatians 3:24 So that from this it is clear, that one alone, true, good, just, in the image and likeness of the Father, His Son Jesus, the Word of God, is our Instructor; to whom God has entrusted us, as an affectionate father commits his children to a worthy tutor, expressly charging us, This is my beloved Son: hear Him. Matthew 17:5 The divine Instructor is trustworthy, adorned as He is with three of the fairest ornament — knowledge, benevolence, and authority of utterance — with knowledge, for He is the paternal wisdom: All Wisdom is from the Lord, and with Him for evermore;— with authority of utterance, for He is God and Creator: For all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made; John 1:3 — and with benevolence, for He alone gave Himself a sacrifice or us: For the good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep; John 10:11 and He has so given it. Now, benevolence is nothing but wishing to do good to one's neighbor for his sake.
Unlike some of the 2nd and 3rd century Church Fathers, Paul was not against the Jews or their "Law." In fact he embraced it, and know it well being a former Pharisee. I hope you enjoyed this blog, and can learn from it. Jesus was Jewish, Paul was Jewish, and the first Christians were Jewish. Jesus loved the Temple! It is up to Christians to keep these values alive, and end Antisemitism wherever it is. Util next post, GO WITH GOD!
1 F. W. Nietzsche, The Antichrist (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.,1924), 115.
2 Ibid, 136.
3 John G. Gager, Reinventing Paul (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 53.
Greetings everyone, today I have a very interesting topic. We know that the Talmud mentions that Jewish patriarchs were born and died during the Passover month of Nissan. Nissan is the most important month in the Jewish calendar, and Passover is the most important religious event of the year. We also know from Luke that when Jesus was 12 years-old he became lost from Mary and Joseph while in Jerusalem during Passover. During that time, he engaged several leaders at the Temple in meaningful spiritual conversations. Luke states,
46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
We learn from this incident that Jesus was very well versed in scripture at a young age. Imagine how much more versed he was when he started his ministry near the age of 30 in 29 CE. Was he aware of the belief from the Talmud, then the Oral Law, of important people being born and dying during Nissan (see last week blog for list)? There is ample evidence that when Jesus entered Jerusalem in 30 CE. during Passover he was prepared to die. This is what we know from Matt, Mark and Luke.
“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:“‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
Now for the $1000 dollar question. Did Jesus just know he was suppose to die in general, or did he know that he was suppose to die during Passover? The evidence indicates that he was preparing his disciples for his death during the observance of Passover. Was this because of the tradition in the “Oral Law” of Jewish patriarchs dying during the month of Passover? Does this also mean that Jesus was born during the month of Passover? Was the Chinese comet of 5 BCE the Star of Bethlehem? This is the only reported ancient celestial object during the years possible for Jesus to have been born during, and it just so happens to have been first observed during the month of Passover. Enough Christians, Jesus was Jewish. His birth and death is foretold in the Oral Law. If you have a problem with the Talmud, then you have a problem with the Oral Law given by God to Moses, and taught ever since, INCLUDING THE DAYS OF JESUS! For more on this topic see my new book, The Essence of Perfection. Until next post, as always, GO WITH GOD!
Greetings everyone, some of you have been following my blog for a while now, thank you! I also have some new followers. This blog is more for the newcomers, but can also serve as a reminder for some of the old-timers. On this Sunday, the day of the Lord, I wanted to remind everyone why Jesus was born during the month of Passover. Its simple. There are many complex theories out in books and online. My theory is not! Simple things come in three (the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).
1. Chronological evidence from scripture- The Talmud, the original Oral Law of God before it was written during times of great despair for the Jews, states
R. Yehoshua, says: In Nisan the world was created, and in the same month the patriarchs were born, and in Nissan they also died; Isaac was born on the Passover; on New Year’s Day Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were visited, Joseph was released from prison, and the bondage of our fathers in Egypt ceased. In Nissan our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt, and in the same month we shall again be redeemed.
Nisan is the month of Passover, always has, always will be.
2. Evidence from history- The Chinese reported in their archives that a comet was observed in March of 5 BCE. During 5 BCE Passover began on March 23. This is the only primary source of anything, ( comet, conjunction, or super nova) that could of been the Star of Bethlehem that led the Magi to Jesus.
3. Evidence from Jesus- My next blog will focus on why Jesus indicated that he was born during the month of Nisan. Hope to have this by the end of the week. This is just a taste.
Wake up everyone! Jesus was born and died during the month of Passover. Passover is the most important event in Jewish history. Jesus was, and is Jewish. Until next blog, as always, GO WITH GOD!
Greetings everyone, this week I am focusing on the Jewish month of Nisan. The Talmud informs us that the Jewish patriarchs were born and died during the month of Passover (Nisan). You can see from the list below how much history agrees. Can Jesus can be included in this? We know from the Gospels that he was crucified on Nisan 15. I provide more than ample proof in The Essence of Perfection of a Nisan nativity and Star of Bethlehem. I devote the first half of the book to this theory, known as the integral existence. The second part of the book is dedicated to how Jesus’ lifespan, Nativity to Resurrection, is perfect not only spiritually, but also mathematically. This number ratio is not only found in nature, but also throughout the Bible. Time to wake up people! Jesus was Jewish, and his time on Earth was planned to offer salvation to the world. This was also perfect within the fabrics of time itself.
Events in Jewish history that occurred in the month of Nisan.
Notice how many important people in Jewish history were born and died during the month of Nisan. Can we add Jesus to this list? For more on the integral existence of Jesus, read The Essence of Perfection. Until next time, GO WITH GOD!
15 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest, I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.