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The truth is rational, logical and reasonable and is apprehended by the mind, NOT the heart. When it is so apprehended, it is AFFIRMED by the heart! - Michael Armstrong
PARADIGM of the GOSPEL
The really good news is not directly about the crucifixion or the resurrection or any aspect of theology but is about the imminent & immanent Realm of Goodness or Kingship of the heavens, and the reasonable, engaging process to enter. The gospel is about the entire package of goodness being imminently available to us.
Kingship of the Heavens
The Kingship of the heavens referred to by Jesus is not a material place nor is it a political system with God as the head. It is a situation or state of being where everyone has an equal and supreme status as comparable to a king, and one's every desire and need are fulfilled and more. Of course, it is independent of place or physical location, per se. It is the state of our being fully developed sons of God, unified in spiritual maturity, and involves having mastery over the physical universe as Jesus had through the Father. This is why Jesus uses heavens in the plural, because it is independent of which "heaven" or to which one is referring. Jesus brought this kingship with him and it is present and totally available and we can enter now. He is not bringing the rest of it, nor the tangible reality of it, in some "second coming" if and or when he visibly returns in person.
Those that enter into unity by believing without tangible proof—by the force of the logic, elegance, and beauty of the truth—will completely understand the spirit of the character of the United Serving Entity and the basic reality that they set up, and will corporately control the awesome creative power of the United Serving Entity. This IS the realm of goodness. This is why it is reasonable and imperative to need to be in unity with the United Serving Entity and each other. We then get to enjoy sharing the Gospel of this "Kingship" with all the world and watch the Kingship/Kingdom grow.
Age Ending Advent
The words Parousia and Apocalypse are badly misunderstood by Christian translators who let tradition and the Bible influence their translation. The word Parousia means a display of presence, and the word Apocalypse means an unveiling or revealing. Both of these as referred to by Jesus are now in the past.
The resurrection of Jesus WAS his "coming again" and he says virtually nothing about coming a third time, which would be the traditional Christian second advent. This is not to say that there will not be a climactic close to this age and that Jesus and others may not come to the earth, but the timing and nature of that event will be determined by a small number of believers coming into spiritual maturity and unity of purpose and values, not by some preset chronological agenda. The nature of this age ending will be real, visible, and tangible. When the Realm of Goodness (Kingship of the heavens) is entered by people who have chosen to believe without "seeing" and come into unity by completely understanding the United Serving Entity, then their great need will be fulfilled, Jesus may come in person as a cherished equal citizen, and the good news of the KINGSHIP can and will be shared in power with every existing and resurrected human being on the earth.
"If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it
Some Other Theological Issues
The basic fundamental issue is whether or not universal reality is set up by the Creator for us to win by our individual definition of winning. If it is not, the sooner we cease to exist the better. Do we get what we intrinsically and legitimately want and need, or don't we? Choice begins here.
Foreknowledge & Determinism
We are all predestined by, and only by, God's intention for us to be saved as his children. But God does not know what our choices will be, only what they have been, and therefore our decisions within certain limits. Our decisions and behavior are only determined, i.e. fixed and predictable, in the interval between choices. What specific reality will be in the future cannot be determined by God but he IS determined to achieve his purpose with certain goals that he has ordained. God would die of boredom if he knew everything that we would choose and do.
The United Serving Entity of unfallen human beings has no chronologically controlled agenda for this age, and never had one for the previous age that it was not willing to change. The agenda Jesus talks about is purely of phenomena and is imminent, i.e. can happen at any time and very quickly. The ball is in our court to choose what to believe within the context and limits of what Jesus said and did, something apparently not done within the last two thousand years. They are chronologically operating on an agenda determined by us.
Ancient cultures that went through the end of the Golden Age usually had expectations or prophecies of the return of the warrior hero/God of wisdom to return things to that benevolent state. Jesus styled and positioned himself in the Jewish culture to be this fulfillment as much as was appropriate to get attention and be taken seriously, and so in that sense he was the fulfillment of all valid aspects of prophecy, and there can be no valid Old Testament prophecy that even points past his life on earth. The most amazing prophecy in the Old Testament is the one of Nebuchadnezzar's statue of decreasing natural malleability, being smashed by the rock of miraculous malleability. The statue metals symbolize powerful intellectual/spiritual conceptualization systems that always precede political systems. And very significantly, Jesus prophesies nothing specific beyond the destruction of Jerusalem except for the beginning of the age of judgment and the resurrection.
Human Organizational Response to Systematic Excess Super High Intensity Trivia. Formal organizations are full of it! Formal organizations set up in this world are of necessity set up according to the world's principles and values, with rules, and structured hierarchically with arbitrary power-and-force authority. But, any time the "good" of an organization takes precedence over the good of any one of its individual members, it has crossed over the same line the Sanhedrin crossed, using the same rationale, when they decided to put Jesus to death. Individuals are sacred, NOT formal organizations in this world.
The Ten Words/Commandments
The giving of the tables of stone to Moses by "God" on the mountain is part of the Hebrew mythology, and an educated, reasonable man should have a problem believing this literally ever happened. However valid or invalid this may be, neither in the Old Testament or the New Testament is the "Ten Commandment" terminology actually used. The writings on the tablets of stone—not that they literally existed—were called the "Ten Words" or Decalogue, not commandments. These words are represented to be spoken by God the Father to Jehovah the Son and were part of an agreement between them that the Messiah would fulfill and live by. In the story Moses was merely given a copy of the essence of this agreement. These were not commandments or "demandments" that were directed toward men. The value to us of the Ten Words is that they generally elucidate fundamental principles which we can incorporate into our lives to the extent that they do not interfere with our freedom or the proper sustenance and/or the enhancement of life.
Paradigm of Character, Purpose, Plan and Values
The character of the Unified Serving Entity (USE)—otherwise referred to as the Father by the J-person—is to serve, to fulfill, to maximize life and morale. The Father-God cannot be satisfied or have its desire/needs fulfilled unless all of humanity's are first or simultaneously fulfilled. Its character is that of lover, not of ruler or law giver. It is potent with graciousness, not policy or fiat law backed by force or violence. The most special characteristic of the USE is that these human beings are not just wise and noble but romantic and passionate.
The USE is the creator of all that has been added since the Originator began creation; but how they create is not nearly as important or interesting as to WHY they create. The thinking of this site is that the creation of the race to which we belong is intended to be another Supreme Family in the cosmos.
The grand purpose of life and all creation is revealed by the theme of romance that begins in the first part of Genesis, runs through the scriptures and other great literature, and that is undergirded by our own romance, intimacy and sexuality. Even Paul understood this. Romantic spiritual literature portrays god as the love-hungry man waiting for his bride to come into unity, equality and supremacy, and purposes to live happily with her for all ages. This is the romantic paradigm woven throughout Hebrew ancient literature and the Old Testament.
The plan of the USE is envisioned to be one of universalism where ultimately every human being will be saved, where no human being will be thrown away, unless for some unfathomable reason an individual ultimately insists on not existing.
The most sacred thing in the universe is human life. Nothing else on this earth is sacred except as it serves the sustenance and enhancement of human life. The Father-God's supreme ethic is equality, liberty, good will and freedom of choice, and he demonstrated this by allowing us to kill his son and choose what to believe.
Will of God
The desire of God is spelled out in John 17 where Jesus uses the ultimate Hebrew communication emphasis technique (recorded only twice as being used by Jesus) to say what he wants. This cultural convention was to say something three times and then turn around and say it again a fourth time in a different way. He desires with ultimate passion to have his children be in unity of character, purpose, and values with each other, and have his new supreme corporate family be in unity with him.
The final resolution of all issues for every individual will be accomplished by the end of the next age, which we can call the age of judgment/justice. There are obviously different levels of believing. Those who have adequately believed will do the "judging" and the words of Jesus will be the "judge". Let the reader ponder that the word "judge" primarily means to save, and that ultimate justice would be for everyone to be brought into the truth and be fulfilled and happy.
The human destiny for us is to be equal to Jesus as individual Sons of God as his brothers; for us corporately to be supreme through equality with the Original Supreme Family. Primarily, God will be serving us; secondarily, we will be serving him. We will, of course, take part in managing the universe since it was made for us.