By Carol Van Krieken
This writing is only intended to provoke serious contemplation of what I will share with you about my own understanding of the "truths" the scriptures impart to us. I can tell you from my own experience that these concepts have remained misunderstood by most and maybe even by all who have read them. To understand why this is so, read in the Bible Matthew 11: 25-26, Luke 11:13, John 15:26, John 16:7-15, I John 2:27. It is not necessary, but it would help tremendously if you also read the book 'Propaganda: The Formation of Man's Attitudes' by Jacques Ellul, translated by K. Kellen and J. Lerner and published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1964. I have never come across another book like it for exposing, in depth, the power propaganda has on society at large. It permeates every aspect of life including our "religious" beliefs!
The large majority of people who profess to be Christian have always relied on 'supposedly' informed religious men, such as their ministers or priests to help them understand the Bible. I found myself in a position of utter frustration with the clergy. What I got from them and anyone else I turned to was either more confusion or evasion. If this sounds like your own personal experience, then perhaps what follows will be the beginning of your enlightenment.
Haven't you read the Bible and wondered that God seems to have two personalities? In Hebrews 13:8 Paul says that "Christ is the same yesterday, today and always". How else can a good and perfect God be? He couldn't be contrary to Himself. If Christ is the same yesterday, today and always, wouldn't the same hold true for His father? Why then does God command one thing and then later make an opposing command? For instance, He commands us not to eat certain foods in the Old Testament because He considers them unclean (Deuteronomy 14:3-21) and then later God in Christ tells us (in Mark 7:14-20) that it is NOT food that makes us unclean. "....Nothing that goes into a person from the outside can really make him unclean, ... It is what comes out of a person that makes him unclean". This has confused me as have so many other contradictions in the scriptures. I do not find contradiction on the subject of unclean foods between what Christ says about it and what the apostles and Paul says about it, only between the Old Testament scriptures and the teachings of Christ. However, there are other issues where I do find contradiction between Christ's teachings and the writings of the apostles and Paul, so not all the contradictions are between the Old and New Testament only. It is not necessary for this writing to expound on all these issues. It is only important to point out that these contradictions exist. I can only conclude that this is because, at the time of their writings, they did not yet understand all that Christ taught. John 7:38-40 says that "the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus has not yet been raised to glory". If Jesus had not yet been raised to glory, then He could not yet send the Comforter, the Helper, who is the Spirit of Truth. Refer again to John 16: 7-15, particularly verse 13, "When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth". We see there that the apostles could not possibly understand what Christ taught yet because He had not yet sent the "Spirit of Truth", the Comforter. This could only be done after Christ was "raised to glory".
Concerning Paul's epistles, we must keep in mind that they were written during the time when he was trying to establish the Church for new Christians and had to give them the "milk" to get it started. The tragedy is that only Paul's early letters are preserved and included into the, supposedly, divinely established Holy Bible. I believe that Paul did not, at the time of these writings, understand Christ's teachings either. Most all the epistles in the New Testament give us the mere milk of basic Christian doctrines. This is what we find in most of Paul's epistles, especially when he writes about worldly matters.
Following are just a few examples of the contradictions I refer to between the Old and New Testament:
There is the story of Job that gives one pause to consider why God would speak to Job in such a fashion as to make Job ashamed for questioning God's wisdom while suffering so much misery? A good and perfect God who IS Love (I John 4:8) cannot expect His creation to bare all suffering without wondering why he is being allowed to suffer so, especially when he was such a good and faithful servant. God also blesses Job with much wealth and a beautiful wife before and after his suffering, but Christ tells us that "it is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than a rich man to go to Heaven". Why then does He give Job riches? There are many occasions when Christ tells us to not store up treasures here on earth. He says we cannot serve God and Mammon. Thus we can see that God in the Old Testament speaks of blessings as earthly blessings, but Christ speaks mostly about the Kingdom of Heaven and spiritual blessings. Christ did not have wealth when he walked the earth. If material blessings were important as a means for God to show His love for Christ, then he would have given them to Christ. What does come across in everything Christ says and does is that material blessings are not the same as spiritual blessings and that material blessings are not from His Father! They fool one into thinking that they are important and hence that this world is important.
In Deuteronomy 19: 21 God says that punishment for those who commit crimes and those who falsely accuse one of such crimes is to be "a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, and a foot for a foot." However, Christ says (Matthew 5:38),"You have heard that itwas said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth'. But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also." [Bold is for emphasis]. This is such a clear contradiction of revenge versus forgiveness.
This leads naturally to what I see as the most confusing aspect of the entire Christian faith -- the Law. First, though, we must be in agreement with the idea that a good and perfect God Who IS Love can not by His very nature, insist on being loved, obeyed or worshiped by us as a requirement for receiving His love or the reward of eternal life. That is not love. When He creates He gives free will to the one He created because that is the only way love can be expressed between the Creator and the one created. Also, as our Creator, He would know that we are not capable of obeying His Law, so then, why give us the Law in the first place? Why would a good and perfect and loving God set up such a system for His created ones knowing that they will fail? We are told in Galatians 3: 24 and other scriptures in the New Testament that "the purpose of the Law is to lead us to Christ because the Law is powerless to save us." So, Law is thus a pointer. It points to Christ as our only way to be saved from sin. Once we understand that we need Christ in order to be redeemed then we must consider what Christ says about the Law. The first personality of God is one that demands obedience or suffer His wrath. It's either obey and receive His (worldly) blessings or disobey and receive His punishment (curses). In the New Testament when we are introduced to Jesus Christ we see an entirely different personality. This one offers forgiveness for sin and the reward of eternal life. How can this be when God is the same yesterday, today and always? So now let's look at some of the things that Jesus said that pertain to the Law. The first time Jesus mentions the Law is in Matthew 5:17-20. He says "Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true. Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with. So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires." (Good News Bible) Now this is quite different from what God says about obeying the law in the Old Testament where He only promises punishment (curses) for disobedience and blessings for obedience. There is no mention of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. However, even though this instruction from Jesus is different from what God says in the Old Testament, He still is telling us that we are to be concerned with obeying the Law. In John 6:28-29 (and other scriptures) however, Jesus says "What God wants you to do is to believe in the one He sent". So now Christ tells us that it is not one's obedience to the Law that God wants, but one's belief in Jesus, who God sent to us. Since we know that Christ came to set us free from our sin, why then does He say earlier on that one must obey the law to enter the Kingdom. (It is interesting to note, and it gives us a clue, that when Jesus refers to the Law He calls it the "Law of Moses" and does not say the Law of my Father. [The KJV does not say Law of Moses in Matthew 5:17-20, but there are many other places where Jesus does refer to the Law as the Law of Moses]). So now we are still left with the dilemma of why God changes His plan for us, from obeying the Law to believing in who Jesus is in order to be set free, if He is the same yesterday, today and always. We know a God who is good and perfect and IS Love cannot be any other way, right?
This seemingly dual personality was so disturbing to me that I was going into despair over it. I wanted so much to make sense of it. It was when I began to wonder about and contemplate the things I observed about my own life experiences and life in general and how it all relates to what the scriptures say that a revelation began to unfold. Here is where I will be so bold as to propose to you a question for your consideration. Could it be that the God in the Old Testament is not the same God that Jesus speaks about as being His Father? Could it be that Jesus' mission was to introduce us to the 'true' God, in contradistinction to the prevailing 'false' god, Jehovah (the Evil One)? (Read John 12:31, John 14, particularly verses 6 -7 and 17. Read also, John 15: 26-27, John 16: 7-16, John 17: 3 and John 18: 37). It is necessary to read these scriptures before continuing with this writing.When Jesus speaks of the ruler of this world (John 16:11) He is obviously not speaking about His Father. When Jesus says to His Father, "eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and know Jesus Christ, whom you sent", this certainly implies there is a false god. This is further verified in John 8: 31-47. In verse 44 Jesus says to the Jewish authorities, "You are the children of your father, the Devil, and you want to follow your father's desires ..." These are very revealing statements, and open up another subject for future discussion, but let us just focus on the identity of this Devil character. Jesus calls him the "father of lies" further on in verse 44. His character is that of one who deceives (by lies). Couldn't it be that the father of lies is Jehovah and that he is an imposter, so to speak, and has deceived man from the beginning of time into believing that he is the true God? Read and contemplate Genesis 1, 2 &3. It is very confusing indeed, because the message is very deep. Adam and Woman/Eve were deceived in the Garden of Eden, which is not of this earth (more on this later) and believed a lie about God (the true God) and that is how they fell from being in an environment of Truth with the true God, into an environment of Untruth with the false God. The true God gave His creation free will but warned them that if they ate of a certain tree (the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) they "will surely die". He was stating a fact about what happens when one eats of this certain tree. Doesn't it make sense then that this specific tree is this universe created by Jehovah, where he reigns? The true God gave Jehovah free will and He gave Adam and Woman/Eve free will. When He tells Adam and Woman they will die, it means they will no longer be living in Truth where life is eternal, but will then be separated from Him and will be in an environment of Untruth, in other words, based on lies. He is telling them they will be dead to Him because He lives only in an environment of Truth. They will take on an embodiment that perishes. If this is what happened to Adam and Eve, couldn't it also be true for all mankind? A good and perfect God who IS love would not force all His created ones out of His environment into an environment of Untruth just because Adam and Eve chose to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Each of His created ones would have been given free will also. Therefore, we all must have made the same choice as Adam and Eve and, by doing so, entered this "universe". Genesis is the story of Adam and Eve who believed Jehovah (the serpent who told them a lie about what god said), and I say it also represents the fall of all souls who believed Jehovah and thus partook of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It will take another writing indeed to expound on why it is referred to as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It will eventually become apparent to all who embrace what is being revealed in this writing.
In light of all this, wouldn't it make sense that Jehovah is the god who gave us the Law, and for those who do NOT seek the Way to the true God, the Law stands? Now let's return to Matthew 5:17-20. We should see that Jesus was speaking then about the way things stand for those who do not understand that He is the son of the true god, and instead believe he was sent by Jehovah. Knowing this and taking this scripture into consideration in the context of everything else Jesus says, we still can only conclude that we are set free of the Law through Christ. "You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free" (John 8:32). He again says in John 14:6 "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Here again He says that He is the Truth, and He is the only Way to His Father, not obedience to the Law. (If Jesus keeps hammering so much about TRUTH, then he must be telling us that, presently, we are following Untruth). We can see that Jesus' mission, which was to introduce us to the true God by setting the stage for the Comforter to make His entrance, could only be accomplished by playing a dual role!
It makes sense then that for those who do not know the true God, they would still be under the Law which Jehovah established! I can see that the only way Jesus could be permitted by Jehovah, the father of lies, and the god of this universe, to say those things that would inform us that there is another God, the God of Truth, is that he had to speak primarily in a manner that pleased Jehovah. They had made a deal, so to speak. Jesus was limited by all the restraints and conditions Jehovah placed on Him. Jesus spoke as the Messiah sent by Jehovah and said very little about His true Father. That is why Jesus had to send the Comforter for His message to be understood by anyone at all. It was also important for Him to inform us that He will be sending the Comforter to lead us into all Truth so that we would know not to trust anyone else to the job. Jesus said "knock and the door shall be opened", "seek and you will find". This is the only way one can find Truth. You must seek it with all your heart, which means being willing to let go of traditional Christian doctrines, and be lead by the Comforter. It will not be found sitting in a church pew or attending Bible Study classes. That is for certain!
I found it very disturbing whenever I read Matthew 7:13, 14. Christ said "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." Now I can clearly see how that can happen, as organized religion will not get you there! The clergy only know about the false god, who deceived us into eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They are "the blind leading the blind".
You may ask, "who then is Satan?" It should become clear once you understand who Jehovah really is that Satan is another entity altogether, who tries to tempt us away from Jehovah. Jesus had to contend with Satan in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11) who tried to tempt Him away from Jehovah. It is a spiral of deceit, you see, but that is a subject for another writing also.
The idea of the existence of two gods, one Good, and the other Evil disguised as light (Good), most certainly explains the dual personalities of God. The Old and New Testaments cannot be harmonized any other way. Only a world created from lies could be corruptible as we can all agree it is, and since we know that a Good and perfect God could never lie, it must be another god who created this universe. The false god can create things that are seemingly good like the beauty of nature, love (what we perceive as love, but is a poor imitation of the love the true Father has for His Son), reproduction, science, et al, but they are not good. They are all part of a deception. They deceive us into seeking our treasures here on earth and clinging to our physical life. They fool us into believing in the false god as the true god, and so we worship him, give thanks to him and have no other god before him. Jesus said "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone". I always thought that was a very strange thing for Jesus to say since He was the Son of God, so of course He is good. He is actually telling us that nothing that exists in this physical environment is good.
Since we were given free will by the true God in the Garden of Eden, after we fell from the Garden we then had another option to either follow Jehovah (supposed Good) or Satan (Evil) in this physical environment, just like we were given the freedom to choose between the true God and the Serpent, (Jehovah) in the Garden of Eden. Before Christ came we had only the choice to follow Jehovah or Satan. After Jesus Christ came we were then given the added option of following Him or Jehovah or Satan. Just as Jehovah tempted us away from the true God, it is Satan's purpose to tempt us away from Jehovah (and the true God)-"as above, so below". Read the beginning of the story of Job when Satan speaks to god about Job. The true God cannot exist in the same environment as Satan. Christ did meet with Satan during His fast in the desert, but that was in the flesh. Therefore, the God who speaks to Job cannot be the true God. (We already discussed other evidence of why the God who blesses and curses Job cannot be the true God). The way I see it, if Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) so can Jehovah. As I said previously, there is a downward spiral of deceit and at every level there is a war between (assumed Good) and Evil to win our devotion. Christ came to offer us a chance to return to the true God (Good). It is up to us to make that choice or stay with the false God (supposed Good). In this writing I will not get involved with the issue of what happens if we make the choice, knowingly or unknowingly, to stay with the false god, because it would take volumes to do so and would be digressing too much from the main point of this writing.
It is significant to point out, that in Genesis Chapter 1 there is a different creation taking place than the one in Chapter 2, which explains the confusion one may have as to why the order of creation in Chapter 1 is different from the order in Chapter 2. In Chapter 1 all living creatures are created first, and human beings are created last. In Chapter 2 man is created first, then "God planted a garden in Eden", then all animals and birds were created and then Woman is created. Here is the crux of the matter. If there are two creations, then it makes perfect sense that there are two gods who created them-- one is the "father of lies" and the other is the father of Truth. There can be no other explanation for the two personalities of God that we encounter and struggle with in the Bible.
This writing is meant to be a turning point for those who are seeking, as I was, for the meaning of this life, and our purpose in it. The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, is the only way to get understanding and that is really the message I am trying to convey with this writing. The Comforter will do the rest for you. He will guide you, but you must first arrive at the point where you can see there is no other way; and that is what I hope I have accomplished. Once you see that this is so, then you too will be contacted by the Comforter, who will guide you out of the darkness. And when your physical body perishes, you--the real you-- will be with the True Father!
Carol van Krieken owned her own business and worked many years in banking and in real estate. She and her husband have been avid readers of the Bible for many years while studying the history of early Christendom and its progression to what it is today. Shocking discoveries were made along the way and are now available to the public in a new book. For more information see http://thetruthabout-reality.com