“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won't be able once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door. Then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up for us!’ He will answer you, ‘I don't know you or where you're from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets!’ But He will say, ‘I tell you, I don't know you or where you're from. Get away from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in that place, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but yourselves thrown out. They will come from east and west, from north and south, and recline at the table in the kingdom of God. Note this: some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
This parable complements the former indication of Jesus about the differences between the road that leads to eternal life and the road to perdition:
“Enter through the narrow gate; because the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life; and few find it.”
Note that there are many who go through the broad road… the many, means the majority of the human beings. From this majority, all believers are from multifarious religions, whose faiths consist of blind trust and submission to rigid dogmas. Putting all those together, they are very many – A third of the world population! Two billons are Christians, from which one billion is Catholic. Does the reader suppose that this gigantic number is entering by the narrow entrance squeezing through the path to the heights?
In the parable Jesus says also that many would try to enter by the narrow door but won't be able. Only the one who lives according to the Truth, who effectively complies with the Word, will be able to pass through the narrow door and follow the path of ascent to eternal life. The others will not be able, even if they are convinced of the contrary.
Those ones standing at the closed door do not accept their situation, which in their understanding, they considered unjust. The argument presented by them was that they had eaten and drunk in the presence of the Lord or they where taught by Him. These argument shows that they are convinced that they complied with all precepts of their religious beliefs. Therefore, as per their own judgment, they where complying with the Will of God. Nevertheless, from the other side, the Lord answered harshly: “I don't know you or where you're from!”
Again it becomes clear that it is not the human exterior that counts but solely the inner part of each one; how people practice, – through their whole life – not only in their temple precincts, the teachings contained in the Message coming from above. The teachings of Jesus were not given to be applied only on Sundays, Saturdays or Fridays but for all days of everyone's life: “You shall love the Lord your God, therefore keep his charge, his decrees, his ordinances, and his commandments always.” (Deut 11:1). Whoever observes the Commandments of God during all moments of his or her life can say that indeed he/she loves Him because “For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands.” (1John 5:3) and the reciprocal effects will guard you because: “If you choose, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.” (Sirach 15:15). John repeats this exhortation from Deuteronomy in his second letter reinforcing “This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: you must walk in love.” (2 John 6)
Whoever practices the Commandments with all his being gets, in a natural way, the crown of eternal life; the rest is illusion. It is no use following the rigid precepts of their religion if their hearts are full of iniquities. There is no value having a visible good standing if what moves the intuitions and thinking are based on envy, greed and hate. They think that they can commit all those abominations and then enter calmly in the House of the Lord to shout in chorus with others of the same kind: “We are safe!” (Check Jeremiah 7:10). They imagine, feeling good, and utter in chorus: “Isn't the Lord among us? No calamity will overtake us” (Check Micah 3:11). They will be severed apart and thrown to the abyss where there is just weeping and gnashing of teeth, the eternal condemnation.
Eternal condemnation is the final destiny for those who went astray, the ones who lost their lives. Those condemned are those human creatures which during millennia acted systematically against the Will of their Creator, despite all the warnings they received and despite the retroactive effects that continuously hammered them. Because of the continued hostility against God they reached a point of total severance from the Kingdom of the Spirit. The weak liaison they could yet maintain with the spiritual plane was totally dissolved so that it will never again be possible for them to return to Paradise. The expected result is the so called spiritual death or eternal damnation, a process that extinguishes one's self consciousness and frees the spiritual spark which maintained their glowing incandescence. They are the “dead who are in Hades, whose spirits have been taken from their bodies, will not ascribe glory or justice to the Lord” (Baruch 2:17) and for whom “the memory is lost” (Check Ecclesiastes 9:5).
About those who are spiritually dead, Jesus had already instructed that they should be allowed to commit self annihilation together with their ill will:
“But Jesus told him, ‘Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’ ”
All who bear the mark of Lucifer, the Antichrist on their foreheads are condemned to suffer spiritual death under great torments resulting from the millennial disintegration:
“And the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. There is no rest, day or night, for those who worship the beast and his image, or anyone who receives the mark of his name… If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand he will also drink the wine of God's wrath, which is mixed full strength in the cup of His anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb.”
(Rev 14:11, 9, 10)
Religious precepts cannot prevent so terrible a destiny but rather a simple change in the inner tuning, a spiritual redirection, as long as this is still possible.
This parable confirms that it is what is alive in the innermost being of a human being that has real value, not the rules of religions molded by members of the human species. The above passage; “They will come from east and west, from north and south, and recline at the table in the kingdom of God”, means that neither the place where a person lives nor the religion he or she professes will make any difference but only those who comply with the injunctions of the Creator will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Apostle Peter repeated this truth when he affirmed that “God doesn't show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.” (Acts 10:43, 35). This declaration of Peter shows he did not consider himself someone special, some distinguished apostle. It never could have crossed his mind to be a primordial “Pope”. When the centurion, Cornelius, fell at his feet and worshiped him Peter helped him up and said: “Stand up! I myself am also a man.” (Acts 10:26). Luther, after getting better acquainted with the contents of Pontifical decrees was in doubt if the Pope could be the Anti-Christ himself or just an apostle. This doubt would have disappeared completely when Cardinal Cajetano, named by Clement VII as “the lamp of the Church”, taught that the pope was above the scriptures. Luther spoke to everyone without fear, to whom ever wished to hear, demonstrating uncommon courage at a time when the Church ruled without any restrictions throughout the entire world.
It is important to clarify that the words Jesus directed to Peter specifically “rock” and “keys of Kingdom of Heaven” (check Matthew 16:18,19) has absolutely not the meaning which has been widely disseminated and adopted as justification for the foundation of a religious community based on Jesus and the institution of Popes. (1) Peter would be shocked if he knew that in the future he would be considered the first guardian of the “keys of the ministry” so ordained by Christ himself as the first Pope of a powerful Church where his successors would be considered infallible. He would be petrified by those ideas…
Jesus never said anything in a literal sense “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock…” (Matthew 16:18) because he was not making any personal allusion to Peter as if he would be a foundation rock but rather the rocky conviction which he gave his recognition when expressed “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” (Matthew 16:16). This conviction which Peter expressed textually was the rock (“Kephas” in Aramaic) also written Peter (“Petrus” in Latin). Jesus did not mistake the confession as being “Peter” because at that time there was a city in the south of the Dead Sea called “Petra” edified over a valley formed by red rocky cliffs. With his frequent uncontrolled fury Peter would be a very unstable rock to edify anything over himself. He had a temper more inclined to a walking earthquake rather than of an immobile and serene rock. The Gospel records this apostle as being the most impetuous and eager when speaking and the most foolish, for example, when he got dressed and dived into the sea when he saw Jesus faraway at the beach. (Check John 21:7). Because of this temper he was also the most warned and censurable.
For Giuseppe Barbaglio, a catholic theologian, the concept of Peter over the other apostles was conceived by the primeval Church, interested in positioning Peter in that community. He is right but this was not predominant. More than three quarters of the first Church Fathers commented and rejected this part of Mathew in those ancient times the fallacy of establishing for the future a papal lineage through Peter. One of these, the most famous third century Greek theologian Origen affirmed with reason: If we also utter: “You are Christ, the living Son of God” then we would also become Peter because whoever unites with Christ become rock. “… and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4).
Apostle Paul did well when he clarified that his status came “neither by human commission nor from human authorities” (Galatians 1:1). It is symptomatic that Paul sent his letters to 26 people in his Roman Epistle (Check Roman 16:3-16) that there was no mention of “Pope Peter” who at that time should already have been holding the office of Pope in Rome… an inexplicable disrespect. About the concept that the Church was founded by Christ, it should be noted that from the four canonical Gospels the word – ekklêsia in Greek – translated as Church appears only in two passages of Matthew's Gospel (Check Matt 16:18;18:17). He is the evangelist who sought interpretations, in a free form, of the words of Jesus in a way to conform to 29 direct citations he made from the Old Testament besides 79 other citations to which he made indirect allusions.
As confirmed by The Ecumenical Translation of the Bible “Matthew does not care making a meticulous translation of Jesus' language.” Indeed Matthew is always inclined to present various passages on the life of Jesus in order to make them fit with Old Testament prophecies, even forcing here and there. An example is the well known passage from Zechariah about the entrance of Jesus mounting a donkey: “Rejoice greatly Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph Jerusalem! See your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foul of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9). Mark, Luke, and John understood correctly that Jesus asked for a donkey only. (Check Matt 11:2; Luke19:20; John 112:14) Matthew otherwise makes an effort to fulfill the prophecy (Check Matt 21:5), hence his recurrent chant: “This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled” Matt 21:2) and put words in Jesus' mouth as if he requested a donkey and a colt with it (Check Matt 21:4).
Another example is the killing of the male children of two years old and under commanded by Herod in and around Bethlehem (Matt 2:16). Matthew uses here the rabbinic tradition where magicians, sorcerers, and seers announced the birth of Moses and because of this the Pharaoh would have ordered the killing of all new born males. Also there is a parallel with the book of Exodus when the King of Egypt ordered all midwives to kill all males born but to save the females.
In the book “The Final Judgment” by Roselis von Sass she explains that Jesus was born in 12 before Annum Domini and this date was also confirmed by Dr. Jerry Varfaman director and religion professor of the Mississippi University of Archeology. In those times, Herod was not concerned with any messiah just born but was suspecting that both his sons were planning his assassination. In that year he went to Rome with both sons to ask the emperor Augustus to resolve this question but he saw no rebellion taking place and reconciled father and sons. Also during this year, he supported Olympic game and gave his own funds to ensure the success of this event. There was no trace of concern about any newly born messiah.
Getting back to the term ekklêsia, we know that it has been used since the fifth century B.C. always with the meaning an “assembly” as shown in the famous Greek writings of Herodotus, Plato, Euripides and Xenophanes. This word was used in Greece to indicate a reunion of free citizens, particularly in Athens. The sense is therefore of an assembly and not of a Church founded as a religious institution. This is the meaning of assembly appearing in the New Testament texts (gahal in Hebrew). This is also the meaning evangelist Luke gave for the Acts of the Apostles meeting of citizens in Ephesus theatre (Check Acts 19:32) and for the “regular assembly” which deliberated public concerns (Check Acts 19:39). In his letter James uses this same term in the synagogue sense to identify the community he was lecturing. (Check James 2:2).
Therefore, Jesus did not establish any Church. Indeed, over the years, some courageous clerics affirmed this fact in writing, as Father of the Basilio di Cesarea Church did in the fourth century. In his treatise about the Holy Sprit Saint Basilio asked the following: “Who told us in writing the sign of the Cross was made by those who believed in Jesus Christ? Which saints gave us legacy in writing the words and gesture of lifting the Eucharistic bread and the blessed Chalice? We bless baptism water and chrismal oil… Based on whose written authority do we do that? In which written word was the oil anointment taught?”.
More recently in 1903 the daring Abbot Allain gave the following declaration to the Catholic news paper L'Univers, sold at French Churches on Sundays: “When we hear from church as per the Gospel, we do not get the truth; this deserves no credit neither trust. Where in the Gospel are the instructions our Lord gave us, He who founded a new religion? For sure He must have given to his apostles, here and there, instructions about the sacrament, liturgy, cult, the saints and to his Holy Mother?” Nobody knows what happened to Abbot Allain, but it probably was not calm and peaceful. Maybe he himself did not know but his intuitive non-conformism is supported by a sentence in the apocrypha gospel of Mary Magdalene: “I left not any order but the ones I commanded you.” Also Jesus declared to his disciples: “Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them” (John 20:23), but this absolutely does not refer to a general and arbitrary right of forgiveness by future prelates. Those words mean that a person can only forgive another for the evil inflicted on him personally. Just that, nothing different!
The Catholic and Orthodox Church traditions are that “the power to forgive is assigned to the members of the apostolic collegiate”, but this imagination has nothing to do with the truth. “Recline at the table in the kingdom of God” has a close relation with the passage of The Wedding Banquet parable where it says; “The wedding banquet was filled with guests;” after every invitation was rebuffed by those who first received it, i.e. those who had had the Grace of hearing the Word of the Lord. Because of this, “some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
This prophecy started to be fulfilled at the time of the apostles, e.g. when Paul and Barnabas answered the Jews, who taken by envy, uttered blasphemies; “Then Paul and Barnabas boldly said: It was necessary that God's message be spoken to you first. But since you reject it, and consider yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles!” (Acts 13:46) Here again Apostle Paul applies his fierce irony.
On the other side of life, in the place called the beyond, there is simply no more distinction or separation of believers of any kind, constructed by earthly reasoning. In the beyond no ideologies, no philosophies, no flags nor hymns, no more money and honorary distinctions nor diplomas, nor scholarly or curricular certificates exist. There are neither blind followers nor pagans. No Jews, Christians, Muslims, Spiritualists, Hindus, Buddhists, or Shinto; but just and simply human souls whose life-time encounters will be scrutinized to find out how the time granted them on earth was spent. All souls will be there allegorically before the tribunal bar to render explanations of all their deeds: “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God,.” (Roman 14:10), “so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or bad.” (2Corinthians 5:10) because: “each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Roman 14:12).
There are no counter reasons, deferring maneuvers or habeas corpus in the Divine Justice Tribunal. It will also be irrelevant if Fridays or Saturdays or Sundays were dedicated to their preferred cults. Only what was done with the entire life, whether or not it was directed to righteousness at all moments and situations, will count. No blind faith which is mechanically learnt but only the true inner and personal belief, and if this was alive and pure in the spirit, will count. The content will count not the form.
The Christ Spirit will awaken in any person of any ethnic group or religion who permits the legitimate teachings of the Message, which came from the highest heights, to become naturally alive in his innermost being and who expresses such in his deeds and thinking. Peace in the soul, as good Christians customarily say, is true because they are good not because they are Christians. A good Muslim, a good Spiritualist, a good Buddhist will feel the same inner peace. All of them have accomplished in a simple and natural way the exhortation: “Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). The endeavor for Truth is independent of religion. Only the access to the spirit of Christ, the Love of the Father, is the indispensable condition to recognize our mighty Father. This is why he said: “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). All the rest belongs not to Him: “But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:9).
A passage of the lecture “The Redeemer” in the second volume of the book In the Light of Truth by Abdruschin says:
“He who strives earnestly after truth and purity will also not be lacking in love. Though sometimes beset with serious doubts and struggles he will be led upwards spiritually step by step and, regardless of what religion he may belong to, he will either here or later in the Ethereal World meet the Christ-Spirit, which in the final end will lead him on towards recognition of God the Father. Thus the Word will be fulfilled: ‘No man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ ”
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