WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?
"Blessed are the Poor in Spirit because theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 5:3) That was the first statement of Jesus in a series of statements which are commonly referred to as His Sermon on the Mount. What did He mean?
If I ponder what it might mean to be RICH in Spirit, I think of feeling close to God, thinking often of Jesus, loving the Bible, being thrilled by rousing hymns in church, feeling rapturous in heartfelt prayers, seeing Godís Design wonderfully displayed in His creation, feeling a contented trust in Him as my Father, and so forth.
Well, then, Poor in Spirit must be the opposite of that. I admit that for me, I feel abandoned by God, not knowing for sure that He exists, or whether there is an afterlife, or whether I am doing rightly or wrongly with my life, or what love is, not feeling His presence, without any hope for my future or whether there is such a thing as Heaven. Destitute in my soul. Forsaken.
The Greek word for "poor" in Jesusí statement is πτωχοι (ptōchoi) which is nominative, plural, masculine, adjective of πτωχος, for which the definition is "reduced to beggary, mendicant, poor, indigent" in Perschbacherís Analytical Greek Lexicon. In Thayerís Lexicon, it is "destitute of wealth, influence, position, honors; lowly, afflicted." Kittelís Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol VI, page 886, reads: "πτωχος denotes the complete destitution which forces the poor to seek the help of others." On the next page: "There was no system of state poor-relief in the Greek world. . . .There is in the Greek world no moral or religious glorifying of poverty; on the contrary, in social conflicts the poor could not even invoke the help of the gods."
"Destitute in Spirit" to such a degree that one has none at all, or at least any awareness of a presence of any higher power; no higher force which might show mercy, compassion, or benevolence to this poor beggarly soul who is alone in the darkness without even a hope he can turn to for comfort.
Only now, in my life, do I dare to let my fingers address this topic through the keyboard to say what I'm going to say in a few paragraphs to follow. This statement of Jesus is one which has resonated in my soul for many years. It was about late 1990's that Jesusí words became deeply meaningful to me. I yielded to them as though I had suddenly found the ultimate truth. I gave myself to that destitution as though it was the only thing I can own. I threw off the blankets from my bed and slept naked on a bare sheet without any covering at all. My feeling is that if there is a God, here am I, naked, alone, vulnerable, unprotected, exposed, destitute. I have slept like that for most of the time since, except that when the temperature drops and I feel chilled, then I pull a blanket over me. But, it is seldom that I feel a need of that blanket. I turn myself over to a God whose existence I cannot know, and I go to sleep peacefully with a silent prayer that I might not awaken in the morning. I have no hope of an afterlife; that is up to Him if He exists. I have no hope that He exists because that is not something I can do anything about. I just yield to the unknown. I feel destitute in Spirit, and I am content with that.
Sometimes I make the argument in my mind that perhaps God has placed people in this world in order that we should make the best of it; do whatever is necessary to fulfill oneís potential, and enjoy the satisfaction of achieving something. Always, I am confronted with the big picture of what this world is all about, its corrupt nature and its terribly unjust management by wicked men. It grieves me deeply to review history in my mind; I think of the early Christian martyrs of the first few centuries. I think of the many millions of Christians who were tortured to death by the Roman Catholic Church during the medieval centuries of inquisitions. I think of the Bolsheviks who killed over fifty million Christians during the Stalin era. I think of the Eisenhower Death Camps after WWII when more millions were starved to death. I think of the war against the American South by the Banksters who lusted for its bounty. I think of the recent decades of Christian oppression as our God is outlawed and we are oppressed by a degenerate jewish culture of sex and violence and injustice by jewish courts against white race Christians.
And I wail to God, asking if He is there and doesnít he see what is happening, and asking why a Just God would permit such terrible injustice. As I reflect on our history, I feel the full meaning of that word "destitute," that it applies to Godís own children. I canít quite wrap my mind around the concept that God would send His own loved ones as sheep to slaughter through century after century. Wicked politicians and banksters dominate Christís sheep, exercising sadistic oppression with impunity. And then I think of such injustice as being a natural part of Godís great pageant; that it is scripted and directed by Him, our own Father!
Myself, Roger, itís me, who wants to see myself as one of Godís warriors, as one of the soldiers marching boldly behind my General, who rides a great white horse, who has fire in His eyes and a sword in His mouth. Itís me, Roger, who tries to make sense of the terrible truth of our history, only to find myself feeling empty, powerless, like a boxer sitting on the floor against the ropes bewildered that I canít get up. To consider that my own Lord has set me up to be destroyed is too confusing for my soul to contemplate. I share the cry of Jesus, "why hast Thou forsaken me?" I am reminded of that scene in the Braveheart movie when Wallace discovers his own king beneath an enemy helmet; he falls limp to the ground in an incomprehensible dismay, destitute in Spirit!
What solace can there be for me? Consolation? Explanation? What spark of light for my darkness? The passage which comes to my mind at this moment is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world (kosmos, His Design) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have life unto the ages." Jesusí own Father GAVE Him to be killed by the enemy! My own Father GIVES me up for slaughter? My own Father? Him whose love I trusted! I am bereft of all hope and all confidence! The script is written; the play is in motion; countless millions of His own sheep have been already slaughtered. Should I think it will be different for me?
So, I remove all my clothing to lie naked on a bare sheet and yield to Him without any reservations at all, destitute in Spirit. And I never feel so comfortable and blissfully content as during the night, without a worldly care or fear or desire or frustration or emotion. To sleep like a newborn baby who hasnít yet learned those evils.
But, when Iím awake and pondering the eternal questions, I canít help but wonder about the slaughter. Why must it happen? And directed by our own Father??? Now, I think I can finally answer that. I will try.
First, it is necessary for me to understand that I have been His child, as a member of the Adam family, the Christ-body, since before the world began. My family must have been unsatisfied with that state of spiritual oneness with our Father because we grasped at Satanís temptation and we fell from Grace in order to experience a material and sensual experience of life. We gave up our immortality to take on mortal frames and death. We descended gradually from that Eden height, 18,000 years ago, at the apex of the sine wave diagram of history. Then, 12,000 years ago, we transitioned from the Heaven kingdom into the World of material, finite limitations, and sensual extremes. We went down into the pit and there we have languished for all those centuries. Then, 6,000 years ago, God activated once again our spiritual natures (Bible story of Adam and Eve) and we began the long climb toward Him.
Perhaps the primary lesson of the Bible is that we cannot ascend from this pit without leaving our material bodies behind; we must die. Some of us come to know that truth and we eagerly walk a path to Golgotha, struggling and stumbling. Always we persist to climb the steep wall of the pit toward that cross. We covet that cross above any earthly thing, for it is the only door of Liberation from this nightmare. In my mind I envision a long parade of martyrs who welcomed torturous deaths rather than lose their crosses. Now, as my own life nears its end, I yearn to join that parade; I plead for the honor of joining that parade; I will not let that cross fade from my vision even though my eyes fail me. I know now why our Father directed His family to those slaughters. Oh, why did I ever doubt Him? He was reclaiming us from this pit; He was forsaking our earthly attachments to people and desires and things! To realize this Truth is to feel myself levitating from my naked bed sheet to meet Him in the air, destitute in Spirit, carrying no baggage at all. Now, instead of preparing to fight my enemy government, I shall joyously welcome it as my Liberator. Pain is but a brief moment which soon passes as I, in Spirit, rise upward and homeward, free from the pit. The prodigal gets welcomed home to the Fatherís Palace! O Happy Day!
by Roger Hathaway, March 17, 2011 Return to Index
AFTER-WORD, March 19, 2011:
I've been thinking about the above piece for the past couple days, since I published it. Surely, it seems to me, most who read it will think Roger has gone totally weird, flipped out, gone off the deep end. Some readers might not be that charitable, because it is considered insanity to rebel against this life. The healthy norm is to achieve a stable lifestyle which leads to a happy old-age with a home and family and contented security. There is no philosophy or culture or society, even in the animal kingdom, which exalts the death of this physical life. To act against one's life is considered aberrant behavior, psychotic, not sane!
Yet, isn't Roger exalting a death-wish in the above piece? How should a sane person think about such a thing? Is that what Jesus was really saying?
I discussed my feelings with Lisa this morning. It seems that my choices are two, that I am wrong, having gotten way off track, or that I am the only one who thinks such a radical notion. I feel deeply that I would rather be wrong than to be alone with this realization. My only hope is that, of the large family of Christ, I am probably not the only one to see this big-picture in this way, but that I just don't know of the others.
The evidence seems overwhelming in support of this conjecture. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven." There is even a mountain gospel song, "Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die." Is there any Christian who doesn't understand this fact? Does anyone think he can reach heaven without passing through death's door? We all know this, don't we? Yet, it just doesn't seem real to us that we might feel a yearning to make that transition. We have so many attachments here which we don't want to leave, namely loved ones, perhaps a high position one has achieved with a life time of hard work, or perhaps a feeling of responsibility that has yet to be fulfilled. These types of things give a person his identity, his feeling of pride, his empowerment. After years of intense effort, it seems insane to look back and despise it all. Yet, we have the example of working men who simply walked away from their jobs and their families to follow Jesus when He beckoned. And those were hard working men, earthy men of vulgar language, smelling of sweat and stink of fish. They abandoned fellow workers who depended on them. Without hesitation, they simply walked away, to follow Jesus. Crazy?
As I reflect on the above piece, it seems to be a simple restatement of Jesus' message. After ten thousand years of World, the Morning Star appeared, saying, "Follow Me!" He paid the debt (death penalty) for the Breach of Contract, a penalty which had left God's family jailed on death-row. He opened the prison gate, saying, "Follow Me!" And some did follow; most of His friends were killed for being Jesus' followers. He had told them several times where He had to go. He once said, "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there you may be also." And then they watched Him struggle with His burden up that steep hill toward His Liberation. Oh, yes, His friends understood clearly which path to travel to follow Him. And they did it, along with thousands of others during the next couple centuries. HE was REAL to them, not just a character about whom they had read, not a fairy tale legend, and not even a dead hero. They knew He was alive and waiting for them and calling them to Himself. It was all very REAL to them.
In our modern world, He is not so real anymore. Jesus gets lost in a crowd of famous people who make headlines and news and sitcoms. Instead of imagining Him in our minds, we are absorbed in moving pictures of countless pretenders in our living rooms. Instead of struggling with the eternal questions of life, death, heaven, hell, eternity, and whether God is real, it is so much easier to settle back into a sofa and get entertained by others. God isn't very real anymore; even this life isn't very real as we experience all those TV images. At this point, we might wonder if God had something in mind when He wrote the Second Commandment, about graphic images. When you are reading this commandment, think about your own TV, if it might even be positioned so that you look UP to it. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven (graphic) image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
You see, we have all gotten somewhat separated from REALITY. Even death is not very real to us anymore, as we see it depicted on TV, movies, and in the violent video games of children. The line between imagery and reality is blurred and a little confusing. The pretenders (the liars of John 8:44) have distorted and confused our minds because we found their pretense/lies to be enjoyable entertainment. Why should we ever want to turn our backs to it in order to walk toward Death? Modern psychologists would consider that to be psychotic! Such people used to get locked into institutions for the mentally ill. It is the accepted norm for us to fear and despise death; we abhor it, we grieve when it takes a loved one; we spend much effort to delay death for as long as possible. Fear of death seems natural to our human minds. Actually, fear of death is a powerful tool of Satan, as we will see next.
Strangely, Jesus told us to not fear it. The Bible says that fear of death keeps us in bondage. The author of Hebrews 2:15 says that Jesus shared the flesh and blood "that through death He might destroy the one having the power of death, namely the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lives kept in bondage." He tells us that the psychologists are wrong, that fear of death keeps us locked in the devil's prison of World, and that Jesus came to release us from that fear! So, if we understood the REALITY of Jesus' message, we Christians would rejoice at the exit from this hellish nightmare of a loved one. We would envy him or her, and yearningly contemplate that moment when we get to step through that door, too.
In one of the Nag Hammadi collection of Gospels, we have the Apocryphon of James (Jesus' brother), which relates a conversation of Jesus with His disciples at some time after the resurrection, in which Jesus says: "Scorn death, therefore, and take thought for life! Remember my cross and my death and you will live!"
But I answered and said to him, "Lord, do not mention to us the cross and death, for they are far from you."
The Lord answered and said, "Verily I say unto you, none will be saved unless they believe in my cross. But those who have believed in my cross, theirs is the kingdom of God. Therefore, become seekers for death, like the dead who seek for life; for that which they seek is revealed to them. And what is there to trouble them? As for you, when you examine death, it will teach you election. Verily I say unto you, none of those who fear death will be saved; for the kingdom of God belongs to those who put themselves to death. Become better than I; make yourselves like the son of the Holy Spirit!"
Yes, He even makes the bold suggestion about "those who put themselves to death." But, I strongly argue that He is not commending suicide, except that we might wonder if He didn't deliberately cause His death by telling the Edomite Jews that their father was the devil (John 8:44). The lesson seems clearly that we might cause our own deaths by boldly representing Him and/or Truth, thereby attracting Liberators to do the deed. But, as long as I awaken each new morning, it is my job to joyfully do that day whatever is set before me, and to be as Godly as I can be, and to NOT suicide myself no matter how strongly I desire to leave this pit. I might have a death-wish, but it is a wish to die in His service, in His name, not for purpose of escaping my duty.
"O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?"
Then, in St. John's book of Revelations, at the opening of the Fifth Seal, chapter 6, John says,
"I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slain because of the word of God and because of the witness which they had. 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying: 'Until when, O master, holy and true, do you judge and avenge our blood of the ones dwelling on earth?' 11And to each one of them was given a white robe, and it was said to them that they should rest a little time, until it should be fulfilled that their fellow-slaves and their brothers be killed as they were."
Can we continue to read the scriptures and still fail to get the clear message that Death is the door out of this world pit? God's vengeance will be upon those who administered cruel injustice to God's own offspring, but Death is God's blessing to those who are living WITNESSES of our Father.
NEWSFLASH! "Death is a Blessing from God."
Fear of Death is a power by which Satan keeps us in bondage.
I like to imagine myself as an experience of God; that He lives through me and experiences whatever I do. That gives me a sense of responsibility which helps me to direct my actions. So, I imagine that, if He is living through me, what have I to fear? When I take the next step, or turn the next corner, anything which I meet will be of His "play," just another small scene in His grand pageant. Does it matter whether one meets Death or not? Rationally, I might hope for it, but that isn't mine to choose. Fear of it is what I must avoid, for that can endanger my salvation. Jesus told His brother that "none of those who fear death will be saved." Now, if we can just convince our human-nature minds to change our thinking, huh? Not so easy, but contemplation of this will certainly help, along with confirming our election, as He told James.
Well, dear ones; I felt compelled to share those thoughts with you on this website. If I am insane or psychotic, so be it; I am content. So, let me be, okay? And each day that I awaken, I will consider that day to be another assignment from Him, and will enthusiastically and joyfully apply myself to it. It's alright if I live for many more years; I will make the most of them. And it's alright if I am blessed with a lift out of this pit, at any time. My confidence is in the election. My joy is full.
by Roger Hathaway, March 19, 2011.
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