compiled by Dee Finney


updated 8-28-01

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

Edmund Burke

8-20-2001 - DREAM - I was managing a complex of apartment buildings. There was someone moving into one of the other buildings, so I went over there and discovered that the maintenance man had hung 8 prostitutes over the lobby of the building from the upper balcony. He called them "The Butterfield 8"

NOTE: "Butterfield 8" was a movie about a fancy prostitute in New York City. The book was written in 1935 by John O'Hara, and when it was made into a movie, Elizabeth Taylor played the main part.

Dream 2: I was working in an office as a secretary. The President of the company needed an emergency letter typed so he could send it to another man before he went to an 11:a.m. meeting. The President of the Company was a Jewish Judge I had worked for previously.

I had the letter done on time except there were a couple of typos right at the top of page I had to use white-out on to repair.

The President (The Jewish Judge) was all anxious that the letter be done on time.  I assured him that it was ready.  He told me twice that he had to have the letter ready by 11 a.m.  (I think this means 11:11)

But before he could leave for his meeting at 11 a.m., I had to cook something on a griddle for him to take with him and the letter.  It was very delicate, rather like a flat pancake, yet very different. I watched it turn from near white as it browned, then flipped it over to brown the other side, so it was evenly baked. This pancake was shaped to be a picture of the 8 hanged prostitutes. When it was done and cooled, I slid the cooked picture between two white sheets of cardboard, slid the letter on top of it and slid the whole thing into a large white envelope.

After the Jewish Judge delivered the package to the meeting, I heard back through the grapevine that the receiving office was trying to figure out how the hanged prostitutes had been put together. They assumed that each prostitute figure had been made separately. But I knew different because I had baked the flat pancake myself all in one piece.

NOTE: I think the browning process represents perhaps the life, spiritual, and earthchanges, and the 8 hanged prostitutes represents the 8 major religions of the world and all the people of the earth.

The President of the Company (The Jewish Judge) may represent God, and the maintenance man may represent Jesus Christ. However, each major religion has their own teacher, whom could possibly represent symbolically the maintenance man in those other religions, such as Buddha, Mohammad, Confucius, Abraham, and Moses.

Dream 3:  This was more of a vision, where all 8 hanged prostitutes came back to life in a very colorful way, with bright clothing and were happy once again in LIFE.

NOTE: This means to me that there is still hope for mankind and that the whole earth will not be destroyed.  

This does not mean that we can just sit on our laurels and let the world go on the way it is. We have a big job ahead of us in order to deserve LIFE.  I don't believe that this dream lets people off who don't belong to the 8 major religions either. Even though they don't have a firm belief in a major religion doesn't let them off the hook when it comes to their earthly responsibilities. Even atheists, who don't believe in God have major ethical beliefs they ascribe to. And so too do other religions not included in the major 8.

It should be noted that God does not hate women who work as prostitutes for a living.  The prostitutes in these dreams were from a larger point of view - it was pointing out a way of life and the thinking mentality of the whole of humanity in these major religions and mankind in general.

God has a compassion for all mankind and looks into a person’s heart more than what their outer appearance and employment is. God spared Rahab the harlot who hid the Israelite spies when they came to the city of Jericho to spy on it. She and her family were saved when Joshua and Israel destroyed this city (Jos. 6:22-25). This shows that all true believers who were seduced by this harlot at one time, will receive messengers of truth from Yeshua (Jesus) and be delivered (Jam. 2:25).

It is said that Mary Magdalen was a harlot and Jesus saved her from stoning, and she became His greatest disciple and teacher.  (You have to read The Gospel of Thomas to get this entire picture)  Other belief systems tell us that he actually married Mary Magdalen, had children with her and this bloodline is the Holy Grail that is being sought by humanity. Others believe that the Holy Grail is within and that is what we should be seeking.

The great Master told the teachers of Israel that harlots and Gentiles would enter the kingdom of heaven before they would because those outcasts would humble themselves and receive His words of truth (Mt. 21:31-32).


Exodus 12:14-20 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD--a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat--that is all you may do. "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born. Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."



I Corinthians 12:1-7:

1Cr 12:1 Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 1Cr 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 1Cr 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 1Cr 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1Cr 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 1Cr 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 1Cr 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 1Cr 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 1Cr 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 1Cr 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 1Cr 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1Cr 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ. 1Cr 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1Cr 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." (KJV)

"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." (NIV)

"The Holy Spirit displays God's power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church." (LB)

1CR 12:24 For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that [part] which lacked:   1Cr 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another. 1Cr 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 1Cr 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 1Cr 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Even worse than mistaken use is when the gift is allowed to be idolized and then is set up for financial or personal gain, such as fame or controlling power. These transgressions bring forth the spirit of death to the Body. This will also manifest in the individual's mental health and body and relationships.

We are all gifted, even if we do not recognize it. The Holy Spirit dwells in every born again child of God and wants to manifest in power and maturity.

Persons operating in the gifts should be saying: "I can do this, but you can, too, and you need to!!!" Instead of becoming busy building an ivory tower for isolation and protection, the gifted will instead become busy serving the flock humbly and equipping the Body for the work of the ministry. THAT is the job description of the five fold ministry! It's found in Ephesians 4:11-16.

"He who would be greatest among you, let him be the servant of all," Jesus said.

Do we want the crown that will not perish, or do we want to face Him with defiled works? The ones who are the most gifted bear the greatest responsibility for this proper focus of balance and unifying and edification.

The gifts should never be lifted up!!! They are the TOOLS!!!

God is a Spirit. They who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, for it is such the Father seeks to worship Him. If Spiritual posture is not predominate over the head knowledge, we have missed it.

It's not enough to know "about" Jesus, or the formula or strategy or "plan" He used, if the nature and character is not being developed into pure and Godly Spiritual manifestation, presence and power.

We can carry the weight of His Glory, but we will grow into it in due measures. His Word must be formed in us, and when it is, and the Spiritual manifestion of gifts just automatically comes forth, the right spirit will execute it properly. It will execute it in a way that benefits all, not just a few and not making idols for personal gains.

The gifts are NEEDED!!!! But if they are not administrated and balanced properly in the spirit of servanthood and knitting unity and Body empowerment, they can bring us much destruction.

Is This A Gift or Is It a Satanic Ploy - The Toronto Blessing - Holy Laughter



One of the chief exponents of this new view was William Miller, and the contemporary fundamentalists who recently took over the Republican Party can trace their status directly to him and his new "Literal" interpretations of the Bible.

Miller, however, was a fraud-- who deliberately predicted the end of the world in order to scare up cash from his followers. He convinced the New York Herald to print one prediction for April 3, 1843. Thousands came. Some of his followers, convinced that the dead go to Heaven more quickly than the living, killed close relations then committed suicide. All, of course, were properly dressed in special ascension robes which Miller sold on the side. When the world failed to end, Miller pushed the date up to July 7, 1843, and sold yet more robes. When again Christ failed to appear, he pushed the date to March 21 of the following year, then later to October 22, 1844. On this occasion, one farmer even dressed up his cows in the prescribed ascension robes. When Christ did not take the faithful, the crowds dispersed. The Seventh Advent Church, from whom most modern fundamentalists derive their beliefs, calls these failures "The Disappointments."

But Miller himself made a killing from them and died rich.



The preface to the Ten Commandments?

The preface to the Ten Commandments is contained in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.[1] Wherein God manifesteth his sovereignty, as being JEHOVAH, the eternal, immutable, and almighty God;[2] having his being in and of himself,[3] and giving being to all his words [4] and works:[5] and that he is a God in covenant, as with Israel of old, so with all his people;[6] who, as he brought them out of their bondage in Egypt, so he delivers us from our spiritual thraldom;[7] and that therefore we are bound to take him for our God alone, and to keep all his commandments.[

We should consider the substance of the commandments. In truth do we consider the substance when we do not get past the most casual reading of the "meat" of the commandment without further thought to the opposite that is just as equally implied, or how this will have an affect in all that we say or do, from the most casual of conversations to the greatest of deeds? We all stand guilty of prostituting the Word of God so to speak by attempting to condense for the sake of space the ten into two neat tables for printed purposes.

We cannot separate the essence of the law from the whole of God’s Word in such a manner. Thus as we "add" weight to the preface, not separate or concentrate on the substance, we begin to feel the life that comes from the whole revelation of the law as it brings to mind not only what sin is, but how pitiful our efforts to condense or set aside any single word of the law, or deny the principles of implication as many are want to do.

How gracious of our God to annex reasons for obedience to some of the commandments. He who with all the authority of the Creator over the created, did not give us a list of negative sanctions, but rather attached promises to some, and reasons to others, that we might see then that which was not intended to bring life, but reveal sin as a further revelation of His love and grace toward His elect. God who owes no creature, much less man an explanation for any of His actions, gives us reasons why we should obey the law.

The God of all, that our sin darkened minds might be drawn to Him, so took of His time to offer reasons within the law. Can any even in the most casual reading of the law then not fall prostrate before the great God of creation and cry out with the psalmist, "what is man that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visiteth him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor" (Ps. 8:4-5).

Like all of God’s word, the Ten Commandments are eternal and as such are addressed to all men in all ages. The law was given to the nation of Israel in her infancy, and when God wrote that He was the God that brought them out of slavery, He was speaking to the very people who had walked through the sea unharmed.

As Moses had asked, who shall I say sent me, God here identified Himself, and thus validated His "right" to give the commandments. From the meeting of Abraham with Melchizedek, who identified himself as the priest of the Most High God, the implication has been there can be other gods in existence. It is here that the Scriptures interpret themselves, and we see there is but one eternal and living God. Else why the need for the adjectives "Most High?" The Moral Law was the first thing given, and until the rest of the law (the first five books of the Bible) is written down by Moses, this is the only written law among the Hebrews.

The sum of the four commandments containing our duty to God is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind

When asked "Which is the great commandment in the Law?", Jesus responded,

"You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This if the first and great commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40, New King James Version)



The invisible realities of this world are manifest, namely God's eternal power and divine nature. Invisible peace, truth, love, mercy, understanding, assessment, attribution of right and wrong by wisdom, beauty, creativity, the creator of creativity and the buttress of truth: such things as these do not disappear because they are assumed in all man's endeavours even to think. They are pre-conditions of his discourse, of validity, of truth.


The normal progression to a substitute:

  -  as in atheism, where it is the self which has implied but not supplied, the divine powers to KNOW;

  -  as in agnosticism,

  -  where it lacks the validity which can make it even a meaningful question so that there is ANY answer at all, however vague,

  -  and hence bends its victims once again to the self,

  -  to some object like a Buddha, to some person like a guru,

  -  all born, all dying, all without start or finish to adorn them into something explanatory,

  -  mere irrelevances to the giant questions, and substitutes for the only answer:

  -  this has consequences.

Associated with such spiritual movements, are of course certain dimmings of sight and dumbing of understanding, certain moral substitutes, since all men have morals, even if it is only to condemn those who admit they have them. The end of the line is where vast layers of humanity now are:  "vile affections", "unnatural" usages in the procreative line (since this has some touch of divinity, in that it leads on to pro-creation, and is relative to the love which makes the jointness of parenthood such a boon to those who gain it and keep it! and is likely to go astray when the actual divinity is lost). It is then that we discover some of the spiritual qualities which are found in this realm of diseased spirit.

There is what is deemed by one 'unmentionable deeds' . These are things unbecoming, unseemly, improper, indecent. They are offence to righteousness in bending the rules and making the way without the qualities of right, soundness, seemliness, agreeableness with and adaptation to reality.

Maliciousness, covetousness, envy, murder; contention ... wrangling ; with the qualities of being conscienceless, treacherous , without natural affection or without pity or callous, merciless or implacable, unmerciful.

In addition, we find these symptoms: they are characterisable in those who become -

 - whisperers; gossips. ingenious in evil, or inventors of wickedness, scoffers at duty to parents, or impersuasible, uncompliant, contumacious to parents which last intractability rhymes ethically with the 'wranglers' notation earlier. With all this, there is yet more in the slithering line, for it is not all bold, but evil: stabbers in the back, God-haters; or slanderers, defamers, or slanderers, abhorrent to God / hateful to God or exceptionally impious and wicked.

Again, the theme continues: they are insolent, haughty, boastful. Shame is forgotten, the impudence that despises God, the living and true God, or considers the fear of Him backward, retrogressive, and serves slander and contumacious contempt, it is here.

In all this, we are reminded of Paul in I Timothy 6:5, where those who reject the sound words of Jesus Christ, such as those to whom he specifically refers, are deemed "men of depraved mind and depraved of the truth"

II Timothy's prophetic of the ethics of the last days, as it strives and arrives, we have this:

 - "lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal (or savage), haters of good, treacherous, reckless (or headlong), conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."



Revelation:  17:1-5

"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

The word ‘Babylon.’ is defined by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible as "# 897 Babylon (bab-oo-lone’); of Hebrew origin [894]; Babylon, the capitol of Chaldea (literally or figuratively [as a type of tyranny]).” Babylon was the capital city of the Chaldean country and it symbolically represented the principle of tyranny. The Metaphysical Bible Dictionary (©1931 Unity School of Christianity) defines Babylon as “confusion.” The physical nation of Babylon represents a confused, carnal minded state of a human mind (Rom. 8:6).


"Babylonianism, then, represents everything which is opposed to God both politically and religiously. God's program calls for a kingdom to be established upon the earth under the personal rule of the Christ. Satan proposes a kingdom of men in the earth under the rulership of the Antichrist of whom Nimrod, the builder of Babel, was the first clear type in the Scriptures. When we study Revelation which relates the last days of man's rule upon the earth, we see the scarlet beast mentioned in Revelation 18, and the mysterious woman who rides the beast as representing religious Babylon, dominating and dictating to political Babylon.

God uses the term harlot for this false religious system because that is what is used for all systems that make a claim of worshipping the true God while prostituting themselves to others. Walvoord says, "The concept of spiritual adultery is frequently used in describing the apostasy of Israel (cf. Ezek. 16 and 23; all of Hosea). Characteristically, the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the husband of Israel (cf. Isa. 54:1-8; Jer. 3:14; 31:32). In the New Testament the church is viewed as a virgin destined to be joined to her husband in the future (2 Cor. 11:2), but she is warned against spiritual adultery (James 4:4)."(2) Therefore when this apostate church of the last age has more in common with the world than with Jesus Christ and is more concerned with the kingdoms of this world than the kingdom of God and is more concerned with political power than the power of the Holy Spirit, it will be a harlot and not a fit wife for a God who demands chastity.

We should never attempt to force by power, our beliefs on others. But we too must realize that that tolerance of others is not a indication of their truthfulness. There is but one standard by which all creeds are to be examined and that is the Word of God. So we then proclaim that Word and make no apologies to those who see it different than ourselves.

Revelation 13: 1 - 9

1.Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2.Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.   3.And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4.So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"   5.And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.   6.Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.   7.It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8.All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9.If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

The  beast with seven heads apparently refer to forms of government which are successive, and the ten horns to kings who reign simultaneously in the end time.

The description of the woman as arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked with gold, precious stones, and pearls is all too familiar to one acquainted with the trappings of ecclesiastical pomp today and especially of high officials in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches." (4) But these are not the only ones interested in the wealth of this world. Many of the newer churches are into satellite broadcasts, TV studios, theme parks, several homes for their leaders, and a host of other things. But we need to remember the older organizations as well. Many of them own vast holdings in corporations, investment brokers, land and other things. Many have enough money that if no one in their denomination contributed a dime they could continue for some time. We must be separate from the world although we cannot be isolated from the world. The church must be in the world but we need to do the best we can to keep the world out of the church. Therefore as we come to this chapter we see a church which is more concerned with substance than souls, with treasures more than truth. They like Balaam are prophets for hire and for the right price they will say what the buyer wants to hear.

It becomes clear that Babylon in Scripture is the name for the great system of religious error. Babylon is actually a counterfeit or pseudo religion which plagued Israel in the Old Testament as well as the church in the New Testament, and which, subsequent to apostolic days, has had a tremendous influence in moving the church from biblical simplicity to apostate confusion.

Ancient accounts indicate that the wife of Nimrod, who founded the city of Babylon became the head of the so-called Babylonian mysteries which consisted of secret religious rites which were developed as a part of the worship of idols in Babylon. She was known by the name Semiramis and was a high priestess of the idol worship.

According to extrabiblical records which have been preserved, Semiramis gave birth to a son who she claimed was conceived miraculously. This son, given the name of Tammuz, was considered a savior of his people and was in effect, a false messiah, purported to be the fulfillment of the promise given to Eve. The legend of the mother and child was incorporated into the religious rites and is repeated in various pagan religions. Idols picturing the mother as the queen of heaven with the babe in her arms are found throughout the ancient world. and countless religious rites were introduced supposedly promising cleansing from sin. Though the rites which were observed in the Babylonian false religion differed greatly in various localities, there usually was a priestly order which furthered the worship of the mother child, practiced the sprinkling of holy water, and established an order of virgins dedicated to religious prostitution. Tammuz, the son, was said to have been killed by a wild beast and afterward brought back to life, obviously a satanic anticipation of the resurrection of Christ

In Scriptures themselves, though many of these facts are not mentioned, there are a number of allusions to the conflict of the true faith with this pseudo religion. Ezekiel protests against the ceremony of weeping for Tammuz in Ezekiel 8:14. Jeremiah mentions the heathen practices of making cakes for the queen of heaven (Jer. 7:18) and offering incense to the queen of heaven (Jer. 44:17-19, 25).

The Babylonian cult eventually made its way to other cities including Pergamos, the site of one of the seven churches of Asia. The chief priests of the Babylonian cult wore crowns in the form of the head of a fish, in recognition of Dagon, the fish god, with the title 'Keeper of the Bridge,' that is the 'bridge' between man and Satan, imprinted on the crowns.

We need to be careful about putting all the emphasis on the Roman Church. Though the Roman Church may be the basis for the ecclesiastical Babylon, there are Protestant churches, Moslem temples, Jewish synagogues and other forms of religions involved. The false system of worship described as the great harlot will include many groups as well as the mother church. The one world church, based in Rome (religious Babylon) practices a system of worship which began in ancient Babylon. The one-world church movement is part of the program of Antichrist. Ecclesiastical Babylon symbolizes apostate religion, religion without the power or presence of the Holy Spirit. This composite, apostate church will make political alliances with the nations in order to gain power. The fact that she rules over peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues is proof positive that this will indeed be a politically minded ecumenical church.


{12} "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. {13} "These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. {14} "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."

These ten horns coincide with the ten toes of Daniel 2 and the ten horns of the beast of Daniel 7. In each case they represent kings and kingdoms. We find that this is the revived Roman Empire. This will be controlled at the beginning by the harlot who helps bring it to power. Once these nations have used the harlot they will destroy her. Later the Anti-christ will subdue these kings and will reign supreme over all ten nations. Therefore these are not successive kings but simultaneous.

It also appears that the reason why the Harlot is destroyed by Anti-christ is that he wishes to be worshipped himself. Paul tells us that, "the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. II Th 2:3-4 (NKJ)

This is one of the reasons he persecutes God's people, the Jews and Christians during this time. He is opposed to God and all that are His.


{16} "And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. {17} "For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. {18} "And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth."

This represents one religion being replaced by another. These ten kings will no longer have a use for this religious system that brought them to power. So they will destroy her. In doing so they are fulfilling God's plan and purpose. In chapter 13 of Revelation it states that the beast will require all to worship him and him alone. Thus the conflict between him and the even apostate church will be too great to bear.

Discerning the Genuine From the Counterfeit



The eight major religions practised in the world today were either founded or developed their basic form between about 600 B.C. and A.D. 600.  The eight major religions are: Buddhism, Shinto, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Islam, and Sikhism.

There are thousands of religions in the world. Another list of eight major religions were: Buddhism, Shinto, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Islam, and Taoism. Of these eight religions, Hinduism, Shinto, and Taoism developed over many centuries. Each of the other religions traditionally bases its faith on the life or teachings of specific individuals. They are Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as Gautama Buddha, for Buddhism; Jesus Christ for Christianity; Confucius for Confucianism; Muhammad for Islam; and Abraham and Moses for Judaism.

Comparisons Between the Religions

Chief characteristics of religion

Most of the leading religions throughout history have shared characteristics. The chief characteristics include

(1) belief in a deity or in a power beyond the individual,
(2) a doctrine (accepted teaching) of salvation,

(3) a code of conduct,
(4) the use of sacred stories, and
(5) religious rituals (acts and ceremonies).

The essential qualities of a religion are maintained and passed from generation to generation by sources, called authority, which the followers accept as sacred. The most important religious authorities are writings known as scriptures. Scriptures include the Bibles of Christians and Jews, the Quran of Muslims, and the Vedas of Hindus. Religious authority also comes from the writings of saints and other holy persons and from decisions by religious councils and leaders. Unwritten customs and laws known as traditions also form a basic part of authority.

A doctrine of salvation

Among the major religions, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism teach a doctrine of salvation. They stress that salvation is the highest goal of the faithful and one that all followers should try to achieve. Religions differ, however, in what salvation is and in how it can be gained.

A doctrine of salvation is based on the belief that individuals are in some danger from which they must be saved. The danger may be the threat of physical misfortune in this world, such as a disease. Christianity and several other major religions teach that the danger is spiritual and is centered in each person's soul. The danger to the soul pertains mainly to life after death. If a person is saved, the soul enters a state of eternal happiness, often called heaven. If the person is not saved, the soul may spend eternity in a state of punishment, which is often called hell.

Most religions teach that a person gains salvation by finding release from certain obstacles that block human fulfillment. In Christianity, the obstacles are sin and its effects. In most Asian religions, the obstacles are worldly desires and attachment to worldly things. Salvation in these religions depends on whether believers can free themselves from the obstacles with the aid of a saviour. The saviour may be the individual on whose teachings the religion is based, a god, or some other divine figure. People must accept the saviour. They must also accept certain teachings, perform certain ceremonies, and abide by certain rules of moral conduct — all of which were inspired by the saviour.

Some religions consider salvation to be a gift from the Deity or deities. For example, many Christian denominations believe that individuals are saved by the grace of God and not by their own merit.

Most religions teach that salvation comes only once and is eternal. According to Buddhism and Hinduism, the soul lives on after the death of the body and is reborn in another body. This cycle of rebirths is called reincarnation. The doctrine of karma is closely related to reincarnation. According to this doctrine, a person's actions, thoughts, and words determine the kind of animal or human body the soul will live in during the next reincarnation. The process of reincarnation continues until, through good deeds and moral conduct, a person finally achieves a state of spiritual perfection, which is salvation. Buddhists call this state nirvana, and Hindus call it moksha.

A code of conduct is a set of moral teachings and values that all religions have in some form. Such a code, or ethic, tells believers how to conduct their lives. It instructs them how to act toward the deity and toward one another. Religious codes of conduct differ in many ways, but most agree on several major themes. For example, they stress some form of the golden rule, which states that believers should treat others as they would like to be treated themselves. A religion's code of conduct also may determine such matters as whom believers may marry, what jobs they may hold, and what kinds of foods they may eat.


Spiritual Prostitution


Excerpted from; http://hispeople.soc.ru.ac.za/sermons/spirit_prostit.htm

Vision of old prostitute – yet still proud

Humanity opens itself up to prostitution with idolatrous people through unrighteous trade and practices with other countries and peoples.

Sells collective soul for money

The Lord and His Bride

¨ To understand the metaphor of the prostitute, must understand how God sees and relates to the church

Christ is the Bridegroom and the church is the bride

We have a covenant of love and are betrothed to each other

This means total devotion, unfailing love and complete faithfulness are expected

Any other worship or affections are considered adultery and in extreme cases prostitution

Spiritual adultery and prostitution cause the Lord to become very jealous and angry

God will not tolerate such unfaithfulness and will punish His bride, by stopping the flow of His blessings and allowing the true nature of her lovers to be revealed as they abuse her (these lovers are demonic in nature)

When she repents from her unfaithfulness he will take her back, cleansing her and loving her back to purity

¨ Spiritual prostitution is considered the worst form of sin against the Lord

1st of the 10 Commandments is that “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3)

Greatest Commandment is that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength

John the Baptist said, “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine and it is now complete” (Jn 3:29)

Paul says, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:2-3)

We are to have an “undying love” for the Lord (Eph 6:24)

We are not to forsake our first love (Rev 2:4)

We are never to compromise our relationship with the Lord for money, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wondered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim 6:9-10)

When we do not obey these commands we begin to prostitute ourselves

Spiritual prostitution in the Bible

¨ Story of Hosea & his wife, and God and Israel, “A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God…A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord…For you have been unfaithful to your God; you love the wages of a prostitute” (Hos 4:12, 5:4, 9:1)

¨ “The shame of your prostitution will be exposed. Your lewdness and promiscuity have brought this upon you, because you lusted after the nations and defiled yourselves with their idols” (Ezek 23:29-30)

¨ Satan himself prostituted himself through self-worship and unrighteous trading, “Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned…By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries” (Ezek 28:16, 18). What was that unrighteous trading?

· Prostituting musical gifts? “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created” (vs 13 NKJV)

· Trading in lies that become philosophies and false religions that keep us from God?

¨ We see Babylon is also called the Mother of Prostitutes and all the abominations of the earth (Rev 17:5), as we see her as a great merchant and trader, and that part of her cargo is, “the bodies and souls of men.” (Rev 18:13)

· Idolatry and unfaithfulness (adultery and prostitution)

· Witchcraft and magic spells

· Persecuting the people of God

¨ “The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched…They [false prophets] commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no-one turns form his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah…they fill you with false hopes…they keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: you will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’” (Jer 23:10, 14, 16-17)

Guilty of spiritual prostitution

Judgment coming because of the failure and corruption of spiritual leadership:

· Shepherds – destroying and scattering the sheep

· Prophets – lying visions of peace

· Priests – godless and evil in temple

When that happens the city becomes like Sodom or Gomorrah and brings God’s judgment:

· Land cursed and parched

· Bitter food and poisoned water

· Storms and whirlwind

· Forgotten and cast out of the Lord’s presence as a city

Everlasting disgrace and shame

What to do

¨ There are 2 excellent contrasting examples in the Bible:

Lot and Sodom

¨ Sodom was a city that personified spiritual prostitution:

· Had totally rejected Christ

· Was filled with militant homosexuals

· Was violent and abusive

¨ Lot believed that he could change the city through being a “good witness.” He would never say anything about Jesus, go soul-winning or preach the Gospel – he would win people because of his lifestyle alone

¨ As a result he led no-one to the Lord, had no godly influence, was mocked when he said God would judge the city, and ultimately the city was destroyed

Jonah and Ninevah

¨ Ninevah was in the same state that Sodom was in

¨ Jonah was not even a particularly good Christian – he did not want to preach in Ninevah, he had no compassion for the Ninevites, and he was angry that God did not destroy the whole city!

¨ Yet through Jonah preaching the word of God’s judgment the whole city repented and God had mercy on the city!

We have the same choice as Lot and Jonah – will we preach God’s word or won’t we?

Our choice determines the salvation or deliverance of our city

¨ We must take up the calling of the Lord to preach the word, “‘Let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain ?’ declares the Lord ‘Is not my word like fire,’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks rocks in pieces?’” (Jer 23:28-29)

· It is God’s mercy to preach repentance – God wants mercy to triumph over judgment

· If it is ignored then God has no choice but to pour out his wrath

We must warn people – not just be different. People are blind and cannot see your witness

Conviction is transferred through the spoken word – the word must be spoken!

Like Jonah, the Lord’s prophet, the church is sleeping in the storm, and the world have to wake him up and say, “Call on your God!”

Church are running from the Lord’s presence, by overly being involved in “ministry”

Running to Tarshish to trade with the world

There is a prosperity that comes from the Lord and a prosperity that comes from the world (issue is compromising truth to get it)


We must preach God’s word of fire, that is like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces, calling for repentance

Remember, judgment begins with the house of God! (1 Pet 4:17)


The Nicene Creed appears to reflect a general trend in Western Civilization; the institutionalization of an inherent human need for security and stability in an unpredictable, unstructured existence. It does this in a similar manner to scientific philosophy (ironically), and many other symbolic systems; by establishing a standardized set of criteria that become reified and taught as though they are universal, inherent truths. The consistency that arises from standardized teachings becomes the affirmed consequent of their validity. These selected teachings are basically three.

The first is the idea of incarnation. That is, the human race is viewed by Christian tradition as being too flawed to save themselves from depravity, debauchery, and immorality. For that reason, the benevolent God borrowed from Judaism, caring as He is said in the Scriptures to be, chose to become a man in order to save his "good" creations. Christianity maintains that God was born as the avatar Jesus of Nazareth. He went among humanity, teaching and performing miracles in order to recruit people to his cause. The Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus was both human and divine simultaneously.

His death by crucifixion is asserted to have represented God's mercy made manifest by his assuming the collective atonement for all humanity's string of betrayals of the pact they made with God. Such a sacrifice also allegedly gave people the liberty to live toward God, to be forgiven for their betrayals of the pact.

Finally, the Nicene Creed states explicitly what is only implied in the Scriptures, the concept of the Trinity. The tri-partite illustration of God describes Him as having three very different aspects that have unique and separate characteristics, but yet still maintains that He is a single deity. The three parts are, of course, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Father as the creator of all, God the incarnated Christ who liberated the human soul from sin, and God the Spirit that pervades all, and binds human beings together by speaking with a still small voice the will and plan of God into the ear of humanity.

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Hinduism is a comprehensive metaphorical system that encompasses a cosmology so unbelievably vast that the unenlightened mind staggers under the weight of it. Yet it begins with the surprisingly simple anthropocentric question of what people want. Hinduism extends from this poignantly simply beginning by postulating that people want to fulfill four hierarchically integrated needs. These needs roughly parallel the development of a human being from a simple child to a complex adult. Hinduism, of course, holds a much more macroscopic perspective that a single lifetime is insufficient for an individual to reach maturity, and she must satiate (and thus fully experience), each of her needs sequentially through an idiosyncratic number of incarnations.

The first, and thus, most elementary need a new soul wants to gratify is the desire for pleasure. This is to say the soul wants to stimulate the senses of its physical body, to taste of the world the many sources of energy it's new capacity to sense allows it to perceive. Huston Smith points out that a certain amount of wisdom lies in vesting one's attention in satiating the need for pleasure, because survival of any organism depends on it to a certain extent; the sense of pleasure is the reward received when survival requirements (food, shelter, sex), are fulfilled. If those needs are not fulfilled, the soul's present incarnation cannot survive long enough to mature past the pleasure-seeking stage.

Pleasure is limited, of course. Most incarnations a soul d takes, particularly humans, are social in nature. Thus, they wish not only to know they are experiencing the greatest of pleasures, but for others to recognize the height of their experiences as well. Alas, existence does not permit direct experience to be meaningfully shared; one may as well try to explain what the color green- looks like to someone blind from birth. There is, in other words, a final unbridgeable gap between people. The only way around this (to use Spinoza's term), monadic sense of isolation is to accrue symbols of one's level of experiential accomplishment. Unlike direct experience, symbols can convey a meaning to others, and can thus be used to illustrate one's experience. Thus, the person begins to want such symbols, most prominently, the symbols of wealth, status, and power. These three symbols fall under the rubric Worldly Success.

There is only a finite amount of satisfaction to be gained from worldly success as well. One can only climb so high, reap so many symbols before individual distinctions blur. A good academic illustration of this might be a Ph.D.; while one may garnish a certain level of respect by earning this highest academic distinction in the Western world, people would be unlikely to give any more respect if one had five Ph.Ds than they did for one. Another problem with worldly success is that once the summit is reached, one has nowhere else to go, and must exist in an ultimately unfulfilled state unless they change what fulfills them. Finally, with the dread that accompanies the encroachment of death awareness, individuals realize the pleasure and symbols of it will not preserve their existence, but will only die with them. For any part of them to survive death, they must look outside themselves and their own needs and accomplishments.

At this point, a soul has reached the end of the Path of Desire, the Will to Get (pleasure) and the Will to Win (worldly success), are far too limited in fulfilling what people want. They must embark on the Path of Renunciation in order to create a lasting legacy that will survive their own ultimate death. This path is based upon the Will to Give and the Will to Serve, the understanding that legacies are created by giving something to the world. The soul seeks to fill the need of accomplishing their duty to community and society; at this point, people want to be altruistic social visionaries.

Although it is a monumental leap from the egocentricity of the Path of Desire to the social consciousness of the early Path of Renunciation, a hapless soul will still find itself frustrated in fulfilling its wants because community too is limited. Social ills will always be present, no matter how diligently one strives to eliminate them. In the words of Huston Smith, "hope and history are always light years apart."

So all of the first three wants prove impossible to gratify because the human soul desires them in infinite amounts, and they prove ultimately to require exhaustible resources. To be truly content, one must fill completely their want of moksha (liberation from the distractions of what is finite), of infinite being, knowledge, and joy that lies within oneself.

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Siddharta Gautama proposed the Four Noble Truths based upon his own direct experience of reality. The first three deal with making one aware of the fundamental nature of what it means to live a finite existence, and the last is the regimen for overcoming the anxiety generated by that awareness.

The First Noble Truth is that all life is dukha (suffering). The Buddha asserted that everything one possesses (youth, health, beauty, love, safety, etc...), is ultimately lost, that satisfaction is fleeting. When one scratches an itch, for example, the reward is that their attention is freed to focus on another itch, or another discomfort, or unmet need. Although the suffering is pervasive, Siddharta noted that there are six points or dislocations in life where suffering moves to the center of attention. Dislocation begins with birth, where one exchanges an existence of total satisfaction of all needs for one of anxiety (the concern over feeding oneself, finding shelter, companionship, etc...). Sickness and aging are also dislocations, as they remind one of their vulnerability and lead them to the dislocation of awareness of the inevitability of death. The last two dislocations are the suffering of being tied to dislike (e.g. working a job one hates to provide for one's family), and the separation from a love object (e.g. spouses die, children leave home, the family one works for is lost with the passage of time).

The Second Noble Truth is that the cause of life's dislocation is tanka, or the desire for private fulfillment. This is to say that the suffering inherent in the dislocations arises because of the person's attachment to various parts of experience; as was mentioned above, everything in one's experience is finite, it exhausts and leaves desire unfulfilled.

The Third Noble Truth emphasizes that the only remedy for alleviating the dukha arising from tanka is to overcome desire. That is, when one has no chance of satisfying what they want, the only freedom from the frustration or other forms of suffering they experience is to stop wanting.

The Buddha realized, having grappled with it himself, the difficulty in overcoming desire. Hence, he proposed a methodology for doing so in the Fourth Noble Truth; desire is overcome by the Way. Though not actually stated, there is an implicit assumption that The Way is the only option for escaping suffering, but fortunately, it is flexible enough that individuals can tailor it for their own idiosyncrasies.

The Way is operationally defined by the Eightfold Path, which is essentially a set of specific ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. Before one even begins walking the Path, they must have right association: they must surround themselves with those who inspire spiritual discipline. The Buddhist monastery is an excellent example of such a spiritual social environment, and the tradition is carried on by the present„day branch of Siddharta's followers known as the Theravada Buddhists (The Way of the Elders). From this point, the Eightfold path includes understanding the Four Noble Truths, identifying and pursuing what is desired with single-minded dedication, developing speaking habits that do not detract from Truth, avoiding damaging behaviors (lying, stealing, etc...), maintaining a proper attitude of occupation as a means, not an end, developing consistency in endeavor, practicing mental control of the senses and impulses, and engaging in a set of physical exercises designed to facilitate that mental control (such exercises were essentially borrowed from the Hindu tradition of Raja Yoga).

Buddhism as a reform of Hinduism.

Huston Smith asserts that all religions can be characterized by six different aspects, most of which had negative consequences for Hinduism, and which Siddhartha chose to reject. He began by abandoning the idea that religion must have authority, because in his day, he witnessed the Brahman class of spiritual leaders using their knowledge to exploit the masses. He would move responsibility for seeking the truth to each separate individual to pursue their own salvation with diligence.

Next, the Buddha noted that the means by which the Brahmans maintained their exploitation was by controlling access to religious rituals. By prostituting these rituals, the Brahmans reduced them to meaningless institutions of behavior that block the path to Divinity. The Way established by the Buddha would contain minimal or no rituals.

Siddhartha also criticized the speculation inherent in Hinduism, saying the need to explain how life happens as it does will only become so abstract and intellectual that it ceases to impact the daily life of the individual. His own system would remain pragmatic, a perspective of intellectual activities that could be summarized with the question: "Is it useful?"

Tradition was a casualty of the Buddha's scrutiny; he noted that these daily living type behaviors that emerge at the periphery of religion are not only largely unrelated to the religion itself, but may become the concern of those conducting them, such that the original search for the truth is forgotten. Thus, he would try to minimize traditions by intentionally teaching lessons that undermined much of his earlier lessons in order to illustrate that consistency in the wrong places leads only to distraction.

The Buddha avoided the idea of grace in Hinduism, proclaiming that looking for salvation outside oneself removes personal responsibility from the individual. Doing so makes the person passive, and unaccountable for the consequences of their own decisions in their life.

Finally, Siddhartha ruled out mystery, asserting that the search for supernatural answers to worldly phenomena emerged only when more active, useful, and awareness methods failed. He would try to steer his followers away from a tendency to generate divinity out of ignorance, and emphasize that awareness and understanding are the paths to truth.

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Islam, like the other Western religions, places great value on the Prophets, who, in spite of their astute intellectual ability and power/charisma, still attribute the fundamental truths they proclaim to God. The Koran represents an example of Allah proclaiming the truth though the prophet Mohammed. According to Houston Smith, Mohammed himself credited the expressive sophistication and grammatical perfection of the Koran to Allah. He designated it the "standing miracle," the only one worked through him. As Mohammed (peace be upon him), is the Seal of the Prophets, the last there will ever be to the Muslims, the Koran must thus be considered the final miracle from Allah, the one intended to shape and guide humanity until the end of time. The divine origin of the Koran is one factor in it's centrality to this belief system.

But the Koran is also of a divine nature. Unlike the Christian Bible, which presents scenarios from which the truth must be extrapolated, the Muslim text is considered to be the embodiment of truth itself; or at east as close as the crude resources of the material world can approximate. Muslims tend to believe that the true Koran is total perfection and eternal, but ultimately uncreated. The role of Mohammed was to speak the truths of this Uncreated Koran, so that it could take on earthly form, and thus carry Allah's eternal message to the world

The divine origins and divine nature of the Koran free it from the limits Muslims view as inherent in the symbolic systems of Judaism and Christianity. It is viewed as the final chapter of those two religions. Unlike the scattered fragments of truth that remain of the Bible after centuries of transmission errors, the Koran is one unified work spoken by a single vessel that has been preserved in it's original language (Allah allegedly sparing accuracy as Mohammed's words moved from one media to another). Thus is this directly doctrinal, literal work "the final and infallible revelation of god's will" (Houston Smith, p. 154), the central feature of Islam.


Arabic: jihâd

Islamic term, Arabic for 'battle; struggle; holy war for the religion'.

Jihad has two possible definitions: the greater, which is the spiritual struggle of each man, against vice, passion and ignorance. This understanding of jihad has been presented by apologetics of modern times, but is an understanding of the term rarely used by Muslims themselves.

The lesser jihad is simplified to cover holy war against infidels and infidel countries. This kind of jihad is described in both the Holy Koran and in the hadiths. Muslim law has divided the world into two entities, dâru l-'islâm, the abode of Islam, and dâru l-harb, the abode of war. Battling against the Abode of war was a duty for a Muslim, as this is the only way for the peace of Islam to take the place of the warlike conditions of the infidels' society. Jihad can be both defence, as well as attacking an enemy.

The enemies of Islam are divided into two groups, the Peoples of the book, âhlu l-kitâb and the pagans, the kâfirûn. The first group, defined as Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Mandeans need only to submit to an Islamic ruler, and live in peace with other Muslims to end the situation where jihad is imperative.

For the pagans there is a principle fairly similar, but they get less rights under the Muslim ruler than the Peoples of the book. While this group generally can live safely inside a Muslim society, some Muslims have propagated that these should either convert to Islam or face death penalty. In situations where the Muslim rulers mean that war has to be waged against the infidels, they should be allowed sufficient of time to convert before the Muslim army attacks.

Jihad is a duty for every Muslim community, but not necessarily for every individual: it's sufficient that a certain number of the the able men perform jihad. The one who dies in the battle against the infidels, becomes a martyr, a shahid, and is guaranteed a place in Paradise as well as certain privileges there.

While offensive jihad, i.e. attacking, is fully permissible in Sunni Islam, it is prohibited for some of the larger groups of Shi'i Islam, which consider only the Imam, now in occultation, as carrying the right to decide to go to war or not.

The Kharijis regard jihad as the sixth pillar of Islam, a position that other groups of Islam have adhered to earlier.

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The Jehad - the Holy War

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A History of Medieval Islam

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Unlike many alternative philosophies, the comprehensive symbolic system of Judaism affirms the inherent virtue of all that exists. The Jews drew this conclusion from the word of Yahweh, who (as pointed out by Houston Smith, p. 182), said of this Creation "very good." God is assumed to love and have a plan for all Creation, (especially humans), and thus cares about what happens to them. For God to love Creation, Creation must be worthy of that love, and thus must be good. So the Jewish people take a positive view of life, asserting that the world's problems rest on the faults of humanity. People are seen as inherently flawed, and thus, they fail to fulfill their sides of the agreements they make with God. Therefore, humanity never lives up fully to the plan that God has for them.

But because God loves his people in spite of their flaws, He intervenes on their behalf, rectifying grievous errors in human judgment and imparting meaningful lessons in tragedy. Thus does history become important, for it has interpretive significance. Each event in time reflects a part of God's plan, either an occurrence in line with God's will, or as a lesson to be internalized when humanity deviates away from God's plan and thus, suffers greatly

Much of the gentile controversy concerned the practices of diaspora Jewish Christians like the ones at the Church of Antioch. Diaspora is a term derived from a Greek word meaning, “dispersed” or “scattered.” The word refers to Jews living among gentiles in foreign lands.

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Judaism and Jewish Apologetics (1997)

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Brief history of Shinto:

Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion. Starting about 500 BCE (or earlier) it was originally "an amorphous mix of nature worship, fertility cults, divination techniques, hero worship, and shamanism." 4 Its name was derived from the Chinese words "shin tao" ("The Way of the Gods") in the 8th Century CE. At that time:

The Yamato dynasty consolidated its rule over most of Japan.

Divine origins were ascribed to the imperial family.

Shinto established itself as an official religion of Japan, along with Buddhism.

The complete separation of Japanese religion from politics did not occur until just after World War II. The Emperor renounced his divinity at that time.

Unlike most other religions, Shinto has no real founder, no written scriptures, no body of religious law, and only a very loosely-organized priesthood.

Shinto beliefs:

Shinto creation stories tell of the history and lives of the "Kami" (deities). Among them was a divine couple, Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto, who gave birth to the Japanese islands. Their children became the deities of the various Japanese clans. Amaterasu Omikami (Sun Goddess) was one of their daughters. She is the ancestress of the Imperial Family and is regarded as the chief deity. Her shrine is at Ise. Her descendants unified the country. Her brother, Susano came down from heaven and roamed throughout the earth. He is famous for killing a great evil serpent.

The Kami are the Shinto deities. The word "Kami" is generally translated "god" or "gods." However, the Kami bear little resemblance to the gods of monotheistic religions. There are no concepts which compare to the Christian beliefs in the wrath of God, his omnipotence and omni-presence, or the separation of God from humanity due to sin. There are numerous other deities who are conceptualized in many forms:

Those related to natural objects and creatures, from "food to rivers to rocks."

Guardian Kami of particular areas and clans

Exceptional people, including all but the last of the emperors.

Abstract creative forces

They are seen as generally benign; they sustain and protect the people.

Most Japanese citizens follow two religions: both Shinto and Buddhism. Buddhism first arrived in Japan from Korea and China during the 6th through 8th centuries CE. The two religions share a basic optimism about human nature, and for the world. Within Shinto, the Buddha was viewed as another "Kami". Meanwhile, Buddhism in Japan regarded the Kami as being manifestations of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Most weddings are performed by Shinto priests; funerals are performed by Buddhist priests.

Shinto does not have as fully developed a theology as do most other religions. It does not have its own moral code. Shintoists generally follow the code of Confucianism.

Their religious texts discuss the "High Plain of Heaven" and the "Dark Land" which is an unclean land of the dead, but give few details of the afterlife.

Ancestors are deeply revered and worshipped.

All of humanity is regarded as "Kami's child." Thus all human life and human nature is sacred.

Believers revere "musuhi", the Kamis' creative and harmonizing powers. They aspire to have "makoto", sincerity or true heart. This is regarded as the way or will of Kami.

Morality is based upon that which is of benefit to the group. "Shinto emphasizes right practice, sensibility, and attitude."

There are "Four Affirmations"in Shinto:

1.Tradition and the family: The family is seen as the main mechanism by which traditions are preserved. Their main celebrations relate to birth and marriage.

2.Love of nature: Nature is sacred; to be in contact with nature is to be close to the Gods. Natural objects are worshipped as sacred spirits.

3.Physical cleanliness: Followers of Shinto take baths, wash their hands , and rinse out their mouth often.

4."Matsuri": The worship and honor given to the Kami and ancestral spirits.

The desire for peace, which was suppressed during World War II, has been restored.

Shinto practices:

Shinto recognizes many sacred places: mountains, springs, etc.

Each shrine is dedicated to a specific Kami who has a divine personality and responds to sincere prayers of the faithful. When entering a shrine, one passes through a Tori a special gateway for the Gods. It marks the demarcation between the finite world and the infinite world of the Gods.

In the past, believers practiced "misogi,", the washing of their bodies in a river near the shrine. In recent years they only wash their hands and wash out their mouths in a wash basin provided within the shrine grounds.

Believers respect animals as messengers of the Gods. A pair of statues of "Koma-inu" (guard dogs) face each other within the temple grounds.

Shrine ceremonies, which include cleansing, offerings, prayers, and dances are directed to the Kami.

Kagura are ritual dances accompanied by ancient musical instruments. The dances are performed by skilled and trained dancers. They consist of young virgin girls, a group of men, or a single man.

Mamori are charms worn as an aid in healing and protection. They come in many different forms for various purposes.

An altar, the "Kami-dana" (Shelf of Gods), is given a central place in many homes.

Followers are expected to visit Shinto shrines at the times of various life passages. For example, the Shichigosan Matsuri involves a blessing by the shrine Priest of girls aged three and seven and boys aged five. It is held on NOV-15.

Shinto exists in four main forms or traditions:

Koshitsu Shinto (The Shinto of the Imperial House): This involves rituals performed by the emperor, who the Japanese Constitution defines to be the "symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." The most important ritual is Niinamesai, which makes an offering to the deities of the first fruits of each year's grain harvest. Male and female clergy (Shoten and Nai-Shoten) assist the emperor in the performance of these rites.

Jinja (Shrine) Shinto: This is the largest Shinto group. It was the original form of the religion; its roots date back into pre-history. Until the end of World War II, it was closely aligned with State Shinto. The Emperor of Japan was worshipped as a living God. Almost all shrines in Japan are members of Jinja Honcho, the Association of Shinto Shrines. It currently includes about 80,000 shrines as members. The association urges followers of Shinto

1."To be grateful for the blessings of Kami and the benefits of the ancestors, and to be diligent in the observance of the Shinto rites, applying oneself to them with sincerity. brightness, and purity of heart."

2."To be helpful to others and in the world at large through deeds of service without thought of rewards, and to seek the advancement of the world as one whose life mediates the will of Kami."

3."To bind oneself with others in harmonious acknowledgment of the will of the emperor, praying that the country may flourish and that other peoples too may live in peace and prosperity."

Kyoha (Sectarian) Shinto (aka Shuha Shinto): This consists of 13 sects which were founded by individuals since the start of the 19th century. Each sect has its own beliefs and doctrines. Most emphasize worship of their own central deity; some follow a near-monotheistic religion.

Minzoku (Folk) Shinto This is not a separate Shinto group; it has no formal central organization or creed. It is seen in local rural practices and rituals, e.g. small images by the side of the road, agriculture rituals practiced by individual families, etc. A rural community will often select a layman annually, who will be responsible for worshiping the local deity.

These three forms are closely linked. An image may be installed by a member of one of the Sectarian Shinto sects who worships at a particular shrine. Shinto is a tolerant religion which accepts the validity of other religions. It is common for a believer to pay respect to other religions, their practices and objects of worship.

Shinto texts:

Many texts are valued in the Shinto religion. Most date from the 8th century CE:

The Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters)

The Rokkokushi (Six National Histories)

The Shoku Nihongi and its Nihon Shoki (Continuing Chronicles of Japan)

The Jinno Shotoki (a study of Shinto and Japanese politics and history)   written in the 14th century

Essentially all followers of Shinto are Japanese. It is difficult for a foreigner to embrace Shintoism. Unlike most other religions, there is no book to help a person learn about the religion. It is transmitted from generation to generation by experiencing the rituals together as a group.

Takamatsu Zuka Kofun - The Controversy Continues

Japanese history textbook provokes sharp controversy

The Resurgence Of Racist And Nationalist Prejudice In Modern-Day Japan

Shintoism - Based on Animism

More About : ."Shinto: A Portrait"  "Shinto, the Way of the Gods" ."Shinto and Buddhism: the Wellsprings of Japanese Spirituality"  "The Fountainhead of Miracles" "The Jinja Shinto (The Shrine Shinto)"


By Confucianism is meant the complex system of moral, social, political, and religious teaching built up by Confucius on the ancient Chinese traditions, and perpetuated as the State religion down to the present day. Confucianism aims at making not simply the man of virtue, but the man of learning and of good manners. The perfect man must combine the qualities of saint, scholar, and gentleman. Confucianism is a religion without positive revelation, with a minimum of dogmatic teaching, whose popular worship is centered in offerings to the dead, in which the notion of duty is extended beyond the sphere of morals proper so as to embrace almost every detail of daily life.


The chief exponent of this remarkable religion was K'ung-tze, or K'ung-fu-tze, latinized by the early Jesuit missionaries into Confucius. Confucius was born in 551 B.C., in what was then the feudal state of Lu, now included in the modern province of Shan-tung. His parents, while not wealthy, belonged to the superior class. His father was a warrior, distinguished no less for his deeds of valour than for his noble ancestry. Confucius was a mere boy when his father died. From childhood he showed a great aptitude for study, and though, in order to support himself and his mother, he had to labour in his early years as a hired servant in a noble family, he managed to find time to pursue his favourite studies. He made such progress that at the age of twenty-two years he opened a school to which many were attracted by the fame of his learning. His ability and faithful service merited for him promotion to the office of minister of justice. Under his wise administration the State attained to a degree of prosperity and moral order that it had never seen before. But through the intrigues of rival states the Marquis of Lu   was led to prefer ignoble pleasures to the preservation of good government.   Confucius tried by sound advice to bring his liege lord back to the path of duty,   but in vain. He thereupon resigned his high position at the cost of personal ease   and comfort, and left the state. For thirteen years, accompanied by faithful disciples, he went about from one state to another, seeking a ruler who would give heed to his counsels. Many were the privations he suffered. More than once he ran imminent risk of being waylaid and killed by his enemies, but his courage and confidence in the providential character of his mission never deserted him. At last he returned to Lu, where he spent the last five years of his long life encouraging others to the study and practice of virtue, and edifying all by his   noble example. He died in the year 478 B.C., in the seventy-fourth year of his   age. His lifetime almost exactly coincided with that of Buddha, who died two years earlier at the age of eighty.

That Confucius possessed a noble, commanding personality, there can be little doubt. It is shown by his recorded traits of character, by his lofty moral teachings, by the high-minded men that he trained to continue his life-work. In their enthusiastic love and admiration, they declared him the greatest of men, the sage without flaw, the perfect man. That he himself did not make any pretension to possess virtue and wisdom in their fullness is shown by his own recorded sayings. He was conscious of his shortcomings, and this consciousness he made no attempt to keep concealed. But of his love of virtue and wisdom there can be no question. He is described in "Analects", VII, 18, as one "who in the eager pursuit of knowledge, forgot his food, and in the joy of attaining to it forgot his sorrow". Whatever in the traditional records of the past, whether history, lyric poems, or rites and ceremonies, was edifying and conducive to virtue, he sought out with untiring zeal and made known to his disciples. He was a man of affectionate nature, sympathetic, and most considerate towards others. He loved his worthy disciples dearly, and won in turn their undying devotion. He was modest and unaffected in his bearing, inclined to gravity, yet possessing a natural cheerfulness that rarely deserted him. Schooled to adversity from childhood, he learned to find contentment and serenity of mind even where ordinary comforts were lacking. He was very fond of vocal and instrumental music, and often sang, accompanying his voice with the lute. His sense of humour is revealed in a criticism he once made of some boisterous singing "Why use an ox-knife", he said, "to kill a fowl?"

Confucius is often held up as the type of the virtuous man without religion. His teachings, it is alleged, were chiefly ethical, in which one looks in vain for retribution in the next life as a sanction of right conduct. Now an acquaintance with the ancient religion of China and with Confucian texts reveals the emptiness of the assertion that Confucius was devoid of religious thought and feeling. He was religious after the manner of religious men of his age and land. In not appealing to rewards and punishments in the life to come, he was simply following the example of his illustrious Chinese predecessors, whose religious belief did not include this element of future retribution. The Chinese classics that were ancient even in the time of Confucius have nothing to say of hell, but have much to say of the rewards and punishments meted out in the present life by the all-seeing Heaven. There are numbers of texts that show plainly that he did not depart from the traditional belief in the supreme Heaven-god and subordinate spirits, in Divine providence and retribution, and in the conscious existence of souls after death. These religious convictions on his part found expression in many recorded acts of piety and worship.


As Confucianism in its broad sense embraces not only the immediate teaching of Confucius, but also the traditional records customs, and rites to which he gave the sanction of his approval, and which today rest largely upon his authority, there are reckoned among the Confucian texts several that even in his day were venerated as sacred heirlooms of the past. The texts are divided into two categories, known as the "King" (Classics), and the "Shuh" (Books). The texts of the "King", which stand first in importance, are commonly reckoned as five, but sometimes as six.

The first of these is the "Shao-king" (Book of History), a religious and moral work, tracing the hand of Providence in a series of great events of past history, and inculcating the lesson that the Heaven-god gives prosperity and length of days only to the virtuous ruler who has the true welfare of the people at heart. Its unity of composition may well bring its time of publication down to the sixth century B.C., though the sources on which the earlier chapters are based may be almost contemporaneous with the events related.

The second "King" is the so-called "She-king" (Book of Songs), often spoken of as the "Odes". Of its 305 short lyric poems some belong to the time of the Shang dynasty (1766-1123 B.C.), the remaining, and perhaps larger, part to the first five centuries of the dynasty of Chow, that is, down to about 600 B.C.

The third "King" is the so-called "Y-king" (Book of Changes), an enigmatic treatise on the art of divining with the stalks of a native plant, which after being thrown give different indications according as they conform to one or another of the sixty-four hexagrams made up of three broken and three unbroken lines. The short explanations which accompany them, in large measure arbitrary and fantastic, are assigned to the time of Wan and his illustrious son Wu, founders of the Chow dynasty (1122 B.C.). Since the time of Confucius, the work has been more than doubled by a series of appendixes, ten in number, of which eight are attributed to Confucius. Only a small portion of these, however, are probably authentic.

The fourth "King" is the "Li-ki" (Book of Rites). In its present form it dates from the second century of our era, being a compilation from a vast number of documents, most of which date from the earlier part of the Chow dynasty. It gives rules of conduct down to the minute details for religious acts of worship, court functions, social and family relations, dress--in short, for every sphere of human action. It remains today the authoritative guide of correct conduct for every cultivated Chinese. In the "Li-ki" are many of Confucius's reputed sayings and two long treatises composed by disciples, which may be said to reflect with substantial accuracy the sayings and teachings of the master. One of these is the treatise known as the "Chung-yung" (Doctrine of the Mean). It forms Book XXVIII of the "Li-ki", and is one of its most valuable treatises. It consists of a collection of sayings of Confucius characterizing the man of perfect virtue. The other treatise, forming Book XXXIX of the "Li-ki", is the so-called "Ta-hio" (Great Learning). It purports to be descriptions of the virtuous ruler by the disciple Tsang-tze, based on the teachings of the master. The fifth "King" is the short historical treatise known as the "Ch'un-ts'ew" (Spring and Autumn), said to have been written by the hand of Confucius himself. It consists of a connected series of bare annals of the state of Lu for the years 722-484 B.C. To these five "Kings" belongs a sixth, the so-called "Hiao-king" (Book of Filial Piety). The Chinese attribute its composition to Confucius, but in the opinion of critical scholars, it is the product of the school of his disciple, Tsang-tze.

Mention has just been made of the two treatises, the "Doctrine of the Mean" and the "Great Learning", embodied in the "Li-ki". In the eleventh century of our era, these two works were united with other Confucian texts, constituting what is known as the "Sze-shuh" (Four Books). First of these is the "Lun-yu" (Analects). It is a work in twenty short chapters, showing what manner of man Confucius was in his daily life, and recording many of his striking sayings on moral and historical topics. It seems to embody the authentic testimony of his disciples written by one of the next generation.

The second place in the "Shuh" is given to the "Book of Mencius". Mencius (Meng-tze), was not an immediate disciple of the master. He lived a century later. He acquired great fame as an exponent of Confucian teaching. His sayings, chiefly on moral topics, were treasured up by disciples, and published in his name. Third and fourth in order of the "Shuh" come the "Great Learning" and the "Doctrine of the Mean".

For our earliest knowledge of the contents of these Confucian texts, we are indebted to the painstaking researches of the Jesuit missionaries in China during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, who, with an heroic zeal for the spread of Christ's kingdom united a diligence and proficiency in the study of Chinese customs, literature, and history that have laid succeeding scholars under lasting obligation. Among these we may mention Fathers Prémare, Régis, Lacharme, Gaubil, Noël, Ignacio da Costa, by whom most of the Confucian texts were translated and elucidated with great erudition. It was but natural that their pioneer studies in so difficult a field should be destined to give place to the more accurate and complete monuments of modern scholarship. But even here they have worthy representatives in such scholars as Father Zottoli and Henri Cordier, whose Chinese studies give evidence of vast erudition. The Confucian texts have been made available to English readers by Professor Legge. Besides his monumental work in seven volumes, entitled "The Chinese Classics" and his version of the "Ch'un ts'ew", he has given the revised translations of the "Shuh", "She", "Ta-hio", "Y", and "Li-Ki" in Volumes III, XVI, XXVII, and XXVIII of "The Sacred Books of the East".


A. Religious Groundwork

The religion of ancient China, to which Confucius gave his reverent adhesion was a form of nature-worship very closely approaching to monotheism. While numerous spirits associated with natural phenomena were recognized--spirits of mountains and rivers, of land and grain, of the four quarters of the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars--they were all subordinated to the supreme Heaven-god, T'ien (Heaven) also called Ti (Lord), or Shang-ti (Supreme Lord). All other spirits were but his ministers, acting in obedience to his will. T'ien was the upholder of the moral law, exercising a benign providence over men. Nothing done in secret could escape his all-seeing eye. His punishment for evil deeds took the form either of calamities and early death, or of misfortune laid up for the children of the evil-doer. In numerous passages of the "Shao-" and "She-king", we find this belief asserting itself as a motive to right conduct. That it was not ignored by Confucius himself is shown by his recorded saying, that "he who offends against Heaven has no one to whom he can pray". Another quasi-religious motive to the practice of virtue was the belief that the souls of the departed relatives were largely dependent for their happiness on the conduct of their living descendants. It was taught that children owed it as a duty to their dead parents to contribute to their glory and happiness by lives of virtue. To judge from the sayings of Confucius that have been preserved, he did not disregard these motives to right conduct, but he laid chief stress on the love of virtue for its own sake. The principles of morality and their concrete application to the varied relations of life were embodied in the sacred texts, which in turn represented the teachings of the great sages of the past raised up by Heaven to instruct mankind. These teachings were not inspired, nor were they revealed, yet they were infallible. The sages were born with wisdom meant by Heaven to enlighten the children of men. It was thus a wisdom that was providential, rather than supernatural. The notion of Divine positive revelation is absent from the Chinese texts. To follow the path of duty as laid down in the authoritative rules of conduct was within the reach of all men, provided that their nature, good at birth, was not hopelessly spoiled by vicious influences. Confucius held the traditional view that all men are born good. Of anything like original sin there is not a trace in his teaching. He seems to have failed to recognize even the existence of vicious hereditary tendencies. In his view, what spoiled men was bad environment, evil example, an inexcusable yielding to evil appetites that everyone by right use of his natural powers could and ought to control. Moral downfall caused by suggestions of evil spirits had no place in his system. Nor is there any notion of Divine grace to strengthen the will and enlighten the mind in the struggle with evil. There are one or two allusions to prayer, but nothing to show that daily prayer was recommended to the aspirant after perfection.

B. Helps to Virtue

In Confucianism the helps to the cultivation of virtue are natural and providential, nothing more. But in this development of moral perfection Confucius sought to enkindle in others the enthusiastic love of virtue that he felt himself. To make oneself as good as possible, this was with him the main business of life. Everything that was conducive to the practice of goodness was to be eagerly sought and made use of. To this end right knowledge was to be held indispensable. Like Socrates, Confucius taught that vice sprang from ignorance and that knowledge led unfailingly to virtue. The knowledge on which he insisted was not purely scientific learning, but an edifying acquaintance with the sacred texts and the rules of virtue and propriety. Another factor on which he laid great stress was the influence of good example. He loved to hold up to the admiration of his disciples the heroes and sages of the past, an acquaintance with whose noble deeds and sayings he sought to promote by insisting on the study of the ancient classics. Many of his recorded sayings are eulogies of these valiant men of virtue. Nor did he fail to recognize the value of good, high-minded companions. His motto was, to associate with the truly great and to make friends of the most virtuous. Besides association with the good, Confucius urged on his disciples the importance of always welcoming the fraternal correction of one's faults. Then, too, the daily examination of conscience was inculcated. As a further aid to the formation of a virtuous character, he valued highly a certain amount of self-discipline. He recognized the danger, especially in the young, of falling into habits of softness and love of ease. Hence he insisted on a virile indifference to effeminate comforts. In the art of music he also recognized a powerful aid to enkindle enthusiasm for the practice of virtue. He taught his pupils the "Odes" and other edifying songs, which they sang together to the accompaniment of lutes and harps. This together with the magnetism of his personal influence lent a strong emotional quality to his teaching.

C. Fundamental Virtues

As a foundation for the life of perfect goodness, Confucius insisted chiefly on the four virtues of sincerity, benevolence, filial piety, and propriety. Sincerity was with him a cardinal virtue. As used by him it meant more than a mere social relation. To be truthful and straightforward in speech, faithful to one's promises, conscientious in the discharge of one's duties to others--this was included in sincerity and something more. The sincere man in Confucius's eyes was the man whose conduct was always based on the love of virtue, and who in consequence sought to observe the rules of right conduct in his heart as well as in outward actions, when alone as well as in the presence of others. Benevolence, showing itself in a kindly regard for the welfare of others and in a readiness to help them in times of need, was also a fundamental element in Confucius's teaching. It was viewed as the characteristic trait of the good man. Mencius, the illustrious exponent of Confucianism, has the remarkable statement: "Benevolence is man" (VII, 16). In the sayings of Confucius we find the Golden Rule in its negative form enunciated several times. In "Analects", XV, 13, we read that when a disciple asked him for a guiding principle for all conduct, the master answered: "Is not mutual goodwill such a principle? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others". This is strikingly like the form of the Golden Rule found in the first chapter of the "Teaching of the Apostles"--"All things soever that you would not have done to yourself, do not do to another"; also in Tobias, iv, 16, where it appears for the first time in Sacred Scripture. He did not approve the principle held by Lao-tze that injury should be repaid with kindness. His motto was "Requite injury with justice, and kindness with kindness" (Analects, XIV, 36). He seems to have viewed the question from the practical and legal standpoint of social order. "To repay kindness with kindness", he says elsewhere, "acts as an encouragement to the people. To requite injury with injury acts as a warning" (Li-ki, XXIX, 11). The third fundamental virtue in the Confucian system is filial piety. In the "Hiao-king", Confucius is recorded as saying: "Filial piety is the root of all virtue."--"Of all the actions of man there are none greater than those of filial piety." To the Chinese then as now, filial piety prompted the son to love and respect his parents, contribute to their comfort, bring happiness and honour to their name, by honourable success in life. But at the same time it carried that devotion to a degree that was excessive and faulty. In consequence of the patriarchal system there prevailing, filial piety included the obligation of sons to live after marriage under the same roof with the father and to give him a childlike obedience as long as he lived. The will of the parents was declared to be supreme even to the extent that if the son's wife failed to please them he was obliged to divorce her, though it cut him to the heart. If a dutiful son found himself compelled to admonish a wayward father he was taught to give the correction with the utmost meekness; though the parent might beat him till the blood flowed he was not to show any resentment. The father did not forfeit his right to filial respect, no matter how great his wickedness. Another virtue of primary importance in the Confucian system is "propriety". It embraces the whole sphere of human conduct, prompting the superior man always to do the right thing in the right place. It finds expression in the so-called rules of ceremony, which are not confined to religious rites and rules of moral conduct, but extend to the bewildering mass of conventional customs and usages by which Chinese etiquette is regulated. They were distinguished even in Confucius's day by the three hundred greater, and the three thousand lesser, rules of ceremony, all of which had to be carefully learned as a guide to right conduct. The conventional usages as well as the rules of moral conduct brought with them the sense of obligation resting primarily on the authority of the sage-kings and in the last analysis on the will of Heaven. To neglect or deviate from them was equivalent to an act of impiety.

The worship of the people at large is practically confined to the so-called ancestor-worship. Some think it is hardly proper to call it worship, consisting as it does of feasts in honour of dead relatives. In the days of Confucius, as at present, there was in every family home, from the palace of the king himself down to the humble cabin of the peasant, a chamber or closet called the ancestral shrine, where wooden tablets were reverently kept, inscribed with the names of deceased parents, grandparents, and more remote ancestors. At   stated intervals offerings of fruit, wine, and cooked meats were set before these tablets, which the ancestral spirits were fancied to make their temporary resting-place. There was, besides, a public honouring by each local clan of the common ancestors twice a year, in spring and autumn. This was an elaborate banquet with music and solemn dances, to which the dead ancestors were summoned, and in which they were believed to participate along with the living members of the clan. More elaborate and magnificent still were the great triennial and quinquennial feasts given by the king to his ghostly ancestors. This feasting of the dead by families and clans was restricted to such as were united with the living by ties of relationship. There were, however, a few public benefactors whose memory was revered by all the people and to whom offerings of food were made. Confucius himself came be to honoured after death, being regarded as the greatest of public benefactors. Even today in China this religious veneration of the master is faithfully maintained. In the Imperial College in Peking there is a shrine where the tablets of Confucius and his principal disciples are preserved. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, the emperor goes there in state and solemnly presents food-offerings with a prayerful address expressing his gratitude and devotion.

In the fourth book of the "Li-ki" reference is made to the sacrifices which the people were accustomed to offer to the "spirits of the ground", that is to the spirits presiding over the local fields. In the worship of spirits of higher rank, however, the people seem to have taken no active part. This was the concern of their highest representatives, the feudal lords and the king. Each feudal lord offered sacrifice for himself and his subjects to the subordinate spirits supposed to have especial care of his territory. It was the prerogative of the king alone to sacrifice to the spirits, both great and small, of the whole realm, particularly to Heaven and Earth. Several sacrifices of this kind were offered every year. The most important were those at the winter and summer solstice in which Heaven and Earth were respectively worshipped. To account for this anomaly we must bear in mind that sacrifice, as viewed by the Chinese, is a feast to the spirit guests, and that according to their notion of propriety the highest deities should be feted only by the highest representatives of the living. They saw a fitness in the custom that only the king, the Son of Heaven, should, in his own behalf and in behalf of his people, make solemn offering to Heaven. And so it is today. The sacrificial worship of Heaven and Earth is celebrated only by the emperor, with the assistance, indeed, of a small army of attendants, and with a magnificence of ceremonial that is astonishing to behold. To pray privately to Heaven and burn incense to him was a legitimate way for the individual to show his piety to the highest deity, and this is still practised, generally at the full moon.


In Confucianism there is much to admire. It has taught a noble conception of the supreme Heaven-god. It has inculcated a remarkably high standard of morality. It has prompted, as far as it knew how, the refining influence of literary education and of polite conduct. But it stands today encumbered with the serious defects that characterize the imperfect civilization of its early development. The association of T'ien with innumerable nature-spirits, spirits of sun, moon, and stars, of hills and fields and rivers, the superstitious use of divination by means of stalks and tortoise shells, and the crude notion that the higher spirits, together with the souls of the dead, are regaled by splendid banquets and food-offerings, cannot stand the test of intelligent modern criticism. Nor can a religion answer fully to the religious needs of the heart which withdraws from the active participation of the people the solemn worship of the deity, which has little use of prayer, which recognizes no such thing as grace, which has no definite teaching in regard to the future life. As a social system it has lifted the Chinese to an intermediate grade of culture, but has blocked for ages all further progress. In its rigid insistence on rites and customs that tend to perpetuate the patriarchal system with its attendant evils of polygamy and divorce, of excessive seclusion and repression of women, of an undue hampering of individual freedom, Confucianism stands in painful contrast with progressive Christian civilization.


Transcribed by Rick McCarty

The Chinese Rites Controversy
Is Confucianism A Religion?
New Confucianism
After Liberalism: What if Confucianism Becomes the Hegemonic Ethic of the Twenty-first Century?

Confucious and the Scholars

The Jews of Kaifeng

Mencius (Meng Tzu)


From: http://www.dancris.com/sikh/chap14.html


The seed for the reformation of humanity which was sown by Guru Nanak and watered by his successors, ripened in the time of Guru Gobind Singh and culminated in the creation of the Khalsa. The sword that carved the Khalsa's way to sublime glory was undoubtedly forged by Guru Gobind Singh but its steel was provided by Guru Nanak. The whole program of Guru Nanak's initiation reached its exalted state of finality when the tenth Nanak (Guru Gobind Singh) passed on 'Gur Nanak Jot' to the Adi Granth, Holy Scripture- par excellence, and proclaimed it as Guru Granth Sahib, the last Guru for ever.

From the moment of its initiation by Guru Nanak to its consecration by the tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh, a period of 239 years, Sikhism acquired its holy scripture, signs and symbols, and unmistakable form or stance. Transformation from one Guru to the other happened in the same way as one lamp were to lit from another. The holy transformation of ten Gurus is recognized as ONE, since all of them came from the same Divine Flame in continuity of the same Divine Mission. The establishment of Guruship, the story of succession, the founding of Amritsar and other seats of Sikhism, the compilation of the Adi Granth, the institution of Sangat (holy congregation) and Pangat (Guru's free kitchen), the martyrdom of the Gurus, the panoply and plumage of power, the investiture of the Khalsa, all these and many other events which make the Sikh chronicle, give Sikh religion a color of the highest distinction.

In Sikhism, Guruship does not stand for mere order of mystics, since the Guru attached no values to renunciation of worldly life. Those who practiced renunciation such as Yogis and Sidhas were condemned as shirkers of responsibilities- they were considered as escapists and runaways from social responsibilities and obligations. In Sikhism a man is called upon to accept the Will of God and thus sublimate his suffering and loss. Sikhism believing in the conquest of sorrow and suffering, stipulates ceaseless endeavor.


According to the Guru, moral life is not a matter of a few commandments or a code or a ritual, but the fruit of a life directed towards spiritual quest involving incredibly hard discipline. Most people generally believe in enjoying materialistic life to the brim. Thus, the life goes on till a person ultimately finds oneself physically spent up and spiritually bankrupt. Lured by the charm of success in this materialistic world, one gives little or no thought to the Eternal values of life.

According to the eastern religions, there are eighty-four lakhs (8.4 million) of lives in the world, half of which are in the water and the other half are on the land and air. All life is transient. It moves on and on through the wheel of transmigration in accordance with its 'karmas' or actions good or bad. The human soul is achieved after transmigrating through various lower species as Gurbani (the Divine Word) confirms it:

"In how many births wert thou a worm or a moth!
In how many births an elephant, a fish, or a deer!
In how many births a bird or a serpent!
In how many births wert thou yoked as a horse or an ox!

Meet the Lord of the world, this is the time to meet Him After long period of time hast thou attained human body."  (Gauri Guareri Mohalla 5, p-176)

The Gurmat (Guru's teaching) defines the purpose of life as:

"This time having born as human being
This is thy turn to meet the Supreme Lord.
Thy other activities will be of no avail at the end,
Seek the company of the holy men
And only contemplate on God.
Set thy mind on crossing the sea of life,
For life is being wasted away
In pursuits of pleasures of the world."

(Asa Mohalla 5, p-12)

Human soul is the door for liberation, but enchanted by the materialistic world, one loses highly precious chance of life

The purpose of human life in Sikhism is not to attain paradise or Swarga of the popular Hindu conception, but to seek God, and be united with Him. The ultimate goal of Sikh religion is to merge with the Supreme Soul and then enjoy the Uninterrupted Bliss for ever. A Sikh aspires for spiritual union with the Lord- a state of Bliss. Human life is an opportunity to attain that goal, if it is missed, a person falls back in the cycle of birth and rebirth.


The definition of God is given in the very opening sentence of Guru Granth Sahib, which is called Mool-Mantar (Preamble of Japji):

There is but One God
He is the Eternal Truth
The Creator, All-Pervading Divine Spirit
Unfearful, Without hate and enmity
Immortal Entity, Unborn, Self-Existent, and
He is realized by His Own Grace.

Meditate upon

Who was True before the Creation
Who was True in the beginning of the Creation
Who is True now, and
O Nanak, Who shall be True for Ever.

God is both Impersonal (Nirgun) and Personal (Sargun). Impersonal God is Formless and beyond the human reach. When He reveals Himself through His Creation, He becomes related and personal. It is just like the rays coming out of the sun. The source is Formless, and the whole universe is His Personal form. No form howsoever unique it may be, is independent of Him. Infinite can manifest into unlimited number of finites, but any number of finites, alone or together, cannot be equal to the Infinite. So any finite form cannot be worshipped as God, Who is Infinite and Formless

i) God protects His saints and devotees from dangers, unless He wills that their sufferings and martyrdom should serve a higher purpose. To protect the righteous is His Sovereign Characteristic (Birdh). In the face of some acute dangers, saints have prayed for aid and intervention of God to help them in distress. God came to their help and protected them in a miraculous way. The stories of Prahlad, Dhru and others, and the autobiographic statements of Namdev and Kabir in Guru Granth Sahib, show His Sovereign Power to protect the righteous. Such miracles are part of the doctrine of divine Providence and Preservation. These supernatural miracles of God should be distinguished from the miracles of human beings performed by their occult powers, which in Sikhism are considered dangerous and unbecoming.

ii) 'As you sow, so shall you reap', leads to the theory of 'Karma', actions, good or bad, where a person is rewarded for his good actions and punished for his bad deeds. Therefore, according to the theory of Karma, a worst sinner will always suffer for his deeds and can never attain salvation. Guru Nanak has rejected this stating that pardoning even the worst sinner is the Sovereign Characteristic (Birdh) of God:

Sikh-Hindu Similarity
Sikh Dharma
Ritvik Exposed
Sikhism in the 21st Century The Challenging Road Ahead


Sikhism Home Page

Facets of Religion - Sikhism


A brief history of Taoism

This page provides an extremely concise introduction to Taoism from a historical point of view. The main events in the history of Taoism are divided into five sections up to the Yuan dynasty; for further explanations we recommend Taoism: growth of a religion by Isabelle Robinet and the monographic studies you can find in our bibliography.

The Warring States (453-222 B.C.)

Laozi Daode jing (IV-III c. B.C.) is the first scripture on the concept of Dao, described as the ineffable dynamic unity source of multiplicity. Man should reverse the process and return to unity by means of non-action (wuwei), which is also a political ideal. On the contrary, Zhuangzi (IV c. B.C.) conceives the Taoist Saint as a mystic, a supernatural being who identifies himself with the Universe, free from any social restraint. This image is closer to that of shamans (wu) and so-called "masters of techniques" (fangshi), who anticipate the figure of the Taoist priest, a searcher of immortality and an exorcist in control of natural phenomena.

That of Laozi and Zhuangzi is often referred to as "philosophical Taoism", in contrast to a "religious Taoism" beginning with the Celestial Masters. These concepts hardly fit the actual reality.

Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 C.E.)

Legalism and Confucianism form State ideology of the Chinese Empire under Qin and Han dynasties. The Huainanzi (II c. B.C.) unifies the image of the Saint with that of the political man, promoting a mixture of Taoist and Confucian ideals. A similar sincretic vein characterizes the Huang-Lao school, which unifies the cults of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) and Laozi.

At the end of the Han Empire revolutionary and messianic sects emerge; among them, Zhang Daoling's Way of the Five Measures of Rice (Wudou mi dao), also known as Orthodox One (Zhengyi). In 215 his nephew Zhang Lu changes the name of the school to Celestial Masters (Tianshi), and makes of it the first hierarchically organized Taoist "church", concerned with the limitation of popular cults and the establishment of social ideals through moral precepts and public liturgical ceremonies. The school becomes the highest authority on ritual orthodoxy.

Chinese "Middle Ages" (220-581)

Central to Ge Hong's (280-340) Baopuzi is the idea of immortality as a natural physical transformation; among the techniques to obtain it are the "nourishment of life" (yangsheng) through the correct circulation of vital energies - breath (qi) and seminal essence (jing) - and the use of drugs and pills of immortality (external alchemy).

The IV century sees the birth of two of the main Taoist traditions, representing mysticism and ritual, respectively. In the years 365-370 Yang Xi receives the Supreme Purity (Shangqing) revelation. This tradition unifies the goal of early searchers of immortality and the ideal of the cosmic Saint of the Zhuangzi; central to its practices is the return to unity, the identification of human microcosm with macrocosm by mean of "ecstatic flights" and visualization of bodily deities. Tao Hongjing (?-?) is the most representative master of the school. Then, in 402, Ge Chaofu compiles new scriptures and attributes them to the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao) revelation, received by his ancestor Ge Xuan. This school, strongly influenced by Mahayana Buddhism, incorporates the doctrine of rebirth and retribution and develops the ideal of universal liberation in contrast to individual immortality. More elements that form Lingbao teaching are Confucian and Buddhist virtues, messianism and the liturgy of the Celestial Masters, which undergoes a deep evolution.

In 424 Taoism becomes the official religion at the Northern Wei court thank to Celestial Master Kou Qianzhi, who "purifies" the teachings of Zhang Daoling and his descendants. This period of glory lasts until the first half of the VI century.

Tang Dynasty (618-907)

Tang emperors generally support Taoism, but the tendency ot the period is towards sincretism. The Double Mistery school (Chongxuan) integrates Indian speculation (Madhyamika) to the interpretation of the Daode jing.

Internal contemplation (neiguan) anticipates the birth of internal alchemy (neidan).

Song and Yuan Dynasties (960-1368)

Zhenzong and Huizong are among the most supportive emperors of the Song dynasty; the latter is particularly favorable to the school of the Divine Empyrean (Shenxiao), based on the power of Thunder Rites. Other schools, such as that of Filial Piety (Jingming zhongxiao), incorporate Confucian moralism.

The development of internal alchemy continues with the Zhong-Lü and the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) schools in the North and the Southern tradition of Zhang Boduan and Bai Yuchan. Breath, spirit (shen) and seminal essence become the ingredients of an alchemical transformation within the human body, a process based on the preservation and circulation of Yin and Yang.

Western Reform Taoism
The Controversy about Falun Gong

Taoism: Introduction   Taoism

Taoism and the Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan

Thigpen's Taoism Page



From: http://theologytoday.ptsem.edu/jul1966/v23-2-editorial3.htm

The churches everywhere are concerned about the critical social situations in which they find themselves. This is especially true in places where the national spirit is strong and where the nation is striving for freedom, for identity, for unity, and for economic development. Nationalism is a powerful force in the world. Communism and westernism find it difficult to penetrate. It has little interest in east or west, except to benefit from one or the other. This nationalism often takes on a one-party form of government, and persecutes, exiles, imprisons, or liquidates the opposition. It will not tolerate deviations if they endanger the unity of the nation or threaten to make it an easy prey to a discredited colonialism. It takes vigorous hold of financial matters, immigration policy, foreign loans, international relations and internal affairs. Its aim is to get the nation on its feet, unify its divergent groups, and move it toward development.

As for religion, nationalism follows different policies. Indonesia's constitution affirms that the nation believes in God; and its religious groups unite in a general religious front. India claims to be a secular state. While no proselytism is allowed, it does expect all religions to work for the national welfare. A type of co-existence is the order of the day. In other nations a predominant religious faith may grant religious liberty to other religions, but it expects for itself a favored position. In all public functions, it alone may be -represented, or if others are allowed, they must assume a subordinate place.

The churches continue to engage in all sorts of relief activities. They care for the sick, the aged, the poor, the orphan, the refugee. Projects in agriculture, literacy, education, and family life are integral to all church programs. Eventually, the new nations will take over many of these activities, at which time the churches will be challenged. Even now, church services in many of these areas, such as food distribution and refugees, involve political matters.

Perhaps the greatest problem for the churches in these critical social situations is that of determining what God is doing in these national revolutions. Is he at work providentially, redemptively, if at all, in history? With the New Delhi Assembly of the World Council of Churches, many will agree that God is at work in the secular order; the Incarnation is a "secular event"; God is reconciling the world to himself; God is the inspiration of the bright expectations of millions; God is concerned for man's dignity and humanity; the gospel implies that all people should share in the benefits of the secular life. But how far can the churches go along with these new developments without being in danger of prostituting the gospel to nationalistic ideologies and methods? In how far are these secular hopes to be identified with the redemptive work of God in history? How can the churches that are small and coming into churchhood maintain a separatism from the world for the sake of being and remaining Christian, and at the same time assume their servant roles as prophetic (critical) and priestly (serving) churches in their nations? May not the Christian faith become lost in a general religious syncretism, on the one hand, or, on the other hand, become just another religion in a situation which demands peaceful co-existence with all religions?

These issues are being given consideration by the churches in their seminaries, colleges, universities, ecumenical centers, study conferences, and publications. Through the inspiration of the World Council of Churches in its study of rapid social change, the missionary structure of the church, and other areas, leadership has been given to the churches most affected by these problems. Yet, in spite of all that has been published to date, the crucial issue still remains: What is the role of the churches in revolutionary and nationalistic situations in identifying the work of God, and in guiding and equipping their members in their thought about, and their service in, this secular world?


Faith and Good works is a characteristic of cult theology, which is often common to such theologies, the substitution of good works, praxis, in the place of the Gospel itself, rather than as the fruit of that Gospel and sanctifying grace which gives rise to obedience, communion, and love. This has become, all too often, the self-justifying tactic of many who attempt to mask their disobedience to the Church's teachings. They speak often of giving to the poor (as, we must remember, Judas did too, Jn 12:4-6 ) and often pose as radicals and advocates of civil rights.

Now, there is no question that Jesus Christ and His Church requires a radical love for neighbor as the fruit of a conversion which elevates us above all self-complacency. At the very beginning of his ministry in Nazareth, St. Luke tells us, Our Lord:

… stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." (Lk 4:16-19)

The Church does indeed show a preferential love for the poor in this world, for this is the Way of her Lord and of the prophets before him. She has shown this love for over two thousand years by caring for widows, for orphans, for the weak, for the physically and mentally ill. She continues His healing and reconciling ministry in the world until the end of time. In more recent times, with the advent of nuclear weapons and their actual and potential destruction of whole civilian populations and threat to the whole planet, a planet which has become so much smaller due to advances in transportation and communications, she has had to examine ever more closely the ways in which people seek to resolve tribal and regional conflicts. In so doing she has sought to apply the Gospel's message of peace in greater and greater contexts as the necessary alternative to war. The Church indeed is come to proclaim liberty to the oppressed and to give release to the captives. We are indeed called to be peacemakers (Mt 5:9). This is the fruit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But when theologians or activists substitute praxis, such good works, for Church teachings, for the moral and natural laws, they are, sadly, charlatans, prostituting the fruits of the faith and sanctifying grace to their own ends. Love then becomes a ruse, a bait to deceive people away from the Church in the name of the Church.

We must never cease to show the Church's preferential love for the poor. We laymen and laywomen, especially, must be involved in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in imitation of our Lord who is the Light of a broken world. Personal piety which seeks only lavish liturgical satisfaction is selfishness, spiritual gluttony, if it does not lead to good works. Even the sick can offer their sufferings for others in and through Christ Jesus (Col 1:24). But we must not follow false gods which can only lead to the collapse of our spiritual immune systems and a pseudo peace which is in fact spiritual death. Truth and love are inseparable (Eph 4:15). This is the Truth which makes us free.

The Crusades:

The First Crusade

The Crusades - Text Archives

The Crusades

Chronology of the Crusades

The Crusades - A View from Jordan

The Crusades and the Contributions of Islam



The Crusades - The Order of St. John of Jerusalem

The Crusades

The Crusades - Five Centuries of Holy War

A History and Mythos of the Knights Templar

European Templar Heritage Research Network

Chronology of the Teutonic Knights

Reconcillation Walk - An Apology for the Crusades

A Bibliography of the Crusades and Crusaders


Founding of the Knights Templar

Eugene III: Summons to a Crusade, December 1, 1154

Knights Templar

The Knights Templar of England and Wales


...the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One. 1 John 5:19

Come to me all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11: 28-30

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness,
but rather expose them. Ephesians 5: 11

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seeed good in thy sight. Luke 10: 21

If any man thirst, come to me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7: 37-38

Don't owe anyone anything - except to love one another; for whoever loves his fellow human being has fulfilled the Torah [Old Testament Law]. Romans 13: 8

Put on the whole armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6: 11-12

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Jesus, to his disciples, Matthew 10: 16

Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie---behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you. Revelation 3: 9

No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other,

or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both

God and Mammon [money, riches]. Matthew 6: 24

Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. Acts 4: 32

Woe to those who join house to house and field to field, until there is no more room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land. Jehovah of armies has sworn in my hearing: "Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant." Isaiah 5: 8-9

'The land shall not be sold for ever, for the land is mine and you are but my tenants'.
God speaks to Moses, Leviticus 25: 23

"And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold." Matthew 24.12

"If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you I say to everyone: 'Watch!'" Mark 13: 36-37




Warning - The Fall of America and Her Destruction


Credit to the Web Page of Sir Thomas for information on some of the major religions.

Why Did God Command the Ancient Israelites to Go to War?

Modern Crusade Against Islam

In the Third World - Child Killers, Child Victims

The New Age - Alice Bailey

The World's Final Religion

In Praise of John Paul II

As A Christian, Do You Know Which Covenant You Are Under?

Justification and Sanctification

The Principle of Non-power

An Established Heart

So Far Off The Wall, There is No Hope Left (Some of this is X rated)

Women Shepherds (Another Off the Wall)  (Some of this is X rated)

Revelation: Babylon - the Whore

Revelation: The Scribes and the Pharisees

What Time It Is - 25 End Time Prophecies

All Religions Are Much the Same - (Great Arguments)

The Two Babylons - The Sacrifice of the Mass

Apologetics - Cult - Index

The Room for the Transgendered

Corruption of Religion

The Lost Boys of the Sudan

Commentary on Judaism


What does "The 2nd coming of Christ" REALLY mean?

The Harlot and her Beast

The Jewish World In The Days Of Christ - The Jewish Dispersion In The East


Controversy:  Is There An Eternal Soul?

Zen And Taoism Common And Uncommon Grounds of Discourse





NUMBER 132 AND 248 -

1260 - Chandra Levy Address -
The Connection to Revelation?

The 2:16 - 3:16's of the Bible





Is The Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia?