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The blame game

                                                           “I praise loudly, I blame softly” (Catherine the Great)

      People are often mystified when they look at the reality of the world we live in, and try to reconcile that with a good and loving God. We frequently face difficulties of all kinds, big and small; personal as well as global tragedies. Seeing this, we can't help but ask, "How can this be? How can a loving God have created this? There is something missing from this picture. It doesn't add up!" That's true. There is a piece missing from our equation.

      There IS something that we are refusing to look at, which would reconcile these contradictions in our minds and heal our discomfiture with God. We need to understand what that is, because that missing piece is causing a breakdown of affinity between mankind and God, and making us miserable.

       The truth is not hidden; it's not cryptic; it's not far away. It's HERE. Anybody who is willing to be implicated by the truth can easily discover it. There is no higher truth that does not implicate the hearer of it. If we saw the truth about God, we'd see the truth about ourselves too, and what's wrong about the way we live and think. That truth would hold us responsible for living much more beautifully than we tend to do.

        In our current, ego-identified level of consciousness, most of us can hardly face our ordinary human responsibilities, let alone the ultimate responsibility of living as the Godly creatures we truly are.

        It is said, "Know the truth, and the truth will set you free." But, if the price of freedom is to give up our egotistical habits and false ideas -- which it IS -- WE DON'T WANT the truth that sets us free. We're like a man who's married to an ill-tempered wife. She's making his life a living nightmare, but he's attached to her. He's got a problem: He wants to keep his wife, but if he does, she will continue to make his life miserable. The same could be said for egotism. It causes us all kinds of problems, but we're attached to it.

        Therefore, we feel we can't afford to know the truth about God. We don't want the RESPONSIBILITY of knowing. Now we're getting to the heart of the matter: we don't want to be responsible.

        Isn't it obvious that, all around the world, countless people avoid personal responsibility, or minimize it? When things go wrong, we tend to point the finger of blame at everybody else -- and especially at God. We may admit that human beings are responsible to a degree; but usually that means OTHER human beings, rather than, say, oneself.

          God is waiting for each and every one of us to take responsibility, so that our relationship with God can be fulfilled, and so that WE can be fulfilled. Only then can you know the truth about yourself. And others. And God.

Here is what Jesus tells Nathaniel when asked this same question!

148:5.1 At another of these private interviews in the garden Nathaniel asked Jesus: “Master, though I am beginning to understand why you refuse to practice healing indiscriminately, I am still at a loss to understand why the loving Father in heaven permits so many of his children on earth to suffer so many afflictions.” The Master answered Nathaniel, saying:

148:5.2 "Nathaniel, you and many others are thus perplexed because you do not comprehend how the natural order of this world has been so many times upset by the sinful adventures of certain rebellious traitors to the Father's will. And I have come to make a beginning of setting these things in order. But many ages will be required to restore this part of the universe to former paths and thus release the children of men from the extra burdens of sin and rebellion. The presence of evil alone is sufficient test for the ascension of man—sin is not essential to survival.

148:5.3 “But, my son, you should know that the Father does not purposely afflict his children. Man brings down upon himself unnecessary affliction as a result of his persistent refusal to walk in the better ways of the divine will. Affliction is potential in evil, but much of it has been produced by sin and iniquity. Many unusual events have transpired on this world, and it is not strange that all thinking men should be perplexed by the scenes of suffering and affliction which they witness. But of one thing you may be sure: The Father does not send affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrongdoing. The imperfections and handicaps of evil are inherent; the penalties of sin are inevitable; the destroying consequences of iniquity are inexorable. Man should not blame God for those afflictions which are the natural result of the life which he chooses to live; neither should man complain of those experiences which are a part of life as it is lived on this world. It is the Father's will that mortal man should work persistently and consistently toward the betterment of his estate on earth. Intelligent application would enable man to overcome much of his earthly misery.

                                             “`There is correction in suffering; affliction does not spring forth from the dust.” 

     Rickey H. Crosby  (Petitor Veritatis)

     

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Truth?

April 7 AD 30, the Roman provincial governor Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” and this question is as relevant today as it was then. How did Jesus respond? What can we learn about the nature of truth that will equip us for the fight? 

 

185:3.4 “Then you are a king after all?” said Pilate. And Jesus answered: “Yes, I am such a king, and my kingdom is the family of the faith sons of my Father who is in heaven. For this purpose was I born into this world, even that I should show my Father to all men and bear witness to the truth of God. And even now do I declare to you that every one who loves the truth hears my voice.”

185:3.5 Then said Pilate, half in ridicule and half in sincerity, “Truth, what is truth—who knows?” 

The apostle John recounts for us Jesus’ interaction with Pilate in John 18:28-19:15. As Pilate struggles to sort out the accusations of the Jewish leaders, as well as the puzzling identity of his prisoner, one of his questions for Jesus is, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Jesus’ enigmatic answers to all of Pilate’s questions do not alleviate the governor’s confusion, but our Lord’s four statements can help us to understand the nature of “true truth” and to live consistently before our God. These four statements are:

1. “Is that your own idea,” asked Jesus, “or did others talk to you about me?” (John 18:34)

    In verse 33 of John 18, Pilate steps back inside his palace after hearing the charges being brought by the Jews against Jesus. He asks Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus does not answer Pilate’s question. Rather, he challenges Pilate to examine why that question may or may not be relevant. Jesus says, “Is that your own idea, or did others talk to you about me?” (verse 34). Jesus challenged the presuppositions inherent in Pilate’s question. Truth requires honesty! In his dialogue with Pilate, Jesus is essentially asking, “How was your thinking formed, Pilate? On what is it founded? Are you merely repeating something that you may have heard from others, or do you know enough for yourself to honestly make this inquiry?”

2. ” My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (John 18:36)

   Pilate continues to press Jesus, asking, “What is it you have done?” (verse 35). Again, Jesus does not answer the question. He says, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” Pilate was thinking and speaking and acting temporally, while Jesus was doing so eternally. 

3. “You are right in saying I am a King. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37)

   Truth is not relative. It is absolute, and you are either for it or against it. Jesus’ next statement to Pilate is Scripture’s strongest assertion concerning the nature of truth. In John 18:37, Jesus answers Pilate’s statement, “You are a king, then!” with these words: “You are right in saying I am a King. In fact, for this reason I was born, “Truth does not blush.” Even knowing that Pilate has no philosophical or other worldview basis that will allow him to put these words into an appropriate context, Jesus still speaks the truth of an eternal kingdom of a heavenly realm.

4. “Jesus answered, ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” (John 19:11)

The fourth and final statement made to Pilate confirms two other aspects of the nature of truth: one, that truth is not dependent on anything outside of itself, and, two, that truth cannot fail because it has eternal origins. Pilate asked, “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” and Jesus replied, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin” (John 19:10,11).

   Pilate’s belief in his own absolute power over the life of Jesus rested on his perception of the scope of his authority. Was that belief ultimately true? If you believe in the resurrection, the answer is no. Jesus certainly died at the hands of earthly powers, but his resurrection from the dead proves that our Lord’s earthly circumstances were determined by his heavenly Father. Truth did not depend on what Pilate thought, and truth does not depend on what we think. Truth is! If something is morally true, it is not because a committee gathered and declared it so. Truth’s origin is far more substantial because it transcends even our biggest ideas. Having roots in eternity means the nature of truth is independent of and unfettered by the limitations of the human mind.

“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)

    Professor Allan Bloom began his 1987 bestseller, The Closing of the American Mind, with these words; and over the following decade relativism became so ingrained in the so-called “closed American mind” that it warranted its own epoch-defining cultural label: postmodernism. Postmodernism is our society’s term for the majority’s firmly held belief that truth is not knowable and, therefore, cannot be absolute.

   What is alarming is that today, the average man on the street holds a deeply troubled view regarding what truth is. Even in the church over half of all people who identify themselves as evangelical Christians believe that truth is always relative to the situation. Without some firm and compelling basis for suggesting that acts are inappropriate, people are left with philosophies like, ‘If it feels good, do it’, ‘Everyone else is doing it’, or ‘As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s permissible!'”

   How should we view the nature of truth? As one who is seeking the truth, you may quickly respond that moral absolutes do exist and they are knowable because God has faithfully revealed them to us. This is indeed true, and to believe it is at the foundation of our lives.

    Rickey H. Crosby  (Petitor Veritatis)

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Feast of Dedication

                                                                                Feast of Dedication

         In one of our recent study group night (Veldon and Charlene’s) we were reading from paper 164 and came across what it referred to as the “Feast of Dedication”.

        164:0.1 AS THE CAMP at Pella was being established, Jesus, taking with him Nathaniel and Thomas, secretly went up to Jerusalem to attend the feast of the dedication.

         When I inquired if anyone was familiar with this Jewish celebration, I was not surprised to find that under that title, little was understood. I proceeded to give a very brief explanation.

         Well, in typical RC fashion, I am not content to let it drop there! 

         The UB tells us of this celebration in 123:3.5
“The first was the midwinter festive illumination, lasting eight days, starting out with one candle the first night and adding one each successive night; this commemorated the dedication of the temple after the restoration of the Mosaic services by Judas Maccabee.

          The Feast of Dedication today Hanukkah, once also called “ Feast of the Maccabees," was a Jewish festival observed for eight days from the 25th of Kislev (usually in December, but occasionally late November, due to the lunisolar calendar).

(2015, Dec.6-14)

          In Hebrew, the word "hanukkah" means "dedication." The name reminds the Jews that this holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks.

            In 168 B.C.E. the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus made the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. He also ordered all Jews to worship Greek gods. In 167 B.C.E. the Jewish Temple was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus. This upset the Jewish people, but many were afraid to fight back for fear of reprisals.

             Jewish resistance began in the village of Modiin, near Jerusalem. Greek soldiers forcibly gathered the Jewish villages and told them to bow down to an idol, then eat the flesh of a pig – both practices that are forbidden to Jews.

              A Greek officer ordered Mattathias, a High Priest, to acquiesce to their demands, but Mattathias refused. When another villager stepped forward and     offered to cooperate on Mattathias' behalf, the High Priest became outraged. He drew his sword and killed the villager, then turned on the Greek officer and killed him too. His five sons and the other villagers then attacked the remaining soldiers, killing all of them. (Judas Maccabee was the son of Mattathias)

              Mattathias and his family went into hiding in the mountains, where other Jews wishing to fight against the Greeks joined them. Eventually they succeeded in retaking their land from the Greeks. These rebels became known as the Maccabees, or Hasmoneans.

              Once the Maccabees had regained control they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem. By this time it had been spiritually defiled by being used for the worship of foreign gods and also by practices such as sacrificing swine. Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But to their dismay, they discovered that there was only one day's worth of oil left in the Temple.
They lit the menorah anyway and to their surprise the small amount of oil lasted the full eight days.

             This is the miracle of the Hanukkah oil that is celebrated every year when Jews light a special menorah known as a hanukkiyah for eight days. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second, and so on, until eight candles are lit. 

    Rickey H. Crosby  (Petitor Veritatis)

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Christmas

Well, its been some time since my last post, and really I don’t know if anyone is reading them or not because there hasn’t been any feedback on anything I’ve fulminated on, positive or negative.

So if there is someone out there that has read any of my rantings, you really should have seen this one coming!

                                                                                               Christmas

                                            “in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” George Orwell

Christmas is thought by most to be a wonderful time, focusing the participants on giving, family togetherness, beautiful music and decorations, feasting on special foods and singing Christmas carols throughout the neighborhood. All of this is supposedly centered around the worship of Christ. Surely the Bible instructs us to do all this—right?

The answers will shock you!

Why do people think that Christmas is wonderful? Most never reflect on why they believe what they believe or do what they do. We live in a world filled with customs, but few ever seek to understand their origin. We generally accept them without question. Most people basically do what everyone else does—because it is easy and natural!

Let's carefully examine the roots of Christmas. Let's look at why people follow the customs associated with it. Why is it kept on December 25th? Did the early New Testament Church keep it?. Let's avoid all assumptions and only accept what can be PROVEN!

Nearly all aspects of Christmas observance have their roots in Roman custom and religion. Consider the following admission from a large American newspaper (The Buffalo News, Nov. 22, 1984): “The earliest reference to Christmas being marked on Dec. 25 comes from the second century after Jesus' birth. It is considered likely the first Christmas celebrations were in reaction to the Roman Saturnalia, a harvest festival that marked the winter solstice—the return of the sun—and honored Saturn, the god of sowing. Saturnalia was a rowdy time, much opposed by the more austere leaders among the still-minority Christian sect. Christmas developed, one scholar says, as a means of replacing worship of the sun with worship of the Son. By 529 A.D., after Christianity had become the official state religion of the Roman Empire, Emperor Justinian made Christmas a civic holiday. The celebration of Christmas reached its peak—some would say its worst moments—in the medieval period when it became a time for conspicuous consumption and unequaled revelry.”

Consider these quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, under “Christmas”: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church...the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.” Further, “Pagan customs centering around the January calends gravitated to Christmas.” Under “Natal Day,” Origen, an early Catholic writer, admitted, “...In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world” (emphasis mine).

The Encyclopedia Americana, 1956 edition, adds, “Christmas...was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth...a feast was established in memory of this event [Christ's birth] in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western Church ordered the feast to be celebrated forever on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia, as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth existed.”

It was 300 years after Christ before the Roman church kept Christmas, and not until the fifth century that it was mandated to be kept throughout the empire as an official festival honoring “Christ.”

December 25th birth?

Luke 2:8 explains that when Christ was born, “there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Note that they were “abiding” in the field. This never happened in December. Both Ezra 10:9-13 and the Song of Solomon 2:11 show that winter was the rainy season and shepherds could not stay on cold, open fields at night.

Note an article in The Toronto Star, December 1984, by Alan Edmonds, entitled, “We owe a lot to Druids, Dutch”: “The Reformation cast a blight on Christmas. By then, of course, clever ecclesiastical politicians had adopted the Pagan mid-winter festival as the alleged birthdate of Jesus, of Nazareth, and thrown in a few other Pagan goodies to make their takeover more palatable.”

December 25th was not selected because it was the birth of Christ or because it was even near it. It was selected because it coincided with the idolatrous pagan festival Saturnalia!

Numerous encyclopedias plainly state that Christ was not born on December 25th! The Catholic Encyclopedia directly confirms this. “In all likelihood, Christ was born in the fall!”

What about Santa Claus?

Some years ago, a priest in New Jersey told his Sunday school class that Santa was a myth. The outrage from parents and his supervisors was swift. He had “killed Santa!” He had “destroyed family tradition!” He had “usurped family authority,” the article continued. He was officially censored by his superiors for being “overzealous and insensitive.”

His crime? He told the truth!

Today Santa Claus comes from “Saint Nicholas.” Washington Irving, in 1809, is responsible for remaking the original old, stern bishop of this same name into the new “jolly St. Nick” in his Knickerbocker History of New York. (Most of the rest of America's Christmas traditions are even more recent than this.) “Old Nick” has long been recognized as a term for the devil.
In Revelation 2:6 and 15, we read about a “doctrine of the Nicolaitanes,” which Christ twice tells His Church “(He) hates.” Let's analyze the word Nicolaitane. It means “follower of Nicholas.” Nikos means “conqueror, destroyer.” Laos means “people.” Nicolaitanes, then, are people who follow the conqueror or destroyer—Nimrod. If you have believed that following Christmas is an innocent Christian custom, let this truth sink in!

No article about Christmas is complete without some explanation of the “Christmas tree.” The modern Christmas tree originated in Germany. But the Germans got it from the Romans, who got it from the Babylonians and the Egyptians.

The following demonstrates what the Babylonians believe about the origin of the Christmas tree: “An old Babylonish fable told of an evergreen tree which sprang out of a dead tree stump. The old stump symbolized the dead Nimrod, the new evergreen tree symbolized that Nimrod had come to life again in Tammuz! Among the Druids the oak was sacred, among the Egyptians it was the palm, and in Rome it was the fir, which was decorated with red berries during the Saturnalia!” (Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs, p. 242).

Most aspects of Christmas are not referred to in the Bible. Of course, the reason is that they are not from God—they are not part of the way He wants people to worship Him. The Christmas tree, however, is directly mentioned in the Bible! Turn to Jeremiah 10:2-5, “Thus says the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen...For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”

The Encyclopedia Americana states, “The holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log...are relics of pre-Christian time.” In other words, paganism!

4:5.7 But the inhabitants of Urantia are to find deliverance from these ancient errors and pagan superstitions respecting the nature of the Universal Father. The revelation of the truth about God is appearing, and the human race is destined to know the Universal Father in all that beauty of character and loveliness of attributes so magnificently portrayed by the Creator Son who sojourned on Urantia as the Son of Man and the Son of God.

195:9.2 But paganized and socialized Christianity stands in need of new contact with the uncompromised teachings of Jesus; it languishes for lack of a new vision of the Master's life on earth. A new and fuller revelation of the religion of Jesus is destined to conquer an empire of materialistic secularism and to overthrow a world sway of mechanistic naturalism. Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment. 

Rickey H. Crosby  (Petitor Veritatis)

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?

“BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION”

 

 

118:3.7 All patterns of reality occupy space on the material levels, but spirit patterns only exist in relation to space; they do not occupy or displace space, neither do they contain it. But to us the master riddle of space pertains to the pattern of an idea. When we enter the mind domain, we encounter many a puzzle. Does the pattern—the reality—of an idea occupy space? We really do not know, albeit we are sure that an idea pattern does not contain space. But it would hardly be safe to postulate that the immaterial is always nonspatial.

 Rickey H. Crosby  (Petitor Veritatis)

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Capitalism

     1999 marks the 100th anniversary of the emergence of the U.S. as a major world power. Under the pretext of responding to a bombing on the USS Maine anchored in Havana, Cuba, the U.S. went to war with Cuba's colonial overlord, Spain, in 1899. After routing Europe's weakest colonial power, the U.S. made off with all of Spain's colonial possessions in Latin America and Asia, seizing control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.

      The Spanish-American War marked the entrance of the U.S. into the worldwide scramble for colonies among the advanced powers. Novelist Mark Twain made no bones about what this meant:

      "How our hearts burned with indignation against the atrocious Spaniards. . .But when the smoke was over, the dead buried and the cost of the war came back to the people in an increase in the price of commodities and rent--that is, when we sobered up from our patriotic spree--it suddenly dawned on us that the cause of the Spanish-American war was the price of sugar. . . . that the lives, blood, and money of the American people were used to protect the interests of American capitalists."

      And still today, over a century later, the U.S. stands alone as the world's superpower. It is the only country with the ability to go to war anywhere in the world.

      The U.S. attained its position of dominance through competition with other powerful nations. The U.S. and the world's other major powers--Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany--fought two world wars, threatened each other with nuclear annihilation and divided and redivided the world between them.

    How can we explain this madness?

    It is important to understand that wars and violence stem not from the whims of politicians but from the nature of the system itself. Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the vast majority of the world's population by a small minority who own and control all the resources. A recent United Nations (UN) study showed that all of the world's poor could be lifted out of poverty by spending the wealth of the world's seven richest billionaires.

    At the heart of a system which produces this kind of obscene inequality is ruthless competition between corporations constantly on the lookout for new ways to make profits. The process of competition forces capitalists to look beyond their own national boundaries to gain access to new and cheap raw materials and workers.

Gen. Smedley Butler, who headed many U.S. military interventions in the early part of this century, gave a stark account of what he had really been doing:

    "I have spent 34 years in active service as a member of the Marine Corps. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and for the bankers."

     In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. (Read; "War is a Racket" by Gen. Smedley Butler)

    69:5.15 Though capital has tended to liberate man, it has greatly complicated his social and industrial organization. The abuse of capital by unfair capitalists does not destroy the fact that it is the basis of modern industrial society. Through capital and invention the present generation enjoys a higher degree of freedom than any that ever preceded it on earth. This is placed on record as a fact and not in justification of the many misuses of capital by thoughtless and selfish custodians.

 

      Rickey H. Crosby  (Petitor Veritatis)

 

 

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Death of an Empire

                                                                                          Death of an Empire

“it’s impossible to solve a problem with the same thinking that created it”. Albert Einstein

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”Aldous Huxley

In his 1976 essay The Fate of Empires, General Sir John Glubb analyzed the life cycles of civilizations. He found remarkable similarities between them all. Most have lasted around 250 years, ten generations or so, and each has passed through clearly identifiable stages. Glubb calls these the six ages of empire.

Every new empire begins with the age of the pioneers, courageous individuals with passion and vision who conquer new territories, perhaps taking over the remnants of an earlier collapsed civilization. The new empire then enters an age of commerce. Great wealth is created through enterprise and trade, making use of the best cultural traits and technological achievements of the vanquished empire. Next comes the age of affluence, a critical juncture in the life cycle of an empire and the time when things begin to go wrong. In the age of affluence, Glubb says, “there does not appear to be any doubt that money is the agent which causes the decline of this strong, brave and self-confident people.”

Decline occurs slowly, however, for next comes the age of intellect, when affluence is sufficient to allow some people to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of knowledge. Glubb argues that an excessive focus on intellect indicates an empire already in serious trouble. This may feel counter-intuitive, but evidence suggests that our own age of intellect has done little to prevent a headlong descent into the final age: the age of decadence.

Debauchery is another recurring theme at the end of empire. Society develops a strangely immature obsession with sex. People drink themselves to the point of unconsciousness and shamelessly collapse in the street. In Roman times, binge drinkers were left to their fate. Today’s debauchery is supervised by the police; its ‘victims’ are taken care of by hard-pressed health care professionals, placing further pressure on the public purse. And, all the while, supermarkets and corporations make a killing selling discounted booze to people barely old enough to buy it. This is our modern-day bread and circuses, (The government kept the Roman populace happy by distributing free food and staging huge spectacles).with obese citizens literally becoming a burden on the state.

At this point in the life cycle of an empire frivolity, as Glubb calls it, comes to the fore. In order to distract people from what’s really going on, the economy creates diversions. Voyeurism becomes central to culture: the gladiatorial spectacles in decadent Rome are mirrored in today’s obsession with sports, and reality television. People become fixated on celebrity as the genuinely noteworthty become understandably camera shy. These invented celebrities are ‘famous’ just for being famous. In every era the obsession with celebrity glorifies many of the same professions. During the final decades of their own empires, the Romans, the Ottomans and the Spanish all made celebrities of their chefs. Sound familiar?

As British political thinker Phillip Blond says, “What’s really suffered is human relationships, family life, the things that really matter to us. In the end the only thing that makes human beings happy isn’t money – it is very clear that past a certain level you only get marginal gains from wealth. What really makes us happy is other people. It is our relationship with other people that’s really been damaged by the last forty years.”

195:9.2 But paganized and socialized Christianity stands in need of new contact with the uncompromised teachings of Jesus; it languishes for lack of a new vision of the Master's life on earth. A new and fuller revelation of the religion of Jesus is destined to conquer an empire of materialistic secularism and to overthrow a world sway of mechanistic naturalism. Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment.

195:9.4 Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus' religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world.

Rickey H. Crosby (Petitor Veritatis) 

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An Emperor meets a King

                                                                                   An Emperor meets a King

                                                                                      (Tiberius meets Jesus)

132:0.1SINCE GONOD CARRIED greetings from the princes of India to Tiberius, the Roman ruler, on the third day after their arrival in Rome the two Indians and Jesus appeared before him. The morose emperor was unusually cheerful on this day and chatted long with the trio. And when they had gone from his presence, the emperor, referring to Jesus, remarked to the aide standing on his right, “If I had that fellow's kingly bearing and gracious manner, I would be a real emperor, eh?” 

Tiberius was a Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Born Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Claudian, Tiberius was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian. Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter Julia the Elder and even later be adopted by Augustus, by which act he officially became a Julian, bearing the name Tiberius Julius Caesar. The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the following thirty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty. In relations to the other emperors of this dynasty, Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, and great-grand uncle of Nero.

Rickey H. Crosby (Petitor Veritatis) 

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Jesus' prophetic words about the destruction of Jerusalem

                                                             Jesus’ prophetic words about the destruction of Jerusalem

176:0.01“You see these stones and this massive temple; verily, verily, I say to you: In the days soon to come there shall not be left one stone upon another. They shall all be thrown down.”

176:1.4 Then Andrew inquired: “But, Master, if the Holy City and the temple are to be destroyed, and if you are not here to direct us, when should we forsake Jerusalem?” Said Jesus: “You may remain in the city after I have gone, even through these times of travail and bitter persecution, but when you finally see Jerusalem being encompassed by the Roman armies after the revolt of the false prophets, then will you know that her desolation is at hand; then must you flee to the mountains. Let none who are in the city and around about tarry to save aught, neither let those who are outside dare to enter therein. There will be great tribulation, for these will be the days of gentile vengeance. And after you have deserted the city, this disobedient people will fall by the edge of the sword and will be led captive into all nations; and so shall Jerusalem be trodden down by the gentiles. In the meantime, I warn you, be not deceived. If any man comes to you, saying, `Behold, here is the Deliverer,’ or `Behold, there is he,’ believe it not, for many false teachers will arise and many will be led astray; but you should not be deceived, for I have told you all this beforehand.”

      Josephus had acted as a mediator for the Romans and, when negotiations failed, witnessed the siege and aftermath. He wrote:

      Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done), [Titus] Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and Temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as they were of the greatest eminence; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison [in the Upper City], as were the towers [the three forts] also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall [surrounding Jerusalem], it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it [Jerusalem] had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind. And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing; for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change. For the war had laid all signs of beauty quite waste. Nor had anyone who had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again. But though he [a foreigner] were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it.

"The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination."

Josephus claims that 1.1 million people were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish, and that 97,000 were captured and enslaved.

Many fled to areas around the Mediterranean. Titus reportedly refused to accept a wreath of victory, saying that the victory did not come through his own efforts but that he had merely served as an instrument of God's wrath.

Rickey H. Crosby (Petitor Veritatis) 

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Iranian Jews (Persia)

Iranian Jews (Persia)

Judaism is among the oldest religions practiced in Iran and the Biblical Book of Esther contains references to the experiences of the Jews in Persia. Jews have had a continuous presence in Iran since the time of Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire. Cyrus invaded Babylon and freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity. The history of immigrant Jews to Iran goes back to more than 3000 years ago. According to the most recent Iranian census, the Jewish population of Iran is 8,756.

The beginnings of Jewish history in the area of present-day Iran date back to late biblical times. The biblical books of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles, and Esther contain references to the life and experiences of Jews in Persia. In the book of Ezra, the Persian kings are credited with permitting and enabling the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple; its reconstruction was affected "according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia" (Ezra 6:14). This great event in Jewish history took place in the late sixth century BCE, by which time there was a well-established and influential Jewish community in Persia.

Ayatollah Khomeini met with the Jewish community upon his return from exile in Paris, when heads of the community, disturbed by the execution of one of their most distinguished representatives, the industrialist Habib Elghanian, arranged to meet him in Qom. At one point he said:

"In the holy Quran, Moses, salutations upon him and all his kin, has been mentioned more than any other prophet. Prophet Moses was a mere shepherd when he stood up to the might of pharaoh and destroyed him. Moses, the Speaker-to-Allah, represented pharaoh's slaves, the downtrodden, the mostazafeen of his time.”

At the end of the discussion, Khomeini declared that "We recognize our Jews as separate from those godless, bloodsucking Zionists." and issued a fatwa decreeing that the Jews were to be protected.

Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution and allowed one seat in the Majlis. After Israel, it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.

131:5.1 Zoroaster was himself directly in contact with the descendants of the earlier Melchizedek missionaries, and their doctrine of the one God became a central teaching in the religion which he founded in Persia. Aside from Judaism, no religion of that day contained more of these Salem teachings.

97:10.2 When the Jews had been freed by the Persians they returned to Palestine only to fall into bondage to their own priest-ridden code of laws, sacrifices, and rituals. And as the Hebrew clans rejected the wonderful story of God presented in the farewell oration of Moses for the rituals of sacrifice and penance, so did these remnants of the Hebrew nation reject the magnificent concept of the second Isaiah for the rules, regulations, and rituals of their growing priesthood.

Rickey H. Crosby (Petitor Veritatis) 

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