Myths, Traditions, and Fake News
Nov 30, 2018
Greek and Roman Religion in the days of the apostles was based on myths that were told eloquently by Homer and other story-telling philosophers. No one believed those myths. Every thinking man knew that the stories were not true. But this did not matter, because men were supposed to derive nice lessons from them. In the process, their gods were of flawed character, super men acting more like one would expect if men became suddenly immortal. The idea that a deeply flawed man might acquire godlike powers and immortality is a nightmare.
By contrast, the Hebrew Bible was a history book, and though many have claimed that the supernatural events were myth-based, it is the record of a supernatural God who is not only a good God but a God whose chief virtue is love—self-sacrificing love for all men, including His enemies. To die for the truth is godly; to die for a myth is insanity.
The apostles were not myth-makers but witnesses of truth embodied in Jesus Christ. Their accounts of the resurrection could be proven by first-hand testimony and the results in their own lives. Most of them died for the truth that they knew. We would be hard pressed to find anyone who would be willing to die for a lie or a myth, unless they had been brainwashed.
J. R. R. Tolkein has a good line in his series, Lord of the Rings, “I have to believe that there is something good in this world that is worth dying for.” In the story, it sustained them, gave them strength against all odds, and above all, gave them hope.
Pagan myth-makers won admiration and patronage for their beautiful poetry and prose, but they lost their legitimacy by separating religion from history. In other words, they created fake news, while the apostles spread the good news of the gospel. Mythology trained the Greeks to allegorize everything, rather than to ground truth in actual historical events. The Hebrew culture, as long as it was not unduly influenced by Greek philosophy, was rooted in history.
Likewise, whereas the Greeks looked for truth in philosophy, the Hebrews devoted themselves to the study of truth in the law. The Jews of the first century had missed many truths by misunderstanding and misapplying the law, of course. Their beliefs increasingly were “traditions of men,” that is, non-revelatory opinions about the meaning of the law. Yet their overall culture was more conducive to truth, because they did not pretend to believe myths.
Traditions of Men and Fake News
Jesus corrected much that had gone wrong in first-century Jewish religion. A big part of his correction was in the area of equality and freedom. He liberated women and slaves. He gave equal status to non-Jews. In so doing, he tore down the dividing wall (Ephesians 2:14) that had kept woman and gentiles from approaching God. The law of God never commanded that such a wall should divide the people and keep most people at a distance from God’s presence.
To the extent that the Jewish rabbis twisted the Scriptures, they created their own myths about the character of God and His plan of salvation. Today’s secularist government employs their own myth-makers. We call them the mainstream press, and it is known to us as “fake news.” The largest and most influential news organizations are owned by the Babylonian rulers whose main objective is to turn evil men into gods and vilify God as evil.
The source of authority in any civilization is very important, for it will determine the nature of the culture, the government, and the liberty and happiness of the people. First one must decide whether there is a God or not and if governments are accountable to that God. Second, if the culture recognizes God, one must choose which God to follow or emulate, since the gods of men are all believed to have different character traits. The accepted god of society determines the social and moral values, which the government then supports and defends.
Whereas carnal men value power over weakness and fear over love, Paul gloried in his weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), and John showed that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). There is a stark contrast between these two cultural systems and their forms of government. If men believe in a god who is more concerned with maintaining power than with love, their belief will be reflected in the religious culture and their government will move toward Totalitarianism.
Rome was totalitarian in nature, forcing everyone literally to worship the emperors as gods. The Roman Church adopted the same totalitarian principle, forcing men to worship the popes as if they were God and to submit to Church decisions whether they were biblically right or wrong. The people lost the right to think for themselves and (more importantly) to hear God for themselves in a direct and personal relationship with Him.
The indirect relationship with God put the church into the position of a bond woman (Hagar), whereas God had ordained that we should be a “free woman” company (Sarah). Slaves do not have the right to obey God without the consent of the master. In the end, the slave woman cannot bring forth the inheritor of the Kingdom. Hence, Paul says that Isaac was born of Sarah, the free woman (Galatians 4:31).
Two Kinds of Church
In the Old Testament, the first real monarch was King Saul, whose government was based upon fear (1 Samuel 12:19, 20) and the carnal desire to be ruled by man (1 Samuel 8:7). The people did not realize that they were asking to become enslaved to men. They were tired of being judged by God every time they fell into idolatry. Because of their violation of the law, they had spent a third of their time in Canaan under foreign domination in six distinct captivities.
They thought that if they had a king like the other nations they could be free. They did not understand that the path to freedom was in submitting to God and obeying His commands. Though God gave them the best man in the land, the ultimate result was that their king would be a taker, not a giver (1 Samuel 8:11-18). He would be an oppressor, not a freedom fighter. Though Saul did quite well his first year, he began to slide into Totalitarianism and rebellion against God as early as his second year (1 Samuel 13:1 KJV).
Saul’s name was prophetic. His name means “asked for,” because the people had asked for a king to rule them. After 40 years of reigning, he was replaced by King David, whose name means “beloved.” Both kings were prophetic of the type of government yet to come in the church. The first was the result of illicit desire, which ended in fear and tyranny; the second was motivated by love, which alone can bring freedom. The first king set aside God’s law, which hangs upon the principle of love; the second king honored God’s law of love.
Pentecost in Acts 2, in the long term, was the coronation of King Saul, for we read in 1 Samuel 12:17 that Saul was crowned on the feast of Pentecost (“wheat harvest”). The early church did well in the first Jubilee cycle after Pentecost, even as Saul did well in the first year of his reign. But afterward, problems began to emerge until the church became a full-blown oppressor, killing and torturing dissidents, and degenerating into utter immorality by the year 915 A.D. Catholic citizens of the city of Rome became highly cynical, believing that the Church was indeed of God, but wishing that it were not so. This history was written largely by churchmen themselves, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals.
But we are now coming into the era of King David, who replaced Saul. We know it as the coming Kingdom, an era where love is dominant. Those who will rule and reign with Christ on the earth in the Age to come are those schooled by the sauls of the earth, those who have learned the meaning of love.
History shows us that this Kingdom has not come all at once. The Reformation gave us the first major transition from Saul to David. It was an era corresponding to the time when Saul persecuted David. At the same time David did much of the work that Saul was called to do. But it was an era when David was called but not yet given the authority to be king.
The second transition from Saul to David came in a 7½ year period from May 30, 1993 to November 30, 2000. It began on the 40th Jubilee of the Church Age (from Pentecost of 33 A.D.) But Scripture also tells us that David first received only partial authority for the first 7½ years of his reign. He ruled just one tribe (Judah) from the city of Hebron (2 Samuel 5:5). Hence, we monitored the 7½ years from 1993-2000 and saw firsthand the increase in spiritual authority granted to the overcomers to do the required work of spiritual warfare.
To prepare for the Kingdom, God first dealt with the religious problem of the Saul Church before overthrowing the “secular” authorities depicted by the succession of beast empires in Daniel 7. Hence, David replaced Saul from 1993 to 2000, but the saints of the Most High were given authority over the beast systems in general in October 2017.
Each had its own unique set of prophecies based on two different time frames, as I have explained in other places. As we prepare our hearts, let us understand that no son of the bondwoman is eligible to rule and reign with Christ in the Age to come. One must be children of the free woman to be so “chosen.” Our mandate is primarily to learn the difference. Our faith must be based on the New Covenant (Sarah), not the Old (Hagar).
We must be motivated by love and not fear. We must understand that freedom does not come by putting away the law but by having it written in our hearts. Being free from the power of sin is not the same as being free from the authority of the law, which is the word of God. Lawless ones, whether they are miracle workers or not, will only hear Jesus’ words in the end: “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness” (anomia).
Truth is important. Let us embrace the truth of the word that the Spirit of God imparts to us, so that we do not perpetuate myths, traditions of men, or fake news.