Chapter 22 - The Forces within the New Testament Canon:Metaphysical,Ideological and Material
Among the individuals mentioned in the New Testament there are three Forces which are generally expressed: Metaphysical, Ideological and Material. The presentation of these forces would present to the reader the natural rather than the supernatural disposition of these post-Temple non-violent revolutionaries.
The previous chapters contained exposed the flaw of the various authors of the New Testament claiming a particular metaphysical truth. The flaw is the physical (or spiritual) return of Jesus of Nazareth accompanied by an awaited sign of a New Jerusalem seven decades after the Roman destruction of the city and Temple. This flaw is venial by the application of a supposed Roman principle which is universal: The inclusion of non-members of a particular local tribe or the willingness to accept others outside of your protective circle.
The above idea is termed "expanding circle", elaborated by Peter Singer, is to expand your circle of altruism to others outside your local concern. Nevertheless, the idea proposed by Peter Singer has been applied by the Roman government at certain periods of its existence. Through this natural evolution, the leaders of the early Christian community, were able to survive and outlive other sects which developed around the Second Temple era. Yes, there were many messianic movements which were as equally influential as the movement associated with Jesus of Nazareth. The groups: Theudas, groups during the procuratorship of Felix, the Egyptian, unnamed figure under Festus, unnamed figure before the Second Temple's destruction, Jonathan the Sicarius, Onias, etc.
There is also a confusion concerning the deeds of Jesus son of Ananias and Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus son of Ananias existed and preached four years before the Second Temple's destruction and was killed(or assassinated) by a Roman spear when the Temple was attacked by the Romans. Strangely, he had done similar things and acts in which Jesus of Nazareth was attributed to in the New Testament Canon.
There is evidence to suggest that when the Gospel writers revised and edited parts of their Gospels (documents), years later, they may have copied the deeds of Jesus son of Ananias and attributed those deeds to their messiah - Jesus of Nazareth.
One thing that must be stated is the evolution of the term "messiah" into a different meaning altogether. It evolved into something more emphatic in stating that a man has become god. This evolution could be seen through the Gospels of Matthew and John were parts of these gospels seems more Jewish in tone and parts of it more convincing to a Gentile (non-Jewish) audience.
Despite these later editions; revisions, and even the changing of the original intent of the Gospel writers these actions have shown how a natural movement could evolve into a great force within humanity utilizing three forces: Metaphysical experiences, Ideological preservation and Material justice.
The Metaphysical experience is intertwined with the other two forces previously mentioned. The verse which expresses all three forces within the Book of Revelation is Revelation 13:17. The verse presented represents the three forces mentioned but is evidence of an expired message concerning Jesus return. The triple point equilibrium phased verse, Revelation 13:17, presents all three forces being enforced through an oppressive theonomy. However, through the oppression and constant vigilant message of various early Christian leaders Christian theonomy prevailed. The verse actually is evidence of the triumph of the Christian theonomy over the Roman imperial theonomy of Nero Caesar:
" And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name".
The five terms above presents the conclusion that John's message within the Book of Revelation has expired by default. The previous subject revolved around the marketplace during Roman times where the Roman imperial theonomy was enforced. Furthermore, when the Roman imperial theonomy was disregarded by Constantine the issue of Jesus return was proven to be false or in error or a fallacy.
What is the evidence?
The subject of "wormwood" is not even stated but yet the seventy years false prediction could be supported by the victory of the Christian Roman government over the Roman imperial theonomy because the enforcement of the idols in the marketplace is no longer a material reality. The main issue is empirical data over ideology and this has been proven again by the material reality and the enforcement of public policy skewed for the new Christian Roman theonomy through Emperor Constantine. Remember, the conflict has been the issue of the consumption of foods sacrificed to idols which is expressed though the existence of metaphysical marks on skin:
Revelation 2:14, 1st Corinthians 8:4, Romans 9:8, Acts 21:25, Revelation 13:16, Revelation 14:9, Revelation 15:2, Revelation 16:2, Revelation 19:12, Revelation 19:20, Revelation 20:4, Revelation 22:4, Revelation 9:4, and Ezekiel 9:4.
All of the previous fourteen verses above present the theory that when the theonomic changes occurred, with the change of government through Emperor Constantine, the Book of Revelation became irrelevant and an example of a false prediction. The change of government which created a change in public policy, the result being that all of the subjects previously mentioned - "Hell", "Lake of Fire", "Heaven", and "New Jerusalem" - became irrelevant and false. In other words, the Book of Revelation has become a natural manifesto rather than a supernatural letter to the early churches or congregations. For instance, the mention of "idols" in the verse of Revelation 9:20 is evidence of a false prediction. These Roman idols in the marketplace, no longer existed after the verdicts of Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicea. Furthermore, the return of Jesus of Nazareth never occurred within the seventy years "wormwoood" time span and before the conversion of Emperor Constantine. The previous two signposts exposed the "prophecy" of John to be in error. The seventy years "wormwood" (Revelation 8:11) signpost expired in A.D. 140 because the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. The conversion of emperor Constantine to Christianity was also an important milestone or signpost because "the idols in the marketplace" (Revelation 2:14) was no longer a public policy and therefore no longer relevant or an hindrance to the early Christian community. The previous is a metaphysical miscalculation which never materialized and the latest milestone, an epistemological materialization, eliminated the verses stated within the Book of Revelation concerning the "marks". The "marks" are initiated through avoiding or participating in the "buying and selling" of foods within the Roman marketplace which contained idols. If the Christian believer avoided the marketplace before the supposed return of Jesus then they had the "mark of god" and if they participated in the marketplace they were branded with the "Mark of the beast". Therefore, the previous observation proved the fallacy contained within the Book of Revelation.
The evidence above now has provided the clue of who is mentioned as beast(s) within the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. The beasts are Seneca and Nero Caesar. Nevertheless, the main beast mentioned is Nero Caesar the Roman emperor during the specific time span of which the Book of Revelation was intended to be addressed and fulfilled.
The metaphysical error presented previously and which includes 'The Twenty theses against Christian Millennialism' (located in chapter thirteen of this book - Book of Revolution) is further proven. The review of the timeline would present that Revelation 20:10 is in error because of Revelation 20:14 and the plethora of evidence previous presented:
The metaphysical error:
Before A.D. 70 - Paul mentions the Dispensationalism doctrine which includes the desecration of the Temple which would result in the rapture of the Christian believers, Paul expected a repeat of Daniel's historical events of the material timeline and not a complete destruction of the Jewish Temple (1st Corinthians 9:17, Colossians 1:25, 1st Corinthians 7:26-29, Ephesians 3:2-3, and 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4). Only two bodies of work express the Dispensationalist doctrine: The Gospel of Matthew and various letters of Paul of Tarsus. However, Paul challenges Matthew 10:5-15 by stating the universal union of both Jewish-Christians and Gentile Christians by adopting the ideal Roman standard (Romans 11:23-26). The Gospel of Mark is composed to express Paul's ideal. The exchange between Paul and other Christians allows for the creation of letters between members because of ideological clashes between the Christian members. The issue of foods sacrificed to idols became a main issue of contention (1st Corinthians chapter eight). John left Paul after the composition of the Book of Hebrews by John (2nd Corinthians 12:1-9). Paul is martyred by Nero and this event creates the Gospel of Mark. The Roman emperor's action is never forgotten by John because he forever labels Nero as "666"(Revelation 13:18) even though it was Vespasian who destroys the Temple, eventhough it was general Titus on the battlefield, in A.D. 70 five years after Nero's demise and suicide. John addresses the issue of a failed prediction committed by both Paul and Matthew through the Epistles of John which were composed after the Temple's destruction. Then the Gospel of John is created to address issues arising out of the Temple's destruction and the doubts created within the Christian movement. In the Epistle of John, the issue of the spirit of anti-Christ is addressed and shown to be anyone after Nero. The making and distribution of the Gospel of John leads to the arrest and exile of John to the island of Patmos where he writes the Book of Revelation expressing a new timeline of a seventy years waiting and thousand years reign and its composition was intended to keep the nascent messianic movement in play for years to come.
A.D. 70 - The Temple destroyed and Paul's Dispensationalism theory is refuted by the actual events and it forces a few leaders within the Christian movement to become more aggressive. Paul was martyred years earlier by Nero. The last Gospel; the Gospel of John, presented a more direct refutation towards the stoics, the Roman empire and the Jewish Temple priests. It forces officials to arrest John which then they sent him to the island of Patmos where he composes the Book of Revelation. The last testament of John revises Paul's error and introduces a "Great Tribulation" era after the "Tribulation" of Paul which happened at A.D. 70. The earlier gospels and other New Testament letters do not mention "the Lake of Fire". The foods sacrificed to idols were always an issue between Paul and other early Christian leaders. John, in the Book of Revelation, mentions the importance of not eating foods sacrificed to idols because those participating with the system would receive a "mark of the beast". The mention was more direct and also presented the "mark of god" and the "mark of the beast" as opposite metaphysical forces.
After A.D. 70 - The Great Tribulation era has begun with the destruction of the Temple. There is no mention of souls being punished in "Hell" but rather John mentions the role of "the Lake of Fire" as being assigned for this role (Revelation 20:10,20:14 and 21:8). Which is it, the souls are in the ground before rapture or are they sent to either "Hell" or "Heaven"? The writer of the Book of Revelation is ambiguous on this subject. Revelation 20:10 and 21:8 contradicts each other because it is either punishment or a second death or annihilation? The Great Tribulation is supposed to endure for seventy years because of Revelation 8:11 and the term "wormwood" associated with the length of duration previously mentioned with the Babylonian captivity (Revelation 13:10). Furthermore, those who buy and sell foods sacrificed to idols at the Roman marketplace are given an invisible or symbolic "mark of the Beast".
A.D. 140 - John's rapture is supposed to occur. The evil or negative entities are thrown into the Lake of Fire and not "Hell" (Revelation 19:11 and 19:20). Question: what happened to "Hell" and its role? The Thousand year reign of Jesus of Nazareth begins with the Christian believers ruling the Earth with Jesus.
A.D. 1140 - Revelation chapter twenty occurs after a thousand years. A second resurrection occurs without any hints of the role of "Hell". The disbelievers were also simply sleeping until the second resurrection. The definition of "rapture" is formed separating a difference between the two: one with Jesus and the other without Jesus.
After A.D. 1140 - All of the negatives or "evil" entities are thrown into "the Lake of Fire". Is it a punishment duration of the soul or a complete obliteration of the soul? The "new Jerusalem" appears and removes the role of "Heaven". There is no more "Hell" or "Death" (Revelation 20:14). Question: Revelation chapter twenty-two states a new role for humanity loyal to Jesus? Since, it is known that Jesus was a new Adam (Romans 5:14 and 1st Timothy 2:13-15) and the new man as a copying image with a new supernatural relationship (1st Corinthians 15:22-27 and Ephesians 2:15). The previous evidence corresponds with Revelation chapter twenty-two.
The presented evidence above is a metaphysical expression but a flawed one. The writer and author of the Book of Revelation, John, does not explain the role of "Hell" during the whole timeline. It seems that "Hell" does not exist since it was expressed as a separate entity in Revelation 20:14. The reason is that John does not distinguish the role of "Hell" and "the Lake of Fire". The next presentation is an epistemological one because it truly materialized and it would abrogate the commands concerning the "foods" in the marketplace in Revelation 2:14.
The conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine and his co-authored edict of Milan removed these stated obstacles mentioned by John in A.D. 313. The Council of Nicea also brought further freedoms to Christians in A.D. 325. Therefore, there are two types of evidence which have exposed the Book of Revelation "prophecies" or false predictions to be shown:
1) The metaphysical error: The buying and selling of foods sacrificed to idols initiates the "mark of the Beast" which is an example of the clash between marketplace ideologies. The "wormwood" inference given by John presents the flaw of the seventy years "captivity" to his readers.
2) The state enforced Roman marketplace ideology which changed through the Edict of Milan by Emperor Constantine.
The theory is presented: The existence of "the mark of the beast" was supposed to replace "Hell" and "Heaven" until the predicted A.D. 140 appearance of the Messiah Jesus of Nazareth. All of the individuals who have existed during this era are neither in "Hell" nor "Heaven" but are rather marked with one or the other. In other words, either "the mark of God" or "the mark of the beast" while buried in the ground until the rapture or the second resurrection.
The result of the conflict between Nero Caesar's Theonomy versus The Christian Theonomy was the victorious synthesis of the Christian faith and Roman government. The synthesis, which materialized in the historical timeline, abrogated John's prediction because of the "food" order or regulation mentioned in the treatise. John's treatise is now a natural manifesto rather than a supernatural one. Therefore, it expresses the victory of the non-violent Christian revolutionaries over their violent Jewish counterparts who had competing messiahs proclaimed within the same era. The next evidence will present the material reality over the metaphysical error or fallacy within the New Testament canon.
Why did the New Testament writers succeeded despite their false predictions? It was the most liberal ideology of the Roman material era. Despite its similar style of leadership and conservative social codes, the Christian community surpassed the Roman Empire in the concept of the expansion of citizenship among the Christian community. However, the Council of Nicea and other councils suppressed the "Gnostics' and heterodox beliefs circulating among the Christians of the particular era.
One particular verse which expresses a material viewpoint is Romans 15:27. The verse stated by Paul is evidence concerning the importance of material flow acknowledged by one of the earliest Christian community founders. In the book of Acts, Acts 19:23-41, reinforces the importance of material(money) flow especially for the worshippers Artemis. In the same book; Acts 4:32-37, Acts 5:1-11, Acts 8:18, and Acts 24:26. The significance of such acknowledgement is partly the reason for the success of Christianity among some of the Jewish and mostly Gentile population. There are several proofs given to show morale, discipline and mass communication contributed greatly to the success of early Christianity.
One of the scholars of European history gives an account of the early Christian community's success: " Lastly, the Christian religion took over from Judaism an uncompromising monotheism. It was a religion that declared every other to be false, a religion at once exclusive and aggressive. Therein lay an avowed hostility to the Roman imperial system that was to invite persecution; yet therein lay also the strength that was to bring triumph " (SOURCE: Mediaeval History: Europe from the second to the sixteenth century. 4th ed., pg. 43, Carl Stephenson). The source given by the scholar, Carl Stephenson, elaborates how the distinction between secular and religious public duty was never recognized by the Roman state officials. The Roman public was liberal to accept all forms of gods into the public square but demanded a sign of faith to the god of the ruler. The Christians became a target because of their unwillingness to offer or show signs of loyalty to the ruler's god in public. The unwillingness was interpreted by the Roman rulers as sedition and many Christian were then martyred for their faith. The source does not say that it was a mixture of all faiths into one but rather it was simply the recognition by others to show signs of support to the ruler's god. The historical example would create an ideological clash at the marketplace where the gods were honored by all Roman individuals who had their own personal gods. The reminder is given of how it is written in Daniel where loyal Jews refused to bow down to a foreign god (Daniel 3:12) and this example was copied later in the case of the many types of gods liberally permitted by the Roman authorities at the marketplaces (Revelation 2:14 and 2:20) and this was presented by John, symbolically, as "prostitution" (Revelation 17:1).
Another scholar expresses the previous success, " In 311 the emperor Galerius recognized that persecution had failed and issued an edict of toleration making Christianity a legal religion in the east.....Constantine won the battle, and in 313 he issued the Edict of Milan, which legalized Christianity throughout the Empire and put it on a par with all the pagan cults " (SOURCE: Civilization past and present. 4th ed.,pg 126; Scott, Foresman and Company). The previous examples shows the importance of material benefit (Romans 15:27) which supported the ideological struggle and reinforced the metaphysical belief system by a group of believers. Paul's role of the Christian movement was crucial in the fact of his realistic or practical methods and observations which influenced even the writer of the Book of Revelation years after Paul's martyrdom.
For it was Paul's universi tribal concept borrowed from the Roman system which allowed the initial success of the Christian movements message into the Gentile world (Romans chapter eleven). The cause of such a revolutionary idea may have derived from Paul’s temporal or carnal observation but it was also a revision of Matthew 10:5-15. Another scholar, Norman F. Cantor, describes how the capture of state power contributed to the material reality of Christian theonomic governance: " The "reforms" of Diocletian and Constantine did hold the fort for a century until the church was strong enough to take over leadership of society in the fifth century. "(SOURCE: Medieval History: The Life and Death of a Civilization. 2nd ed., pg.23, Norman F. Cantor). The previous author gives a great presentation of the various theories concerning the material downfall of the Roman Empire. The author of the previous source does state his own opinion in the next line which suggest that Christianity was not the solution to the problem but actually contributed further the downfall of European civilization. The problem really is the replacement of a theonomic system with another which never addressed the material reality of the populace. Paul earlier has even given absurd economic solutions to several problems and gave a simple economic observation or a temporary solution addressed towards to the nascent Christian community. It has been proven that both Paul and John had both given false predictions concerning, initially, to the desecration of the Temple and later to the return of Jesus of Nazareth. The Edict of Milan helped materially and this must be highlighted because without material support the faith of Christianity would have never succeeded. The previous problem creates a question: Where was the 'hand of God' in the rebuilding of the Temple (Isaiah 54:15-17)? According to Isaiah, it occurred after the seventy years of exile in Babylon but there was no materialization of a returning Jesus. According to John, Jesus is the Temple (Revelation 21:22) therefore it was expected that Jesus return was to occur seventy years after the Roman destruction of the Temple.
Another scholar states: " Early in 313 Constantine and Licinius met at Milan to co-ordinate their rule. To consolidate Christian support in all provinces, Constantine and Licinius issued an "Edict of Milan," confirming the religious toleration proclaimed by Galerius, extending it to all religions, and ordering the restoration of Christian properties seized during the recent persecutions. After this historic declaration, which in effect conceded the defeat of paganism, " (SOURCE: Caesar and Christ. 9th ed., pg. 654, Will Durant).
The Edict of Milan:
" When we, Constantine and Licinius, emperors, had an interview at Milan, and conferred together with respect to the good and security of the commonweal, it seemed to us that, amongst those things that are profitable to mankind in general, the reverence paid to the Divinity merited our first and chief attention, and that it was proper that the Christians and all others should have liberty to follow that mode of religion which to each of them appeared best; so that that God, who is seated in heaven, might be benign and propitious to us, and to every one under our government. And therefore we judged it a salutary measure, and one highly consonant to right reason, that no man should be denied leave of attaching himself to the rites of the Christians, or to whatever other religion his mind directed him, that thus the supreme Divinity, to whose worship we freely devote ourselves, might continue to vouchsafe His favour and beneficence to us. And accordingly we give you to know that, without regard to any provisos in our former orders to you concerning the Christians, all who choose that religion are to be permitted, freely and absolutely, to remain in it, and not to be disturbed any ways, or molested. And we thought fit to be thus special in the things committed to your charge, that you might understand that the indulgence which we have granted in matters of religion to the Christians is ample and unconditional; and perceive at the same time that the open and free exercise of their respective religions is granted to all others, as well as to the Christians. For it befits the well-ordered state and the tranquillity of our times that each individual be allowed, according to his own choice, to worship the Divinity; and we mean not to derogate aught from the honour due to any religion or its votaries. Moreover, with respect to the Christians, we formerly gave certain orders concerning the places appropriated for their religious assemblies; but now we will that all persons who have purchased such places, either from our exchequer or from any one else, do restore them to the Christians, without money demanded or price claimed, and that this be performed peremptorily and unambiguously; and we will also, that they who have obtained any right to such places by form of gift do forthwith restore them to the Christians: reserving always to such persons, who have either purchased for a price, or gratuitously acquired them, to make application to the judge of the district, if they look on themselves as entitled to any equivalent from our beneficence.
“All those places are, by your intervention, to be immediately restored to the Christians. And because it appears that, besides the places appropriated to religious worship, the Christians did possess other places, which belonged not to individuals, but to their society in general, that is, to their churches, we comprehend all such within the regulation aforesaid, and we will that you cause them all to be restored to the society or churches, and that without hesitation or controversy: Provided always, that the persons making restitution without a price paid shall be at liberty to seek indemnification from our bounty. In furthering all which things for the behoof of the Christians, you are to use your utmost diligence, to the end that our orders be speedily obeyed, and our gracious purpose in securing the public tranquillity promoted. So shall that divine favour which, in affairs of the mightiest importance, we have already experienced, continue to give success to us, and in our successes make the commonweal happy. And that the tenor of this our gracious ordinance may be made known unto all, we will that you cause it by your authority to be published everywhere. "
The inference develops into a hypothesis expressed through the material timeline: "The Roman Material Theory" which is the thesis of the forces mentioned previously. The hypothesis given exposes the real effect of the forces which is the corruption of the state by a few within the corporate entity. The cause of the forces is the imposition of slave or cheap labor which diminishes citizen participation within the state entity causing social disturbances and political instability.