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Yeshua didn't even begin his public ministry until he was spiritually
mature, and his suffering and death represented not something called for or
inevitable, but rather the FAILURE of mankind at the time to open the mind
and understand his message and his Gospel. - Site Author
The 12 Disciples
Why should we be critical of the 12 disciples?
First of all, let's remember that the disciples were
Israelites, and saturated with the Judaic religion and tradition. This is a "what is", and
doesn't make them worse off in general than the rest of the Israelite
Second, let's understand that Yeshua did not specifically "select" them as
being special, and certainly not with any kind of special "foreknowledge" of
what they would do or become.. His invitation was open for anybody to follow
him, and most of the time his followers gravitated to HIM. Given that Yeshua
may have invited many other men to follow him, it may only SEEM that Yeshua
made any special effort to contact Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip,
Nathaniel (Bartholomew), and Matthew, and those accounts need to
be seen in the same context of his approaching ZacchAeus in the tree. Yeshua
invited others, including the rich young ruler, to follow him in the same
general way, and many did.
A second recurring motif [of
Mark] is the strange obtuseness of Yeshua's followers, who are represented as
incapable of understanding almost anything their Master says or does. When
Yeshua stills a storm the disciples are impressed but unaware of the act's
significance (Mark 4:35-41). After his feeding of the multitudes, the
disciples "had not understood the intent of the loaves" (Mark 6: 52). After
listening for months to Yeshua's teaching, they are still ignorant of what
this 'rising from the dead' could mean (Mark 9:9-10). They not only fail to
comprehend the meaning of sharing in Yeshua's glory, (Mark 10:35-41, even the
simplest, most obvious parables escape their understanding Mark 4:10-13). As
Yeshua asks, "You do not understand this parable? How will you understand any
parable?" (Mark 4:13) - Harris, Stephen L,
Understanding the Bible, Mayfield Publishing Company, Palo Alto, CA,
For whatever reason, mostly superficial or because of the ancient Israelite
paradigm of twelve tribes, a dozen of his followers became
featured in the Gospel accounts, and became "institutionalized" as a
special, formal group of disciples. Some of the others may not have been as free to roam
around the country as these twelve were, but we can hardly imagine that these
twelve were more astute, enlightened or special than were Mary, Martha and
Lazarus, and especially Joseph and Nicodemus.
Also let's acknowledge that for the most part these
twelve men were ignorant lower class fishermen. We can visualize that they
were accustomed to fishing naked at night for a few fish to sell in the
morning, and were NOT used to thinking about nor discussing philosophical or
theological issues. And when he was trying to warn them and prepare them for
his crucifixion and ordeal. Yeshua even had to advise them to refrain from
Consider Peter! He sets the standard for the gregarious,
intellectually irresponsible, emotional man who wasn't into contemplation of his own fallibility nor
much of anything else. It is hard to see that he learned anything from his time with
Yeshua except a little humility.
Sealed in the truth?
There is a concept extant in Christendom that the disciples were "sealed
in the truth. For the most part, they were "sealed" all right, but not in
the truth. To be sealed in the truth means that you have entered the
Kingship of the Heavens, and most of the twelve disciples never did this.
private confessions and absolutions
One of the worst, most confused mistranslations done by
New Testament translators of Christendom is the one in
John 20:23. Contrary
to what most "authorized" translations have him saying here, Yeshua is not
giving his disciples authority to seal judgment on the "sins" (fundamentally
wrong concepts of God) of others. This was not a license to become "Fathers"
and hear confessions from underlings and give absolution! Rather, any sins
that the disciples were able to "dismiss" in others, in the same way as Yeshua did, would come through their exposition of the truth that set men
free, NOT from hearing private confessions..
Yeshua is at the end of his
ministry, his all out effort to cleanse our thinking of dreadfully wrong
concepts of God, and now he can do no more. This is his benediction, his coming to
terms with the fact that the disciples and followers had retained a great
deal of misunderstanding in their thinking. He is addressing this
regrettable result, and Mankind has paid a heavy price for their
carelessness, dullness, intellectual irresponsibility and spiritual apathy.
Even though Yeshua has "explained everything"
(Mark 4:33-34; see also Mark 8:31-32) and the disciples have presumably
recognized him as the Messiah (Mark 8:27-32), they desert him after his
arrest (Mark 14:50). Peter, who had earlier confessed Yeshua to be the
Messiah, three times denies knowing him (Mark 14:66-72). Almost the only
character in Mark who perceives the meaning of Yeshua's death is an unnamed
Roman centurion who affirms that "truly this man was the son of God!" (Mark
15:39). - Harris, Stephen L,
Understanding the Bible, Mayfield Publishing Company, Palo Alto, CA,
These are the men that Christendom has made into idols,
and worship as having been "sealed" into the truth? Pathetic!
Apparently only two of these wrote anything that indicated they understood the message of Yeshua,
and that only after the resurrection. John was probably more amenable because he
was so young and therefore with a fresher mind less hardened in Judaism, and Thomas, probably
because he was more of a critical thinker and less spiritually gullible.,
who at least THOUGHT about the issues. Why else was Thomas the only one with
whom Yeshua had private conversation and confided the MOST radical thinking?
See: Thomas 13,14.
Suffice it to say, that during his time with them they were not really getting their
minds on the track laid out for them. They were not asking Yeshua good,
relevant, insightful questions, not listening to his entire message, and
especially not believing it. The lack of questions that were asking is
appalling, and implies minds that were not awake and active. They were no doubt fascinated with Yeshua, felt
loved, and felt that they were a part of something special. but this is far
from meaning that they were being intellectually responsible or that they
understood the Gospel or conceived the Kingship of the heavens.
For the most part, these followers proved to be
impervious to the truth and understanding that Yeshua was trying to foster, and yet
took it upon themselves to be God's special representatives, otherwise known
as apostles. Specifically, Yeshua told them a half dozen times that he was
going to be killed and resurrected, and yet when it happened they were
shocked and devastated by his death and incredulous about his resurrection.
The end result was that only a few–maybe only two–came to their senses after
the resurrection, but the rest not only did not, but died or were killed.
How ironic and tragic that these latter including their misunderstandings became the
basis for the world's largest and most powerful yet false religion.
Let's be mindful of this account:
Thomas 43. His disciples said to him, "Who are you, that you should
say these things to us?" Yeshua said to them, "You do not realize who I
am from what I say to you, but you have become like the Jews, for they
either love the tree and hate its fruit or love the fruit and hate the tree."
Commentary: Being spiritually blind and mind-heart hardened, most of
Yeshua's disciples misunderstood his message and mission, and missed the
significance and the great redemption that Yeshua came to inaugurate.
They became spiritually schizophrenic and unable to enter the kingship
of the heavens. They were incapable of realizing that this was the Original
human being, the original Creator of the Universe come to give them and all
the universe an age-ending demonstration for all time.
Much ado has been made over their squabbles and petty
competition for a high place in their expected future hierarchy, but these minor
foibles pale in comparison to their more serious intellectual and spiritual
deficiencies. Instead of being ignored, excused or glossed over, the
disciples' failures should be legendary and featured. We can hardly do worse
unless we simply repeat their mistakes.. Among other things, they failed:
- to recognize what and who Yeshua really was
- to pay more than minimal attention to what he was saying
- to realize that his message was NOT compatible with their current beliefs
- to ask relevant questions and expect or demand to understand
- to overcome their racism and illusion of superiority over the gentiles
- to understand that Yeshua was the incarnation and public, tangible demonstration
of the Creator, his nature, his character, and his values
- to see that his nature is to serve, not to dominate
- to come into the unity for which he so passionately and eloquently asked
- to overcome their hierarchal paradigm of organizational and social order
- to capitalize on the tremendous privilege that they were granted
- to stay together and form a genuine ecclesia and a
core of believers that would grow exponentially
- to bring a resolution and end to the human condition
Among other unfortunate developments. these failures have led to:
- a formal and rigid leadership structure
- the institutionalization of Christendom
- the Christian alliance with the secular powers
- the Christian amalgamation with the Greek mystery
- the retention of the triune polytheism (the
- the Christian retention of the Zoroastrian dualism
(Lord-of-Darkness Devil versus Lord-of-Light Yeshua)
- the Christian reification of spirit into a
ghostly entity or member of the Godhead
- the Christian reification of evil and the
original lie into a literal devil with legions of literal, depraved demons
- the Christian reification of the Kingship of
the Heavens into a literal, tangible territory in the universe called
- the adoption of a literal Hell with unspeakable
eternal punishment by burning unforgiven sinners alive
- the Christian retention of the Saturnian God paradigm
- the Christian retention of legalism, and a pretentious
system to overcome it
- a proliferation of ancient but now empty rites,
sacraments, ceremonies, liturgies, icons and symbols
- the sacralization of architecture and buildings
- the Christian fragmentation into different
major divisions, denominations, orders and sects
- a morass of confusion and doctrinal disunity
- the eventual barbaric Christian oppression and savagery
symbolized and represented by the inquisition and its "remedies"
- the adoption of the "waiting for the Lord to
- a new idolatry based on Bibliolatry, worship of
the disciples, Mariology, and faith in the Church
To the educated and enlightened believer in Yeshua,
this all seems so dark, foreboding, primitive and retarded.
If you grant that the inauguration of the salvation of the human race
depends upon coming into unity on everything that matters, the close
disciples failed miserably in this regard. Instead of staying together and
doing this, they evidently for the most part went their separate ways.
Thomas was the one that understood the most, and yet he either did not
understand this, or he tried and failed, and went off to Ceylon in disgust
seeking some people in a different culture that were not so saturated with
the false Hebrew paradigm. Maybe it took John a long time to realize this
truth and that the Christianity that developed around him was never going to
be fruitful. Thus he belatedly wrote his corrective Gospel as he was never
going to come into unity with the community around him. Who knows what
attempts he made before he also left the area?
The bottom line is that the perversity and failure
of these so-called apostles have essentially condemned the human race to
another 2,000* years of misery under the human condition. As such, these
failures are monstrous and are
nothing short of outrageous and deplorable! When these disciples realize the
opportunity that they missed, they will be embarrassed until the whole sordid mess
is forgotten in the future ongoing celebration of life and the Kingship. Except for
John and Thomas, they will NEVER be regarded as greater than Mary the
prostitute and her siblings, the FRIENDS of Yeshua!
* 1300 years in the CE chronology favored by this site.