Good Friday is a very important day in Christianity, as it is believed by the entire Christendom that Lord Jesus, Son of God, died on the cross for the sins of his followers. This is considered to be the main pillar in Christianity. The entire Christian belief revolves around this belief.
When a baby is born in a Christian home, it is baptised; this is how the life starts of a Christian. Baptism is very important according to the Christian faith. When the baby is born, he is born with original sin. Through baptism, that sin is removed from the baby. In the olden times, baptism was carried out by putting the baby down in water. Now, the priest may sprinkle drops of holy water on the baby to baptise it.
What Christianity said is not wrong. However, there has to be an explanation. Original sin comes from Adam when he went against the will of God. God said to him, ‘Do not touch this tree,’ and he did. Sin, itself, doesn’t have to be an act that is bad in nature. Rather, sin is disobedience.
For example, a baby is sleepy and the mother says to the baby, ‘Don’t sleep.’ The mother has her plans; if the baby sleeps now, then the mother won’t be able to sleep later. To sleeping is not bad; but the mother said, ‘Do not sleep,’ so if the baby sleeps, this is disobedience.
Anything, as long as God does not forbid you from doing it, is okay.
For example, some Jews and Christians believe that Prophet Mohammad is from an illegitimate offspring of Abraham; because Ishmael, Abraham;s other son, was born to a concubine. Such people need to understand God must have allowed Abraham to keep a woman as a concubine, without marriage. When a common man does that, he is not allowed by God to do it; therefore it is a sin. However, God allowed Abraham to do it, so it is not a sin. Therefore, this concept that Prophet Mohammad came from the offspring of an illegitimate child of Abraham is wrong.
So, a sin basically does not have to be a bad act. A sin is a sort of conviction which is granted to people who disobey God.
After this explanation, it is easy to translate what the original sin is.
Original sin is that, by nature, a human being is disobedient to God.
When you are born in a Christian family, you must go through baptism so that the original sin is removed and you become pure. In the light of Biblical explanation, if you are able to remove the original sin through baptism, it simply means you are no more disobedient to God.
If through baptism, the original sin was removed and you became pure, why do you become disobedient to God and commit sins again?
So you actually do not know what true baptism is.
True baptism is to remove the source of disobedience in you which you were born with: the original sin.
Muslim scholars and Christian scholars debate on this issue, but they never get to the bottom of the truth. According to the Christian faith, every baby born in this world is born with the original sin. According to the Muslim faith, every baby born into this world is born with an evil spirit. It is the same thing.
In one religion, God revealed the result, which is the original sin. In another religion, God revealed the root of that sin. The root of the original sin is the evil spirit. They are two different ends of one thing.
Baptism has two different aspects.
The first aspect is the ritualistic aspect. Festivity is attached with it. You celebrate that the baby is born; you take the baby to the church where it is baptised and you invite people [to share in the festivities]. The other aspect of baptism is the spiritual aspect, in which you remove the original sin and the source of the original sin.
I often say that every religion has two aspects: the outer aspect of the religion and inner dimension of the religion.
Baptism is to purify the baby from the original sin; at the same time, you also celebrate the arrival of the baby.
The inner dimension of baptism is to cast out that evil spirit which carries the original sin.
Obviously, you cannot perform both aspects of baptism at the same time. The outer aspect of baptism is done by the priest in the church. The inner aspect of baptism cannot be done by the priest; you have to do it yourself when you grow up.
You do it as a grown-up; perhaps this is why it is called Second Birth (to be born again).
In Christianity, this is called Second Birth, the Inner Baptism. In Sufi Islam, this is called Purification of the Self. It is the same thing. The God of Christians is not different from the God of Muslims. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are different religions, but God is the same.
I read news that Pope Francis was washing the feet of refugees and kissing them. He was saying, ‘Whether you are a Hindu, Christian, Jew or Muslim, you’re all children of the same God.’
This message of Pope Francis has to go across all countries of the world. All Catholics should adhere to this message as a theology; and at the same time, in their character when they practise their religion.
Bear it in mind that you may be a Hindu, Christian or a Muslim, but we worship the same God. You’re all children of the same God. Whether a Hindu, Christian or Muslim dies, God doesn’t like it.
Exaggeration in Religions
When through baptism, you became pure, then what of the notion that Lord Jesus died for our sins? It is very ironical that in every religion, so many perceptions have become conception. So many opinions of people have been included in religions as part of the religion. Religions and faiths have become opinionated. This is what is causing a lot of rift between these religions.
According to Muslim clerics, when Prophet Mohammad died, the angels allegedly, turn by turn, took Prophet Mohammad’s soul to every single paradise. When they realised that there is no place in any of the paradises which is worthy of accommodating Prophet Mohammad’s soul, they decided to bring back the soul of Prophet Mohammad to the same body from which they took him away. We believe God knows everything; but if this story is to be believed, then God only found out that nothing is worthy of Prophet Mohammad after his soul was taken to each and every paradise! So, this is a concocted story told by Muslim clerics; there is no truth in it.
But how many people in this world want to hear the truth? People believe in mythology and stories. In Pakistan, if somebody says, ‘I am a saint of God,’ the first thing they would want to ask you is, ‘How many miracles have you worked so far?’
A miracle is something that no man can do. For example, man cannot fly. If you could fly, you wouldn’t need a certificate to tell people you are a saint of God; everybody would start bowing at your feet. They would say, ‘This is what you call a saint of God.’
A miracle is that you have power to make happen things which do not happen normally in this phenomenal world.
For example, if it is raining cats and dogs and now someone says, ‘I will command the clouds to move, the rain to stop and the Sun to shine. I am a saint of God,’ people will believe them.
However, if I were to tell people, ‘I am a saint of God,’ they would ask, ‘Okay. Do you perform any miracle?’ I would reply, ‘I will connect you to God.’ They would say, ‘What? We are already connected.’
If somebody is connected to God, they cannot see it. If they cannot see it, they cannot believe it.
For example, restaurant staff started to believe that the new chef was good at his job only after he showed his abilities in the kitchen.
Do not be economical with the truth. If you do not acknowledge the truth, you’re not a good person. Say it. Make the truth be known.
So in every religion, there are stories. Those stories are so fascinating. Without this fascination in those stories, people wouldn’t have bought those stories. If there was no element of fascination or spiritual glamour in these stories, I don’t think people would have bought them. Exaggeration has always been part of religions. If God gave somebody ten grams of divine light, his followers would proclaim, ‘He received a thousand grams of divine light.’
In every religion, there are stories. For example, I met someone in Sri Lanka who said, ‘Kalki Avatar will come in the Dark Ages.’ I said, ‘This is the Dark Age.’ He replied, ‘No. The light is on. It is not the Dark Age because the light is on. Kalki Avatar would come after 5 million years.’ I said, ‘Really?’ He said, ‘Don’t be surprised. I had a neighbour who lived for 5000 years; he just died.’ Some people in India live for 4000-5000 years. If you tell them, ‘His date of birth suggests he was just 65,’ they say, ‘Yeah, but there were another 239 births. Including those, he lived for 5000 years.’
If you tell them the simple and naked truth, they’re not inspired by it.
We have been told fascinating stories about prophets and saints. We were told stories of saints who did not eat for 50 years or who never touched a woman. We were told that a saint’s life is full of miracles; they could [supposedly] fly without wings and never have to defecate. So, even when we become a saint, we still can’t believe we are holy.
These fascinating stories have destroyed our belief system. The belief system we have does not related to our present reality.
Our belief system in every religion is like talking about mythology; stories of the unknown, unseen and unclassified world which we are not part of.
Many times, I thought, ‘Why do you have to correct everything? Just say that Jesus died for our sins.’ But then, Jesus tells me, ‘If you also do not tell people the truth, then you will become disobedient.’
I cannot accept that Jesus can die. God is immortal; he doesn’t die. When you have this belief that Jesus is God, you will also have the same feeling. You will ask yourself, ‘How can he himself die when he is the giver of eternal life?’
When Jesus gives eternal life, how can Jesus run short of his own life?
The main theme of Christianity, as it appears today, is forgiveness of our sins. They say, ‘Jesus died for our sins, for the wages of sins is death,’ but that is not the main message from Jesus Christ.
Jesus’s Main Message
The main message of Jesus Christ is firstly to love your Lord, your God with all your heart and soul. Secondly, he said, ‘Then I will take you to a place which no heart has ever conceived of, no eyes have dreamt of, no ears have heard of.’ Jesus is talking about going to the Unseen World. This destination was not revealed to Adam, Abraham, Moses or Mohammad.
Jesus never spoke of paradise. He always spoke of God’s Kingdom.
In this phenomenal world, when our most dearest guests come, we take them to our house. Those who are not as close stay in a hotel. Similarly, in paradise, you will have all the luxuries, but you will not live with God. Adam, Abraham, Moses and Mohammad spoke of paradise in which people will enjoy life; but there will be no love and there will be no God.
Only Jesus spoke about God’s Kingdom. He said, ‘I will take you there. You will go there only through me.’
When you lost spirituality, you forgot about the Kingdom of God and divine love.
You have [limited] the message of Jesus and Christianity to forgiveness of sins only. Is life all about sins and forgiveness of sins? What about love? What about going to the place which no heart has ever conceived of, which no eyes have ever dreamt of, which no ears have ever heard of? You don’t talk about that because you do not have connection with God. You have not seen that place.
Christianity is what it is today because the Bible does not have the Gospel of Thomas. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus spoke about the spiritual journey, how to transform souls into a divine entity and how to transport them from this realm to the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus said, ‘Only men will enter the Kingdom of God,’ Thomas noticed that Mother Mary was coming. Thomas ran towards Mother Mary and said, ‘You are a woman. Stop. You cannot go ahead.’ Jesus said, ‘Who said my mother is a woman?’ Then Jesus said, ‘God has no gender.’ Mother Mary is holy and her spiritual highness can grant anybody to be holy.
We need to focus on the main theme of Jesus’s doctrine: divine love and our transportation into the Kingdom of God.
In the Gospel of Thomas, Judas Thomas said, ‘These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke.’ Thomas wrote them down and said, ‘Whoever finds the meanings of these words will not taste death.’ How can Jesus taste death?
Eschatology in the Gospel of Thomas
Eschatology is a chapter in every religion which talks about the end times. There is a chapter on this topic in the Gospel of Thomas as well.
Hear thou, Thomas, the things which must come to pass in the last times: there shall be famine and war and earthquakes in divers places, snow and ice and great drought shall there be and many dissensions among the peoples, blasphemy, iniquity, envy and villainy, indolence, pride and intemperance, so that every man shall speak that which pleaseth him.
This is in a religious connotation. Every single religious person will only say things which will please him. He will declare it a religion. He is not quoting from the celestial book or Prophetic Traditions; he has made up a concept which pleases him. He labels it as a religion and then promotes it.
And my priests shall not have peace among themselves, but shall sacrifice unto me with deceitful mind: therefore will I not look upon them. Then shall the priests behold the people departing from the house of the Lord and turning unto the world and setting up (or, transgressing) landmarks in the house of God. And they shall claim (vindicate) for themselves many [things and] places that were lost and that shall be subject unto Caesar as also they were aforetime: giving poll-taxes (for) the cities, even gold and silver and the chief men of the cities shall be condemned and their substance brought into the treasury of the kings, and they shall be filled.
For there shall be great disturbance throughout all the people, and death. The house of the Lord shall be desolate, and their altars shall be abhorred, so that spiders weave their webs therein. The place of holiness shall be corrupted, the priesthood polluted, distress (agony) shall increase, virtue shall be overcome, joy perish, and gladness depart. In those days evil shall abound: there shall be respecters of persons, hymns shall cease out of the house of the Lord, truth shall be no more, covetousness shall abound among the priests; an upright man (al. an upright priesthood) shall not be found.
On a sudden there shall arise near the last time a king, a lover of the law, who shall hold rule not for long: he shall leave two sons. The first is named of the first letter (A), the second of the eighth (H). The first shall die before the second.Thereafter shall arise two princes to oppress the nations under whose hands there shall be a very great famine in the right-hand part of the east, so that nation shall rise up against nation and be driven out from their own borders.Again another king shall arise, a crafty man, and shall command a golden image of Caesar to be made (al. to be worshipped in the house of God), wherefore martyrdoms shall abound. Then shall faith return unto the servants of the Lord, and holiness shall be multiplied and distress (agony) increase. The mountains shall the comforted and shall drop down sweetness of fire from the facet, that the number of the saints may be accomplished.
After a little space there shall arise a king out of the east, a lover of the law, who shall cause all good things and necessary to abound in the house of the Lord: he shall show mercy unto the widows and to the needy, and command a royal gift to be given unto the priests: in his days shall be abundance of all things.
And after that again a king shall arise in the south part of the world, and shall hold rule a little space: in whose days the treasury shall fail because of the wages of the Roman soldiers so that the substance of all the aged shall be commanded (to be taken) and given to the king to distribute.
Thereafter shall be plenty of corn and wine and oil, but great dearness of money, so that the substance of gold and silver shall be given for corn, and there shall be great dearth.
At that time shall be very great rising of the sea, so that no man shall tell news to any other man. The kings of the earth and the princes and the captains shall be troubled, and no man shall speak freely. Grey hairs shall be seen upon boys, and the young shall not give place unto the aged.
After that shall arise another king, a crafty man, who shall hold rule for a short space: in whose days there shall be all manner of evils, even the death of the race of men from the east even unto Babylon. And thereafter death and famine and sword in the land of Chanaan even unto Rome. Then shall all the fountains of waters and wells boil over and be turned into blood (or, into dust and blood). The heaven shall be moved, the stars shall fall upon the earth, the sun shall be cut in half like the moon, and the moon shall not give her light. There shall be great signs and wonders in those days when Antichrist draweth near. These are the signs unto them that dwell in the earth. In those days the pains of great travail shall come upon them. (al. In those days, when Antichrist now draweth near, these are the signs. Woe unto them that dwell on the earth; in those days great pains of travail shall come upon them.) Woe unto them that build, for they shall not inhabit. Woe unto them that break up the fallow, for they shall labour without cause. Woe unto them that make marriages, for unto famine and need shall they beget sons. Woe unto them that join house to house or field to field, for all things shall be consumed with fire. Woe unto them that look not unto themselves while time alloweth, for hereafter shall they be condemned for ever. Woe unto them that turn away from the poor when he asketh.
[Here is a break: the text goes on: For I am of the high and powerful: I am the Father of all. (al. And know ye: I am the Father most high: I am the Father of all spirits.) This, as we shall see, is the beginning of the older and shorter text, and of the Vienna fragment: only, in the latter, some words now unintelligible precede it: not the words, however, which are in Wilhelm's text. I will continue with Wilhelm.]
These are the seven signs the ending of this world. There shall be in all the earth famine and great pestilences and much distress: then shall all men be led captive among all nations and shall fall by the edge of the sword.
Now, Jesus said:
Hear thou, O Thomas, for I am the Son of God the Father and I am the father of all spirits. Hear thou of me the signs which shall come to pass at the end of this world, when the end of the world shall be fulfilled before mine elect depart out of the world. I will tell thee that which shall come to pass openly unto men: but when these things shall be the princes of the angels know not, seeing it is now hidden from before.
Saint Thomas the apostle of God asked our Lord when the time of Antichrist should be. Then the Lord spake unto him and said thus: It behoveth that it be in the next days. Then shall be hunger and war.
Recognition of Lord Jesus Christ
There are many religions, many philosophies and many faiths but I don’t think anything is as important as spirituality.
The message of Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi is spirituality and divine love. Whether you practise a religion or not, in order to reach God, you practise spirituality. The world desperately needs revival of spiritual values!
Muslims who believe in Imam Mehdi do not know how to recognise Imam Mehdi, but hey are waiting. As it appears from their actions, I don’t think they are concerned about the arrival of Imam Mehdi. Their belief in Imam Mehdi is as customary as other rituals in the religion.
In a similar way, our Christian brothers and sister are waiting for Lord Jesus Christ, but they do not know how to recognise Jesus. Nobody has seen Jesus. What you have as pictures in churches and in Christian homes is a painting following the description given in the Bible.
Messiah Foundation International is the pioneer organisation who has introduced the real impression, the real image of Lord Jesus Christ.
We have only come to know of Jesus through books and stories. Either we speak very highly of Jesus Christ or some of the Christians speak very low of Jesus Christ.
On many occasions, during mind, body and soul expos all over the United States of America, I met some people who said, ‘Jesus was a spiritual healer and I am a spiritual healer too.’ It was shocking how inhumanly [they had] to degrade Lord Jesus Christ. To me, it was an act of blasphemy. Let alone common human beings; you cannot equate any messenger of God with Jesus. If you are talking about the body of Jesus, which was made of flesh and bones, that is God’s son. That is not the reality. Not even your reality lies in your body, let alone the reality of Lord Jesus Christ.
The real person of Lord Jess Christ is his soul which is no lesser in power, attributes, holiness and purity than God.
Someone in Mexico asked me, ‘Who is the greatest of all messengers and prophets?’ I did not want to answer this question. If I included Jesus among all other messengers, I would be knowingly or unknowingly blaspheming the origin of Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus only spent 30 months as a messenger of God.
When he was in the cradle, people were asking Mother Mary, ‘No man has ever touched you. Then who is this baby? Where has he come from?’ Mother Mary told them, ‘Don’t ask me about this baby. Ask the baby.’ While Jesus was still in his infancy, he spoke.
According to the divine law, no messenger or prophet can announce his prophethood before the age of 40. In the case of many prophets and messengers, they themselves did not know that they would be chosen by God as prophet or messengers in the future.
Moses did not know that at some point in time, God would anoint him to be a messenger of God. For the first time in his life, when he saw the burning bush, he wasn’t there for worship. He was journeying with his wife and his wife felt cold. He went onto the Mount of Sinai in search for fire. As he mounted, he saw a burning bush. Out of perplexity he wanted to move back, fearing he might get hurt. The voice was heard from that flame, ‘Moses, do not be afraid. I am your Lord, I am your God.’ This was the time when Moses himself found out that he was going to be appointed by God as a messenger.
As it is written in books, when Prophet Mohammad went to the Cave of Hira and was visited by Gabriel, he was confused. He seemed not to have any clue who Gabriel was, what was he doing and why he came to Prophet Mohammad. In that moment in time, Prophet Mohammad had only one apprehension: that (God forbid) he may not turn into one of the people possessed by evil spirits. Prophet Mohammad thought that Gabriel was an evil spirit at first. His apprehension made him confused and perplexed.
When he went back home, his words were, ‘Cover me with a blanket!’ He was running a temperature and was shivering. His wife was trying to comfort him; she was repeatedly saying to him, ‘You are a good man. You take care of people, feed the needy and help the poor. Whatever God is doing, he is not going to do anything bad to you.’
Then, a few days later, his wife told him of her friend, a Jewish Rabbi. She said, ‘If you want to know what is happening, should we go there?’ Prophet Mohammad agreed. When they arrived, the Rabbi stood up and said, ‘This man is a prophet of God.’ Prophet Mohammad’s wife asked him, ‘How are you so sure?’ He said, ‘When you were coming towards me, I saw that the trees were going down to his feet. The plants were prostrating.’ So even the leader of the prophets, when he was visited by Gabriel for the first time, was confused.
Then we have Jesus, who spoke in infancy. That was not a prophet speaking. That was the real person of Lord Jesus Christ: the Soul of God.
It was God, not a prophet or a messenger. He acted like a messenger when he turned 33. God took him back; he ascended to the heavens even before he reached age 40. The age of 40 is the time when you announce your prophethood, but Jesus ascended to God before he reached 40. You cannot limit the different aspects of Jesus to one aspect of prophethood.
As I see Jesus, he is a multidimensional personality. He is a prophet, messenger, son of God and son of Mary.
The most secretive dimension of Jesus’s person is that he is one of the persons of God’s Community. I equal him of God; I see him as God. He enjoys equal powers - if not more! The least power Jesus has is as much as God has.
This is my understanding and this is what I have been trained to believe. It is not just that I have been trained to believe this, but I have observed it. I have witnessed it. I have seen it with the physical eye, with the eye of belief and, in the end, with the eye of certainty.
I am in no doubt but to assert the fact that Jesus is no lesser than God.