Creating the New Earth Together


WHAT I’M WRITING ABOUT in this series is not intended to destroy or offend anyone’s faith or belief, nor discount the moral and social values of religion — although being good for a reward of eternal life and avoiding sin for fear of going to hell are hardly worthy or healthy incentives for right action. Just do what is right because it’s the right thing to do. I suspect that few Christians really care about or have much interest in the history of their religion, Catholics or Protestants. The experience of community, the most valuable contribution of church life in my opinion, overshadows the turbulent and at times bloody history of Christianity and its politics, especially Catholicism. I write simply to set the record straight and to honor the unredacted truth. If I offend anyone’s religious beliefs or fervor, it is truly unintentional and I humbly ask your forgiveness. Thank you.

* * *

ALL CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS have their shared foundation on the “rock” of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Not one of the seven branches* of Christianity, however, can lay claim to being the “true religion” established by Jesus, as Jesus did not establish a religion. What He did attempt to re-establish as an actual experience for humanity was the Kingdom of Heaven and oneness with His Heavenly Father on Earth. This is what His visitation to the planet as the Lord of lords and King of kings was all about . . . and it was His unconditional love for humanity that moved Him to come down from Heaven and live as one of us in human form.


I want to talk about what occurred in the wake of His visitation and ministry, which ended with His crucifixion, an execution for which was demanded and shouted out by the very people whom He loved and came to redeem from their captivity by . . . religion — belief in the old laws of Moses, which foretold of the coming of a “Messiah” that would restore the kingdom to the Jewish Nation of Israel.

Up to the very last forty days of His presence with His disciples just prior to His ascension, the disciples still hung onto that belief, asking Him that inane question recorded in Acts 1:6: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” The Zealotry of Judas that got Jesus arrested was also paramount in the consciousness of some of the disciples. They sincerely believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah who had come to restore the kingdom to Israel and deliver the Jewish Nation from the oppression and persecution of the Romans. I can only imagine what sadness must have entered His heart upon hearing that question after three-and-a-half years teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. One can only imagine also the confusion and disillusionment that must have come over Judas and the disciples when they realized that Jesus wasn’t going to call down the angelic hosts of heaven to deal forthrightly with the Roman soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane, and proceed to restore the kingdom to Israel. There was such a mixture of hopeful, ambitious, zealous and agonizing energy stirring around in this historical event — the stuff of political enterprising.

It’s what John the Beloved Disciple closes his Gospel with that I wish to consider in this post, along with what is poignantly implied. Jesus had just asked the apostle Peter three times “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” giving him the opportunity to receive the Lord’s forgiveness and unconditional love, especially after his thrice denial of his Lord. Here is the passage (John 21:19-23):

“And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him (Peter) “‘Follow me.‘ Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following, which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?'” [In other words, “Mind your own business.”]


Let’s back up a bit to the foot of the cross on Golgotha Hill — the “place of the skull” — where Jesus hung in ignominy gasping for breath as he was loosing consciousness. This is a pivotal moment for the entire world of humanity when the Lord of Love incarnate in Jesus handed over His mantle of authority to His beloved disciple and bosom friend, John, as his successor to His position of leadership of the apostles. Here’s the passage in John’s Gospel:

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother. And from that hour that disciple took her into his own home . . . . After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished . . . saith, I thirst. (John 19:26-28)

John, the only disciple who witnessed the crucifixion, does not mention Jesus crying out “My God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me?” That would have negated His entire life and ministry. Only Matthew and Mark mention it. It is Luke who records Jesus as having said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke also records Jesus as having cried out “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23:34, 46)

The word home is italicized above where the account has John taking Jesus’s mother into his own home. This may be conveying the false impression that he took care of her in her latter years. However, I think this word was added. This was not a case of John becoming Mary’s guardian. It is rather a case of John taking the place of Jesus and becoming just as much a son to His mother as Jesus was. In taking His place as Mary’s son, John was commissioned to continue as Jesus himself, ministering to His followers and disciples, and finishing the work He had initiated — which was to draw together His disciples into One Body after they had scattered themselves each into his own place, fearful of the Romans.


I would like to visit a pivotal incident recorded in Matthew’s Gospel when Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of Heaven to His disciples. No, that’s not a typo nor a misstatement. Let’s see how Matthew worded his account.

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him:

Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jo-na: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The word “Peter” means little stone. The “rock” Jesus was referring to was Himself, “the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” as Peter’s inspired words acknowledged. I don’t think Jesus would have his church built upon a little stone, especially an impetuous and unstable one such as Peter was. Besides, He was addressing all of His disciples when He gave out the keys to the kingdom of heaven, not only Peter — a controversial issue and political debate over papal primacy and succession from Peter that lasted into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The history of the Catholic Church is fraught with heated debate among theologians, bishops, cardinals and popes — patriarchs and church fathers — over papal primacy and who will exercise power and control over the many churches that began springing up like weeds in a flower garden. The contentions led to “The Great Schism” of 1054, an ongoing break of communion between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. “Michael H. Crosby, a renowned religious studies expert, says in his book Repair My House: Becoming a ‘Kingdom’ Catholic, that Matthew 16:18–19 does not support the authority given to Peter and that the keys were given not to Peter alone but to the whole church.” (Wikipedia)

Jesus didn’t mince words a few verses later when Peter rebuked Him for speaking of His future death at the hands of the chief priests, elders and scribes, and of his resurrection on the third day, saying to Jesus, “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” Jesus turned and said to Peter:

Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Quite a contrast to the blessing Jesus had bestowed upon him earlier. Let me share something from Uranda’s legacy: (The Leadership Jesus Ordained, March 16, 1947)

He [Jesus] was revealing the Father, and revealing the Way by which we could come into Oneness with the Father so that we also could reveal the Father. [At the Last Supper] He said, “This bread is my flesh.” That unleavened bread was a symbol, and the wine was a symbol . . . . Here, in John 15, He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

We find that He had been teaching intensively the manner in which His Body should continue on earth. The disciples were supposed to be the continuation of His Body on earth, or what we call the One Christ Body, and through a consideration of John 14, 15, 16, and 17 especially, we find that those four chapters are dealing with the formation and manifestation of the Christ Body. “I am the Vine … abide in Me.” Oneness.

He expected His disciples to be His Body on earth through which He could continue to accomplish His purposes on earth after His Ascension. They failed to do that. They did not carry through, but that was His intention, that was His teaching. Then, when we recognize His intention that they should be His Body, the idea that He was just talking about the bread itself, when He said “This is my Body,” is seen to be extremely limited. The disciples to whom He spoke, the group of individuals to whom He was speaking, were to be His Body, and the bread was simply a symbol of that Body.

As He took that to His lips, into His body, and each one there took it, that bread ceased to be a thing of itself, losing its identity as bread. Just so were they supposed to be received into His Body, so that they would lose their identity, in the sense of being scattered segregations, and become members of that One Body, so that as branches of that Body they could let the works be done on earth. Just so, when they took the wine, it symbolized the life stream, the living expression of the Christ Life on earth, which was to continue to manifest through His One Body on earth, but the disciples failed to let that Body come into formation, and that Body has not been in formation until now, and it is only beginning to manifest as a nucleus now. There is just beginning to be a recognition of what Jesus meant that His disciples should do. But they failed and did not let John head the development. Peter plunged out and started doing this, that and the other thing.

Jesus particularly stated that His place of leadership was transferred to John. He never authorized Peter to take any place of leadership. He authorized John, and they ignored John, and John was the only one who understood what was to be done in the Christ Body. The failure of Christianity, as meaning the true teachings of Christ, was very marked after the ascension of Jesus. They had so prostituted the teachings of Christ that just three hundred years afterward, the dark ages came in—just to illustrate my point. When He said, “This is my Body,” He was illustrating the fact that this was the symbol of that which they were to be, and as they partook of it they were to come into the One Body to continue His work on earth.

The celebration of the Eucharist is a communion of the members of the One Body of Christ and not a transubstantiation of bread to flesh or wine to blood. The Body of Christ are the faithful who participate in the communion service and not an unleavened wafer. The fellowship is the sharing in the lifeblood of that Body.

When you have time to relax, click on the link above and read Uranda’s entire presentation, which has been a stark awakening for many, and continues to be. I will continue with this series in my next post. Until then,

Be love. Be loved.


*Christianity is divided between Eastern and Western theology. In these two divisions there six branches: Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism (Episcopalian), Oriental Orthodoxy and Assyrianism. Restorationism is sometimes considered the seventh branch. (Google)

Comments on: "Politics in Church Leadership" (1)

  1. Jerry Kvasnicka said:

    Anthony, I particularly appreciate your correct interpretation of the Eucharist as having to do with communion in the One Body of Christ and certainly not turning bread and wine into magical substances that will somehow sanctify and uplift the person who ingests them.

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