Mel Gibson's,"THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST"
(Why Pastor Vitale Will Not View This Movie)
[Pastor Vitale says:] My response to your question turned into a strongly opinionated article. Please do not take anything that I say personally, because I stopped speaking to you and began to challenge the reasoning of the Body of Christ after the first sentence.
THE ARTICLE BELOW DOES NOT BY ANY MEANS CRITICIZE THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE FILM, OR ENJOY IT.
Sincerely In Christ,
Sheila R. Vitale, Pastor, Teacher & Founder
Living Epistles Ministries
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2004
To: Sheila Vitale
Subject: Re: The Passion of the Christ
XXXX: Greetings All. Thank you, Pastor Sheila for sending. Fascinating, as always. That Alt. Trans of Isa. 53:9 is awesome! Praise the LORD.
XXXX: Since we all seem to enjoy the spiritual depictions had within movies of our time, I wonder what your thoughts are toward Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of The Christ" which is going to be a stark depiction of the crucifixion. Do you plan on viewing it?
[Pastor Vitale says:] I do not plan to view this movie, and will not do so unless the Lord changes my mind. MY POSITION DOES NOT BY ANY MEANS CRITICIZE THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE FILM, OR ENJOY IT.
My reasons are as follows:
I see no benefit or spiritual growth that can be derived from focusing on the death of the man, Jesus of Nazareth, who, at this present time, is alive and well, and completely unified with the Infinite One. Neither can I think of any reason why I would want to see my strong, close companion, who defends me against the powers of this world, and meets my every need, portrayed as a victim.
I do not believe that Jesus felt pain or suffered as a mortal man experiencing crucifixion would have suffered.
How can you say that Pastor Sheila?
This is how: Hindu holy men walk on burning coals, lie on beds of nails and swallow flaming objects, without experiencing pain or physical harm; martial artists place their hands between two millstones and their hands are not crushed; members of certain groups in Africa slice their bodies with sharp knives and they do not even bleed.
In light of these realities, whoever would say that the very Son of God experienced pain or actual physical harm when nails were forced into His physical body must (at some point) acknowledge that they have declared Jesus, in the days of His flesh, to be weaker than the Hindu Gurus, the martial artists and the African cultists, and that the witchcraft of such men is greater than the spiritual strength of both Jesus and the Father.
Of all the Christians who believe that the Father wanted Jesus to die (which is not true, see The Crucifixion of Christ), who is willing to believe that the Father wanted Jesus to experience the physical pain and suffering of crucifixion?
Do you know that the Hebrew law requires the swiftest and most compassionate death possible for animals that are ritually sacrificed, and for animals that are slaughtered for food? How, then, is it possible that the Father desired that Jesus should suffer physical pain? No, my friend, this cannot be true.
All truth-seeking Christians must (at some time) deal with the questions of (1) whether or not God can die, and (2) whether or not Jesus, who was God in the days of His flesh, was mortal or immortal. Mortals die. Immortals do not die. How can an immortal die when the very definition of the word, "immortal," means "not subject to death"?
im| |mor| |tal [ i máwrt'l ]
1. able to live or last forever: able to have eternal life or existence
2. im| |mor| |tal or Im| |mor| |tal a god: a god who lives for ever, especially a god of ancient Greece or Rome
[14th century. From Latin immortalis , literally "not subject to death," from mortalis (see mortal).] (MSN Encarta)
Do you know that there is only one Scripture that refers to Jesus bleeding on the cross (John 19:34), and that Scripture refers to Jesus' spiritual blood -- unless, of course, you choose to believe that you are saved by the physical blood of a human body formed in the likeness of sinful flesh, rather than Jesus' glorified spiritual life, which is called "blood."
Do you know that, despite the fact that most portrayals of Jesus' crucifixion show blood streaming down from Jesus’ head (because of the crown of thorns), the Hebrew words translated ". . . and they put [the crown] upon his head . . ." in no way suggest that those thorns were driven into Jesus' skull?
On the contrary, the Greek words suggest that the crown of thorns was merely superimposed, that is, laid upon, Jesus' head. There is not one Scripture that associates the word "blood" with the crown of thorns.
There are only two Scriptures that speak about Jesus' "blood" in a real context (not as a metaphor):
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. KJV
Once, again, Christians must decide whether or not Jesus was God in the flesh, or a mortal man. How long will Christians continue to believe that an immortal man, our mighty God in the flesh, would be found begging to be spared from the agony of the cross? (That is, if you still believe that Jesus experienced the physical pain of crucifixion.) And who is spiritual enough to believe that Jesus was referring to the physical body that He, the spiritual man, dwelled in, as a "cup"?
Do you really believe that Jesus, God in the flesh, was so scared of crucifixion that the blood vessels under the skin of His physical body erupted and mixed with the perspiration, which was also present because of our God's terror?
Do you not know that fear is sin (Rom 14:23)? Wherefore, everyone who imputes fear to Jesus, openly declares Jesus to be a sinner. Christians today, like the ancient Greeks and Romans, impute human qualities to their God, which is the sin of idolatry.
The Greek word translated "agony," can also be translated "agony of mind," i.e., "a great mental effort." Why was Jesus involved in a great effort of mind? Why, now that we no longer believe that Jesus was begging to be spared from the physical pain of crucifixion, did an angel appear to strengthen Him?
Who is spiritual enough to believe that Jesus was saying, "Father, if it be your will, PREVENT this physical body (a prison house of this fallen, physical world) from departing from me? And why would Jesus make such a strange request?
Brethren, the natural tendency of a perfected man is for His substance to depart from the physical body (which is a part of the landscape of the visible earth), and ascend into the higher worlds.
The Greek word translated " great drops," Strong's # 2361 means, "(in the sense of thickening); a clot," and the English word "sweat" means:
sweat [swet ] noun (plural sweats)
4. science: liquid exuded to the surface: drops of liquid that ooze through and collect on the surface of something, for example, sap on a tree (MSN Encarta)
Jesus was exercising an intense "effort of mind" to prevent His flesh body from dissolving (see, The Crucifixion of Christ), because His spiritual life (described in the Scripture as "blood") was stepping (falling) down upon the ground of his earthen, physical body, and had already begun to clot, i.e., to cover it, or to swallow it up.
The KJV of the last few words of Matt 26:39 say, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." The Greek word translated “nevertheless” can also be translated “rather than,” and the Greek word translated “not” is a negative particle, which can be translated “Leviathan,” according to Translator’s license.
So, we see that Jesus was saying, “Father, prevent this physical body from dissolving [before I depart from it, in the manner that you have ordained, so that mankind can be formed in the image of] I AM, as you desire, rather [than in the image of] Leviathan.”
The second Scripture that relates "blood" to Jesus (not as a metaphor) is:
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. KJV
33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. KJV
A close look at this event, reveals that Jesus was already dead (verse 33) when the soldier "pierced Jesus' side."
The Greek word translated "side" is referring to Abel, the good side of the mortal foundation (Cain and Abel) of fallen humanity.
But, Pastor Sheila, you just said that Jesus did not die!
The Greek word translated "saw," Strong's #1492, can also be translated "to perceive with the eyes." The soldiers saw the carcass that the spiritual man, Jesus, had vacated, and assumed that the whole man was dead. And from the soldiers' point of reference, Jesus was, indeed, dead, but spiritual events must be spiritually discerned.
The Father knew, and Jesus knew, and, today, everyone reading this article with the mind of Christ knows, that Jesus was very much alive in a higher plane of consciousness.
WITNESS: Luke 24:4, And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? KJV
The soldiers were looking with the limited vision of their carnal mind and, therefore, saw only a slice of the whole picture* which led them to draw the incorrect conclusion that Jesus was dead.
*Christ, Jesus' spirit man, and soul (personality), as well as His physical body),
So, if it was not necessary to brake Jesus' legs because, as far as the soldiers were concerned, Jesus was dead, why did one of the soldiers thrust a spear into Jesus' side?
And why would blood and water issuing out from Jesus' dead carcass convince the soldier that what he had heard about Jesus being the Son of God was true?
The answer, brethren, is that Jesus' spiritual blood (the Spirit of Christ)* and water (kindness of God),** issued forth within the soldier, and joined together to form the Mind of Christ within the soldier, and the soldier [saw] and bare record that [Jesus was, indeed, the Son of God] . . .
*Adam's female seed
** Adam's male seed
Brethren, Jesus, the Christ's spiritual presence was still hovering nearby when the soldiers approached the carcass (physical body) that Jesus, the Christ, had risen out of, and the reproductive force of that glorious, invisible presence, pierced the spiritual reproductive part of one of the soldiers.
(Words from the King James translation appear in parentheses "( )" and amplifications according to the Doctrine of Christ appear in brackets "[ ]"
John 19:35 -
Work-up. . . experienced (saw) the witness (bare record) true* and became (is) the evidence (record) that the one who (he) had been intimate (knoweth) with him had (227-Nestlé -revealed ) Himself so that the (557-Textus Receptus-contemptuous)* might believe
* The second time the word "true" appears in the above verse, the Textus
Receptus and Nestlé, two sources of the Interlinear Text, disagree as to whether the Greek word should be Strong's #227 (revealed) or Strong's #557 (contemptuous).
The Alternate Translation Bible chooses "revealed," but we will also use "contemptuous" as an amplification, inasmuch as Scripture frequently omits descriptive words.
Please note that the context of verse 35 is preceded by the pronoun, "he," which means that we do not know for sure, who the subject is.
I suggest you that the subject is not Jesus, but the soldier whose "other [good] side" was pierced when Abel, the good side of the soldier's mortal foundation (personality), touched the invisible Christ who still hovered nearby .
KJV - Jn 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
Alternate Translation: Jn 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall see the one who pierced [them].
KJV - Rev 1:7, Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Work Up - Rev 1:7 - Behold, He is coming in the souls (clouds) [personalities of the people, and] every mind (eye) that He pierces shall see him: and [the carnal mind], the offshoot (kindreds) of the earth, shall be cut off (wail) because of him. I am telling you the truth (Even so), that these things will may come to pass (amen).
Alternate Translation Rev 1:7 - Behold, He is coming in the personalities (souls) [of the people, and] every mind that is pierced by Him shall see Him [in the personalities that He is appearing in]: and [the carnal mind], the offshoot of the [Serpent, in the spiritual] earth [of the personalities that Christ is appearing in], shall be cut off when [Christ appears]. I am telling you the truth [now], so that these things may come to pass [in your life].
KJV Acts 2:37 - Now when they heard this, they were pricked* in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? KJV
*NT:2660 - katanusso (kat-an-oos'-so); from NT:2596 and NT:3572; to pierce thoroughly, i.e. (figuratively) to agitate violently ("sting to the quick"):
KJV - prick.
KJV Acts 26:14- And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Work-Up-Acts 26:14- And when we were all fallen to the earth,* I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, I [AM] (me), Jehovah['s Justice]** (why)*** who pursues (persecutest) you, [because there are] severe (hard) [consequences for] despising (kick=recalcitrate-deprecate) my piercing.
*The spiritual understanding of verse 13 is that Saul and his companions were meditating, and had ascended (journeyed=cross over) to a spiritual realm of their carnal mind. Jesus interfered with their ascension and they fell down into their conscious mind.
**The Sowing & Reaping Judgment, which is enforced by Satan.
***According to the Hebrew sages, "why" is a hidden reference to Jehovah.
Alternate Translation, Acts 26:14 - And when we all fell down into [the conscious part of our] carnal mind, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, I [AM], Jehovah's [Justice], is pursuing you, [because there are] severe [consequences for] despising [the people] that I have pierced.
KJV-Acts 26:15- And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
Work-Up-Acts 26:15- And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am (I) the self-existent one (am) Jesus whom thou persecutest.
Alternate Translation, Acts 26:15, And I said, Who are you, Lord? And He said, I AM Jesus, the self-Existent One, who pursues you . . .
KJV-Acts 26:16, But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; KJV
Work-Up- Acts 26:16a, Contrariwise=opposite reason (but) rise, and stand upon thy carnal mind (feet)*:
*"Feet" signify the carnal mind.
Alternate Translation, Acts 26:15-16a, And I said, Who are you, Lord? And He said, I AM Jesus, the self-Existent One, [who pursues you] for the opposite reason [that I AM, Jehovah's Justice, pursues you. I want the Mind of Christ] to arise in you, and stand above your carnal mind*. . .
Work-Up-Acts 26:16b- for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Alternate Translation, Acts 26:16b, . . . and this is the reason that I have appeared to you, to make you both a minister and a witness to the things that you have seen, and the things that I will show you.
Alternate Translation, Acts 26:15-16, And I said, Who are you, Lord? And He said, I AM Jesus, the self-Existent One, who pursues you to make you both a minister and a witness to the things that you have seen, and the things that I will show you, and this is the reason that I have appeared to you.
Alternate Translation, Acts 26:14-16, And when we all fell down into [the conscious part of our] carnal mind, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, I [AM], Jehovah's [Justice], is pursuing you, [because there are] severe [consequences for] despising [the people] that I have pierced. And I said, Who are you, Lord? And He said, I AM Jesus, the self-Existent One, [who pursues you] for the opposite reason [that I AM, Jehovah's Justice, pursues you. I want] to make you both a minister and a witness to the things that you have seen, and the things that I will show you; wherefore I have appeared to you [so that] the Mind of Christ] will arise in you, and stand above your carnal mind.
God bless you all.
Sincerely in Christ,
Sheila R. Vitale,
Pastor, Teacher & Founder
Living Epistles Ministries