Matthew 23:13-39 BHT, Sorrows of Religious Authorities

An addition to the BHT, from when Jesus criticized the religious authorities of his day.

An addition to the BHT, from when Jesus criticized the religious authorities of his day.

(The painting above is by James Tissot (1836-1902), “Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees,” Brooklyn Museum.)

13 Such sadness and misery for you, “prophets” and “apostles;” you are pretenders! You slam the door shut of the Kingdom of Heaven right in your own people’s faces. You never go into the actual Kingdom yourselves through mystical contemplative experience, and you don’t even allow those who are currently entering from continuing in. You always put a stop to any such Divine experience, dead in its tracks!

14 Such despair and heartbreak for you, “prophets” and “apostles,” pretenders! You require tithes from even the most destitute of your people, who suffer from having nearly nothing, and yet they give from their poverty. They give far more than you wealthy people will ever give in an entire lifetime! You show people just how pious you are by then building temples all over the world, and praying often in those temples, but for what? It’s all for show, since you don’t actually enter the Kingdom, you just pretend that you do. How you will continue to be damned!

15 Such regret and suffering for you, “prophets” and “apostles,” pretenders! You send missionaries all throughout the world, to nearly every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, to find “save it be one soul” to convert, and when they are baptized you make them into twice as much a son of perdition as you are, not knowing God directly, and not helping to guide others to know directly either!

16 Such grief and torment for you, “prophets” and “apostles,” you blind guides! You teach “Whoever believes that their body, mind, and consciousness is the real and true Holy Temple of God, this is not true doctrine; but if anyone who’s tithed enters the temples we’ve built with human hands and makes covenants there, you are absolutely bound by those promises made in the presence of God, angels, and witnesses, or else!”

17 You blind and ungodly fools! Which is better? The tithes that go to building all of these man-made temples? Or, the Temples of our own Bodies, Souls, Minds, and Spirits? For these Temples are Sacred and Holy, the very dwelling place of God in us all, which is what generates that tithing in the first place!

18 And you also teach, “If anyone sacrifices by the Altar that is in the Holy of Holies of their own deepest Mind and Soul and Spirit, this is not true doctrine; but if you say ‘Yes’ to those covenants you’ve made by tithing yourselves to enter our man-made temples, you had better live up to every one of these covenants that you make at these altars in this temple, this day, or else!”

19 You unconscious and godless fools! Which is better? The tithes that are converted into your altars? Or, the Sacred Altar in our very own Holy of Holies of our Mind, which makes that tithing possible?!

20 When you pledge yourself to the true Altar in your Mind, you pledge yourself to it and everything that makes it up.

21 When you commit yourself to the true Temple of your Body, you commit yourself to it and to God that lives in it.

22 When you devote yourself to the true Kingdom of Heaven that is even here and now, you devote yourself to the throne of God, and to God who sits on it, which is the seat of Consciousness, the Self of Humanity and all of Life.

23 Such gloom and hardship for you, “prophets” and “apostles,” pretenders! You are scrupulous to tithe a tenth of your income, even from your side hobbies, but you have neglected the far more important aspects of the higher Law, such as justice and equity, mercy and love, and faithful contemplative communion. You should have practiced these things and not left them aside.

24 You imperceptive and contemplatively blind leaders! You sift out those few individuals you think may harm the Church, and yet you have swallowed teachings which lead the entire membership into darkness and ignorance.

25 Such unhappiness and dejection for you, “prophets” and “apostles,” pretenders! You make yourselves up to appear so clean, trimmed, and proper on the outside, but inside your minds you are still full of ego, pride, self-gratification, extravagance, and consumerist excess.

26 You spiritually blind “prophets”! Remember that God has said that “the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.” We purify and sanctify our mind and consciousness first, and then our behavior will follow appropriately and according to God’s will.

27 Such sorrow and desolation for you, “prophets” and “apostles,” pretenders! You are like fine ebony and bronze caskets, which appear so beautiful on the outside, but on the inside they contain the bones and bodies of the dead.

28 Similarly, from all external appearances you seem so righteous, pure, and holy before humanity, but within your mind, soul, and spirit you are full of pretense, dissimulation, defilement, and anarchy, without control over your consciousness.

29 Such trials and tribulations for you, “prophets” and “apostles,” pretenders! You pay honor and respect to the ancient Prophets, and build monuments and statues over the early Saints.

30 Then you say, “If we had lived in their day, we would not have been among the mobs that tarred and feathered and martyred the Prophets in cold blood.”

31 But why would you incriminate yourselves? For the Prophet-Mystics were often brought to trial, convicted, and then executed by Church authorities, just like you. You are their successors.

32 Keep going, then, exactly as you are, and continue what your predecessors started! For it’s tradition!

33 Your egos are Satan, the psychological heirs of that very first serpent of all. I repeat, how will you escape the hellish torment and condemnation of your very own egoic minds?! For your own conscience will continue to damn you, and it is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.

34 Because of that, I’m sending true Prophets, wise and insightful men and women from every tradition, scientists, lovers of Wisdom, genuine mystics, and true Guides into the higher Law and direct Divine communion. Some of them you will excommunicate without further question; others you will silence into submission in their wards and stakes, or try to shame them right out of town.

35 And in doing this you will be guilty and held responsible for the blood of all such wise and deeply spiritual men and women who have suffered in vain, some being executed, throughout the whole world since the beginning of time, from Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei, to Symeon the New Theologian, Joan of Arc, and Joseph Smith, who you shot in that second story jail window. Yes, it was you.

36 I say this with all the certainty which I possess—those living today in the Church, and throughout the world, will become frustrated and suffer because of all of these things.

37 My God! Humans, humans!! You who shame the wise and stonewall those who have realized their Selves. How often I have longed to gather you together as One, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not have any of it! You refuse Me! You refuse your Selves!

38 Look at this! Your whole Earth is left desolate and barren, a dark and dreary world! You do not know Me anymore, personally, intimately, directly. You do not know your Selves.

39 I will tell you this: you will not see or know Me again until you can say, “Joyful are all those who have realized in them Selves the LORD’s name and identity.”

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