Study on the Book of Judgement, Chapter 20

Study on the Book of Judgement, Chapter 20

¶ 1 The title of the 20th chapter of the Book of Judgement is “God Declareth a Day of Judgement, and Also He Bequeatheth Liberty unto All Men.”

1. GOD said: There shall be a day of judgement unto thee, O man. Soon or late, thou shalt take the matter into thine own hand; and thou shalt look into thine own soul to judge thyself. This is unto all men; none can escape it. 2. Such, then, is the judgement day. Let no man complain against the judge; thou shalt be thine own judge. 3. And every one judgeth against himself, and, soon or late, crieth out: O Jehovih, I have sinned against Thee; in my youth I tried to find excuses for my behaviour, but now I am broken down utterly.

¶ 2 It is imperative for every person of the age of reason to contemplate the sins and guilt incurred throughout his/her life and to make amends. This is what the Oahspe Bible means when it says that we are to judge ourselves — “thou shalt look into thine own soul to judge thyself.” If we are honest with ourselves, we must come to the conclusion that no matter how good we have been in our lives, we have never become perfect, at least not while in the human flesh. We must acknowledge our sins before our Creator Jehovih. We must rely upon Him to bring us through our grief of sin and debauchery.

4. After judgement, reformation and resurrection within man begin as a new tree of life. 5. But, whether thou shalt judge thyself in this life, or wait till thou art dead and risen in spirit, the matter is in thine own hands. 6. Yet, better would it be for thee, if thou wouldst sit in judgement on thyself every day of thy life.

¶ 3 After judging ourselves and realising our guilt and inability to perfect ourselves without the aide of Jehovih and His angels, we seek to readjust our thinking and our actions in life. This is the reformation brought within us by being constantly guided by the Creator. After this, the path to perfection begins, eventually leading us to the fuller resurrection. The latter can only occur in the afterlife, once we have passed beyond the veil of this world into the next.

¶ 4 Judgement of the self is not a one time occurrence, but rather, as our Scriptures tell us, it is “every day of thy life.” We should make it a habit to examine our activities and thoughts that have taken place throughout the day before retiring to bed. After doing so, we should take stock of the wrongful actions and make adjustments where necessary, always asking for Jehovih’s forgiveness, acknowledging His guidance, and thanking Him for the opportunity to make reforms in our life.

7. But touching the matter, as to how thou shalt judge thyself, hear thou the wisdom of thy God, thy elder brother, and profit thou accordingly. 8. Because of the Ever Presence of Jehovih, thou wert quickened into a conscious being. As thy earth-body is of the earth, so is thy spirit of Jehovih. Nevertheless, spirit is the opposite of corporeal life; for the latter cometh to an end; but the spirit of man is a tree of everlasting life. 9. Thy spirit groweth by cultivation, which is by the practice of wisdom, truth, virtue, benevolence and affiliation unto others.

¶ 5 The eighth verse reminds us that it is only because of Jehovih, that we exist. He made us into living beings. It is Jehovih who gives us the ability to stand, walk, hear, touch, and taste. Without Him, our existence would not be possible.

¶ 6 Our physical body is from the earth, but our spirit is from Jehovih Himself. The Oahspe, in no uncertain terms, states that the physical body comes to an end, but the spirit body, given to us by our Creator, is eternal — “a tree of everlasting life.” Concerning self-judgement, again it is important that we examine ourselves and make adjustments while the physical body exists, to prepare ourselves for our future life in the spirit world.

¶ 7 The manner in which our spirit grows is through “the practice of wisdom, truth, virtue, benevolence” and fellowship with other Faithists. (v. 9) Without the practice of these, we would not be able to make the proper discernment concerning how to judge ourselves or how to prepare our spirits for eternal life in Jehovih’s Presence.

¶ 8 Here we shall briefly examine each of the “practices” mentioned in the ninth verse. 1) The practice of wisdom: Wisdom is not only obtained by life experience but most importantly through the study of the Oahspe Bible. Through the Oahspe we are able to learn more about the plans of Jehovih and His Kingdom on earth. 2) The practice of truth: One method of practising truth is by leading an honest life, but even more so by not worshipping idols and by not believing and teaching false doctrines. Just as we are from the Presence of Jehovih, so too is truth. It is also from Jehovih’s Presence that He sends out His angel ambassadors to help us in our daily walk and understanding of His plans. 3) The practice of virtue: There are several virtues outlined in the Oahspe. In the Book of the Arc of Bon 11:7-20, there is a thorough outline of twelve particular virtues that are expected to be practised by all Faithists. 4) The practice of benevolence toward others: Being benevolent towards others is demonstrating loving-kindness and serving our fellow human beings by way of charitable acts. Faithists show compassion toward others regardless of a person’s ethnicity, colour, nationality, religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation. Another act of benevolence towards others is by sharing the promises about Jehovih’s Kingdom on earth. 5) The practice of affiliation with Faithists: Affiliated with fellow brothers and sisters is a mutual blessing. Meeting together for the worship of Jehovih and learning from the Oahspe is beneficial, but not always possible for every Faithist. Some Faithists live in isolated areas of the world. Some individual Faithists are the only ones in their entire country. In other areas, meeting together for religious purposes is dangerous or even deadly due to government restrictions. These practices are required for the proper cultivation of the spirit.

10. Think not, that the soul groweth by prayers or confessions unto this god, or that god; for, in whatsoever God thou firmly believest, him shalt thou worship, for he is thy choice. Nor shall any man prevent thee in this thy liberty. But, remember, the same rule holdeth unto all in this day: Thou shalt never see the God thou worshippest, save, indeed, it be an idol, or an image of wood or stone or some corporeal substance. 11. For, behold, I have cast out all gods, lords and saviours on the earth and in the heavens of the earth.

¶ 9 The tenth verse is not speaking against the necessity of confessing our sins. Indeed, we confess all of our guilt to the Ever-Present Creator as mentioned in the third verse of the same chapter. The tenth verse is warning Faithists that they are not to worship any god, lord, saviour or man. It also indicates that it is not by prayer and confession alone that our soul can progress.

¶ 10 If we worship anything other than Jehovih Himself, we are worshipping an idol. An idol, or false god, can be a carved image, a photograph, a symbol, or even certain ideas that are false. This amounts to anything other than true worship. When we proclaim (confess) something as being an object that we worship, it has become our god. Idolatry is not pleasing to our loving Creator.

12. And, when the spirits of the dead come to thee in sar’gis, saying: Behold me! I am thy saviour! I am thy lord! I say unto thee: All such spirits are drujas. 13. Nevertheless, if thou worship a god, or lord, let it be as a figure unto thee to cast thine eyes into thine own soul, to purify thyself in the sight of thy Creator, whom thou canst not doubt.

¶ 11 The Oahspe tells us that “spirits of the dead” will come to us claiming that they are our saviours, but these are in fact drujas. The term “drujas” (plural) indicates “spirits of darkness.” (See Fragapatti 21:6)

14. In such respect, it is no sin for thee to worship any good ideal, whom thou shalt emulate in thy behaviour.

¶ 12 The fourteenth verse is not instructing us to outright worship ideals, whether that idea is true or false. Rather, the older language of the time that was used to translate the Oahspe does not indicate that same term as it applies to worshipping Jehovih. Instead, today in this context the term “worship” should be seen as “cultivate.” Thus, the verse would read: “In such respect, it is no sin for you to cultivate any good ideal, which you should emulate in your behaviour.” Jehovih never instructs us to worship anything other than Himself.

15. Yet this also shalt thou prove: That, whosoever of the ancients was great, or whatever gods were well known, that thou settest thy soul on to love, behold, familiar spirits will come to thee to deceive thee, professing to be that ancient or that god. 16. And, when thou art dead, and thy soul risen from the dead, behold, some deceiving spirit will come to thee to use thee; neither shalt thou discover for a long season that thou hast been the dupe and slave of an unscrupulous master.

¶ 13 We return again to the thought that there are evil spirits that will come to those who continue believing in false teachings. These drujas attach themselves to individuals who do not know Jehovih, and deceive them into believing that they are of some great or well known god of the past. Whatever falsehood a person believes while in the earthly body, he/she will be misled by a spirit of the same falsehood, because the falsehood has become a god to the individual.

17. This day in the lower heavens there are millions of false Brahmas, millions of false Budhas, millions of false Kristes and millions of false Gabriel-Gods. 18. Whosoever bindeth himself to these names whilst on earth, becometh a fit subject for drujas to fall upon when he entereth heaven.

¶ 14 As the Oahspe Bible indicates, there are millions upon millions of false gods and beings that proclaim themselves as gods, lords, or saviours. There is a stark warning in the seventeenth verse: if we attach ourselves to the false gods (drujas) they attach themselves to us and we become under their control. The term “heaven” in the eighteenth verse indicates “spirit world” or the spiritual world beyond the earthly plane of existence.

19. Think not that great wisdom cometh suddenly by dying; in thy early entrance into the es world, thou shalt be easily deceived. 20. For which reason thou shalt school thyself every day of thy life, that thy Creator only is thy God; and that Him thou shalt never see as thou seest a man or an angel; but that Him also thou canst see every day in the glory of His works. 21. With this faith in thy soul, thou shalt die and enter heaven fearlessly; and, when a pretended god or saviour cometh to thee asking tribute, thou shalt know of a truth he is false.

¶ 15 Again we are warned about the possibility of being deceived by the evil spirits. Upon death, we enter into the spirit world (called the “es world”), and we encounter any possible number of beings, both righteous and unrighteous. The type of spirits we encounter at the symbolic “toll house” depends on the nature of our spirit while we lived in the physical body. Our nature depends on our practice of the virtues. For this very reason, the twentieth verse speaks about the importance of spiritual education “every day of thy life.” Our taking in of the proper knowledge of the Oahspe is too important to delay in during our earthly life, or we can be easily deceived by the drujas when we enter the spirit world.

¶ 16 Part of our knowledge about Jehovih and His “nature,” is being aware that He is not like man-made gods. He is invisible. He can not be seen as we see mortals. The drujas, on the other hand, often take the image of famous gods or famous people of history. As far as Jehovih is concerned, Him we shall “never see as [we see] a man or an angel.” Knowing that we have been worshipping Jehovih, practising the virtues to the best of our ability, and cultivating the various practices outlined in the Oahspe Bible, we can be confident of the promise of dying and entering “heaven fearlessly.” Having knowledge from Jehovih’s true spirit world, we will have the ability to discern between true and false spirits.

22. Now, therefore, when thou judgest thyself, to determine the balance of thy good and evil deeds, and thy good and evil thoughts, let thy Creator stand as the light of thy soul, and, through Him, judge thou thyself, but not as to thy worship, but as to thy works. 23. Neither shalt thou judge thyself by any god, or lord, or saviour, or by any idol, or by any man or woman; for thou standest thyself second to Jehovih in thy attributes. It behooveth thee to make a god of thyself, in thy behaviour and in thy words and deeds.

¶ 17 Whether living on earth in a physical body or in the es world with a spirit body, it is too important for us not to forget that we should never judge ourselves by the standards of the false gods, lord, and saviours. Instead, we must compare our good and evil works according to Jehovih’s standards, and through Him alone are we able to judge ourselves.

¶ 18 The latter part of the twenty-third verse says that we should make gods of ourselves. This means that we should make good, or near-perfect examples of ourselves, as a person who has lived in the presence of Jehovih in both the physical world and spirit world. We can be examples to people living around us on earth, and to spirits living near us in the es world.

24. Neither shalt thou judge thyself by any sacred book, or any bible, in all the world; nor by the words within them purporting to be my words, or the words of any god, lord or saviour. 25. For I have abolished all such sacred books and bibles and words and sayings contained in them, purporting to be my words and the words of any god, lord, or saviour. 26. Neither shalt thou bind thyself by them, nor judge thyself by anything that is written or printed in them. 27. But, behold, I declare a greater glory and judge unto thee in place thereof, which is Jehovih, thy Creator. 28. By Him and through Him shalt thou judge, and be judged.

¶ 19 After being admonished not to judge ourselves according to the standards of false gods, we are further instructed not to compare our good and evil works according to any of the so-called “sacred” books of the world. There are many such books that have been published, often claiming to contain the words of the Creator, but instead, they are from the frail minds of imperfect human beings and sometimes even “inspired” by drujas. When the twenty-fifth verse says that “all such sacred books and bibles and words and sayings contained in them” have been abolished, it means that Jehovih gives no favour to such works. This is not to say that Jehovih has said there are no sacred works from which to learn. If this was the case, the Oahspe would not have been given to us through His angel ambassadors. At the same time, Jehovih’s Faithists should be careful how much meaning we are to put to the words of human beings, whether a book or article is of a spiritual or religious nature or even a self-help book. There are many false ideas put forth in the works of human beings. Faithists living in the physical world can make mistakes, no matter how far their education has been in Jehovih’s Presence. This is why it is important to use spiritual discernment when reading articles, even from a Faithist perspective. Prayer and spiritual discernment are tools given to us by our Creator that should be utilised on a regular basis.

29. Books are maculate; but Jehovih, never. 30. Neither shalt thou, henceforth, swear by any book under the sun; nor by any god, nor lord, nor saviour, nor spirit, nor idol, nor image. But thou shalt swear by Jehovih, thy Creator. 31. To Jehovih only shalt thou covenant thyself, and this shalt thou do in thine own way only, and not according to any book, or bible, or priest, or church, or spirit.

¶ 20 The twenty-ninth verse reminds us that the works of man are not perfect, but that Jehovih alone is perfect. The same is said about the Oahspe Bible itself! Although it was given to us through the Creator’s righteous angels, a human channel was utilised in typing the words given to him. From the earliest published editions to the latest versions, there are some errors — some more obvious than others. This is why we need the Presence of Jehovih and His righteous angels to guide us to have a better understanding of the text. Additionally, we rely on those who have lived a righteous and virtuous life of service to Jehovih for many years. Some of these are brothers, sisters, priests, and ministers. However, we are warned that our covenant is with Jehovih and not with any human being, religious organisation, book, or spirit.

32. Behold, the olden times are past away; and thy God setteth aside the bondages of the olden times also. 33. Sufficient were they for the times they were created. A man shall not be bound as a child; neither shall the judgement of man be bound by the things that were intended for man before he attained judgement. 34. Hast thou not beholden the signs of the times? What I here give in words, Jehovih manifesteth over all the length and breadth of the world. 35. None can stay the hand of the Almighty.

¶ 21 Jehovih has put aside the “olden times,” and we too should cast off from ourselves anything related to falsehood or old ways that do not conform to the Way of Jehovih that has been revealed to us during the Kosmon Era. The thirty-third verse says that “sufficient were [the old ways] for the times they were created.” This means that humans in ancient times were not as intelligent as they are today. Jehovih has revealed much about His spirit world, about science, medicine, and especially about His truth and what we need to know now in order to enter the es world without fear. If we judge ourselves according to the ways of the past, especially ways that are no longer approved by the Eternal Jehovih, then we could be binding ourselves to false spirits which lead us further away from our Creator.


Questions for Discussion

¶ 1. After reading the 20th chapter of the Book of Judgement, what does the chapter of this title mean to you?

¶ 2. What does it mean when he Oahspe says to judge ourselves? Is it possible to become perfect while living on earth?

¶ 3. Can we be brought to perfection without Jehovih? What does the 4th verse mean when it uses the terms “judgement, reformation and resurrection”?

¶ 4. Why is it important that we judge ourselves “every day of [our] life”?

¶ 5. To whom do we owe our existence?

¶ 6. Compared to the physical body, how is the soul “a tree of everlasting life”? What is the importance of making adjustments to our thinking and actions while living in the physical body?

¶ 7 According to the ninth verse, what is necessary for us to cultivate and grow our spirits?

¶ 8 In your own words explain the various “practices” (this can also be a group discussion). Discuss the differences between these with the opposite of the “practices” (for example, the opposite of light is dark. What is the opposite of benevolence?)

¶ 9 Does the tenth verse instruct us against the regular confession of sins?

¶ 10 List a few examples of how something can become an object of worship.

¶ 11 Why must Faithists be on guard from certain spirits?

¶ 12 What is another way of describing the term “worship” as used in the fourteenth verse?

¶ 13, 14 Why is it that drujas attach themselves to certain people? How can we avoid evil spirits attaching themselves to us? What is another phrase for “heaven” as used in the fourteenth verse?

¶ 15 What is a modern phrase that can be used for “es world”? What depends on the type of spirit we meet upon entering the es world? Why is it important to receive proper knowledge about Jehovih “every day of thy life”?

¶ 16 Explain how Jehovih is not like human beings (re-read verses 10 and 20). What makes it possible for us to enter “heaven fearlessly”? What is necessary for us to discern between true and false spirits?

¶ 17 Do we judge ourselves according to Jehovih’s standards or to those of humankind? (Explain in detail.)

¶ 18 What does it mean that we should make gods of ourselves?

¶ 19 Why does the Oahspe say that we should not judge ourselves according to the “sacred” books of the world? What does it mean that Jehovih has abolished all sacred books and bibles? Are Faithist authors immune to making mistakes? What is necessary on our part when reading any spiritual or religious works, including those written by Faithists?

¶ 20 Is the text of the Oahspe Bible perfect? (explain). To whom do we make a covenant? Can our brothers, sisters, priests, or ministers bring us to perfection through a covenant?

¶ 21 What does it mean that the “olden times” have been done away with? What is the name of the time period when the new revelations began? What is the danger of binding ourselves to the old ways that were originally given to people of other eras?


(JBS)

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