The Central Question of the Real Messiah - Did Christ Sit on a 'Real Throne' at the End of the Gospel?

This blog is rarely updated. Stephan Huller develops new posts from the material in this book at his personal blog Watch for the release of the sequel - the Teachings of the Real Messiah out in bookstores March 15, 2011

I know that there has been a lot written about the 'throne of God' and 'sitting on the right hand of power' in academic literature. As a Jew from a deeply mystical tradition I will break it down for my audience - the power that sits in the throne is the lowest manifestation of the Godhead. This hypostasis is a reflection of the 'unseen Father' rather than God Almighty Himself.

Of course scholars are very comfortable writing and formulating theories about the development of the merkava concept in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It's easy to do that when everything is entirely 'theoretical.' But what about the gospel, the central story in Western civilization? Did Christ sit enthroned in a real throne or was it all 'just a metaphor'?

Let me explain what I mean. Christians aren't allowed to think that the story of Jesus' ministry or his Passion were at all fictional. Yet the gospel never originally ended with just an empty tomb. It is apparent from the original Roman and Alexandrian gospels that the narrative ended with an enthronement.

Now I can't prove why the earliest surviving gospels of Mark all seem to end with the empty tomb. Yet I can suggest that given the textual evidence associated with Irenaeus, Clement and Tatian it had to have something to do with the question I just raised - namely was it a real throne or all 'just a metaphor'?

The problem is this - there can't be a throne in heaven. God can't actually appear in an anthropomorphic form. So how is it that everything BEFORE the conclusion is based on 'real historical' events but then suddenly - even after the main protagonist raises from the dead - we are supposed to imagine the narrative 'suddenly transforms' into something utterly symbolic.

Indeed - if we are to be honest about it - everything BEFORE the conclusion signals that someone will sit in a throne by the end of the narrative. The disciples are said by Alexandrian tradition to have seen Christ enthroned in glory at the Transfiguration. Salome appears with John-Mark and his brother and asks who will sit at the right and left on the throne of glory. Jesus announces to the Sanhedrin that the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the father after the Resurrection.

The list goes on and on.

Of course as I have noted before the absurdity of our inherited tradition holds of course that this 'Christ' came down from the throne to start the gospel only to go back 'up' to the throne by its conclusion. What sense does Jesus' announcement to the Sanhedrin make in this scenario? God takes the flesh for a year - like he's on holiday - only to go back where he started from - i.e. 'Never Never Land' where he is not really an anthropomorphic figure not really sitting on a throne that doesn't really exist.

I know most of us are familiar with this silly narrative and so the whole story seems to 'make sense.' Yet I hope at least a few of my readers will acknowledge that there has to be something missing from the narrative - i.e. context.

My lord people! Stop thinking that we're smarter than everyone in antiquity. Yes our culture can take credit for inventing machines that freed those of us who 'have' from enslaving those of us who 'have not' (yet now in America we leave those people lying in gutters to quietly self-destruct). However we should never think that we have 'improved' our understanding of God or the original religious principles of our tradition.

All that has happened is that we have successfully deluded ourselves into thinking that these people were just primitive versions of ourselves. This is so stupid it's dangerous. The elders of our tradition had an infinitely superior understanding of the essence of our religion. Can anyone seriously believe that any Christian theologian of the twentieth or twenty first century had a better understanding of the gospel, Christianity or Christ than Origen of Alexandria?

Yet I tell you, my friends, these deluded moderns really believe that they have improved on Origen, that they know better than Marcion - even Irenaeus. All modernity comes down to egoism gone rampant. This is particularly dangerous in the study of religion where 'God's will' is the guiding principle.

In any event let me spell out what changed between now and then - the immediate acceptance of a man sitting on the throne as a symbol of governance. Our governments are based on the will of man. Ancient man - still not completely disconnected from a fatalistic belief in the 'will of God' saw governments - including the most despotic rulers - as being controlled by forces in the heavens.

So it is that when we take part in any form of democratic governance we necessarily sever ourselves from the ancient world view. We close ourselves off from the idea that the world should be governed by "God's will." Man or mankind is now the measure of all things. The modern reader should read Marcus Aurelius' reflections on his role as an instrument of God. Even in his worst hour we are told he reasoned that there was no way he could fail or the Empire would crumble owing to his belief in himself as an instrument of God or of God's involvement in the governance of the Empire through him.

In other words he's wasn't just worrying about 'being re-elected' i.e. how to flatter or pander to the voting interests of a certain block within their constituency.

I guess my point is that the same logic pervade the near contemporary Jewish expectation regarding the messiah. God would necessarily provide an anointed king to govern the people in real 'historical time.' The notion of God being only 'up there' and mankind governing itself through a democratic form of government (i.e. governing themselves through 'democracy' would be an absurdity to ancient Jewry).

The only form of government that would be acceptable to the Jews of the Common Era would be the re-emergence of the messiah - the one sitting on the throne as a living 'reflection' of God in heaven. Yet we in the modern era have had the simplicity of the original Biblical concept torn away from us. If you look at the use of the word mashiach in the Old Testament it is impossible to distinguish the term from the concept of secular ruler.

We can thank two centuries of European Christian manipulation of the Bible for any misunderstandings and misapplications of the term 'messiah' that have now emerged in our culture ...

So too must we charge that those forms of Christianity which stood closest to Judaism - i.e. Origen and the Origenists who are later accused of 'falling into Jewish error' - would necessarily have shared this idea of all religion coming down to a real person sitting on a real throne in real time and space in this world. There really can be no other way and those who argue otherwise aren't familiar enough with Origen's consistent emphasis on a two advent theory of Christianity (i.e. that Jesus was only the weak set up for the eventual manifestation of a royal messiah).

Indeed - to sum up my initial observation here - it has always been overlooked by scholars that all the 'Origenists' who follow Origen happen to be Popes who sit on a real throne in a real place (Alexandria) and govern a real nation of Christians. In other words the argument of the Origensts was entirely self-serving. They (and their successors even in the modern Alexandrian Church) see themselves as the successful completion of the original Jewish expectation that eventually a royal messiah would govern a 'divine kingdom' on earth.

The only wrinkle in this new paradigm is that the Copts essentially argue that the 'Christ soul' wasn't limited to one person - 'Christ' transmigrates to all successors of St Mark through their active participation in his person (and with his skull).

So it is that I want to stress over and over again how important tradition is. If there is one thing that we can curse the effects of Protestantism is that it spawned the notion that the texts of the New Testament canon can be yanked away from a physical tradition. Only Luther and the wooden-headed Germans who followed him could have dreamed up something so absurd.

The gospel is about Jesus setting up an expectation or making an 'announcement' (annoucement = gospel) about a physical man sitting in a physical throne in a physical place in a particular year, month and date which comes to fulfillment at the end of the narrative. This used to be the original context of Christianity. It was (and still is to a degree) the underlying logic of the Alexandrian tradition. The Roman Church undermined this logic (for purely selfish reasons) but it is the Protestant approach to the New Testament which has forever severed us from rescuing this original understanding.

Protestants will never allow us to ground the text in a physical throne owing to their irrational hatred of the Papacy. The concept is a non-starter with these people because of Luther's irrational hatred of the Roman Church. Indeed Protestantism is essentially a northern European reaction against tradition, the real tradition of Christianity. It really is that simple.

One would have hoped that after rebelling against Rome that Luther would have encouraged his followers to turn to another ancient tradition, one which could provide a CONTEXT for the conclusion of the gospel. Yet I was expecting too much from Germans again.

It was a dangerous thing to simply abandon the Papacy. To be truthful with you I fear that without it Jesus really died for no purpose. Luther had a right to accuse the contemporary Roman pontiffs of corruption. He had a right to separate himself from the See of Peter but his abandonment of the concept of Pope or 'Papa' made all subsequent theologians who developed from his immature rebellion unable to make sense of Christianity.

The point is that 'a man sitting on a real throne' is the central thread to the gospel. Yet the original idea has been deliberately obscured by subsequent editors of the New Testament canon. I will argue that the gospel was originally about Jesus coming down to this world in order to unite his glory to mortal flesh on the throne of God. As such it wasn't Jesus simply coming down from his throne and going back up to a throne in heaven but rather bringing glory down from heaven and available to all mankind through his apostle sitting on the Papal throne.

Again, why else would the gospel of Mark introduce Salome making that request on behalf of the original author? Why doesn't Jesus use the third person when speaking of the one who will be seated at the conclusion of the narrative?

The point is that almost anyone with any discernment has recognized that there is a 'secret' at the heart of the gospel. The idea that Jesus ritually prepared one chosen disciple for union with his 'Christ soul' to sit on that 'messianic throne' seems to be the only explanation which ever made sense to me.

I guess what I am trying to say is that only once we see the gospel as just one part of the original mechanism established by Christ to perpetuate his mystery throughout the ages does the whole process suddenly become a whole lot less mysterious.

Protestants would never come up with this solution because they are essentially Luther's bastards.

However I propose to my readers that it all comes down to choosing between the Roman and Alexandrian Papacies. There were two traditions which claim to have established two thrones which essentially grew from their association with the Gospel of Mark. This isn't something to dismiss over a pint of beer.

It's like trying to isolate circumcision as a mere 'practice' of Judaism.

The Papacy is an integral part of the religious experience of the two Churches which claim to have grown out of the Gospel of Mark, the original gospel which in its earliest form has Christ end up sitting on a throne.

What I am suggesting to my readership is that the Alexandrian claims came first. They held that this John-Mark in the gospel came to Egypt almost immediately after the Resurrection and ended up being enthroned in Alexandria during the course of his preached HIS gospel. I happen to find this paradigm most interesting as it gives the enthronement at the conclusion of his text a striking parallel to events associated with his own person.

The Alexandrians to this very day can't separate Mark's gospel from his enthronement or any of the other things he did while preaching his gospel to them. They are not Protestants after all. They actually have a real functioning tradition established by the chief witness to Jesus' ministry.

At the same time I have to recognize that there is another tradition at Rome which claims to 'own' the original gospel of Mark. This is the Roman tradition and this position is first witnessed by Irenaeus. Irenaeus knows of the enthronement at the conclusion but interestingly says that the heretics associated with Alexandria are wrong for thinking Christ was a separate person from Jesus and wrong for thinking that his enthronement happened in this world rather than the world to come.

Nevertheless it is very strange that the Roman See developed as a kind of 'parallel Papacy' to the original institution first established in Alexandria. Not only did they eventually appropriate the traditional title of the Patriarch of Egypt and his gospel they instituted a consistent subordination of Mark both overtly - in terms of demoting him from the canon of apostles - but also covertly - with regards to the consistent denial that there was any other figure taking part in this 'gospel mystery' beside Jesus.

Of course with all these textual and contextual manipulations the Roman Catholic Church appears as an irrational, misbegotten abortion. It simply doesn't make sense and cannot answer the basic question - was Christ enthroned in a real cathedra? The Alexandrians know the truth. They might not tell outsiders their truth and maybe not all of them know all the levels and degrees to this mystery. However you can be assured that the most enlightened in their community are aware that the Christ soul was passed on to their Papacy through St. Mark and being properly 'prepared' for this throne by Jesus himself.

Just take the time to befriend one of their leading thinkers as I did and you will learn the truth. The economy is tanking anyway. Why not pursue the mysteries that were unsolved by our ancestors? God knows there is nothing else to available for us to do in this world other than work ourselves to an early grave ...

If you want to read an interesting book buy the Real Messiah here.