IS HE GOD'S PROPHET?
Rudolf Steiner says that his knowledge of pre-history and the evolution and nature of mankind were given to him as divine revelation from God. He claims his revelations provide a deeper understanding of Christianity.
He also claims that all religious systems have an underlying unity which he attempts to reveal.
But are these claims true? Is there any way to test his accuracy? Do the sacred writings of the various religions show an underlying unity?
ARE ALL RELIGIONS JUST DIFFERENT PATHS?
Some religions do claim to be "just different paths to the same goal." Many faiths deny this claim, and say they are a unique path to a unique goal.
Even the most basic comparison of religions shows that not only are the paths different, but also the goals. Almost every religion promises to take you to a different goal by a different path from a different beginning, assisted by different gods. Where is the unity? The only common element is that all offer you hope of something beyond this life.
Rudolf Steiner says his teachings are "Esoteric Christianity" developed from the teachings of the Bible. If Steiner is indeed bringing us further revelation of God's truth, his teachings should show a logical and systematic deepening and expanding of Christ's teachings. If they show major contradictions, then we must decide whether we believe Rudolf Steiner or Jesus Christ.
First, let's see what the Bible says about "all religions just being different paths to the same goal."
Yahweh God, the only real God, says through his prophet Moses;
Do not inquire after their gods, saying, "How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise." You shall not worship Yahweh your God in that way; for every abomination to Yahweh which he hates they have done to their gods, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it. You shall not add to it nor take away from it.
(Deuteronomy 12:30 to 32)
The Apostle Paul gives people this advice;
Beware lest anyone cheats you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of Divinity bodily; and you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power.
(Colossians 2:8 to 10)
Biblical Christianity thus claims to be a unique system which by its very essence cannot be merged with other religions. It does not support Steiner's mixture of religions and philosophies.
WHICH RELIGION IS TRUE?
All religions claim that their teachings are true. But only one religion allows itself to be tested for both personal and objective truth.
That one is Biblical Christianity. The personal test is simple. Yahweh God says that anyone who seeks him with his whole heart, mind and being will find him. I know from personal experience that this is true.
The objective test is more complex. God claims that the Bible is His record of the past, present and future. God also claims to be in ultimate control, and says that the accuracy of His predictions is proof that He is God and that the Bible is his book. Indeed, nearly a third of the Bible is prophecy, much of it concerning events leading up to the rapidly approaching return of Jesus Christ.
Rudolf Steiner's record of the past and predictions for the future are incompatible with the Biblical record, as is the record prepared by the 'faith' of evolution. We shall look briefly at the real facts about the past and the present to see who is right.
THE PAST AS A KEY TO TRUTH
The Bible has proven to be an extremely reliable history of the Middle East over the past four thousand years. Many archeological discoveries have begun with a study of the Bible. The Bible's accuracy throughout this time period is without equal among the sacred writings of any other faith.
In discussing Pre-history, it is necessary to know that the 'sacred' dating systems of Geology and Evolution are based on assumptions which science can not prove to be true. These assumptions are:
1. Everything in the past is formed by the processes we see occurring in the world today.
2. Life evolved through a process of random mutations and natural selection.
3. Radioactive decay rates are constant through time, the original isotope ratios can be accurately known, and no other effects have changed isotope concentrations, thus making dates based on radioactive isotope ratios reliable.
These assumptions are used to "prove" the Biblical record of pre-history wrong. The first suggestion eliminates the possibility of a world-wide flood, although over the last couple of decades honest geologists have begun to acknowledge that massive catastrophes have had a major influence in shaping the world as we know it. The second suggestion eliminates any need for a Creator God, The third suggestion provides the huge timescales required to make evolution appear possible, though not even billions of years can make it probable.
Interestingly, there are many features preserved in the rocks which geologists cannot explain by processes which are occurring today. They are explained by a recent, rapid creation followed by a catastrophic world-wide flood. The fossil record is consistent with a literal Biblical interpretation. Until the 1850's the fossil record was regarded as evidence of Noah's Flood. Even now geologists admit that virtually all of the fossils they uncover have been preserved by rapid burial in water-carried debris.
The "evolutionary" sequence that they find is nothing more than the record of the ability of various organisms to postpone their death and burial during the Flood. Thus we have aquatic plants, bottom dwelling crustaceans, fish, swamp plants and dwellers, uprooted dry land vegetation, and then slow-moving land animals (including Dinosaurs). Finally the warm-blooded birds and mammals were swallowed up as the waters covered the hills they had escaped to. If it were to happen again today you would get a similar sequence.
Evolutionists expected the fossil record to show the gradual development of one kind of organism into another kind. However, they have not found one single fossil that is undisputably in this transitional state, nor have they found one single living creature that fills these "missing links" between different kinds. Instead they have found millions of separate, fully developed species. The fossil record actually shows that there are many fewer species today than there were in the past, which is the opposite of what the hypothesis of evolution proposes. The real truth is that evolution is based on faith that there is no god, rather than on proven scientific fact.
Many scientists have been questioning the belief that the universe is billions of years old. Dr. Russell Humphries believes the apparent age of distant galaxies is a relativistic effect due to the rapid expansion of the universe, not immense amounts of time. Studies of the rate of salt accumulation in Earth's oceans place the age of the seas at between a few thousand years to a maximum of thirty or forty million years. The radioactive dating of earth's crust hinges on believing that radioactive decay rates have always been constant, that the original ratios of the various isotopes can be known, and that none of the isotopes have leached away or moved into the sample being tested over supposed eons of time. None of these assumptions can be proven, and are unlikely to be correct. The actual physical facts support God's Word more easily than they support evolution.
Steiner's concept of evolution is even more unlikely than "scientific evolution": No evidence of a slowly flooded Atlantis on the ocean floor near Ireland has ever been found. No human remains with only partially developed sense organs have ever been found. But even more importantly, his concepts are in complete contradiction with God's recorded revelation of his Creation in the book of Genesis.
The accuracy with which the Bible records the past, and the numerous prophecies which have been fulfilled, on schedule, and are still being fulfilled today, is proof that Yahweh God is in control of time. We can safely trust him to bring the remainder of his prophecies to fruition.
We believe that God is capable of preserving a trustworthy record for us to study and learn from. We believe the Bible is that record. Steiner admits every word of John's Gospel is important and true. That also applies to the rest of the Bible as Jesus himself states: "Truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, there is no way one letter or one dot will pass from the law until all is implemented." (Matthew 5:18) Paul also stresses the reliability of Scripture in his second letter to Timothy in verses 3:14 to 4:5.
Our faith is based on what Jesus Christ has revealed to us, not on what some cult or denomination tells us we should believe. But the only way of deciding if a revelation is from God or from the Deceiver is whether that revelation compliments or clashes with God's Word, which is " a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105)
The Holy Bible teaches that there is only one true God whose Hebrew name is Yahweh - which means Eternal, Self-Existent Creator. (See Exodus 6:3 and John 17:3) We believe that eons ago that One decided to Create. His/Her first act was to bring forth a child- a God-Child (See Revelation 3:14 and Proverbs 8:22 to 36.) That Child was Christ who only reached full adult God-hood as a result of his faithfulness during the Crucifixion. (Hebrews 5:5-9) Now note vs 9: He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Not me, not you, not Steiner, but Christ. As Paul states in Romans 6:16 "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves as slaves to obey, you are slaves of the one whom you obey?"
THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN
Let's look at some of Steiner's comments on the Gospel of John. He states the correct rendering of "wilderness" in John 1:23 is "solitary one", and that it refers to John the Baptist claiming to have a personal ego instead of a group ego. The same Greek word is used in John 3:14, 6:49, Acts 7:30, 36, 38, 42, 44 and a dozen other places all referring to desolate places. Please take a close look at these scriptures. Do you really think 'eremos' means "a solitary one"? God does not teach that mankind ever had a 'group ego'.
He also claims that the story of Lazarus in John chap. 11 is really John's "Christian Initiation". Yet Jesus, in verse 14, says plainly "Lazarus is dead." He claims Jesus put 'Lazarus' into a trance. Vs. 11 and 22 tell us that Lazarus was already dead before Jesus went to Judea to restore him. Steiner claims that it was only after Jesus openly exposed the Pharisees' Mystery Rites to the people during the Lazarus incident that they began to oppose him. Yet vs. 8 tells us that the Jews had already tried to stone him on a previous visit to Judea. There is also no evidence that the Pharisees ever practised the pagan Mystery Rites.
As Jesus shows in vs 4, Lazarus's death and resurrection were to show that the Son of God has power over death. Verse 44 shows that his disciples have a part in freeing a man from death.
Real Christian Initiation is shown in Acts 2:1-4 and Acts 10:34-48. It is immersion (the actual meaning of 'Baptiso') in the Holy Spirit and is only done by Jesus Christ. (See Luke 3:16) Acts 2:38-39 shows us what God demands of us before He will promise us Immersion in His Spirit. The actual Immersion is completely unlike Kundalini, which is violent and goes from the base of your spine upwards. Immersion in the Holy Spirit begins at the crown of your head and flows down into your body. It is powerful and yet loving and gentle at the same time. I am still awed by the incredible precision and control Christ used when He immersed me in the Spirit.
It is this immersion that is the deepest proof of our acceptance by Christ. (See Ephesians 1:13) This is one of the deepest mysteries of Christianity. It is Yahweh's Spirit dwelling in Jesus Christ that makes him one with his Father. It is Yahweh's Spirit dwelling in us that make us one with Jesus and his Father and with each other. (See John 17:20-26) The Immersion actually unites our spirit with God's Spirit in a bond that can only be broken by a deliberate decision on our part to turn against God. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that gives us the strength to withstand Satan, that reveals to us God's will and enables us to understand God's Word. As we continue to walk in the Spirit we are being perfected by the working of the Holy Spirit in us.
WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?
Steiner claims that Jesus was just a man who had reached a high level of development after many reincarnations and he only "became" the Christ when he was filled with the 'Christ Impulse' at the time of his water baptism by John the Baptist. When Jesus's blood flowed onto the ground, he says that the 'Christ Impulse' then left Jesus and became one with the being of the earth.
To give some credence to this claim he suggests that Joseph was Jesus's physical father and that the "virgin birth" was spiritual. If this is true why does Mary ask Gabriel in Luke 1:34 how can she bring forth a son when she has never known a man? Why does Luke in 3:23 say that Jesus was Joseph's son "as was supposed"? Why does Matthew in his genealogy say "Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.", instead of "Joseph begot Jesus" as in the rest of his genealogy, thus avoiding actually naming either of them as his biological parents? (Matthew 1:16) Why does God send an Angel to Joseph to assure him that she hasn't been with another man if he is the father? (Matthew 1:20) Why do vs 24 and 25 tell us that he never 'knew' her until Jesus was born? Do you believe that the Son of God is merely the result of an illegitimate union?
REINCARNATION OR RESURRECTION?
The concept of reincarnation is not taught in the Bible. It teaches that each of us are given one life, followed by a resurrection. Resurrection means that the dead shall be restored to life at one of the two resurrections in the future with a full memory of their previous life. (Revelation 20:4 to 6) The Bible also teaches that when we die we know nothing until the resurrection. (See Ecclesiastes 9:5 & 6 and Psalm 146:1 to 4. --the last phrase in vs 4 is literally "In that very day his thinking perishes.")
The name Jesus Christ is the Greek version of the Hebrew "Joshua Messiah". In both Hebrew and Greek the name means "The Anointed Salvation of God". The Christ simply means "The Anointed". It does not mean "the Anointing" as Steiner suggests. John's Baptism is indeed the time of the anointing, but it says nothing of Jesus being filled with Christ. Instead it tells us that the Spirit of God decended like a dove and alighted on him. (See Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22) The Christ (The Anointed) is simply Jesus's title, not an "Impulse". That this is true is shown by the fact that Jesus is also referred to as Christ before his baptism. See Luke 2:11 & 26 and Matthew 1:18 & 2:4. Psalm 2:6 literally says "Yet I have anointed my King on my holy hill of Zion." This Psalm tells us of the Son of God's anointing on two levels; once long ago in the highest Heaven and once again on earth. (God uses Zion in both senses in many places in scripture.)
The Apostle John carefully makes sure we know that Jesus and the Christ are one and the same person. In John 1:14 he plainly tells us that the Word (Logos) became flesh and dwelt among us. In John 1:18 Jesus is identified as "the only begotten God" in many Greek manuscripts. In vs 29 and 30 John tells us that John the Baptist identified Jesus (specifically Jesus) as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And in 1 John 2:22 he lays it on the line: "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?" The Apostle John says this. John is supposed to have the same "esoteric" understanding as Steiner, yet Steiner denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Saul, (later called Paul) in Acts 9:22, spent his time proving that Jesus is the Christ. Peter, in Acts 5:29-32, plainly tells us that Jesus has been exalted to God's right hand in heaven. They make no mention of Christ being the Spirit of the earth, but they do tell us that Satan is the spirit of this world.
Steiner claims that Osiris, Buddha, and others were all manifestations of the 'Christ Impulse'. The Bible clearly shows that there is only one Christ. See the first chapter of Ephesians for proof of this. We can become one with Christ as I showed you above. But that does not make us Christ too!
WE MUST CHOOSE
God is not an anthroposophist. As far as He is concerned there is only one true religion and that is the one He gives us in his word. God asks us through his prophet Elijah; "How long will you falter between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." (See First Kings 18:21) The whole of chapter 18 shows God's attitude to false religions.
Jesus also warns us: "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. How narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:13 & 14) Jesus goes even farther when He says "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21) So being a follower of Christ doesn't simply mean saying you are a Christian, it also means knowing the will of God and doing it. The Bible reveals the will of God.
God does not command us to concentrate on developing our egos and "astral bodies" to prepare ourselves for receiving His Spirit. He does command us to meditate on his Law. (Psalm 1) He does command us to obey Him and Him alone. With the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) He sets out the absolute minimum requirements that flow from the two greatest commandments: " You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." and " You shall love your neighbour as yourself." (Matthew 22:36 to 40) He does command us to recognise our failure to keep his law (sin) and accept his forgiveness. (1 John 1:8 to 10) He does command us to teach his words diligently to our children. (Deuteronomy 6:5 to 7)
The Bible teaches that we are composed of a body, soul and spirit. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12-13) Our soul is in our blood as Leviticus 17:13-14 correctly translated reads:" ..he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust for it is the soul of all flesh. Its blood sustains its soul...for the soul of all flesh is its blood." Thus it was Jesus's soul that was poured out unto the earth, not his spirit or the 'Christ Impulse' as Steiner claims. His spirit returned to God until he came back to life. See Luke 23:46 and Ecclesiastes 12:7.
CAN SALVATION BE EARNED?
Jesus teaches the necessity of repentance: "...unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (See Luke 13:1-5) To repent means "to change one's mind". The change that he wants is for us to submit to God as the supreme authority in our lives. Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden was to believe Satan instead of God, thus placing Satan in the position of Ruler over this earth. God has permitted this for six thousand years (which may finish soon) in order to show us the result of following Satan. The result is six thousand years of pain and death, culminating in a series of massive environmental disasters and devastating wars that would totally extinguish life from Earth if Jesus did not return to repair the damage. (See 2 Peter 3:10-13 and Matthew 24:22)
Jesus did not only pay the price for Adam and Eve's first sin, he paid the price for every sin that every one of us has ever committed. As the only true Son of God, his life was worth more than the life of every creature that lived on earth.
Steiner suggests that we can work off our debts (sins) by doing good to someone who we once wronged. He is ignoring the fact that doing good is simply what God expects us to do all the time. Doing one thousand good things can not cancel out even one evil act. It's like saying it's all right to mutilate someone if we later come along and pay for plastic surgery for them. We can never fully repair the damage we do with a cruel word or deed. Only God is able to do that. If it was possible for us to earn remission for our sins, then there would have been no need for Jesus Christ to die in our place. (See Hebrews 9:11-28 and Romans 8:1-11) God wants perfect peace, nothing less. The Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death, total annihilation. (Romans 6:23 -He makes an exception for Satan and his demons -Rev.20:10) God's gift, offered through Jesus, is eternal life. (Romans 5:18 to 21, 6:23, John 3:16) Eternal life is not something we already have, as a look at Genesis chap. 3 will show. That mankind has inherent eternal life was Satan's first lie. Rudolf Steiner obviously believed this lie.
Steiner also believed that we are trapped in the physical world, which he regarded as an inferior place to the "spirit world". God said the physical creation was "very good" (See Genesis chapter 1, esp. vs 31) His love of this creation is so great that he plans is to make Earth the location of his "capital city", (See Revelation Chapter 21) thus welding Heaven and Earth into one.
God, through Christ, is offering each of us a place with Him in His New Jerusalem. His offer includes an immortal body composed of spirit which will have abilities which we can not even begin to understand now. (See Phillippians 3:18 to 21 and 1 Corinthians 15:35 to 58) Do not let anyone deprive you of such a generous gift.
Please study God's Word and see if these things are true. Do not let anyone's teachings take precedence before the teachings of God.
Most of the details of Steiner's teachings referred to in this article were taken from "The Gospel of St. John: A Cycle of Twelve Lectures", "Cosmic Memory: Prehistory of the Earth and Man" and "Reincarnation and Immortality".
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The Central Highlands Church of God Bible translation is used throughout this article. We believe our version is an accurate translation of the Scriptures. God's Word is sacred, and translations should not be slanted to suit the beliefs of the translators.
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