Is it real….. or simulated?
Sugar substitutes, artificial intelligence, cloned farm animals, and “reality television” are all simulated items, none are the original. Society has espoused the idea of “close enough” to a point that is near perversion. I have actually heard people say “its the same only different” without anyone else in the conversation batting an eye. When did the term ‘different’ and the term ‘same’ become the word ‘equal’?
Jubilees 11:4 “And Ur, the son of Kesed, built the city of ‘Ara’ of the Chaldees, and called its name after his own name and the name of his father. And they made for themselves molten images, and they worshipped each the idol, the molten image which they had made for themselves, and they began to make graven images and unclean simulacra, and malignant spirits assisted and seduced them into committing transgression and uncleanness
Interestingly enough, Simulacra are copies that depict things that either had no original to begin with, or that no longer have an original. The simulacra are the signs and symbolism of culture and media that construct perceived reality, the acquired understanding by which our lives and shared existence is and are rendered legible.
Society has become so saturated with these simulacra and our lives so saturated with the constructs of society that all meaning was being rendered meaningless by being infinitely mutable. [changing, inconsistent]
The word of God tells us in Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” So we can see God isn’t going to change and He repeatedly tells us “and my covenant shall be for an everlasting covenant” (Gen. 17:13, 17:19). Likewise we see YHVH tell his people “ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.”
So why don’t we see followers of YHVH doing forever things that a unchanging God has ordained? Where are the fliers on services at the local church for Passover, Shabbat and Unleavened Bread?
Simulacra breaks the sign-order into 4 stages: The first stage is a faithful image/copy, where we believe, and it may even be correct, that a sign is a “reflection of a profound reality”, this is a good appearance, in what is called “the sacramental order”.
The “conversion” of mankind is said to be at the Cross of Christ. It is the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah that pays our sin debt and repairs our relationship to YHVH. It is our responsibility to then find out how to live out the newly repaired relationship. The Bible goes into great detail on this life. The “conversion” of religion is a whole different and unexposed topic.
The generally accepted reason for the “conversion” of religion is pointed at the events in Acts 15. They look at verse 20 and dodge verse 21… “But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood…21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” Verse 21 clearly states the new believer in Jesus Christ is to observe the Sabbath and to learn the Torah.
The first and second century Bishops of Rome taught Mithraic sun-god worship in a collapsing regime. By 314 C.E. the governing chaos came into some semblance of order and Constantine recognized the power of organization and discipleship within the fledgling Christianity. Constantine seized the opportunity to be a conduit to their cause opening the doors to the vast inventory of cathedrals in the Byzantine Empire.
The birth of the Roman Catholic Church through the Council of Nicea creates “the sacramental order” for religion. Through the Council of Nicea and the multitude of “councils” that followed the RCC mandated and enforced a new list of ordinances based on the decisions of men, cloaked with hand picked scriptures, many of which were mixed with the beliefs of Mithraism.
The second stage is perversion of reality, this is where we come to believe the sign to be an unfaithful copy, which “masks and denatures” reality as an “evil appearance—it is of the order of maleficence”. Here, signs and images do not faithfully reveal reality to us, but can hint at the existence of an obscure reality which the sign itself is incapable of encapsulating.
During the centuries to follow (400 C.E.- 800 C.E.) we see the RCC translating the Hebrew Torah into the Latin Vulgate while simultaneously persecuting those that refused to become a part of the “church”. The extent of their persecution included the burning of Torah scrolls and forcibly conducting services in Latin only. The acceptance of pagan rituals as holidays, worship and community are continually added to the religious order.
The third stage masks the absence of a profound reality, where the sign pretends to be a faithful copy, but it is a copy with no original. Signs and images claim to represent something real, but no representation is taking place and arbitrary images are merely suggested as things which they have no relationship to. This is the “order of sorcery”, a regime of semantic algebra where all human meaning is conjured artificially to appear as a reference to the (increasingly) hermetic truth.
We are introduced to religious practices through the RCC such as indulgences and penance as well as hundreds of “sacramental” requirements that have no biblical foundation. The worship of “saints” which is actually the “conversion” of the polytheism practiced in Roman society. Once Rome conquered a country they inquired of the gods they worshiped and added them to the Roman pantheon. This practice continues to this very day with the recent addition of “Mother Theresa” as a ‘saint’.
The fourth stage is pure simulation, in which the simulacrum has no relationship to any reality whatsoever. Here, signs merely reflect other signs and any claim to reality on the part of images or signs is only of the order of other such claims. This is a regime of total equivalency, where cultural products need no longer even pretend to be real in a naïve sense, because the experiences of consumers’ lives are so predominantly artificial that even claims to reality are expected to be phrased in artificial, “hyperreal” terms. Any naïve pretension to reality as such is perceived as bereft of critical self-awareness, and thus as oversentimental.
Now that we have had nearly 1700 years to digest the hijacking of the ordinances of YHVH it is nearly impossible to teach anything that resembles the feasts or practices described by the unchanging God of forever ordinances. Looking at the one issue Martin Luther had with the RCC in salvation by grace through faith we can see staunch aversion of the RCC to the Bible.
Back to Act 15 we read “And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:” Again the RCC uses this to say that the commands of YHVH are now over and done with; when in fact this was addressing salvation and entry into the congregation. The elders knew that the teachings of the Torah each week would eventually lead the believer to the teaching on the Abrahamic covenant and thusly to their own conclusion on circumcision.
We see in Chapter 16 “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.” Once Timothy came to the faith in Jesus for salvation and the wisdom of the commandments of Torah he knew circumcision was an integral part of the connection between YHVH and mankind. Timothy got circumcised out of faith AND obedience to the Torah.
This is why we read in Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
It is here we have to ask ourselves ….is our religion, is our church, is our faith real…. or simulated?