Written by a hermit nun living in Holywell, Wales, UK, who looks at 'True Life in God' on the basis of her rabbinical studies to which she has been drawn for many years.
When reading True Life in God books, one sometimes finds oneself wishing they were published in the same format as the Jerusalem Bible (not the New Jerusalem Bible). That is, published with Vassula’s own footnotes at the bottom, sentence numbers given to each two lines of the message in the left hand margin and in the right hand margin full scriptural references for both direct quotations from Holy Scriptures as well as c.f. (compare with) references. At the back of each book one would like to see a full index of these Scripture references in Scripture order.
This format would not only be useful but serve as an important function for discernment of the writings and enable those who meditate on the writings to see the beautiful love of God for us pouring through phrases in the Old Testament which is often erroneously accused of portraying God as authoritarian and vengeful.
The Holy Scriptures are quoted constantly in True Life in God yet without acknowledgement. They are also perfectly flowing in syntax with the rest of the text. These two aspects give a living witness to the supernatural origin of what is said. No one can make a complaint that it is a private or personal meditation because you can only meditate on what you know.
The vast quantity of Scripture quoted in sentences or phrases is beyond the mind of most people to memorize to such an extent as to quote unconsciously constantly and from all over the Scriptures and not simply from a few isolated psalms or favourite Gospel passages. Moreover, many quotations or terms are essentially Hebrew and not translated accurately in some of our modern versions of the Bible especially where the texts, if they had been looked up, would have given non-Hebraic expressions. True Life in God uses the correct Hebraic expressions. We will consider some of these expressions alongside a little critique of the text where the Jewish/Hebrew dimension is affected.
FIRST: The Grammatical Aspect
In old Bibles such as the King James’s we find each verse beginning with "And". So when we look at Genesis we find "And God said". If we look at one or two modern versions such as the Amplified or the New American Standard we again find the "And" (this is not found in some other translations).
There is very little grammar in Biblical Hebrew. It is a rabbinical teaching that the absence of the grammar and the use of the "and" manifests that the work of God from the beginning of creation and all salvation history is one continuous unfolding act of God and is therefore expressed by one continuous sentence.
True Life in God has few full stops. The accurate reproduction of the text, therefore, is in itself a witness of divine authorship to Jews, scripture scholars and anyone who wishes to exercise discernment when reading True Life in God. A false prophet with no scriptural knowledge would, by writing naturally, include full stops.
SECOND: Capital Letters for Personal Pronouns Concerning God
Throughout all Jewish Bibles and literature capital letters are used for pronouns when God is discussed. The Jewish reverence for the Name of God puts to shame a large number of Christians who have stopped showing this reverential exception in grammar. True Life in God, like Jewish literature, always gives the personal pronouns a capital letter when speaking of One of the Divine Persons or to an Act of God when He intervenes.
THIRD: Flesh and Bone
The expression "flesh and bone" in the Scriptures has an explicit meaning of kinship. We would today express kinship by saying "you are my flesh and blood." In the Holy Scriptures, however, that would be an abomination. The truth is that the word is "etsem" (pronounced eh’tsem) and means "bone" and not blood. All blood belongs to God; no one would dare to claim it. The Laws in the Pentateuch concerning eating flesh all state that the blood must be drained out and given back to God to whom it alone belongs.
We find in Gen. 2:23 Adam saying to Eve: "This at last is bone from my bone and flesh from my flesh." However, in the Jerusalem Bible from Judges 9:2 and onwards we find the phrase translated as "flesh and blood," this is because it tries to take the vernacular colloquialism into account and through this make it relevant to our culture. In doing so the Word of God is changed and becomes a weapon used by other denominations or by Jewish people as a sign of the supposed Catholic lack of Truth. To correct this, the document from Rome "Liturgiam Authenticam" (Rome, March 2001) instructed that all translations of the Bible used for the Holy Liturgy must be true to Latin. The purity of Truth is essential to Christian unity and is of greater consequence than colloquialisms that not only fall out of fashion but also divide us from those whose translations are true renditions of the Word of God. Where there is a lack of implementation, this has meant that the faithful have been familiar with the incorrect translation "flesh and blood."
True Life in God does not use the incorrect translation "flesh and blood" but uses the correct Biblical expression "the bone of My Bone, the flesh of My Flesh". This is another example of phraseology which would have been unknown to a false prophet. We find it used on 26 January 1997, 11 November 1998, 21 June 1999, 30 June 1999, 6 October 1999, 28 April 2000, 16 October 2000. There are possibly more examples but the author of this article does not have an index and only jotted down observations she happened to notice.
FOURTH: "Hear My Footsteps"
"Hear My Footsteps" is a peculiarly Jewish expression for the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic Era. The Talmud (1) calls this Era, ikvesa d’meshicha ('the footsteps of the Messiah'). This is deduced from Psalm 89:52, "Those who disgrace the footsteps of your Messiah". Frequently in True Life in God Jesus uses this phrase and it is not to be confused with His other similar phrase of "following My footprints".
"Hear My Footsteps" (or "with the footprints") arises in connection with the fifteen signs which the Talmud sees as preceding the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic Age. The recognition of these (and Christians also have many of them in the signs to precede the Second Coming) is what Christians would call the "Signs of the Times". Without knowledge of Jewish phraseology a false prophet would not have used this particular Jewish phrase but would have used the Christian one of "Signs of the Times" exclusively.
25 August 1988 message mentions: "...the first birthpangs have started but like Folly My creation laugh it off - rejecting my first signs". This expression of the "birthpangs" is also peculiar to Jewish expectancy of the Messiah. The "Birthpangs of the Messiah" are used in the same way as "the Footsteps of the Messiah"; that is, the recognizable fifteen signs preceding His Coming which are linked in the Talmud (see Sanhedrin, beginning at the last two lines of p. 96b and ending on 99a). Jesus Himself uses the phrase for End Time events in Matthew 24:8 and Mark 13:8.
One rabbinical teaching in this Talmudic discussion of "the Birthpangs of the Messiah" says that the Messiah will come either when the world is completely innocent or completely sinful. Christ’s First Coming fulfills the former in that there was One Person, Mary, utterly sinless and utterly innocent to receive Him. Mary, at that moment as it were, represented the entire Jewish nation even though it was sinful in itself. Christ’s coming in His Spirit into the souls of those purified by the Second Pentecost, comes at a time when we see worldwide guilt: abortion alone is used in every country of the East and West, and fulfils this. However, in Judaism, the "Birthpangs of the Messiah" refer to all fifteen signs because they include world-wide apostasy (rationalism) which resides today within Judaism itself just as it does in the Church. Jesus’ reference to these "Birthpangs" in both the gospels and TLIG which refer to His comings should be recognized by Jewish readers, "... already you are living in the first signs of My Return already the first birthpangs have started... " (TLIG 25 August 1988. The full stop which divides this extract in JMJ volume one is not in the original.)
Regarding Christ’s sharing his divinity with the believers, Christ spoke to the Orthodox Saint Symeon in the following way: "My ignominious death is a garment of immortality and of true divinisation for all believers. This is why those who imitate my awesome suffering also share in my divinity and will inherit my kingdom."
In a passage of the book called "In the Light of Christ" Archbishop Basil Krivocheine writes about Saint Symeon: "God is seen in the light: He himself is light beyond expression. His glory and His grace are divine light, and this is how He manifests himself to Symeon. On Judgment Day Christ will shine in the splendour of His divinity. Even now He enlightens Symeon like a distant star.
And in another part of the book saying that when Christ arrives, He becomes everything for us and He receives many names according to His works. He becomes health, if we are sick since He heals us, Light because he enlightens us, Life because he makes us live, Garment, because He surrounds us entirely with His radiance; He shrouds and makes us warm with the glory of His divinity…"
SIXTH: "Evil Inclination"
Message of 15 April 1996 has this exclamation: "O evil inclination, earth so defiled!" The evil inclination (yester ha-ra) is the Jewish phraseology for what Christians call the consequence of original sin - that is, that the inclination to do evil is found to be easier than to do good.
However, Judaism takes this concept a little further. All evil in Jewish writings is traceable to the "yester ha-ra", the Evil Inclination. Satan is also identified with the "yester ha-ra" in that in the Book of Job Satan’s function is to tempt man in order to strengthen man’s moral sense. This tempting is only with the limits God imposes (cf Job 1:12, 2:6).
The yester ha-ra is metaphorically called "leaven" in the sense of fermenting passion (berakhoth 17a) which prevents man from doing the Will of God. But there is another deeper significance.
The day before the Pesach (Passover) the children go round the house with a candle to find hidden pieces of leaven and remove them before the Day of Freedom begins (Passover being freedom from slavery in Egypt). The deeper significance is that prior to the festival of freedom the Jew would remove the yester ha-ra, the Evil Inclination, from his heart by the light of his conscience, which is the "lamp of the Lord" (Prov 20:27).
All these concepts are evoked in the Jewish mind by that phrase "Evil Inclination" in True Life in God. Moreover the removal of the Evil Inclination before the Day of Freedom is a mini-reflection of the message of True Life in God which is preparing us for the Day of the Lord by removing all sin from our hearts if we respond fully to the Second Pentecost. Can there be more: Yes.
The yester ha-ra, the Evil Inclination which is the common experience of every human being is said by the Rabbis to be cast out in the Messianic Era. In True Life in God the Lord says: "when My Day comes, I shall withdraw all evil and have it locked" (TLIG 10.11.88). Likewise when Christ reigns in His Spirit in the hearts of the purified the effect is the same as that experienced in mystical marriage . In that state, St John of the Cross teaches that the "Fomes of Sin(2)", the name Christians give to the root of yester ha-ra, will be held in check. Nothing impure can enter the New Jerusalem which has descended to earth (Rev 21:27, Wis 7:25) and the state of sanctity bestowed as gift to the repentant, the state of Mystical Marriage, holds the "Fomes of Sin" inoperative if we consent.
No false prophet would use an expression so evocative of the full concept of evil to a Jewish person. Satan likes to hide himself and a main part of the Jewish concept is Satan as revealed in his hidden work in men’s hearts.
SEVENTH: The Third Heaven
Shortly before the end of the message of 12 February 2000 there is a reference to the Third Heaven. This Third Heaven is also mentioned by St Paul. It is a Jewish expression based on the concept of there being seven heavens. The Third Heaven contains the Celestial Jerusalem (was it the one St John saw? Rev 21:12) and Celestial Temple where the Archangel Michael stands. Every prayer and religious rite offered in the Temple of Jerusalem was said to have been replicated and represented by St Michael and offered to God by him. This Jewish concept is echoed in Catholicism. We need look no further than the words of Revelations and the words of Holy Mass. In Revelations 8:3-5 we see the Angel standing at the altar and offering incense "with the prayers of all the saints … and so from the Angel’s hand the smoke of the incense went up in the Presence of God and with it the prayers of the saints".
In the Holy Mass too the priest says the words after the Consecration, "Almighty God, we pray that Your Angel may take this sacrifice to Your Altar in Heaven. Then as we receive from this altar the sacred Body and Blood of Your Son, let us be filled with every grace and blessing."
EIGHTH: "I Am"
Throughout the True Life in God writings we find the phrase, "I Am" used by Jesus. It appears at first glance to be Jesus answering Vassula’s questions of "Jesus?" or "Lord?" However, this is the name by which God sent Moses to the Israelites. God told Moses His full Name "I Am Who I Am". But He tells Moses only to give the first part of His Name when the Egyptians ask His Name, "I Am has sent me to you" (Ex 3:14). Occasionally God uses His full Name as in the Message of 27 November 1990: " ... Your Father in Heaven knows that you do not belong to the world yet He is sending you into the world to show the world the heart of your God and that I Am who I Am, sent you..."
Any Jew would recognize the meaning of the "I Am" that begins so many of the messages. So peculiar is this title to God and held so reverently sacred that no Jew would dare to pronounce. Jesus’ use of it is an inherent claim to His Divinity and would be recognized as such by Jewish readers. To the Christian reader it is possibly completely overlooked since we would think it just the response of acknowledgement. If this was to be so a lower case "a" would have been used instead of the capital A which denotes a Name; in this case, THE Name: HASHEM. The Christian is so accustomed to calling God "Father" that most do not even know that He gave this Name of I Am to Moses.
I Am used as the identifying Name of God would most likely be beyond the knowledge of a false prophet. Like the many other recognizably Jewish expressions, this one also testifies to the Divine Authorship of True Life in God.
NINTH: Cains and Esaus, Abels and Jacobs
(See TLIG February 7, 1991)
Judaism recognizes the "evil generational line" that runs through Esau as the persecutor of Jacob and through the Exodus itself where the battle of Rephidim is meant to extinguish the race of Jacob. The evil line goes on through Agag. In foreknowledge of the evils this line would perpetuate on the Jewish people, God used Saul (king) to put an end to the evil line, but Saul disobeyed. Hence the diabolical attempt to eliminate the Jewish people continued. This attempt of annihilation of the Jews was Satan’s attempt to prevent the Messiah being born that would redeem them. Again, right up to the time of Queen Esther we find Haman, descendant of Agag of the same evil generational line, who tries to eliminate the Jewish nation. Jesus’ frequent reference to the Cains and Esaus in the Church would be fully understood in Judaic thought.
Esau means red. Esau was born covered in red hair and he sold his birthright for a pot of red lentil stew. The land of Edom where he settled means "Red Land". His warrior descendants wore red and had red painted shields. They were the people who populated Italy (Biblical description if Land of Reeds). The Roman red cloak put on Jesus as a mockery is a profound symbol of all the evil of Esau’s line trying to eliminate the Messiah. The red flag of atheistic communism continues the "spiritual line of Esau". It is this same atheism that has caused apostasy and is the child of rationalism and naturalism, thereby introducing Esau into the Church as True Life in God messages affirm.
1. Laws deduced from Holy Scripture were known as the Oral Tradition. These were written down out of fear of being lost by the Jewish dispersion, which became known as the Mishna. Later laws deduced from the Mishna were collated by Rabbi Prince of Judah and became known as the Talmud. Like the Mishna it is not regarded as canonical.
2. "Fomes of Sin". Before the Fall Adam and Eve had the gift of "Original Justice", that is, absolute union with God and perfect ease of living in and subjection of themselves to the Divine Will. The Fall caused the Divine Presence to depart. No longer could man subject himself to God’s Will without grace. This basic inherent weakness of the human will and its consequent inability to live without sin is called in scholastic terminology "the Fomes of Sin" (see Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas 3:15:3).
Note: To those who are interested, the fifteen signs given in the Talmud as prior to the coming of the Messianic Reign are identified, interpreted and discussed in the Jewish book, "Days are Coming". This book reveals the Teshuva Movement - the Repentance Movement stirring Jewish hearts to return to the full practice of their faith in preparation for the Messianic Reign. It provides evidence of the interfaith preparation for the Reign of the Messiah who is as yet unknown to them. As with the Christians, the author found the Teshuva Movement did not begin with the Jews as one would expect but with the children raised in the most alienated home - whether in the materialistic West or the actively atheistic, left-wing homes of Russia and secular Israel.
"Days Are Coming", subtitle: "Rising to the Challenge of History's Most Cruel Time", Rabbi Ezriel Tauber, Publisher: Shalheves, ISBN 1-878999-09-5, available from: John Trotter Books, Manor House Books, 80 East End Road, Finchley, London N3 2SY.