Paul Parallels: Originally apostle to Gentiles or to Israel?

The first parallel is for the purpose of showing that sometimes the word “nations” (gentiles) was used to refer to the lost tribes of Israel from the northern kingdom also called “Ephraim:”

Romans 11:25 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
25 For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of this secret — that ye may not be wise in your own conceits — that hardness in part to Israel hath happened till the fulness of the nations may come in;

Genesis 48:19 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
19 And his father refuseth, and saith, `I have known, my son, I have known; he also becometh a people, and he also is great, and yet, his young brother is greater than he, and his seed is thefulness of the nations;’

Paul Parallels, apostle to the Gentiles or to the lost tribes of Israel? Read these verses and the context around them:

Rev 21 YLT
12 having also a wall great and high, having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve messengers, and names written thereon, which are [those] of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel,
. . . 
24 and the nations of the saved in its light shall walk, and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it,

Acts 9 (referring to Paul) (YLT)
15 And the Lord said unto him, `Be going on, because a choice vessel to Me is this one, to bear My name before nations and kings — the sons also of Israel;
16 for I will shew him how many things it behoveth him for My name to suffer.’

Isaiah 60 (YLT)
3 And come have nations to thy light, And kings to the brightness of thy rising.
4 Lift up round about thine eyes and see, All of them have been gathered, they have come to thee, Thy sons [referring to Israel] from afar do come, And thy daughters on the side are supported.

Gen 35:10 (YLT)
10 and God saith to him, Thy name [is] Jacob: thy name is no more called Jacob, but Israel is thy name;’ and He calleth his name Israel. 11 And God saith to him,I [am] God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply, a nation and an assembly of nations is from thee, and kings from thy loins go out; 

Abraham, River of Faith: Chapter 4, part 7

     So, as bad as things sounded last time, they are about to become manifestly worse.  Now, we will enter the 20th century, and here, we shall look upon the Leviathan.  This is not the indomitable dragon spoken of by El; rather, it is an organism crafted by the dark soul of Calvin.  This is a kraken, an ancient octopoid, whose tentacles could wrap around a ship, and sink it whole.  This creature does not trifle with mere ships and men, however;  this one grips in its’ dread power the earth on which we live, through the unstoppable force at its’ command, which is known to men as commodification.

     Imagine a model of our globe, as normal, but with tentacles crawling out from beneath the United States, drifting across the globe, writhing, stretching, engorged, rampaging across all the nations of Earth. Watch it, as it absorbs all in its’ path, deconstructing matter to raw materials, and dragging it back to its’ titan maw. Whatever resists it it decimated, should that resistance not be backed by extreme power-or submission to the Leviathan.  Imagine your shock to see this; then multiply that sevenfold when you realize that those who live on top of the tentacles have no idea that those appendages exist!

     You don’t have to imagine this.  Ask an average American, and they have little to no idea what is being done by the power cabal that runs the tentacles.  I say this as an American, who was taught to bleed red, white and blue for my beloved land.  I was always taught patriotism, fealty, and love for America, when men were free, and right prevailed.  I still hold those values, because my America is all those things.  My America is an ideal, that supercedes the real.  But the terrible truth is that the Leviathan is just a nanometer below the world we see in the magic rectangle, just a hair out of focus from the control grid media, like John Carpenter’s immortal  They Live.

     As with the film, there are those who dwell among us, who, underneath, are reptilian. No, I don’t mean the inane theories about the hollow earth and such.  They are not actually reptilian: they are spiritually reptilian.  They have the mindset of the reptile: cold, calculating, and ceaselessly drawn to more and more wealth and power.  They acquire these things, because they have no moral boundaries to limit their lusts, and no compassion to complicate their affairs.  And they run the show-often, with the help of religion.

     With the dawn of the 20th century, America went from a rural, farming nation, to an industrialized powerhouse.  Its’ power exploded with victories in world war, and as a hub for ideas and free people.  This remapped the landscape culturally, as expressed in the old song ‘How you gonna keep em down on the farm. once they’ve seen gay Paris?’  The answer is, you aren’t.  European existentialism is going to creep in, especially after the terror of the Reich, where a religion was built by the SS to worship their Messiah (Heil Hitler, in the Nuremburg assemblies, meant ‘Praise God’).  One of the great Christian heroes, Deitrich Bonhoffer, died battling this religion.

     The principle enemy of Germany-the Soviets-also had a religion, which is no surprise, as the man who made it what it was, Stalin, was a Jesuit first.  The state is a religion, no matter how often you quote Marx, if you worship it as such.  If it contorts truth, and makes heretical the power of reasoning, then it is a religion, whether to God or man it is dedicated.  In Hegel’s case, he didn’t bother to deny it.  These ideas, communism, fascism, existentialism, nihilism- these were undiscovered lands for the simple, pietistic Americans, who came to the forefront of the powers of the world.

     By 1950, Europe had almost atrophied as the home of Christendom; the horrors of war, of Holocaust, and the mounting scientific case against the Bible had emptied churches and set a continent adrift into malaise and angst. No one in Europe took the idea seriously anymore.  Here in America, it was recovering, but as a religion, one very useful, as Seneca wrote, for the rulers.  here, it was being celebrated as Christianity, but was, in fact, Mammonity. Thus came the Gospel of Wealth.

     America was entering an age of unbridled power, and with this came a leap forward in lifestyle that was undreamt of heretofore.  Working class people could live as kings did elsewhere on Earth.  My grandparents opened a store near their home, with gas pumps and merchandise, on blue collar skills and salary.  The interstate system supercharged commerce, and opportunities, and every one was getting in on the game.  Life was good, for a while, until the jobs went overseas, and with those, the opportunities to make the American Dream come true.

         In the midst of the great heyday of money, very few stopped to ask: ‘where did all this come from?’ How did this prosperity arise?  Most just assumed that it was just ‘natural’, a dividend of American greatness.  Those factors did help; American labor did make America what it was.  But underneath the skin, the Leviathan was at work, and it was this creature, Mammon’s pet, that was juicing up the pot.  It was built from the Brettonwood conference, from which came the SWIFT money system that still dominates the world.  That provided the financing;  for raw materials, abstract solutions were required, by the burgeoning intelligence apparatus roughly known as CIA.

     This was where the dirty work got done, when people didn’t ‘play ball’.  In the Americas alone, the shadow men knocked down  elected governments with regularity.  Guatemala, Chile, and recently Venezuela, Honduras, were collapsed into Junta dictatorships, or puppet clients.  When the strongmen already ruled, they found ample support from us, as in Nicaragua.  This effect was not local; Iraq was toppled to install a puppet, as they tried to do in Syria-and as they did in Iran, where they overturned an elected President to install the murderous barbarian the Shah.

      So, for decades, America ruled the roost, getting cheap goods, and keeping the dollar strong.  Dollar stores starting cropping up in the new milleneum, since China began to manufacture cheap goods for us, and buy our debt up.  NAFTA destroyed Mexican farmers, who then had to come North to look for work, which the wealthy in California and Arizona enjoyed as nannies and gardeners.  To shorten the litany of events pursuant to the power of the Dollar, I will sum it up thus:  The directive of the New World Order is to create, sustain, and make invincible Mammonity, or, simply, the Cult of the Dollar.

     Robbers in the old movies used to say ‘your money or your life’; but the truth is, in America, they are one and the same.  Who you are, what you experience, and what your life is, is all derivative of your money.  You want opportunities?  That costs money.  You want access to success? That costs money.  You want justice? Well, you know.  This is not mere hyperbole.  No where can we better see the power of commodification at work.

     The American prison system, empowered by the 1994 omnibus crime bill, is continually stocked with ‘product’, like a supermarket.  The owners of the supermax prisons receive 50,000$ a head for storing the product, most of which is pure profit. The product, of course, are people. Some of them are degenerates, of the worst stripe: others simply did not have the money for adequate legal defense-whose time averages at about 7 minutes for public defenders-and some were charged with crimes they did not commit, but were forced to ‘cop a plea’ to, to avoid the full power of the state.  Once they are remanded to custody, they become human livestock, kept in some cases in conditions to which people would not subjects their pets.  There is no public outcry against these measures, since the targets are prisoners.

     Then, while they are utterly immiserated, they are offered work, at 4 cents and hour, to make circuit boards for high tech missiles.  These missiles are then sold by the parent companies for over 100,000 $ to the Dept of Defense, creating windfall profits.  Furthermore, the MIC uses proxies in the deep state to agitate conflicts, like the missile strike in Syria in 2017, so that their inventory will be purchased.  The prisoner who made the boards earned a whopping 32  cents, while being transferred from and to his cell; and the Supreme Court decided that this was not slave labor.  That is fairly benign, compared to California using inmates to fight fires, without gear or training, at a whole one dollar an hour for pay. 

     Out in the real world, we aren’t doing much better.  Most working people can’t get by on minimum wage jobs, who regularly employ ‘power staffing’, splitting up shifts to use the worker only during high activity hours, and dismissing them during the lull.  The pension system was obliterated by the banking attack of 2007, sending millions of Americans spiraling into poverty and despair, as the banksters who robbed them were bailed out.  Soon, the new Guilded Age will commence, in which the very few can own everyone else, with no recourse against its’ masters. 

     Under all of this lies the heart of Mammon, which is usury.  There is no wealth that can exist with loans and interest.  You can have money without loans, but wealth occurs when your money makes money.  When the money starts paying itself, then you are off to the races.  And everyone wants in this race, because losing it makes you subject to whatever evil those who possess it can imagine.  Every level of slavery- chattel, wage, or debt slavery-is the result of the human desire for more. 

     The true evil genius of the system of Mammon is that people will trade their time, their labor, the precious years of their life, for money whose value is determined by someone else.  Those with the money inevitably control its’ value, which invariably  leads to pricing down the value of the labor of the powerless.  That is why labor in America created the collective bargaining mechanism.  If the masters control the value of the money, they can effectively revalue you.  And thus, they can buy sexual chattel, or human lives for gladiatorial games, because you need to earn money to live-and they determine how much you are worth.  Thus, they can drive people to do the unthinkable, often for their amusement, because of what we heard in 30 minutes: I did it for the money.

     By now, someone is asking ‘what the hell does this have to do with Calvin?’ Calvin poisoned the well. Calvin corrupted disciples, who went out to England and America, and put his teaching to work.  They tasted great success, which affirmed their election, and they proudly displayed their crosses to all men, as they committed genocide and brigandage-much as the Spaniards did in the New world, or the dungeons of the Inquisition.  They proclaimed to mankind that the were the chosen of the one and true God, even though they displayed none of the character of Yeshua.

     This perpetuated over time, generalizing in the populace in America, until the wealth of America made average people so enriched that they lived like kings of many nations.  Want and suffering were banished, as was the struggle with death that mankind has always faced.  Here, in our wonderland, we entered into a never-ending cascade of merchandise and convenience, awash in success and splendor-and became the status quo.  The Gospel of suffering and death was eroded by the gospel of wealth and comfort.

     Thus, it became unthinkable that ‘Jesus would want me to be poor’-because, that estate, according to good brother Jean, was a sign of disfavor and wretchedness, even though the Messiah himself owned not a penny to HIs name.  Poor is a stigmatized state, to be avoided at all costs.  Poor means you can be dismissed, poor means you can be subjugated, and poor means, most of all, you can be commodified.  Suffering meant you are cursed, since Jesus wants to give to all the things that make you happy.  Never a cross and three nails.

     Thus, Peter the Apostle is a man accursed, since of silver and gold, he had none.  How things have changed, since the first days of the Way.  I have attended churches that had tuesday night classes-on managing your portfolio, and the godly steardship of wealth.  The worst thing about it was not the class itself-it was the banal acceptance of the idea as normal.  Nothing sustains the faith of Jesus Christ like getting in on a juicy, high yield bond.  Most terrifying of all, is that the previous sentence, taken out of context, might well be used in a sermon on Sunday as a draw for the crowd.

     If that sound silly, check out the many ‘mega-pastors’, and their sordid opulence. Listen to their words, and see if there is a call to suffering in them.  See if you hear the truth being told: that God doesn’t have a pillow for you land on, that your life may well be taken or ruined, that you may end up with nails in your flesh, if you follow the Way of Christ.  How many dollars would into the plate if people knew there was no ‘ninja rapture’ to take them, like Calgon, away.  “Calgon” the old commercial went, “take me away!”. 

     Thus absurdity piles on absurdity.  This is how you end with people selling holy water, holy soap, holy bath sponges from the Dead Sea-even specially anointed crosses, to make your prayers better heard.  Because, as we know, Jesus isn’t interested in your problems if you can’t demonstrate some wealth.  Until you pay the premium, your prayer is going on the back of the bus.  Thus, Jesus becomes Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York, who tells his lackey “don’t ever appear before me without something in your hand.”

     To wrap this up, I will put it bluntly: religion is a racket.  Faith is the power of dead to live again: religion is a revenue engine, where a brand is grown to generate income, and thus, is indistinguishable from any other commercial enterprise.  And that is why the kalak failed.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ, from the age of Constantine onward, became replaced by that of Mammon, and the damage done by this has not been measured.  The primary result was to convince people that the Gospel was a lie, since no one would actually live according to its’ words. 

     That is why I appreciate atheists-they are generally honest people.  They also share my loathing of blatant, conniving prevarication.  I listen to some of them, on you tube and such, and I hear the voice of the betrayed, who wanted to believe, but found no one who had the faith to convince them that was they were saying was real.  Anyone can mumble out some words; but deeds require faith, because faith is not a state of mind, but a state of doing.  What you do will define you; and if your words are perpendicular to your faith, your doing, it is the deed they will watch.

     And so it is, with the Leviathan.  As it collapses governments that oppose it, it drags in the resources of those nations, to feed it.  Whether by armed assault, IMF loans or NGO’s, the Leviathan will feed.  It will not be denied.  Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his book The Grand Chessboard, layed out the commodification of Asia as the final triumph of the Leviathan, a dream still pursued the the NeoCon/Neo Liberal sphinx that runs the power cabal in DC.  If only-if only-we could balkanize Asia, and own all its’ people and resources.  What a wonderful world it would be, to borrow from Sam Cooke.

     Through all of this, the crowd cheers on, unaware of the machinations of the masters.  The pastors on tv tell us, time and again, that America is a Christian nation.  By this they do not mean that we follow Christ: by this they mean that our populace identifies with the counterfeit version, Mammonity.  What they mean is that we are quite comfortable painting a cross on something, and then killing someone with it.  Or, if less violence is needed, just placing them in debt peonage, or ‘loaning’ all their natural resources out, as the IMF attempted to do to the Ukraine.

     If you have any doubts about the terror Calvin unleashed on the world, I will ask one basic question:  what would the world look like, if Calvin had replaced all his works with the words of Peter: “of silver and gold, I have none”.  What might have been, if he had insisted that the value of a human being cannot be expressed in terms of money, that God loves everyone equally, that striving for wealth was not the basis of justification, and that everyone was invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb, even if you don’t like or understand them.  Calvin had the power to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ: but his lust for power and fame instead turned him to the dark path that we now know all too well.

     I will now dispel with the sad tale of the kalak, and return to the light before it.  Despite what wicked men have done to defame and destroy it, it still can be found on the Tigris, still picking up those who want to be pulled out.  The Gospel is still the power of salvation, to those who believe.  In the final part of its’ story, I will end on a positive note, to show what victories in achieved, despite all that was done to sink it.

    

Abraham, River of Faith: Chapter 4, Part Five

“A tree is known by its’ fruits” Jesus says. A good tree does not make bad fruit, or vice versa. This metric, while not true in a biological sense, is meant rather to impel a deeper meaning. After all, apples are not good or evil. This refers, rather, to the parentage of righteousness and depravity. We hear of the ‘bad apple’ in the bunch, but whence did it come? In the West, it almost certainly came from Jean Calvin.

Examine the recorded history etched into history. He was in most ways an ordinary human. He was blessed, however, to have lived in the most explosive times since the Fall of the old order. After a thousand years of mayhem, the Papacy was being challenged, by a monk-and some shrewd politicians. In the vortex that followed, Calvin had the opportunity to transform from mundane into the cosmic; like so many other cult leaders-Joseph Smith, Mohammad-he took the reigns of destiny, to become more than a man.

In the Swiss cantons, the ideas unleashed by Luther were being discussed openly. and act of bravery in light of France’s brutal murder of those possessing a Protestant bible. Zwingli was being debated with Luther, and Calvin wanted the spotlight those men had acquired. Armed with some legal training, a keen mind, and relentless will to prevail, he worked his way to the top, achieving patriarchy over Geneva, where he wrote his famous Institutes. How great the irony-the hater of Popes, now was one.

I wonder if he saw, for a moment, his face in the mirror, adorned in the miter-or how much like his enemy he was. His governorship of Geneva is well documented: he established the Law of Moses as the civil code (even though he was not in the priesthood of Aaron)-which ended in him being forcibly removed from office, after demanding someone’s daughter be stoned for impertinence. Many will contest this: Calvin has ardent followers still, centuries later. I do not have reason to believe he would attempt this, considering the Michael Servetus affair.

Servetus was an atheist, a critic of religion and the Papacy, and a recklessly brave man. A physician, he held religion to be tales of the powerful to control the uneducated. He had read, certainly, the works recovered during the Rebirth, amongst which would be the works of Seneca, whose tenets on religion are still adhered to today (it is regarded by the common as true, by the wise as false, and by the ruler as useful). He was, unsurprisingly, condemned to death-psychotic, intimidating death, at the stake-for his crimes of speaking against power. He had evaded capture, making for safe haven in Itaky, until he was caught in Geneva, where he would die the death.

Servetus had made the wrong man very angry. He had received Calvin’s institutes, and returned it, with pointed criticisms in the margins. Calvin opened correspondence with Servetus, which grew explosive, and Calvin grew to despise the man as much as the Papacy did. When Servetus came into his power, Calvin put him to the stake, atop of pile of Servetus’ books, and burned him alive. To saturate his thirst for revenge, he added a wreath of gunpowder, to extend the torment. The last words Servetus uttered were these:

“Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have mercy on me”

The record shows that Servetus was killed for heresy-the act of executing heretics being repugnant to Reformers-but Calvin’s letter to Farel shows the real reason. Calvin’s ego had been bruised, and he would see vengeance for the slight, no matter the cost. Here, Calvin showed from which tree he fell.

If you want to experience true madness, watch a Calvinist defend Calvin. Cognitive dissonance doesn’t begin to cover it. The evidence is replete; but they will use arguments like ‘it was common then’ or ‘everyone has bad days’. Even more insane are the true cultists-the ones who never admit that Great Leader has a fault. Great Leader is perfect. Great Leader was blessed by God. These Calvinists remind me of the North Koreans who cannot admit that Un defecates, as feces would make him defiled, a mere man.

I have to be careful-reason and wit got Servetus killed. The savage irony of Calvin is that he had an opportunity to read most of the Bible-and yet, still found a way to justify what can not-can not- be found as permissible in the Scripture. There is no power granted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to commit mayhem or murder. The ills associated with Bible-Crusades, slavery, etc-are not sustainable in cohesion with commandments of the Messiah. Period. Yet, people find a way.

Even today, Calvin is defended, upheld, cherished. If you are in a church in America. you have likely felt his spectre brush past you. His works still haunt us, and, indeed, the world itself. From his tiny city in the Alps, Calvin warped a planet with darkness. It was he who mastered what he Popes, greedy for wealth and power, could only dream of attaining. It was the son of the Papacy, the Protestant Pope, who forged, as Sauron, the Ring of Avarice. It was he who would unleashed the Gospel of Mammon.

Calvin instituted several edicts that would bring this about. The greatest of these was the dispelling of the prohibition against usury, he lending at interest, which Yahweh forbade. If El forbids something, He probably has a reason why. There is a reason that the one demon Jesus abjures by name is Mammon, which is, Avarice. The demonic host of the power of wealth, Mammon bends all to his will. Some murder; some rape; some steal: but all want. All desire; and that desire is directed towards the great lie of the Garden: you can be your own God. This is the promise that Mammon holds out, rapt in the splendid light of gold, and all of humanity has been its’ victims-either as the commodified, or the commodifiers. Mammon makes it all happen; Mammon has the key to the door of your dreams. All Mammon needs is interest.

It would take books of sobering, boring data to bear this out. I will give you a bullet point summary, and let you decide if you believe me. Interest pays the investor on the principle. I put in a thousand, and I get a few bucks on top of it back. Cool, right? Well, no. The interest you received came from somewhere-and that is from someone else going into debt peonage. Debt peonage is the assumption of a human as property. It is never stated this way: that would frighten people. But that is the end goal of debt. You loan, you require an interest payment, which upon default of the loan, remands the money or property back to the lender. And if there is a shortfall in the restitution-well, somehow, the balance must be paid.

Not long ago, America had Debtors prisons for those unable to pay debts. There, you would work off the shortage-in the custody of the state. These are starting to make reappearances today. Along with this is the prison slave labor system, that MIC companies employ to cheaply manufacture circuit boards that are featured in the missiles that blow up children in Warzistan. And, if you want some flush quarters, you can hide toxic assets in a CDO, while still merrily handing out the toxic loans-which, of course, were never going to be repaid.

What is the root of all evil, that makes the bad tree? It is not money, but the love of it. Money is fine. Basic capitalism-working hard for your wages, in the rote of John Locke-is not evil. The Bible commends honest work and honest gain. But there is no wealth in Law of El. You cannot squeeze your brother for the vig. No, to make wealth, your money must make money. That is the difference between rich and wealthy. Rich people make tons of money-but still have to work to pile it up. The goal of the rich is to get wealthy enough to retire-so their money finally becomes self-sustaining.

The goal, ultimately, is to defeat the curse of Adam: “By the seat of your brow, shall you make your bread”. To defeat this, mankind made civilizations, and later, empires. Civilization were made, generally, by commodifying people. Slavery began as a way to feed the needs of the citizens, to liberate to urbanites from the drudgery of work-by enforcing it on some one else. These liberated folk accumulated wealth, and became the priest and philosopher classes. One such man of that class was Cliesthenes, who looked out over his family’s helots-slaves- and wondered if every person had inherent worth, which was the foundation for what we now call Democracy.

Interesting, how it took a civilization to make the wealth to allow Cliesthenes to ponder the wretchedness of the Helots. Here, he punctures the mundane, to understand an idea-that people should not be commodified, that they were something more, affirming the very Law of El that he had never seen. What is striking is that this thought-this simple idea-became a major force in shaping Western civilization. Why, why is it so amazing, that a person should grasp this concept? Does it not speak volumes that we remember this man. mostly, because he stopped for one moment to consider the truth?

That is the power of Mammon. How many countless millions died agonized in horror, as they were converted into profit for the sake of the acquisition of wealth? How many are buried in the Great Wall of China. or the Pyramids? How many baskets of severed hands did Leopold require of the Congo? How many plains tribes watched their families die of smallpox, from blankets donated by the people the Indians once saved from famine?

I am reminded of a moment from the movie 30 minutes or less where two insanely inept criminals hatch a titanic failure of a heist. They order a pizza, then strap a bomb to the delivery guy, and order him to rob a bank to get them some cash. Finally, the delivery guy asks Danny McBride’s character, why are you doing this? McBride answers, deadpan, almost dolefully :”for the sh*tiest of all reasons: for the money”. What makes this memorable to me is the performance by McBride. The character, who is a lowlife-not Hitler or Stalin, just a low end kind of human-attains a Platonic degree of perspicacity. In that moment, McBride portrays a man who knows-knows-that what he is doing is wrong, and hates himself for it. But he is doing it anyway.

You can almost see a demonic shadow, lurking above his soul. It is almost as if he is not in control of himself. He almost looks like a man crying for help, who is in the grip of something from which he cannot escape. McBride conveys a deep human empathy for the delivery man. His eyes all but say ‘forgive me’. But the money is calling. The money is calling, and he must go. The lending at interest, which seems innocuous at first, is the gateway to wealth, which is the basis of all real power. This is one of the gifts of Calvin-the normalization of the worship of money.

In the next installment, I will go further into detail on this. I will discuss Calvin’s effect on the young nation America, drawing heavily on Max Weber’s Spirit of Capitalism. Note, here and now, that the problem is not Capitalism, which is the best idea fallen man has produced. The problem, as penned by the late, sovereign wit of Douglas Adams, is people. I will also look as some other odious doctrines of Calvin’s, that have led people today to see the weak and failed as subhuman-and divorced from the grace of God, which led to spiritual malice and moreover, the disrepute of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.