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Jesus was Vegetarian, Part 2 of 3: The Compromise of Saint Paul

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“Because everything wrong you do is only because of maya and the maya is the one that also created the mind. The mind, the maya, everything is from the illusionary Shadow World. So, if you’ve done something wrong, it’s not your fault. I don’t see it that way.

Compassionate viewers, on today’s program, we will continue our journey, guided by the spiritual writer, James Bean, to find out the impact of Jesus’s compassionate vegetarian principle after His departure. In the first episode, we learned that the earlier Essene movement within Judaism adhered to a vegetarian diet and condemned animal sacrifice in the temple of Jerusalem. The Essenes, the John the Baptist group, the Nazarenes, and the Jesus Movement had much in common and were somehow related to each other. In many ways, they shared the same values, scriptures, and spiritual beliefs.

A variety of different sources in early Christianity described the Apostles as being vegetarians. Church Father, Eusebius, wrote in his work “Demonstratio Evangelica” (“Proof of the Gospels”): “They [the apostles] embraced and persevered in a strenuous and laborious life, with fasting and abstinence from wine and meat.” And in his “Church History” text, Eusebius wrote that Apostle John “never ate meat. The Early Church Father, St. Clement of Alexandria, who was also a vegetarian, wrote about the apostle Matthew:It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts, hard-shelled fruits, and vegetables, without flesh.” And in the Ebionite Gospel, known as the “Clementine Homilies,” St. Peter, who was a fisherman before following Jesus, is quoted as having said: “I live on olives and bread to which I rarely only add vegetables.” In Chapter 20 of Acts of Thomas, it’s written that the Apostle Thomas - “He continually fasts and prays, and abstaining from the eating of flesh and the drinking of wine, he eats only bread with salt, drinks only water, and wears the same garment in fine weather and winter, accepting nothing from anyone, and gives whatever he has to others.

The first leader of the Jerusalem church after Jesus’s departure, the Apostle James, the brother of Jesus, was universally acknowledged to be a strict vegetarian, who lived on seeds and plants and touched neither meat nor wine. In fact, extra-biblical sources contain more reliable information about James than about Jesus, John the Baptist, and Peter. According to Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.23.5–6, James was raised as a vegetarian. Why would Jesus’s family raise James as a vegetarian, but not Jesus? The natural conclusion is that Jesus’s parents raised Jesus and James as vegetarians and that this was part of the original gospel message.

The gospels describe a vegetarian ethos: a vegetarian Jesus and vegetarian Apostles, a John the Baptist who ate carob (locust beans) — beans not bugs! and a rejection of ritual animal sacrifice, be it in pagan temples or the Jewish temple of Jerusalem. Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that a plant-based diet must have been a rule for practitioners to abide by. “And the things which are well-pleasing to God are these: to pray to Him, to ask from Him, recognizing that He is the giver of all things, and gives with discriminating law; to abstain from the table of devils, not to taste dead flesh, not to touch blood; to be washed from all pollution; and the rest in one word, —as the God-fearing Jews have heard, do you also hear, and be of one mind in many bodies; let each man be to do to his neighbor those good things he wishes for himself.

With so many versions of the Holy Bible and its related literature, we can easily trace a Biblical basis for the vegetarianism of the Jews and Christians during the late BC and early AD periods. The question, then, is how did this vegetarian root of Christianity get lost?

Attentive viewers, we’ll take a moment to pray to the God. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back, loving viewers. St. Paul is often considered to be the most important person after Jesus, in the history of Christianity. He was also known as Paul the Apostle (but he was not one of the Twelve Apostles), the Apostle Paul, and Saul of Tarsus. However, he preferred to call himself “Apostle to the Gentiles”. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. Paul seemed to have been open to meat-eating, while he was also open to vegetarianism. At the same time, Paul counseled diplomacy in dealing with vegetarians who thought otherwise, taking care not to offend them. He said: “I [Paul] will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.”  “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”The pro-meat group started to form in the followers of Paul, dropping the vegetarian requirement of the Jesus Movement, which could have been a way to make it easier to get more converts in the Roman Empire, although the original Jesus Movement categorically rejected this. To structure Paul’s new community of gentile believers, some in early Christianity developed a twofold or two-level organizational approach of: 1) “Hearers of the Word”, new converts to the faith - it’s OK for them to continue eating meat, for a while at least; and 2): “The Elect”, those more mature initiates of the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, who were “being perfected in love and knowledge” adhering to a stricter discipline that included vegetarianism.

Steven Rosen argued in his book, Food for the Spirit, in 1987, that the vegetarian roots of Christianity in the early Church were abandoned in the 4th century, when Emperor Constantine decided to use his own version of Christianity for everyone. A meat-eating interpretation of the Bible, therefore, became the official creed of the Roman Empire, and vegetarian Christians had to practice in secret or risk being put to death for heresy.

How could the Christian followers forget the teachings shortly after Jesus’s departure? How could they not remember “Thou shalt not kill” in The Ten Commandments, or “eating flesh would bring disorders to their senses"? How could the Heavens allow maya (aka satan) to degrade humans without punishment? The world-renowned humanitarian, artist and spiritual Master, Supreme Master Ching Hai shed light on maya’s dark force during a teleconference in 2018. “Oh, because this is his [Satan’s] world. He rules over it. He created it. I mean of course, with the merits that he earned. (It seems so unfair.) Yeah, I know that. I know that. But he cheated. He wanted just to have a boon, and then just to create a world so he could rule. But God never imagined such a negative impact. Because God is all good and loving and kindness. If a guy is so devoted and standing on one leg for many, many kalpas, meaning many eons, and asked for only one boon, God said, ‘OK, of course.’ God was also touched, so Hes gave him a boon. That’s how it happened. God never imagined maya would capture the souls and imprison them forever, and recycling suffering and sorrow. Humans have freewill, but the maya messed with their minds. And then sending subordinates to make all kinds of … talk into their ears and make their minds weakened and tempting them to do wrong things, so that the karma will involve and breed other kinds of karma and then keep cycling forever and forever. Because one thing leads to another, and they’ll never be free. It’s terrifying, and I hate all this. Humans have been brainwashed, poisoned, drugged by mayic power, mayic force, negative force. So, they’ve been in a slumber for a long time already. So, anything that’s new to them - not like what the maya has been showing them, giving them, telling them, they reject. That’s why they crucified Lord Jesus; they wanted to assassinate Buddha. They persecuted the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). And many other Enlightened Saints and Masters had to live in obscurity, in hiding, teaching in secret, teaching in unsafe environments, or had to die such an anguished death, before They even reached out to a much larger public. It has been conditioned for the humans to react that way, this way. Otherwise, Jesus would have saved all humans already; Buddha would have done all that. This is all the fault of maya; he’s possessive. He wants to be a ruler forever. That is the problem.

Supreme Master Ching Hai explained further why maya likes to disturb practitioners. “You must have an expert guide, otherwise, you might fall into the trap of the maya. Because the maya, they like to disturb practitioners. And they don’t like practitioners, because if you’re liberated, they lose one soul. And maybe they lose more souls because of you. Because you influence others. That’s why he’s afraid. Imagine if everybody is enlightened, the world is empty. Whom does the maya harass, molest, torture, or mislead for fun, for controlling? Because everything wrong you do is only because of maya and the maya is the one that also created the mind. The mind, the maya, everything is from the illusionary Shadow World. So, if you’ve done something wrong, it’s not your fault. I don’t see it that way.

Enlightened viewers, it is so pitiful that the vegetarian root in Christianity was challenged in the satan-ruled world shortly after Jesus’s departure and was almost abandoned after several centuries. For more information on the booklet “Evidence That Jesus and The Original Aramaic Christians Were Vegetarians -- Uncovering A Vegetarian Jesus at the Beginning of Christianity,” by James Bean Please visit or email

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