Monthly Archives: February 2014

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 962

ON LOVE; PART DLI

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GoodWill IS Love in Action

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The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).

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Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40).

In the last essay we discussed the ideas behind the Master’s saying on God and mammon and we touched upon the idea of serving in this context. The overall reality of this word IS more tied to focus that it IS to the common understanding of serving. We offered some words from the Master as our understanding of serving God and in these we should extend the meaning to include the Christ Within as this IS our direct route to God and the expression of the Christ Within in the Life of a man IS service; the Soul KNOWS NO other avenue of expression. This service of the Soul through his form in the world is a part of his expression of Love and it IS these ideas that should be read into Jesus’ words saying: “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (John 12:26). To follow the Master IS to Love ALL men and in this Love IS service of every imaginable kind and in this IS serving God according to the reality that the Master offers in saying that a man “cannot serve God and mammon“. The point here IS that this is an impossible thing to do and the final reality of this IS that until a man IS totally focused upon the things of God, he IS serving mammon in some way.

One of the problems with the doctrinal understanding of this saying is found in this word mammon which seems to ONLY be associated with riches, wealth and possessions but which should be seen as the generality of the things of the world. Again, the Master offers us parabolic sayings and here we should try to see the link to the preceding ideas and understand this choice of God or mammon as the same simple choice which can be seen as His presentation of the  preceding sayings, on treasure and the single eye. This choice of God or mammon IS representative of the “treasures in heaven” versus the “treasures upon earth” and the choice between the single eye seeing the things of God against the evil eye seeing the things of the world. And ALL of these ideas should be seen as the Master’s emphatic way of trying to get us to see this reality; that a man must focus his Life upon the Good, the Beautiful and the True, the things of God, and NOT on the self and the things of the world. As we noted in the last post, this idea IS carried forward by His apostles in the sayings that we presented which simply say “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15), that we should “be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2) and that “the friendship of the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4). While we used these ideas as an explanation of our understanding of evil as it IS focus upon the things of the world with which we should not be friends, to which we should not conform and which we should not Love, we should also try to see ALL that can be imagined in these ideas, as mammon.

Perhaps it IS in the reality of the limited free will of mankind in the world that we can find the basis of the Master’s way of speaking in obscure and parabolic language; that it IS up to each man to discover the Truth and that the Master and those who KNOW can only point the way, that they can only offer us signposts if you will. He has laid out in rather plain terms the Truth of Love and the Truth of the Way to the Kingdom of God but these plainly stated ideas ARE NOT seen as such and are diluted by the doctrines of men. At the same time, these same doctrines tend to use the parabolic ideas as though they are intended to be seen literally and here in these sayings on the direction of one’s Life, on one’s focus, we find this to be painfully True. Our reality IS that mammon, “treasures upon earth“, and the Truth in these that the “light that is in thee be darkness“, is the essence of ALL of our thoughts, attitudes, actions and achievements as they regard the world and the things of the world. Here in His words we find the basis of forsaking and the Truth that these words, when understood as they are intended, ARE the a gateway to the Kingdom for the man who Truly desires this and IS prepared for the cost. It IS for the others, those who DO NOT Truly seek the Kingdom and those for whom the cost IS too great, that the doctrinal understanding will suffice and feed their delusion and their self-deception. In the last essay we included the Master’s own words on this deception as He asks that rhetorical question of “why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46); which we should see in the same Light as “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). It is the man who can see the Truth in His words and not the conveniently arranged doctrine that ARE the aspirants and the disciples of the world and, again, the most important words ARE those that are posted at the top of our essay.

As we continue on in the Master’s words we should post again this whole segment so that we can more readily see how that ALL these sayings are linked and how they are intended to work together; we read:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 7:19-24).

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is , and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (Matthew 7:25-32).

These ideas are split so that the first part is those sayings that we have already discussed and the second, under the joining term of therefore, further explains and offers the wherewithal for us to accomplish these things. This wherewithal is found in the truth of the Master’s words “Take no thought for your life” and here is yet another place where doctrine dilutes and changes the intent of His words. Here they render the idea of “take no thought” as to NOT worry nor be concerned and while this idea DOES include this kind of thought, its True intent IS much broader so as to be a follow up on the ideas of mammon and the “treasures upon earth“. First He directs us as to our thinking and our focus; not on how to think generally but how to think if one’s IS Truly seeking the Kingdom of God. Next He cautions us on how we should perceive the world and again on what we should focus; here we are told to value the Light and that it IS this Light that we should seek to fill our lives with and not the evil which IS one’s worldly focus and worldly attitude. It is from His tone and His previous words that we come to KNOW the Truth of the Light and it IS here that we learn that the absence of this Light IS darkness. Next the Master tells us that we cannot do both of these things; we can not attend to both the “treasures in heaven” and  those “treasures upon earth“; we can only focus upon one or the other and, while a man may vacillate between these in individual actions, he can have only one intent or he will do neither justice. These two sorts of treasure embrace the same idea as God and mammon, and as does the Truth behind His words saying “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!“; here the darkness is the result of one’s focus upon the things of the world, the “treasures upon earth” which IS mammon.

As we have discussed, none of these words is properly understood by doctrine; treasure is seen as treasure and mammon is understood in the same way, as riches which are sometimes further segregated to be riches that ARE opposed to, or contrary to, God. Our reality here is that these ideas represent the full gamut of thoughts, attitudes and actions as well as the things of the world; we see the Master’s message as that the man who seeks the Kingdom must focus upon the things of God. And here in this next group of sayings there is NO difference and we should read this as that we understand His message above and therefore we should do this next thing which IS that we “take no thought” for any of them, for any of the things of the world. Again we have a difficult undertaking but at the same time one that IS no more difficult than these others; ALL are intended to show us the value of forsaking as we move toward our spiritual reality. We have used this idea of “take no thought” in many of our posts and we have discussed Vincent’s thoughts on this as well. We do this now again however because we have never put ALL these thoughts into a single series of essays; that is the Master’s teaching on treasure, on the Light and on God and mammon in combination with this most profound statement that we should “take no thought“. We read from Vincent that:

  • Take no thought (μὴ μεριμνᾶτε); The cognate noun is μέριμνα , care, which was formerly derived from μερίς , a part; μερίζω , to divide; and was explained accordingly as a dividing care, distracting the heart from the true object of life, This has been abandoned, however, and the word is placed in a group which carries the common notion of earnest thoughtfulness. It may include the ideas of worry and anxiety, and may emphasize these, but not necessarily.
  • See, for example, “careth for the things of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32). “That the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:25). “Who will care for your state?” (Philemon 2:20). In all these the sense of worry would be entirely out of place. In other cases that idea is prominent, as, “the care of this world,” which chokes the good seed (Matthew 13:22; compare Luke 8:14). Of Martha; “Thou art careful ” (Luke 10:41). Take thought, in this passage, was a truthful rendering when the A. V. was made, since thought was then used as equivalent to anxiety or solicitude.
  • The word has entirely lost this meaning. Bishop Lightfoot (“On a Fresh Revision of the New Testament”) says: “I have heard of a political economist alleging this passage as an objection to the moral teaching of the sermon on the mount, on the ground that it encouraged, nay, commanded, a reckless neglect of the future.” It is uneasiness and worry about the future which our Lord condemns here, and therefore Rev. rightly translates be not anxious. This phase of the word is forcibly brought out in 1 Peter 5:7, where the A. V. ignores the distinction between the two kinds of care. “Casting all your care ( μέριμναν , Rev., anxiety ) upon Him, for He careth ( αὐτῷ μέλει ) for you,” with a fatherly, tender, and provident care.” 4

We have this broken into three sections as there is a message for us in each. First that the idea of care as it is stated in the first point, as dividing care, distracting the heart from the true object of life, IS in our view the reality of the Master’s intent; that to focus and think on the things of the world will do just this. This IS easier to grasp for us who understand that the Soul, the True man, has only one objective, to focus the Life in the world on his divinity and to express that divinity to the world. The alternative idea here of earnest thoughtfulness can work here as well as this takes on the reality of being intent and ardent in ones thoughts about one’s Life here and the other ideas that the Master presents. The last part IS our understanding as well, that while “take not thought” may include the ideas of worry and anxiety, this IS NOT the totality of the Master’s intent which we should see here as it IS rendered…”take not thought“.

In the second point Mr. Vincent shows us where the idea is rendered as care and in this first one we have a similar point to what is offered here by the Master; in its entirety the Apostle Paul tells us: “But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:32-34). In these verses this Greek word that is rendered above as “take no thought” is rendered here as careth but the effect IS the same; the man or the woman that IS married careth for or takes thought for the things of the world….he is distracted from what the apostle is telling us IS the true object of life. In our view Vincent errs in according the next sayings to worry or anxiety or even concern; in the Parable of the Sower it IS NOT anxiety or worry that chokes the good seed, it IS the choice of the man to focus upon the things of the world, what in his mind he must do for his well being. In the idea from Luke regarding Martha this should be seen as careful in its own understanding and not worry as this idea is included in the word rendered as troubled; we read this as: “Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). What IS missing in ALL these ideas that are intended to convince us that this “take no thought” is in reference to worry and anxiety are the similar renderings in Jesus sayings that: “And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say“; here we should see not only ‘don’t worry’ and ‘don’t be anxious’ but also that the disciple should NOT even think about this because “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say” (Luke 12:11-12) and in this they should have faith and confidence.

In this last point here there is the apparent reason why these words from our subject passage are thought of in terms of worry and anxiety and here again we repeat our thoughts from above, that this IS NOT for ALL men to understand and to use properly; it IS for the man who truly desires to be accounted worthy of the Kingdom of God, the man who truly seeks his own spiritual reality….he should “take no thought” for anything but the things of God.

We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.

Aspect of God

Potency

Aspect of Man

In Relation to the Great Invocation

In relation to the Christ

GOD, The Father

Will or Power

Spirit or Life

Center where the Will of God IS KNOWN

Life

Son, The Christ

Love and Wisdom

Soul or Christ Within

Heart of God

Truth

Holy Spirit

Light or Activity

Life Within

Mind of God

Way

Note on the Quote of the Day

This daily blog also has a Quote of the Day which may not be in any way related to the essay. Many of these will be from the Bible and some just prayers or meditations that may have an influence on you and are in line with the subject matter of this blog. As the quote will change daily and will not store with the post, it is repeated in this section with the book reference and comment.

Staying on the theme of Love we repeat again the sayings of the Apostle Paul that puts this Love into perspective.

But earnestly desire the best gifts.
And yet I show you a more excellent way.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy,
and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
and though I give my body to be burned,
but have not love, it profits me nothing.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:1-3,13
(New King James Version)

Regardless of our daily theme, the underlying theme of our posts and of this entire blog is Love. In these words from Paul we should be able to see the overriding importance of Love in the Life of each of us. This is a common theme throughout the gospels and the other writings of the apostles and a theme that is not nearly understood. As in the ideas above from Sermon on the Mount and our comments on the affirmation that had been our Quote of the Day, these words from Paul impart a better understanding of the reality of Life, the Life of the True man as the Christ Within, the Soul, through a True understanding of the power and the purpose of Love and we should note here as well that this expression of Love IS the Will of God and this we should see clearly in the Truth that “God IS love” (1 John 4:8).

We repeat here what we said about these verses in a prior post: Today’s Quote of the Day from the Apostle Paul is his testimony to the power of Love. After speaking at length about the gifts of the Spirit that one should desire in order to be of service to the Lord, he says plainly that Love is a more excellent way. Love in the context of these verses is not the sentimental or affectionate kind that we ordinarily think of but rather benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men. This

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts!

  • Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition, 1888

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