Monthly Archives: April 2014

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1023

ON LOVE; PART DCXII

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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 began our look at the last verse from the third chapter of the Epistle of James which to us seems out of place in the conversation about Wisdom, a man’s expression and teaching which that chapter covers. Although there IS a steady stream of connected ideas in James ordered verses, this IS not how many who DO NOT see this connection see his writing. We are led to see the connection of this verse to the former  by those who assigned the chapters and verses to James writing and these are likely led by the conjunction, the Greek word deuteronomy, which is rendered here as and; this conjunction is alternately rendered as but, now, moreover, a variety of other words and it IS often not translated at all. As we said in the last post, we see this verse as a transition from the ideas of the third chapter to the new and more inclusive ideas of the fourth chapter or, from James’ perspective, a transition from one topic to a more expanded topic. Reading the end of the third chapter and the beginning of the fourth we find:

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust , and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 3:17-18, 4:1-2).

Can we see the point here? That our current verse IS a transition and does not specifically reference the idea of peaceable in the prior verse which for us has a very different meaning as that this peaceable IS from a different Greek word which reflects any of the various meanings of the word rendered as Peace, and, peaceable in James’ use IS an attribute of that Wisdom from above. From the tone of our current verse, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace“, we should see that this reference IS to the idea of Peace among men and that this IS NOT in reference to that idea of peaceable as an attribute of Wisdom from God and this then IS confirmed by the following saying. Perhaps here we can see the idea that the apostle IS addressing the state of the man whose sense of Wisdom IS of the world, the Wisdom that IS “earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:14) as he begins his transition to “wars and fightings among you“. Doctrinal commentaries are mixed in regard to our current verse.

We began yesterday by looking at the idea of righteousness and how that this IS a quality of God. The Master speaks of His righteousness, God’s righteousness, as what we should seek after and He tells us that from the perspective of a man’s expression, that the righteousness that IS needed for one to be accounted worthy MUST be greater than that expressed by the Pharisees and the scribes who the Jews had thought were righteous. This of course IS addressed to the multitudes that may have seen the Jewish religious rulers in that light and, to the disciples who would have KNOWN the Master’s displeasure with them, this IS perhaps the disciples introduction into the failings of the Jewish religious state. The statement IS however clear and while much of Christian doctrine paints the Pharisee as evil and vile, the reality here IS that they believed that they were in the righteousness of God. In the end of our last essay we concluded that righteousness IS the activity of the man who keeps His words and that righteousness IS the fullness of ones divine expression. We should remember that righteousness, like ALL things spiritual, comes to a man by degree and that while a man can be acting in righteousness in many areas of Life, there IS a point where one comes to BE righteous and where his righteousness IS His righteousness, the righteousness of God.

We ended our words in the last post with our own idea that: It is in one’s focus that a man comes to keep His words; it IS in His words that the holy reality of the God Within becomes the purity of the expression of the man in the world; and this expression IS the activity of righteousness in the world….His righteousness. In this we tie together our idea from the attributes of the Wisdom from above, that it IS “first pure” to the reality of its expression in the world. In the end righteousness can be best understood as expressing Godlike thoughts, attitudes and actions in the world and the reality of this IS the Truth of sainthood; not the religious sainthood of the churches, but the reality of one in the world living according to the word of God; the reality of what James shows us to strive for in saying “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). This righteousness IS the endpoint; this is the reality of the man who has overcome the world and ALL worldly sensibility; this IS the man whose expression IS Love without “respect to persons” and, perhaps most importantly, without respect to oneself and ones’s own desires. While the IS the endpoint of the Path to God from the perspective of the Soul incarnated in this world, this IS at the same time a long journey through which we should make real progress with each successive incarnation. It IS in this Light that the Master tells us to strive. NOT only in that single saying, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24), but in the tenor of most ALL of what He says.

Beginning at Repentance and progressing through one’s Transformation, each man moves from the aspirant to the disciple and then to become the Transformed who we see as the Truly Redeemed. This scenario IS our own view of the spiritual progress of men and it IS one that we have assembled based upon the words of the Master and His apostles as we have ofttimes written about in this blog; and, while we may be misapplying some of these words to our ideas, the reality remains that there IS steady progress for the man who strives toward that strait gate, to the eventual completion of the journey. It IS at the end of this Journey that one has Truly found the Kingdom of God and freedom from ALL constraints that are based in living in this world. It IS here that we can stand with the Master and say “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). This IS the Truth of sainthood and the fruits of this accomplishment ARE felt by ALL the world; and, the pronouncement of such an achievement IS muted and IS personal; it comes with NO Earthly rewards and it DOES NOT wait until one dies.

This journey IS apparent in the Life of our model saint, the Apostle Peter, who in the end showed that he had that “faith as a grain of mustard seed“. In the end of his journey the apostle was in that place where he could do as the Master says, that: “ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:6). This IS founded in one’s expression of righteousness, one’s expression of Godlike quality in this world, and this IS NO different than the Master’s other words on this same faith, this same sense of KNOWING beyond any doubt that one IS in this state; we read that: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20). Of course one would NOT DO this thing, move the mountain to the sea, and the Master’s message here IS simply that one CAN DO it, or CAN move the sycamine tree to the sea, as these things ARE within the Power of the Soul that has overcome the world in his expression in the world.

This IS the reality of righteousness, of His righteousness, as the expression of a men in the world; this IS that sense of KNOWING without any doubt that one IS as He IS and this IS NOT but an idle thought…this IS the Master’s words which we read again as: “If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done” (Matthew 21:21). This IS the reality of His saying that “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12) and again, this idea of “believing on” IS the reality of keeping His words; it IS ONLY in doing so that one’s expression becomes righteousness. This reality of one’s expression of divinity, one’s expression of the Love and the Power of the Soul as righteousness, is offered to us in Mark’s Gospel in different terms which may be easier for some to see; the Master says: “That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23). This IS the reality of KNOWING; this IS NOT that simple faith of doctrine, this IS NOT that idea of believing that works out in the minds and emotions of men; this IS the KNOWING of the man who has overcome the mind and the emotions and has supplanted the carnal ways with righteousness; this IS the KNOWING of the man who has realized the Truth of Jesus’ words saying “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master” (Luke 6:40). We have NO doubt even in our carnal minds that the Master could DO these things and He tells us that we CAN as well.

And so Peter, we see him as a disciple of the Master throughout his time with Him; from the moment that he is called and agrees to follow Jesus. This agreement IS Peter’s Repentance and from here he embarks upon his own journey to the Kingdom, his own Transformation, by keeping His words, forsaking ALL ties to the world and the people and the things of the world, and striving. In his journey we see that while we see him as a disciple, the Master DOES NOT see him as a complete one. We see that the Master admonishes him for things that we CAN NOT likely even see nor understand, things that are deep within the apostle’s psyche and which must be overcome. We can see in this that Peter IS expressing righteousness but that he IS NOT yet righteous according to “His righteousness“; Peter has not yet reached his end point in his journey to the Kingdom and to sainthood. But Peter IS striving, through those moments where he becomes again uncertain of his own divinity and the Truth as he experiences in the Master’s speaking about His demise, his actions in the Garden and then his denial of the Master to others, Peter IS striving.

Here, while we CAN NOT  imagine the effect of the Master’s words on the human psyche, Peter, as the spiritual man who IS striving, accepts Jesus’ words and continues; we read that the Master; “turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23). Peter DOES NOT argue here; the apostle KNOWS what it IS that the Master IS saying but the carnal mind IS a difficult thing to shed as we KNOW from the ensuing story of the apostles actions in the Garden and then in his denial and then yet again after the resurrection. The point here IS that the apostle continues to strive; that the degree of righteousness that he has accomplished IS sufficient to keep him on the Path and this IS the result of keeping His words and his focus upon the Good, the Beautiful and the True until the man Peter is the fullness of the expression of the Love and the Power of the Soul in the world.

We have often said that the Life of Peter is drawn for us in exceptional detail, especially when compared to what we KNOW of the others, and that this IS done intentionally so that we who would follow the Master have some greater idea of the realities that one will face. We KNOW that Peter’s ability to express this fullness grows and that it eventually comes to that point were he can free himself from the prisons and finally to that ultimate reality of being able to heal by his mere proximity; this much like the Master of whom we read:

  • And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them” (Matthew 4:23-24).
  • When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick” (Matthew 8:16).
  • But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all” (Matthew 12:15).
  • And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all” (Luke 6:17-19).

The Master does not individually heal each of these as we read in some other stories from the gospels; here “there went virtue out of him” and “he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick“. This IS the Power of the Master working out in the world in Love and mercy and with “no respect of persons” (Romans 2:11). The Master IS “all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9); the fullness of righteousness in the world and in the Life of the Apostle Peter we should see that he too comes to this point, that he comes to “be as his master” as we read in the Book of Acts:

Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one” (Acts 516-16).

Can we see the fullness of righteousness in the Life of Peter? the fullness of his KNOWING his own divinity and expressing it to the world. Can we see that this apostle CAN move the mountain and plant the sycamine tree in the sea? This IS the reality of righteousness, His righteousness.

We did not plan on going this far with the idea of righteousness today but it IS important to understand the complexity of this word in order to see what James intends for us to KNOW regarding the fruits of this state of being.

 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.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)

This is called by some of the church the Great Commission and so it is. It is however hardly understood and at times grossly misapplied. Somewhere in the centuries that have passed since the Master left us we have come to think that the meaning of this is just to preach the word through any particular doctrine and baptize according to any particular belief. Vincent tells us that the word translated as teach here should be seen as make disciples of 4 and the lexicon bears this out. There is nowhere in scripture an actual defining understanding of the concept of baptism and we generally think of it as the immersion into or the pouring on of water and that somehow this clears us of sin. This is but an outward sign however of real spiritual undertaking by the conscious man and it is only when a man is ready to commit to the Master that a baptism can be considered real. We will leave this as the Quote of the Day for a few days and try to find in it some true meaning. Keeping in mind our four points, we should ponder on this.

The Master is speaking to disciples and not the multitudes and these are those that do believe on Him and follow Him and keep His words. Hard sayings for man in the world but claimed by many nonetheless. There IS a reality in the idea that the disciple should be “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” which IS His words that ARE to be kept and in this light we add these ideas from the Buddha: “Love yourself and watch – today, tomorrow, always. First establish yourself in the way, Then teach, and so defeat sorrow. To straighten the crooked you must first do a harder thing – straighten yourself” (Dhammapada; on Yourself)5.

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts!

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