Monthly Archives: May 2014

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1054

ON LOVE; PART DCXLIII

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GoodWill IS Love in Action

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FIRST IS THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS: “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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WHAT THEN IS LOVE? In a general sense love is 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.

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PLUS THE EVER IMPORTANT AND HIGH IDEAL TAUGHT TO US BY THE CHRIST: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12)

In the last essay we reviewed much of what we see in the Apostle James’ words regarding the patience which must be shown by the aspirant and the disciple as regards the temptations that afflict him in the duality of Life in this world. James shows us the example of the husbandman who CAN NOT control any thing but his own work in the fields and who must work patiently for the “precious fruit of the earth” (James 5::7) and it IS in this example that we should see the idea of working patience. The husbandman must work the field if he IS to expect such fruit. Here we should see the twofold reality of our work in the field; first the work of our own striving toward that strait gate and second in the work of the Lord by the aspirant and the disciple in the field of the world as we read in the Gospel of John where the Master says: “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal” (John 4:36-36). These words from the Master ARE the same that we cited in regard to James’ earlier verses regarding the wages or the reward of the laborer where the apostle tells us that it IS this very reward that crieth when it IS missed by the man who lends his focus to the lower self in the world.

We should try to see here that although we may miss the reward, the wages, for our work of striving, it IS NOT the end, it IS merely another beginning and hence the apostles teaching us these realities of patience; that we must look past our encumbrances and continue in the work of Transformation. The apostle’s message to us then IS that we should “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” and in this we should see the idea of attaining that goal of single mindedness as the fullness of the Lord becomes our expression in the world. While this fullness IS the end point, the reality of the “coming of the Lord draweth nigh” should be seen in the ongoing effort, the ongoing work of Transformation as Soul takes fuller control of one’s Life.  In the idea then of working for the “precious fruit of the earth“, James is showing the idea of working patience and in the idea of wages and reward he shows us that these come to the man who works. And, while this IS NOT the way that these verses are viewed by most, this IS ONLY because they see the apostle’s ideas ONLY from their worldly perspective. James goes on to show more examples in the prophets and in the Life of Job and in this we should be able to see his intent in showing us this idea of working in patience as the prophets DO work in the field of the Lord and Job works diligently at his keeping the Truth of the Lord as he sees it.

And we should understand here that if one IS working at his own striving toward the fullness of his own expression of the Love and the Power of the Soul in the world, that at the same time he IS working against any reversion of his focus back into the self and the things of the world. It IS in this context that the apostle warns us to “swear not” and while this too is viewed in a carnal sense by most, some even include the idea of profanity, the greater idea IS that one should not try to substitute verbal affirmations of any kind for the reality of his work in patience. Here we come back to a thought we posted a few posts back where James words ARE “So speak ye , and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12). These words are offered by the apostle in regard to keeping the law, the whole law, and this IS the essential reality of keeping His words; this IS the commitment of Repentance; this IS not an oath but a change in the focus of one’s Life and here we should read that we should simply keep this commitment. We should see this idea then in the apostle’s words that he says ARE “above all things“; that one should NOT swear but should “let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay“. Can we see how that this IS that we should keep our word of commitment to Repentance against the idea that “lest ye fall into condemnation”  (James 5:12). As we noted two posts back, this word rendered as condemnation here is better understood as hypocrisy, as it IS generally rendered, and in this we can better see our point that to NOT simply keep that word of commitment, IS hypocrisy and this especially when one may try to substitute some oath.

Again, to understand our presentation here one must see that the apostle’s audience IS aspirants and disciples, men who have made this commitment to strive to keep His words, men whose focus has substantially changed from the self in the world to the things of God and men who see the duality in which they now live. In these ideas and those from the last essay we should be able to better see that the steady stream of ideas that James gives us here in this epistle are linked to one another as a teaching on discipleship that culminates in this end point of the fifth chapter and in this we should also understand why we have been rather stuck on these ideas. Our current sayings from the apostle, again in the complete thoughts as we see above, are:

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold , the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient ; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:7-15).

We have discussed the ideas of “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms” and our view here IS NOT the same as we read in doctrinal commentary and interpretation where these are looked at from a worldly perspective only. Regarding afflicted we read this from John Gill; that: As the people of God generally are; they are commonly a poor, and an afflicted people 8; and the more common understanding here is of men somehow suffering in the world. While we did discuss this much over the last few posts, we should repeat here that in the context of the apostle’s words these afflicted are those who try to stand in patience but who are still subjected to the temptations of from which they have difficulty escaping; it IS to these that the apostle says that they should pray. We should remember here that the common understanding of prayer IS NOT the reference here and if we can see that prayer IS communion with God and the God Within then we can better understand this saying and most others regarding prayer. Similarly the idea of merriment IS also misunderstood and seen in a carnal way; that if one IS merry because of worldly benefit that one should sing praises to the Lord for whatsoever he may have. For us this has naught to do with the ideas of praising God for what one has received but is contrary to this idea; James shows us that we should sing and focus upon the things of the Lord to take our attention away from the benefits that one may have gotten in the world.

These are difficult ideas for the carnally focused man to see but when one looks at these ideas of patience and affliction against the whole context of the apostle’s words and the words of the Master regarding the treasure of one’s heart and that choice between God and mammon, our points DO come to greater Life than one can see in the random ideas that doctrine sees in James words. In the last post we were reminded as well of the apostle’s own earlier words that paint his meaning for us; he says: “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness” (James 4:9). Here, in a similar but different word that IS rendered as ‘be afflicted“, we have the idea of feeling misery and if we relate this saying to our current one in a spiritual view, one can Truly understand the apostle’s message.

The apostle goes on here to ask: “Is any sick among you?” and in this idea we should see a continuation of the ideas that precede it. Here we should understand that the Greek word astheneo DOES NOT mean sick as we understand that word today, this IS not illness or disease; this word IS better understood as it IS defined by the lexicon: to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, powerless; to be weak in means, needy, poor; to be feeble, sick 2. Can we see James’ use of this word in his current context? Young’s Literal Translation renders this as infirm which has a common meaning closer to the James’ intent as this IS defined as feeble or weak and, while this may include illness, it IS NOT required. If we can see the idea here then as “is any weak among you” and understand this in the context of the apostle’s words, we can see the man who straining at his undertaking of patient work and IS failing or IS in jeopardy of failing and falling back into the ways of the world to some degree. This IS a very different idea than the common understanding that those who answer to this question ARE sick or diseased and here we read a commentary on this from Mr. Gill; he says: Is any sick among you? Which is often the case; the bodies of the saints, as well as others, are liable to a variety of diseases; they are sick, and sometimes nigh unto death 8.

Again we should see that it IS the perspective of the reader that can define the meaning of the apostle and in the carnal reading of these words and others, it DOES appear that James’ words are a rather haphazard collection of unrelated sayings. However, when we can see the context and understand that these ARE spiritually oriented words, we can see the greater reality of a harmonious and succinct teaching on the Way of the disciple. Likewise the word that IS rendered as church IS NOT what this English word would convey today; it IS not the building nor IS is the membership in a specific religious denomination or sect. The Greek word ekklesia IS the gathering of the people and here we can try to see the idea of like minded people. And we should understand that the church as this IS understood today was NOT yet created in this day when these words were written; the only idea that we should likely take here IS that this IS a gathering of like minded persons. Much of what we see as definitions of this Greek word ARE doctrinally oriented as IS our idea here which IS based in James’ usage of the idea in his context: that when a man is weak and struggling to keep his focus that he should call on the elders, men of like mind in his own circle of friends who can help him.

In relation to his words above on the sick, John Gill sees this idea of elders quite differently as he says: let him call for the elders of the church; in allusion to the elders of the congregation of Israel, ( Leviticus 4:15 ) . By these may be meant, either the elder members of the church, men of gravity and soundness in the faith, persons of long standing and experience; who have the gift and grace of prayer, and are not only capable of performing that duty, but of giving a word of counsel and advice to the sick 8. Here we should discount the ideas from Leviticus and see the idea that Mr. Gill presents in  men of gravity and soundness in the faith as a valid point; this would include those who are of greater strength and can help the man who IS weak; and perhaps we should see this weakness in a specific area much as we would view the afflicted and the merry. Not ALL are weak nor afflicted in the same way and many who are subject to these ideas may not be merry and may already understand James’ previous idea of mourning. The rest of Mr. Gill’s remarks here seem to be along doctrinal lines and with a view of the organized church as we KNOW it today.

The next idea of prayer and anointing ARE not explained in the text and these ideas have given rise to much that IS found in the rituals of the churches who see this as a way to heal those who ARE sick. However, when we see that we ARE NOT speaking about the sick, these idea must take on a different meaning. As we discussed previously, the idea of prayer as an intercession IS what is most often seen in these words; that the prayer of the elders can heal one. We should understand that this prayer IS NOT intercession and remember  the divine idea that “there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11), it IS in this context that we must find our answer. There IS a reality in prayer and in healing that we DO NOT understand and that IS appropriated to the work of God by many and to the power of the healer by others. Here, in our own view, there is more to the latter than there IS the former and this we see in the healing work of the Master, His apostles, and certain disciples that we read about in the New Testament like Stephen and Phillip. As we have discussed before, this Power IS a part of that True discipleship, that fullness of KNOWING which leads to a man who can move the mountain or send the sycamine tree to be planted in the sea; in the hands of others this healing IS but a haphazard thing, unpredictable and NOT nearly understood.

If we look here in our current saying we should see two things that are important and that lead us to the next and, of course, we must look at these ideas in the context of the apostle’s previous words. First that we have here an aspirant and a disciple who IS weak, not necessarily so to others, but assuredly to himself; and this weakness IS in relation to these former ideas of patience in working and striving to maintain focus upon the things of God…to stave off the temptations that ARE in the duality that afflicts him. Second IS that this man recognizes his plight and in that he that should “call for the elders of the church“, that he should call for men who are more sound in their ability to resist; men who have found the wherewithal to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free“, and this in the objective that these elders can help him to “be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Ephesians 5:1). This IS the problem and the sought out solution and here then in the idea of prayer and anointing we should see the combined efforts of the man and the elders to ‘fix’ this man’s focus back upon those things of God. Here, in this idea of prayer, IS perhaps the idea that Mr. Gill shows above, that the elders can offer: a word of counsel and advice to the sick 8.

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 Chris.t

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.

This Quote of the Day is the antithesis of glamour and illusion. In this mantram are the thoughts about ourselves and our brothers in the world that can diffuse those forces that hold a man in the world of things and prevent his spiritual progress.

Mantram of Unification

The sons of men are one and I am one with them.
I seek to love, not hate;
I seek to serve and not exact due service;
I seek to heal, not hurt.

Let pain bring due reward of light and love.
Let the Soul control the outer form, and life and all events,
And bring to light the love that underlies the happenings of the time.

Let vision come and insight.
Let the future stand revealed.
Let inner union demonstrate and outer cleavages be gone.
Let love prevail.
Let all men love.

The Mantram of Unification is a meditation and a prayer that at first affirms the unity of all men and the Brotherhood of Man based on the Fatherhood of God. The first stanza sets forth several truly Christian ideals in Unity, Love, Service and Healing. The second stanza is a invocation to the Lord and to our own Souls asking that from the pain (if there can truly be any) incurred in focusing on the Spirit and not the world will come Light and Love into our lives and that we begin to function as Souls through our conscious personalities. We ask that the spiritual control of our lives will bring to light for us the Love that underlies world events; a Love that the world oriented man will not see working out behind the scenes and also that the Love that we bring forth, individually and as a world group, can be seen by all and ultimately in all. Finally, in the last stanza we ask for those things that are needed for Love to abound. Vision and insight so that we can direct our attention properly; revelation of the future in the sense that all can see the Power of Love in the world; inner union so that we do not fall back into the world’s ways, that we faint not; and that a sense of separation, the antithesis of brotherhood, ends as we know it today. Let Love Prevail, Let All Men Love.spiritual control of our lives will bring to light for us the Love that underlies world events; a Love that the world oriented man will not see working out behind the scenes.

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts!

  • 2 New Testament Greek Lexicon on BibleStudyTools.com
  • 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition, 1888
  • 8 Bible commentaries on BibleStudyTools.com

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