Monthly Archives: August 2014

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1122

ON LOVE; PART DCCXI

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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).

The reality of Jesus words on the ability of the disciple to be “as his master” ARE lost on most Christians and while some may believe that there can yet be ‘miracles’ in the world, most of these DO NOT see the Truth behind the Master’s words saying “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master” (Luke 6:40). While most DO NOT see the literal idea that IS plainly presented here, we should see that this state of perfection IS the ultimate of the grace that can come into the Life of the aspirant and the disciple in the world of men. Here, while so many of the more parabolic ideas that Jesus presents are seen in a literal way, this IS yet another example of a literal statement that IS seen as though there IS some parabolic reality to it. John Gill portrays this saying from Luke according to the doctrinal understanding: that it IS NOT possible for the disciple to achieve this sense of perfection in this world. He frames the Master’s idea here in ways that ARE NOT seen in the Master’s own words but ARE rather from their doctrinal interpretation of the words of the Apostle Paul. The complete text of Mr. Gill’s comments can be found in In the Words of Jesus part 1098, from which we take this last part:  Christ, in this last clause, seems to design his own disciples, who, when perfect in knowledge, which is not to be expected in this state, unless in a comparative sense, will be like himself 8.

Here we can see the doctrinal idea IS that the perfection that the Master instructs us in saying: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) IS NOT a valid point and much of the reality of this idea IS washed away in the view that Luke frames this differently saying “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36). Here Mr. Gill’s doctrinal understanding IS: Be ye therefore perfect, as your Father; This perfection is to be restrained to the subject Christ is upon, love to men, and not to be referred to any, or every other thing; wherefore, in ( Luke 6:36 ) it is, “be ye merciful, as your Father also is merciful”; and regards not a perfection of degree in that, but objects and quality: that is to say, not that men may, or can, or ought to be as perfect in love, as to the degree of it, as God is; that is impossible: the “as” here, is not a note of equality, but of likeness: such, who profess God to be their Father 8. Can we see here the doctrinal dilution of the Master’s words on perfection, a perfection that IS depicted for us in the detailed view of the Life of the Apostle Peter as this IS portrayed in the Gospels and the Book of Acts. In reading the Master’s words above we should see the ‘command’ to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father” as it IS intended, as the goal of the man who has Truly chosen God and that in achieving this goal one will be “as his master“.

It IS this reality of perfection that drives us as aspirants and disciples; it IS the idea of being complete and True disciples that IS our goal and the objective of our lives as there IS NO other place where this reality can come to be True…..as Souls we ARE perfect and it IS by grace that this perfection becomes our realization and IS our revelation of Truth. Why this IS offered by Luke in terms of being merciful CAN NOT BE clear unless we understand the Truth behind this word mercy, that this IS the expression of Love in the world of men. Can we see here that this expression IS perfection? Can we see here that the “command” IS to be mercifulas your Father also is merciful“? Can we see that to express the Love of God, the Love that IS God, as He DOES, IS perfection as it IS in this Love that ALL things are considered? When we can consider that ALL things ARE found in our expression of Love we can come to a greater understanding of these ideas and of the reality of perfection and Paul helps us here as he tells us that “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14). The clarity here should be deafening yet the ideas of doctrine DO NOT see this Truth and they confound the apostle’s intent in speaking about the law and the “curse of the law” (Galatians 3:13).

The reality of mercy IS hidden by the common understanding of the word; in this usage from Luke’s Gospel merciful IS seen as its kindred Greek word which IS rendered as compassion in its only use in the New Testament. In this idea of compassion we should see the same idea of the expression of Love from the perspective of God and then as the ‘command’ for men to be compassionate as well; here, whether we see oiktirmon, which IS rendered as merciful in Luke, and oikteiro, which IS rendered as “have compassion” (Romans 9:15), as compassion or as mercy, the reality should be the same: that this IS the expression of Love and IS in accordance with the Great Commandments that we have at the top of our essay. Similarly, we should understand that other word that IS rendered as mercy in much the same way, that this mercy IS NOT offered only to the afflicted and the needy as the lexicon 2 paints this, nor should this be seen in the common understanding of the English word as in an act of mercy or in the compassion shown to the miserable. There IS NO place in the usage of the Greek word eleos that should give us this restricted idea; there IS NO place where this word CAN NOT be seen as the expression of Love by God, by the Master or by men in the world. In ALL this about mercy we should try to see the same sense of perfection as we find in Matthew’s Gospel; that this sense of mercy IS the expression of Love and in the Truth of this expression there IS the perfection of the man, the perfection of the disciple of the Lord. And this IS Paul’s message on Love above as well, that in this expression of Love to ALL IS the reality of keeping His words and, as we read in the apostle’s words to the Ephesians: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13), we can see the very definition of this idea of perfect.

It IS in the reality of our expression of Love that we can be seen to be keeping His words and this IS the reality of and the Truth of grace; this expression of Love IS the essence of the perfection of the disciple. And it IS this perfection that IS the gateway to the reality of His words saying “every one that is perfect shall be as his master“. This reality IS the same in our current selection of verses from the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John that we have been discussing over the last weeks but this Truth IS also NOT seen as the Master presents it. While we see His words that “the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” in the same way as we see the Master’s words on being “as his master“, this Truth IS lost in doctrines which DO NOT see the idea behind John’s way of framing the idea that we follow him and we keep His words. It IS NOT only this idea of “He that believeth on me” that hinders the understanding of many however, it IS the same idea as we see above….that doctrine DOES NOT see that a man can be “as his master“. It IS in the Truth of believing on the Master that the Truth of this saying can be seen and, as we have often cited, Vincent gives us the key to understanding this reality of believing; we read that: To believe in, or on, is more than mere acceptance of a statement. It is so to accept a statement or a person as to rest upon them, to trust them practically; to draw upon and avail one’s self of all that is offered to him in them. Hence to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is not merely to believe the facts of His historic life or of His saving energy as facts, but to accept Him as Saviour, Teacher, Sympathizer, Judge; to rest the soul upon Him for present and future salvation, and to accept and adopt His precepts and example as binding upon the life 4. In this IS the reality of keeping His words and this IS the gateway to the “greater works” which again IS in essence that the disciple IS “as his master“. Our selection from John’s Gospel again:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:12-20).

In the reality of Jesus’ words saying “If ye love me, keep my commandments” we should see the intersection of the ideas of Love, as we see in the Great Commandment above, and the reality of keeping His words. The Eleven here KNOW the reality of the first part of the Great Commandment which tells us about our unsurpassed Love for God and, in Jesus words on the relationship between He and the Father earlier in this chapter as well as in that straightforward saying that “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30), we should be able to see the idea behind “If ye love me” as He says this here. The idea here in this phrase IS NOT that if we DO the one, Love Him, then we should DO the other but rather that in this Love for God one must keep His words…the ideas ARE inseparable. Here we should see that this Love “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” encompasses the idea that this man will “keep my commandments“….the one IS a sign of the other. It IS in this idea of Love and of keeping His words that we find the Truth of perfection as this word IS used by the Master and we should see that the doctrinal idea that this IS impossible are shortsighted. This IS the reality of striving and this IS the reality of grace.

And it IS this sense of Love and keeping His words that enables the idea of His words on asking and on His doing and, while this idea is seen by most as that this IS He Himself that IS giving them what they may ask for, we should understand that this IS in His departure and in the reality of asking and receiving upon what it IS that He represents, upon His Name. And this asking IS NOT unlike the asking that we read about in James words as he says that “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5); this IS the same sense of asking and this Wisdom IS reality of more grace, more revelation and more realization of divinity. The reality of this idea of asking IS hidden from the view of the man who DOES NOT yet see the reality of Life in this world and it IS of this reality that the Master tells us regrading His relationship with the Father as One, the reality that we can DO these “greater works” and be “as his master” and then, in these words about the Comforter, that there IS the reality of God Within, that “he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you“. It IS this idea of God Within that IS among the great mysteries of the Kingdom of God which the Master protects in His parabolic speech and which He speaks obscurely about even to His apostles; it IS His parabolic speech that we are reading in this fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John.

As this builds through His words here we can get a better glimpse of His intent but we must first begin to see these ideas in the reality which IS founded in the Master’s words saying “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). When we can see this Truth, we can then see that if the Kingdom IS within then God must be within as well. And this idea builds yet further as we see that if God IS within His Kingdom which IS within the Man in the world, then the Christ MUST be within as well. And this IS as Jesus tells us that “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10) and that “I and my Father are One“. This builds yet further in this teaching on the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and while we may define this Aspect of the Godhead as the activity of the God Within, we should see the reality that He too “dwelleth with you, and shall be in you“. This IS the Trinity of God within the Kingdom of God and within the man in the world and we should understand here that these ARE mysteries that ARE ONLY revealed in the grace that flows from this God Within each man in this world by measure. The Master speaks here about the God Within and about the Holy Spirit Within but DOES NOT speak of Himself as the Christ Within; this IS left to the apostles, to their writings, which continue the parabolic tone of the Master. Paul tells us of these mysteries in a rather straightforward way saying that:

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:26-28).

It IS only in the misunderstanding of the apostle’s intent that the idea of gentiles is seen in the most restrictive form, that the saints are seen as the apostle’s by some and as any ‘believer’ by others and that the mystery is the scriptures themselves rather than the reality that Jesus speaks of as “the mysteries of the kingdom of God” (Luke 8:10). Our reality here IS that the Truth of the mysteries IS revealed by the Master, that hidden in His words and in the words of His apostles IS the Truth of the Kingdom Within, the God and Christ Within and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who “dwelleth with you, and shall be in you“. And we should try to see here how that the Master weaves His words; in the last essay we saw the idea of “another Comforter” which Vincent tells us refers to: he advocate who is to be sent is not different from Christ, but another similar to Himself 4. Here we move on to the next verses where the Master tells us that “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you“; here in this saying we should try to see the greater identification of the Comforter with the Master, that these ARE the same and that God IS Truly One. For us this IS the reality of the Christ Within.

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.

We repeat here again a saying that is from the Bhagavad Gita, which goes well with our theme of the God Within, the Soul, which we see as the Christ Within and while this is good in the Christian world and is True based upon our understanding of the Christ as the manifestation of God, we should also see in these words below that it does not matter what these divine ideas are called; that it matters not what we call this Inner Man, that he is the same in ALL, he is the Soul.

Thou carriest within thee a sublime Friend whom thou knowest not. For God dwells in the inner part of every man, but few know how to find Him. The man who sacrifices his desires and his works to the Beings from whom the principles of everything stem, and by whom the Universe was formed, through this sacrifice attains perfection. For one who finds his happiness and joy within himself, and also his wisdom within himself is one with God. And, mark well, the soul which has found God is freed from rebirth and death, from old age and pain, and drinks the water of Immortality.—Bhagavad-Gita

It is difficult to tell just what verses of the Bhagavad Gita the above is from; whether it is a paraphrase or a combination. It is from the book “The Great Initiates” by Édouard Schuré which was originally published in French in 1889 and perhaps it is in the translation of the verses that they become hard to recognize. However, the sheer beauty of the presentation caught my attention and so I share it with you. The Path to the Kingdom is the same no matter what religion one professes.

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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