Monthly Archives: October 2014

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1174

ON LOVE; PART DCCLXIII

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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 continued with our discussion on grace as it relates to Love, both the Love of God and our Love for God, and how that these ARE evidenced by our Love for “one another” as the Apostle John frames the idea which the Master presents as “love thy neighbour as thyself” in the Great Commandments that we have again at the top of our essay. Jesus tells us that “If a man love me, he will keep my words” (John 14:23) and in this we should see the reality of our Love for others which IS the essence of the Great Commandments, which ARE His word, and which ARE the word of God and the Will of God. In this we should see that this Love for ALL men IS the great KEY to the Kingdom of God as we read the Master’s words saying: “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). In this sense of Love we should be able to see the reality that without our Love for ALL men, it IS NOT possible to Truly Love God and the apostle makes this clear for us as he closes out his words in our selection from his epistle saying: “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (1 John 4:21). When we stitch ALL of these ideas together, we should be hard pressed to deny the need for this Love in the reality of spiritual Life; yet these ideas ARE discounted and diluted by many of the doctrines that purport to teach His Truths.

And this IS the Love for God which John so eloquently paints for us and which IS so clearly stated in his saying that “By this we now that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments” as we read from our other selection from John’s Epistle; this idea IS of course tied to the Love that we receive from God which IS His grace and His Presence which we read as: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (John 14:23-24). We must remember here that this saying DOES NOT show us that God ONLY Loves those who Love Him but that this IS the realization of the man who Loves Him; it is this man to whom the Presence of God IS revealed in His consciousness and relayed to his mind and it IS this, by measure, that allows the man to overcome the carnal nature and be among those who have “escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust“. It IS the realization of this Love, this grace that IS His Presence in the Life of the man in the world, that allows for us to “be partakers of the divine nature” according to the “exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4) which we read in the Master’s words above.

While the reality of these ideas IS yet hidden from view by the parabolic nature of the teachings and the limitations of language and worldly thoughts and ideas, and while doctrines further obnubilate the Truth of these things, there IS a steady stream of grace, of revelation and realization, to the man who Truly seeks God and seeks to KNOW. It IS in the separation of global grace and individual grace that holds the key to much of the Truth of the Love of God and the apostles DO show us this Truth in such sayings as we have below in our selection from John’s Epistle where we read “We love him, because he first loved us“. This IS NOT contrary to Jesus words above where we read that the Father will Love us if we keep His words and Love Him; nor IS this contrary to the similar saying that “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). Both of these show us the realization of that Love in His Presence in the Life of the man in the world while the saying from John’s Epistle shows us the global Love of God, His Presence in this created world and His Presence as the reality of the Christ and the God Within; a reality that IS ONLY discovered by the man who will keep His words, which IS to Love Him, and which IS the price one must pay for this revelation of Truth. In the reality of the John’s words without the man made separation of His thoughts into chapters and verses, the whole of our two selections from his epistle run as a single idea on Love which we repeat here as one:

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect , that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we now that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 4:7-5:5).

While doctrines have diluted these ideas on Love, they have also taken the other ideas of overcoming and of “as he is, so are we in this world” away from the Truths that the Master shows us. These ideas have been allocated to faith as the simple believing and assent that Jesus IS the Christ….that this IS enough for a man’s salvation. In this the reality of DOING is eliminated although this need to DO runs through the apostle’s words in clear language; we are left here then with our own common sense realities of Truth: if a man Truly believes “that Jesus is the Son of God“, aught he not DO as the Lord says? In this we again see the Master’s own rhetorical question which asks “why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). John DOES NOT however leave us wanting nor does he leave us to our own devices in common sense, the apostle also gives us the Truth of his own thoughts saying “this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments“. This IS of course the same message that we get from the Master Himself in the sayings above and in His words that present to us the Truth of the Holy Spirit as He says so simply and clearly: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). The greater reality of overcoming is found in what becomes the realization of the man in this world; the realization of His Truths regarding the simplicity of the choice between “God and mammon” and the Truth of the treasure which we choose: that our focus will be upon “treasures in heaven” rather than upon the carnal things, the “treasures upon earth“. It IS this sense of focus that IS Jesus meaning as He concludes this idea saying “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6: 20, 19, 21); it IS when one’s focus, when the treasure of one’s heart, IS upon the things of God, that he has found “the victory that overcometh the world” as John shows us above. Here we should again understand the idea of faith in the deeper intended way and NOT as that we simply believe in Christ as doctrine portrays this; this faith IS KNOWING and this KNOWING comes in the realization which IS the grace of God that comes as the Presence of God to the man who keeps His words as the Master and the apostles ALL tell us.

This sense of faith or KNOWING IS the same as that which the Master speaks of as He tells us of the “faith as a grain of mustard seed“, that faith that can “say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove” (Matthew 17:20). This IS faith without doubt which Jesus paints for us in more ordinary language according to the Apostle Mark’s understanding which we read as: “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). Here we have the same KNOWING, the same sense of faith without doubt, without the use of the word faith and, while doctrine see that faith IS implied in the apostle’s words, we see that it IS KNOWING that IS implied; we see that these mean the same thing in this context and in the words from John above….that it IS this KNOWING which IS “is the victory that overcometh the world“. And it IS this KNOWING, this realization of Truth, that brings us to that reality of keeping His words. This IS the ultimate reality of His Presence in the Life of the man in the world: it IS the result of keeping His words, it IS the result of our focus upon the “treasures in heaven“, and the apostle, while making this clear for us, also tells us how that we can keep His words in Love which we read as “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us“. This IS NOT unlike the words from the Apostle Paul who tells us of this link between Love and keeping His words saying “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14) and, in this saying the idea of the law should be understand as that this IS His word. And we should see here as well the same Presence that the Master promises above to the man “that hath my commandments, and keepeth them“.

And the Apostle James offers us similar ideas on Love while he expands upon the idea of the neighbor so that we understand that we should Love ALL men equally, that we should Love ALL men as we would Love ourselves; we read: “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9). Behind these words from James we should be able to see that this Love IS NOT the attractions and the attachments found in emotion and thought, these ARE NOT suitable to that required equanimity; here the apostle IS showing us this reality of Love and removing from it the sense of favor which, while he paints this in terms of appearance, can be seen in most any worldly context. John ties this ALL together for us in the next verses where he shows us that it IS the Presence of God, His Spirit, that shows us the Truth of spiritual Life; in his words saying “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” we should see that this Spirit IS His Presence and that the idea of dwelling in Him IS that we dwell in His word. While we see this Truth, much of doctrine sees the following ideas that are interpreted in the more carnal understanding of confession; the apostle tells us “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God“. This doctrinal idea of confession should NOT take precedence over the former way that we find the Presence of God nor the way that the Master shows us this same idea but, unfortunately, doctrines have made this so.

We should look at this idea of confession as the apostle intended it in the completeness of his thoughts and NOT in the separation of them. The equality of the idea of Loving “one another” and of confessing that “Jesus is the Son of God” IS found in that both result in the same reality of the Presence of God. There ARE many such equations in the words of the Master and His apostles and we often speak of these, and this one IS rather clearly stated by the apostle’s showing us that “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us” and then in his words “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him“. Can we see the equation here? Can we see the apostle’s intent in these ideas and how that this confession is akin to the reality of believing and of faith and that these both imply that we keep His words…that we “love one another“? As we show in Vincent’s words in In the Words of Jesus part 1170, the deeper ideas of this confession are found in the way that Mr. Vincent shows us its working in the Master’s own words. Jesus refers to “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men” (Matthew 10:32) and it IS in this light that we should see the same sense of confession here in John’s Epistle; Vincent’s commentary on the Master’s words tells us in part that: It implies identification of the confessor with the confessed, and thus takes confession out of the category of mere formal or verbal acknowledgment 4. And this IS the point that should be carried to these ideas from John, that this confession, this identification with the Master, IS the reality of His Presence and of our Oneness with Him through the realization of the Truth of the Christ and the God Within. It IS this Presence, this reality that “he hath given us of his Spirit” that IS the Truth of “the Spirit of truth“, the Holy Spirit, who “will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear , that shall he speak : and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13).

It IS the reality that He “shall not speak of himself” which brings us the understanding of the part within the whole as this Spirit, this individual sense of grace in the Life of the man who keeps His words, IS fed by our Oneness with the Godhead. In this we should see that there IS but ONE Truth, ONE Universal Presence of God in which we ALL share, in which we ALL exist as part and parcel of God.  It IS the reality of Life in form that separates us from the Truth of God and from our own sense of the Presence of God in our Life and it IS ONLY in our focus, in our striving to keep His words, that we come to the Path that leads us back and to the realization of our being “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). It IS in this context that we should understand the Master’s words “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free“(John 8:31-32).

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!

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

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