ON LOVE; PART MCXXIV
GoodWill IS Love in Action
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).
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. While this IS from an older definition of Charity, which IS rendered in the King James Bible from the same Greek word agape which IS generally rendered as Love, we should amend our own definition here to include the idea that in the reality of Love a man will accord to ALL men ALL things that he would accord to himself and to say that Love IS our thoughts and attitude of the equality of ALL men regardless of their outward nature or appearance…that ALL ARE equally children of Our One God
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).
We began the last essay with some thoughts about the Nature of God and ended with some ideas on how that it IS the Holy Spirit that IS the activity of God in this world. While we DID NOT show these ideas specifically, they ARE the gist of what we DID say and here we should see that while the Master DOES NOT give us a straightforward understanding of the Trinity in His words about the Comforter, the Father and Himself as the Christ, the reality of His message of the Three Aspects of our One God lies within His words.
The Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father” (John 15:26), IS in the Father and IS His constant flow of Truth which IS revealed to and realized by those who have His Presence which Jesus shows us in the trifecta comes to the man who will keep His words. The relationship between the Christ as an aspect of the Godhead and the Holy Spirit as the Presence of God IS NOT so clearly stated in His saying that “ I will not leave you comfortless:a I will come to you“. But when we can see these words in the context of both “another Comforter” and His words that say “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” we will have the clearer understanding.
The word that IS rendered here as comfortless IS the Greek word orphanos and the literal translation of this IS orphans or fatherless as this IS rendered in its only other use in the New Testament. Can we see behind the words here? It IS NOT the Father that IS leaving but the Son and in the normal context of these ideas this DOES NOT make one an orphan. When we can see the Unity of the Godhead however these words come together as we can see in His words that it IS the Father and the Christ that “will come unto him, and make our abode with him“….with the man who “ hath my commandments, and keepeth them” as we read again in our trifecta.
- “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).
- “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).
- “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. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, 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 14:21-24).
And if we can see further behind the idea of orphans and link this with the Apostle Paul’s words on “the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23), we can have a better view of the Unity of the Godhead in both the Macrocosm which IS God and the microcosm which IS man. When we can see that the Father and the Son ARE inseparable and that the Holy Spirit IS His expression and His Truth, we can then see that the Spirit and the Soul that IS man ARE inseparable and ARE one and that the Holy Spirit IS his expression and his Truth as well.
And this Oneness of the Father and the Son IS NOT a hidden thing; although some of the Master’s sayings on this are intentionally nebulous as He speaks of things that have NO foundation in the minds of men which ARE NOT enlightened, the idea IS rather clearly stated in others as in His saying that “I and
my the Father are one” (John 10:30) and His response to Philip’s question saying “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). In the first saying the personal idea of my IS added by the translators….most translations frame this as “the Father“. This last saying IS a part of the whole context of the Master’s words to His apostles that IS the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John; a chapter which leads us through the Master’s divulgence of the very Nature of God and the reflection of this Nature in man. We read a larger segment of His words saying:
“If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:7-10).
As we discussed in the last essay, these ideas of God in man and man in God ARE universal and that Christian doctrines have hijacked these ideas in their own illusion and glamour DOES naught to promote the central theme of Jesus message….Love and the Unity that agape brings. And this hijacking IS based in so few words from the gospels and especially Jesus words that immediately precede our selection above from the fourteenth chapter which ARE rendered as “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Through the misapplied doctrinal meaning of these words, the rest of the chapter, nay the whole gospel, has lost its True meaning.
In his book, The Imitation of Christ, Thomas Kempis tells us this of the reality of these words from Jesus, a reality that IS NOT found in the doctrinal understanding where these words ARE used to set apart the Christian from others and to lay claim to the ONLY way to God. Mr. Kempis says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou shouldst pursue; the truth which thou shouldst believe; the life which thou shouldst hope for” 4.
Our ONLY disagreement with Mr. Kempis ideas IS in the very end where the word hope IS used; we should remember however that this word, this English word, IS NOT necessarily the wishy type of hope as IS commonly understoodood and can be seen as: Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good 1 as Webster’s 1828 dictionary tells us in their secondary definition of hope. This IS in agreement with Bible usage where the Old Testament Hebrew words mean: literally a cord (as an attachment); figuratively, expectancy from tiqvih; and to wait; by implication, to be patient, hope from the Hebrew word yachal. The New Testament word elpis means: to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence 9a according to Strong’s.
If we can see Mr. Kempis last idea then as “the life which thou shouldst
hope fo r expect“, we will have the clearer view of the Master’s intent as well. If we can see that Jesus’s words saying that “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” ARE a picture of the Way to salvation; NOT by believing in Him according to doctrine but by KNOWING Him according to the trifecta, we can understand how that these words fit into His divulgence of of the very Nature of God and the reflection of this Nature in man which IS the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John.
It IS when we can look at the Master’s words from the perspective of the Christ rather that the person of Jesus whose Life IS the expression of the Christ, the anointed of God, in this world that we can begin to understand that His intent, like His intent in believing in or believing on Him, IS to accept and adopt His precepts and example as binding upon the life 4. It IS in this Way that He IS the Way, the Truth and the Life and NO man can come to his own spiritual reality and ‘see’ the Father without DOING ALL those things as Jesus instructs us and shows us.It IS indeed interesting that this verse should be taken literally by the majority of the doctrinal church while other clearly stated ideas that need NO interpretation ARE NOT.
The Master IS indeed the Way as His teaching and His example embody the Universal Way of Truth that IS at the heart of every True world religion. And while the Christian looks askance at other religions, we should understand that his view of Truth IS obnubilated by his own sense of glamour….a glamour that likely afflicts ALL religions as men seem always to see their own beliefs as the more right.
The Christian however takes his glamour to the nth degree as he sees Jesus as the ONLY way to God based not only in these misunderstood and misapplied words but moreso in his desire to be right in his beliefs which IS his sense of glamour. And it IS unfortunate that while they hold fast to this glamour, this idea that ONLY they ARE right, they, at the same time, DO NOT heed His words as they rely upon the words of His apostles, the misunderstood and misapplied words of His apostles, as their guide and their presumed salvation.
The Master IS indeed the Truth as He expresses the One Truth through His Life and His teachings and by His sacrifice. The Christian however DOES NOT see the reality of His sacrifice as they tie it ONLY to His suffering and death as a man in this world. The Christian DOES NOT see the Truth that IS displayed for us in Jesus’ Life and somewhat replicated in the lives of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Jesus greater sacrifice IS found in His willingness to be born among men, to Live among them and His taking upon Himself the awesome responsibility of leading us into a new dispensation….a dispensation that has NOT yet taken hold in the minds of men whose view yet remains carnal.
And the Master IS the Life as He portrays for us the reality of His Divinity working through form in this world. He IS the Life and He shows us the Way and the Truth of that Life in “the works that I do“. He IS the Life as He shows us that it IS in one’s realization of his own divinity that he can DO yet “greater works“. In this realization IS the KNOWING, the fullness of pistis and pisteuo, that will enable a man to “say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done” (Matthew 21:21). This IS the Life that Jesus offers us; this IS the realization of those “exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
The Life that Jesus offers IS the realization of Truth and the freedom from the fetters of mind and emotions that this Truth brings. The Life that the Master offers us IS found in this freedom that comes as we follow in His Way and ARE “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). The Life that we find in the Christ IS the True Life of the Soul, the spiritual man, radiating through one’s physical form and this Life can ONLY be realized by following Him in the Way which Paul simplifies for us saying “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind“.
He IS Truly the Way, the Truth and the Life and ALL of these ARE found when one can: accept and adopt His precepts and example as binding upon the life 4. ALL else IS doctrine; ALL else is but “another gospel” and the wishful thinking of men who DO NOT see and perhaps DO NOT want to see the reality of the Way, the Truth that IS revealed in that Way and the Life that IS the result of following that Way. This IS despite the clarifying and amplifying words of His apostles which we have been discussing through this blog; words that can rather clearly be seen in Paul’s admonition in our selection from his Epistle to the Romans which we repeat again:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:1-3).
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:4-21).
Finally we should try to see how that this Truth that “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” actually works out in the lives of men in this world. Jesus endeavors to show His disciples the Truth of God in words and terms that they can understand in relation to His own impending death and we KNOW from the Apostle John’s writings, as well as those of the other gospel writers, that they DO NOT Truly understand. While they DO have revelation and the realization of the Truth, they have NO basis nor foundation for understanding these spiritual concepts which they ARE just now being shown.
We should ever understand that the realizations of everyman must perforce be expressed through his personality in this world and in this we should see how that they take on the tone of that personality which IS set by one’s own nurturing, indoctrination and experience. Men will see things through the eyes of the personality until such time as that personality IS Transformed into one which sees ONLY the impetus of the Soul but, even then, there will be residual ways of conduct as the personality was prone to express. In this we should see the differing styles and perspectives of the writers who ALL say the same things in different ways.
How then DO we “cometh unto the Father“? It IS NOT as men but as Souls and this coming DOES NOT involve one’s going anywhere. We should see here that the next words that the Master gives to His apostles ARE the essence of the the Way, the Truth and the resultant Life by which one can realize the Presence of God. And we should understand that it IS this realization the IS His coming into one’s Life according to the trifecta which, at the same time, brings the man ever closer to the fullness of his realization of God
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
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
Son, The Christ
Love and Wisdom
Soul or Christ Within
Heart of God
Light or Activity
Mind of God
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 is the Prayer of Saint Francis which we repeat from a previous post as our Quote of the Day. We should see in his words the same ideas that Paul presents in our selection from Romans above. If we were all to accept these ideas as guiding Lights in our lives, we would be expressing the Love and the Faith that the Master teaches. The prayer is attributed to the 13th-century saint Francis of Assisi, although the prayer in its present form cannot be traced back further than 1912*. Regardless of the True authorship, the sentiments revealed in this prayer are genuine and are in keeping the intent of the teachings of the Master and His apostles. We should note here that the dying is not the death of the body as doctrines dictate but the death of the carnal man in the world when one is Truly “born again“. In this context we read this about Saint Francis: Francis was the son of a wealthy foreign cloth merchant in Assisi, and he lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi. While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life**. Here is the antithesis of the rich young man of the gospels. While he may not have authored this prayer, many do attribute it to him and in reading about his Life one can easily see these ideas in his heart.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
This is a prayer that is Truly in line with the teachings of the Master and the ideals encapsulated in this should be those that govern our lives and our prayer should be that ALL can see Life in this same way. The ideas contained in this prayer should show us the True nature of prayer and understand that whensoever Jesus tells us that we can have whatsoever we ask for, His intent IS that we ask for such things as these and NOT the carnal things of men.
Additional background information on Saint Francis of Assisi can be found in a rather lengthy article in the Catholic Encyclopedia; a link to this is provided below.†
Let the peace of God rule in your hearts
- 1 Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1828 and 1913 from https://1828.mshaffer.com/
- 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
- 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition, 1888
- **Wikipedia contributors. “Francis of Assisi.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 Jan. 2013
- † Link to New Advent http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06221a.htm*