Monthly Archives: November 2017

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1557

ON LOVE; PART MCXCVI

ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ

GoodWill IS Love in Action

ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ

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).

ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ

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

ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ

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).

Over the last several essays we have been discussing the way that the admonition to Love has colored the scriptures since the time of Moses and his attempt to change the ways of the Jews as a nation from an emotional and mental view of Life based in their time in Egypt under the rule of Pharaoh to an independent view of Life based in their relationship with God. This relationship then, as it IS yet today, IS based in one’s expression of Love to ALL  and if we were to look closely at Moses words we would easily see how that his commandments ARE very much concerned with the treatment of one’s fellow man.

It IS these commandments which ARE covered by the covenant which promises blessings and says “all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God” (Deuteronomy 28:2) as much as those that cover the rite and the ritual and the ceremony. And this IS the most basic failure of the Jews, of mankind in general if you will: that it IS easier to DO those things that doctrine has adopted, the rite, the ritual and the ceremony, than it IS to express agape unceremoniously to ALL men. And it IS this failure that the Master points out in His diatribes against the ways of the Jews and especially their religious leaders.

In such sayings as Jesus leaves us regarding the way of the Jews, we should again note that much of His words come from the words of the prophets who expressed similar ideas that were intended to alter the Jew’s doctrinal approach to the Lord. The Prophet Hosea tells the Jews that “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6) and it IS this idea that Jesus uses to confront the Pharisees saying “if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless” (Matthew 12:7). It IS rather easy to see that the Jews, through their religious leaders who had taken authority over their lives, DID not value mercy over sacrifice nor “the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings“.

It had always been the rite and the ritual and the ceremony that prevailed in the Jewish religious practice which seemingly valued the sacrifice as atonement for NOT keeping the law over the Truth of those parts of the law that DID concern Love. And while we may think that the Apostle Paul’s words to the Romans on Love ARE his alone based in the Master’s teaching, the greater reality IS that some Jews DID understand Love as the Way. As we discussed, there was the scribe and the lawyer who cite the importance of Love and if we can see that these ARE NOT isolated people, that they represent the learned of the Jews, we can better understand our point both then and now and  for both the Christian and the Jew.

The scribe KNOWS enough to tell Jesus, in response to His citing the Great Commandments as above ALL others, “Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Mark 12:32-33). This IS however a carnal view of “the knowledge of God” cited by Hosea and it IS this same “knowledge of God” that IS KNOWN by Paul who, like most of the Jewish religious leaders, saw himself as in accord with the precept of Love while he was persecuting Christians and DOING “many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9).

This IS the illusion and this IS the glamour which Paul shows us as that vanity to which ALL ARE subjected by being born into this world and then being nurtured and indoctrinated in this illusion and glamour by others who had already succumbed. Paul tells us that “I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee” (Acts 23:6) and also that “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers” (Acts 22:3). Can we see here that this IS the apostles nurturing and his indoctrination and that through this he believes that he has “the knowledge of God” and IS in accord with His law.

Can we see as well that Paul, before His enlightenment, was among those about whom the Master cautions saying “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me” (John 16:2-3)? And can we see that in these words we have a view of the Life of the Jewish religious rulers who live with the belief that they DO have “the knowledge of God” and about whom the Master tells us that they “have not known the Father“? Here we can see as well how that while the Jews DO believe that they KNOW God and that they ARE DOING His will, that they have failed to even understand the most basic idea of the Lord’s words through Hosea saying which Jesus repeats saying “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice“.

We should try to see here that while Paul DOES KNOW the Truth as DO the scribe and the lawyer, that he IS following in the doctrinal precepts rather than the Lord’s which tells men to Love saying “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” and that “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself“. Paul’s persecution of the followers of Jesus IS NOT Love and here we should see that while the apostle DOES KNOW the words of the law that they ARE NOT, as the Prophet Jeremiah shows us IS the Lord’s Will, “in their inward parts” nor “in their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33).

But Paul DOES come to Truly KNOW God, he IS enlightened by the Truth of the Christ which had been lurking within him but which was obnubilated by the illusion and the glamour which was greatly enhanced by his nurturing and his indoctrination. On the road to Damascus the apostle finds the Truth as he encounters the Lord in a vision and while we DO NOT understand the dynamics of such events, it IS surely in this moment that the apostle sees both the Truth and his own error; the error of men entombed in the vanity of Life in this world which Vincent shows us as his: perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4.

Can we see this vanity as the reality of the Life of the Jewish leaders and of Paul who was counted in their ranks? Can we see that while they believe that they ARE closest to God that they ARE actually in that: perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends ? It IS this that the Master shows them time after time as He discourses with the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes, the lawyers and the priests. And we should understand here that Paul’s words to the Romans ARE NOT ONLY based in his enlightenment; we should see that as the scribe and the lawyer he KNOWS the Truth of Love but fails to act on it because his doctrines teach otherwise….because this Truth was but words which were NOT “in their inward parts” nor “in their hearts“. These words however come alive as the apostle has and explosion of realization which IS his enlightenment which allows him to Truly KNOW God and to say such things as:

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed”  (Romans 13:8-11).

The Jew’s sense of salvation came to rest in their doctrinal approach to God as they failed to see the eternal Truths that Jesus brought to Light through His words and His reinterpretation of the law in terms of Love, a Love that ever existed but was hidden in the machinations of men and their doctrines. Again, Love was the foundation of the law which emphasized the reality of the One God and how that one can interact with God by the rules that show how that men should interact with each other. This IS the essence of the Ten Commandments which ARE expounded upon by the other commandments of the Lord; the essence of which the Jew’s KNOW and the Master confirms ARE encapsulated in the Great Commandments which ARE “more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices

It IS the same doctrinal blindness which afflicted the Jew that still today afflicts most ALL world religions and especially the Christian religion which IS founded in the words of the Master….words that ARE Love. While it IS True that many Christians speak in terms of Love, few understand its import and fewer still its meaning and in this they ARE on rather equal footing with the Jews both past and present. Again we ask ourselves just what this idea of Love, of agape, IS and again we return to the words of the New Testament for a most clearly presented tutorial on the Truth of Love. We begin with Paul’s words of which the second part IS cited by many in relation to the common understanding of Love and here most often as Love between specific people; we read:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

As we have discussed in previous posts, the King James Bible renders agape as charity in these verses and if we can look at the ideas presented in terms of agape rather than the common understanding of Love, we will be better able to see the connection between Paul’s words of the second part and the Master’s use of agape. From the Great Commandment of “love thy neighbour as thyself“, to the deeper meanings of the Golden Rule, and to the clear idea that one should “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44), Jesus offers us the True meaning of agape, a meaning which IS sorely lost in men’s common view of Love.

Using the common idea of Love men have produced quaint plaques that highlight all or part of Paul’s words which ARE also often used in wedding ceremonies, but the deeper meaning of these words IS missed by most ALL. This idea of agape, this God’s kind of Love, IS most always taken personally; it IS seldom seen in its intended way of Universal Love….a Love that sees every neighbor, every other man, every enemy and every adversary of any kind in the same Light of Love. It IS this sense of agape that “suffereth long” which idea IS wrongly understood in terms of patience.

The Greek word here IS makrothymeō which Thayer’s defines as: to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart  9. Here, the common idea of patience as this IS understood against the idea of Love IS far short of Paul’s intentions which should be understood as an essence of agape and NOT of men’s idea of Love. If we measure this idea to the neighbor, to every other man, to the enemy and to the adversary, we can then see the tone that Paul IS trying to teach….a tone of seeing men as men and understanding that their failing IS just as one’s own. This IS the same Greek word idea that the apostle uses in defining the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22); here he uses the noun form while in our verse above he uses the verb.

In our discussion of the “fruit of the Spirit” we defined makrothumia saying that this IS rendered as longsuffering but has much deeper meaning as that steady sense of understanding of the way of men and their plight in this world. Makrothumia IS this understanding through an ever increasing realization of the need of having NO “respect to persons” (James 2:9), while understanding also that to see men in their differences IS contrary to His words. We should try to see that that makrothymeō, the verb form in our Paul’s words on Love, IS an outward expression that IS a reflection of agape, of Love….one’s expression of agape must perforce be one of makrothumia to everyman.

Neither patience nor longsuffering captures the idea as a defining quality of agape. However, if we can see this idea in the way that the Apostle James’ presents this to us regarding the husbandman, we can perhaps glimpse the deeper reality. James first shows us how that we ARE as men saying “Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you” (James 5:5-6). This IS everyman’s relationship to another which we should see in Paul’s words saying “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

James continues to tell us to “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” (James 5:7) and here the idea of simple patience again DOES NOT suffice. Vincent shows us some of this deeper meaning in this passage from James saying of makrothymeō that this IS: From μακρός, long, and θυμός, soul or spirit, but with the sense of strong passion, stronger even than ὀργή, anger, as is maintained by Schmidt (“Synonymik”), who describes θυμός as a tumultuous welling up of the whole spirit; a mighty emotion which seizes and moves the whole inner man  4. Vincent goes on to say of makrothymeō that: It is a patient holding out under trial; a long-protracted restraint of the soul from yielding to passion, especially the passion of anger  4.

If we can see that to yield to such passions, to NOT have such restraint, IS contrary then to agape and this idea IS reinforced by the example of the husbandman who IS NOT idly waiting but working to obtain “the precious fruit of the earth“. In ALL this we should try to see how that Love IS constantly working, it IS the constant expression of makrothumia in relation to the neighbor, to every other man, to the enemy and to the adversary, and here we should understand two things. First that this expression has some measure of realization of that great Truth of Love….that there IS NO “respect to persons” in the Truth of agape. Second we should understand that we ARE essentially ALL the same; Souls living in form and in the vanity, the illusion and the glamour, of Life in this world and that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God“. The Buddha shows us this idea in His discourse on violence; we read:

All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do? He who seeks happiness By hurting those who seek happiness Will never find happiness. For your brother is like you. He wants to be happy. Never harm him And when you leave this life You too will find happiness.

If we can see this idea of harm as much more than physical violence, we can likely see the basis for the ideas behind makrothumia as this should be understood. The reality of makrothumia sees NO divisions among men….it merely sees men as men with the understanding that their failing IS just as one’s own. We should try to see here how that the idea of longsuffering plays here in such understanding that in the long journey of the Life of the Soul that each “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21)as Paul tells us.

We should try to see and to understand as well that these ideas have ever been True, that makrothumia has always been a defining quality of agape, and while these ideas may NOT have been as clearly expressed in the Old Testament and the Old Covenant, they ARE expressed throughout the New Testament and can show us  the essence of the New Covenant which IS Love expressed. James finishes his thought here by bringing the prophets and Job into his discussion on makrothumia; we read:

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” (James 5:8-11).

The apostle shows us to be patient as the husbandman IS patient….continually working to obtain “the precious fruit of the earth” and here, if we can see the expression of makrothumia as that patience we will have gotten much of James’ intent. This IS NOT waiting for the Lord….this IS working for the Lord and we can relate this to one’s expression of makrothumia by his words on the interaction of men which follows. James then gives us the example of the prophets and here we should understand that these ARE NOT waiting in patience as this idea IS understood; the idea here IS that the prophets, in their “suffering affliction“, yet express makrothumia as unwavering understanding of the plight of men.

And while Job’s patience IS seen as enduring his own plight, what IS he waiting for? Job’s expression of makrothumia IS seen in his steadfast devotion to keeping His words in righteousness despite what IS happening to him and around him. Can we see Vincent’s view of  here? Can we see in Job this: patient holding out under trial; a long-protracted restraint of the soul from yielding to passion, especially the passion of anger  4. We close today with our trifecta which we should ever see as the reality of one’s expression of makrothumia, as constantly working on the expression of Love which IS ever the same as keeping His words. We read:

  • “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).

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 change our Quote of the Day today to the words from Solomon on Wisdom along with our thoughts on them from the original postings of them in In the Words of Jesus parts 46 and 556.  These words ARE a testament to those things that we should be asking of the Lord and which are representative of the Holy Ghost. Wisdom, understanding and knowledge which will lead us  to understanding the fear (reverence and respect and awe) of the Lord and the knowledge of God so that in this world we can understand righteousness and judgement and equity and be preserved by discretion and understanding. Thus are we in a position to treat everyone as we would want to be treated ourselves.

Since we are centered on the ideas of Wisdom today we offer the following from Proverbs as our Quote of the Day. Solomon, who is KNOWN for his Wisdom, which we read in the story of his Life was His gift from God, a gift that he receives because he does not want for the things of the world. But Solomon gains as well the things of the world in plenty and as his Life story proceeds we can see clearly that it is his Life in the world that is to his detriment. The wisdom however produces for us the writings of the Book of Proverbs and it is this that he is remembered for. His Life is interesting reading and is well documented in the Books of Kings and Chronicles.

….incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee (Proverbs 2:2-11).

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts

  • 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition
  • 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on blueletterbible.org

Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road. 

Voltaire,
Writer and Philosopher

Comments Off on IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1557

Filed under Abundance of the Heart, Born Again, Bread of Life, Children of God, Christianity, Disciple of Christ, Eternal Life, Faith, Forgiveness, Light, Living in the Light, Reincarnation, Righteousness, Sons of God, The Kingdom, The Words of Jesus