Monthly Archives: December 2017

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1566

ON LOVE; PART MCCV

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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. 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

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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).

We ended the last essay with some thoughts on the third defining quality of agape that the Apostle Paul presents to us in our selection from his First Epistle to the Corinthians. This defining quality IS presented to us as the first in a series of negative qualities which, if these ARE part of one’s Life’ expression, show him that his expression IS NOT Love….that it IS NOT agape. While calling these ideas defining qualities may NOT be an accurate description, we should try to see that it IS freedom from these that Truly defines agape in the expression of men and of God.

If one addresses others with what Vincent calls a spirit of self-devotion as he shows us IS likely a part of one’s desire to emulate others, then this man IS NOT expressive of agape which comes with the ideas of makrothumia and chresteuomai; he IS expressing a carnal attitude which IS contrary to Love. In ALL defining ideas that can be applied to the Greek word zelos which IS rendered as envy we should be able to see its negative impact on agape. This includes the common ideas of envy and jealousy as well as the defining ideas of emulation which Vincent tells us: is the better general rendering, which does not necessarily include envy, but may be full of the spirit of self-devotion 4.

Perhaps if we look at the ideas of envy and jealousy we can see that these ARE strictly carnal thoughts and emotions which can also include carnal versions of emulation. However, on a spiritual level this idea of emulation IS a part of the Master’s dialogue with His apostles as he tells them that this CAN NOT affect their expression of agape to ALL men universally and with NO “respect to persons” (James 2:9). It IS in the deeper ideas of His words that tell us such things as “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26-27) that we find the intended spiritual idea….that men must avoid any form of zelos.

Jesus repeats this same idea saying to them that “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:10-11). We should understand here that such desires as even the apostles have ARE contrary to the Truth of agape and that they fall into the expression of a man as: rivalry and a desire of superiority 1….part of Webster’s 1828 definition of emulation. We should understand here that the ideas behind zeloo and zelos ARE NOT agape and that it IS freedom from these carnal ideas that IS a defining quality; we should try to see as well that it IS one’s expression of Love that can keep such thoughts and attitudes out of one’s Life. Repeating Paul’s words again we read:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not agape, 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 agape, 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 agape, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Agape suffereth long, and is kind; agape envieth not; agape 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. Agape 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).

The next word that we have from the apostle IS that “agape vaunteth not itself” and here, as with zelos, we have ideas that ARE opposite of being humble which the Master shows us saying “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). The Apostle James shows us this same idea saying “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10) and this Apostle Peter presents us the same thought saying “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

In Paul’s writing it IS the Greek word perpereuomai that IS rendered as vaunteth by the King James translators and in terms of bragging and boasting by most others. There IS however a King James footnote that renders this as “is not rash” and the Douay-Rheims renders perpereuomai as “dealeth not perversely“. This IS the only use of this Greek word in the New Testament and perhaps in a combination of these ideas we can find the apostle’s intent. Vincent, citing Cicero’s use of this word stays with the idea of boasting but with the implication that this IS done with purpose; he tells us that Cicero writes that “Heavens! How I showed off ( ἐνεπερπερευσάμην ) before my new auditor Pompey,” and describes the various rhetorical tricks which he employed 4.

In the way that the apostle presents this word perpereuomai and the next word phusioo which IS rendered as “puffed up“, we should try to see how that these ARE intended to be linked together as a single idea of which Vincent tells us that phusioo IS: Of inward disposition, as the previous word denotes outward display 4. Other translations render this word in terms of pride and arrogance and in these ideas we can see the linkage of these two words and how that they can be one idea. Strong’s tells us that the defining idea behind this word has: the primary sense of blowing; to inflate 9a while Vincent tells us that phusioo IS: From φῦσα a pair of bellows 4

Phusioo IS used ONLY by Paul; six times in this epistle and once in Colossians and while some of the apostle’s useage of the word IS unclear, the basic point from Vincent regarding the relationship between perpereuomai and phusioo will suffice for our understanding here in regard to agape. Here we should try to see that the man who Truly expresses agape DOES NOT express himself in bragging and boasting so as to impress others nor DOES he have such high thoughts about himselfIn the sense of True agape a man can most clearly see that the ONLY privilege that he may have over another IS that he IS perhaps a bit further along on the Path, and here we should understand that by the very nature of the Path and the journey such a man will DO ALL that IS possible to lift up his brothers. And he will DO so without fanfare and without desire; this again IS based in makrothumia and chresteuomai as defining qualities of Love.

Paul paints this idea for us in his saying that “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. 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” (Romans 12:3-5). Here the apostle’s point is to be humble in one’s own mind and, along with expressing the same to others, should give us a rather clear understanding of the depth behind the ideas that “agape vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” as a single thought.

And Paul gives us more guidance as he shows us the idea that “we have many members in one body“….”one body in Christ, and every one members one of another“. This IS the sense of Unity that we have with everyman and while doctrines put these ideas ONLY in the church they ARE much more universal in scope as IS revealed as the apostle goes on to show us the relationship of these ideas to Love….to agape. We should try to see here how that ALL this that Paul offers us IS based in the idea of being Transformed, a state of being where Love IS the natural and ONLY Way. We did spend much time on Paul’s words from the twelfth chapter of Romans beginning in In the Words of Jesus part 1467; these essays can serve to enhance our points here in this discussion of our selection from Corinthians. It IS from his thoughts in the twelfth chapter that the apostle comes to show us a deeper Truth of agape which we read again 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).

Looking at these ideas that ARE rendered as “agape vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” as a single thought and one that covers the idea of humbleness both outwardly and inwardly should show us that being humble IS another quality of Love. We have then that Love DOES see others with an understanding heart, an understanding of the plight of men in the vanity of Life in this world, and through this understanding expresses a universal respect to ALL; a respect that IS found in the Golden Rule and in the Great Commandment. It IS through makrothumia and chresteuomai that we can “love thy neighbour as thyself” and it IS through these same qualities of Love that we Truly understand the meaning of Jesus’ words saying “all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them“.

In these deeper ideas that we can take from the Great Commandment and the Golden Rule we should also see the way of understanding oneself and in that understanding to NOT desire to emulate others or see others as rivals to our own superiority. Here we should try to understand that Paul’s words “all members have not the same office” ARE in regard to more than just the church as doctrines paint the entirety of this part the apostle’s message. What we ARE and what we may become in this world IS of no consequence in the end; it IS ONLY our ability to express agape through our Life in this world….this IS our Transformation. Paul shows us the positive side of this idea of zelos saying to the Philippians “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

We should add here that it IS our expression of Love to ALL universally based in the ideas that Paul sets forth that IS the reality of the Great Commission when seen through Jesus’ words saying that the Transformed man should use his measure of grace to be “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you“. We should try to see here that the whole idea of Transformation IS a process and one that takes a man from Repentance to Redemption; and we should try to see that to be Transformed IS to have one’s focus off of the self and to an ever larger degree onto the Truth of the things of God.

On the positive side we have then the qualities of Love and of its expression as understanding and KNOWING the plight of everyman in this world and seeing him through that understanding which IS a reflection of our own struggle to gain spiritual control over the flesh. In this we can see that it IS fruitless to separate and divide men along any lines as ALL ARE Souls on the very same journey. And so it IS also fruitless to look upon others who ARE sinners according to your own view of Life and here we should look at Paul’s most misunderstood words, words that have led to numerous hardships inflicted upon others by Christians who see his words as their mandate. Paul says:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s” (2 Corinthians 10:3-7).

Paul’s cautions here should be clear but they ARE NOT as doctrinal thinkers DO NOT see their own Truth regarding imaginations nor DO they see their own strongholds. These ARE found in ALL carnal thoughts and attitudes that ARE found in a man’s view of his brothers; in every separtive and divisive thought and attitude that exhibits those things that the apostle teaches us against saying that “agape vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up“. Can we see the point here? Can we see that as spiritually focused men we NO longer seek to use the carnal mind but rather we ARE “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God“? Can we see that these imaginations and strongholds ARE more than our own proclivities but ARE our thoughts and emotions regarding others that have been fermented in our consciousness through our long years of nurturing and indoctrination?

And most importantly, can we see that the apostle’s idea, through the word that IS rendered as revenge which IS better understood as avenge (the most common rendering of ekdikeo in the King James Bible) IS NOT a Christian licence to punish others as this IS rendered and interpreted by many? It IS a caution to NOT seek to avenge any man’s fault until such time as one IS himself perfected which IS to be understood according to Jesus words saying “every one that is perfect shall be as his master” (Luke 6:40). And the understanding here should be clear; it IS in this perfection, in this idea of “when your obedience is fulfilled“, that a man Truly KNOWS and understands his brother and will NO longer “look on things after the outward appearance“.

The point here IS that as men begin to see themselves in their brothers and their neighbors and understand their plight, that one will NOT seek to avenge, nor to divide, nor to separate any man from himself and thereby come to understand the deep Truths of the Great Commandment and the Golden Rule; that these ARE examples of the expression of  True agape. We should see here that in the high ideals taught us by the Master that there IS NO room for emulation which should be see in two ways; first as one’s sense of superiority and one’s ever striving toward that goal and second in one’s desire to be as another which most always IS along carnal lines. It IS in the contentedness that that comes in the Peace that Love brings along with the humbleness that IS the attitude of agape, that we have the positive ideas from Paul’s words saying “agape envieth not; agape vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” 

And it IS in this understanding that agape IS Truly expressed; this IS the combined effect of makrothumia and chresteuomai, and without this understanding expression there IS NO agape. It IS in this understanding expression that one KNOWS to be both content and  humble and to NOT see himself above any and, in the idea of service which the Master shows us saying “whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant“, we should see our sole duty to our brothers and neighbors across the world. We should understand here that simply thinking in this way, in our attitude of understanding our relationship to ALL men, IS an expression of agape and it IS when millions can think this way that the world will change.

And the time has never been greater for this to happen as the Earth passes into a new dispensation where the ideas and the teachings of the Master can be better understood against the backdrop of the Age of Aquarius. While doctrinal thinkers may sneer at such astrological ideas, the Truth IS that such things DO effect the course of human history as IS shown us in the Lord’s words in the Book of Job where He says “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” If we look around the world it IS NOT hard to find the recent surge of brotherhood and harmony and while this has subsided somewhat through a worldwide competition between what we can call conservatism and liberalism, this IS far from dead.

This IS a competition between those who see their own Truth in protecting and advancing oneself or in the broader view of protecting and advancing others by which oneself IS also advanced. This IS a competition between the sometimes harshly materialistic ideas of self and the more spiritual social constructs of equality and fairness in ALL things. We should try to see that it IS the latter ideas in each of these that ARE in accord with the Truth of agape and that despite this most ALL of the Christian church in America yet leans strongly to the former ideas of conservatism.

The next idea presented by Paul in this list of the qualities of agape IS rendered by the King James translators as that agapeDoth not behave itself unseemly” and, if we follow the balance of this thought we can perhaps see that the ideas that agapeseeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” ARE this unseemly behavior. The first part of this uses the Greek word aschemoneo which IS defined as unbecoming and here we should try to see that any behaviour that IS NOT in accord with the aforementioned qualities of agape ARE aschemoneo or unbecoming. Here the following ideas correspond to this idea of unbecoming; agape IS NOT selfish, the man whose expression IS Love IS NO longer focused upon the self and the things of the self in this world.

Similarly, the idea that agape IS not provoked IS NOT necessarily in reference to anger. This same word paroxuno IS rendered as stirred in its only other use in the New Testament and IS used, speaking of Paul, to say that “his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry” (Acts 17:16). Vincent tells us that the kindred word paroxusmos, which IS rendered as contention,: describes the irritation which arose between Paul and Barnabas and in the Book of Hebrews it is rendered as provoke but in a good context which says “let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” Can we see here how that the idea of stirred can work across ALL of these uses of which there ARE ONLY four among both words?

If we take this idea into carnal thoughts we can see the role of emotions and perhaps of judgement concerning carnal things and here we can perhaps see that the idea IS that agape IS NOT stirred by thoughts and attitudes that ARE outside its bounds. It would then be unbecoming for one to allow one’s own carnal thoughts and attitudes to become a part of his expression of agape. To say that agape IS NOT stirred or provoked seems to imply that this IS contrary on both the positive and the negative side but if we can see deeper into the idea we should able to understand that it IS the carnal view of this that IS intended….that NO thing that IS carnally focused, be it thought or attitude or reaction to others, can be found in the True expression of agape. We close today with our trifecta which we DID NOT work into our ideas above but which ARE the foundational guidelines that leads men to Love; we read again:

  • “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

  • 1 Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1828 and 1913 from https://1828.mshaffer.com/
  • 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition
  • 9aThe New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible 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  

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