Monthly Archives: March 2018

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1590

ON LOVE; PART MCCXXIX

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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 by coming back to the Apostle Paul’s untranslated words saying “agape makrothumeo chresteuomai” which IS translated and rendered as “Agape suffereth long, and is kind” by the King James Translators who use the idea of charity in place of Love for agape. It has been our point that this rendering as well as the common understanding taken from other bible translations that “Love is patient, love is kind” DOES NOT show us the Truth of either agape or Paul’s defining idea that agape IS makrothumeo and chresteuomai. As we closed the last post we again cited the words of our bible dictionaries and lexicons which tell us that makrothumeo IS: to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart  as Thayer’s tells us and to be long-spirited  as we find in Strong’s.

In both of these defining ideas we should try to see how that the deeper idea of makrothumeo IS found in the idea that agape IS the Spirit extending outward as the expression of the man in this world. We should remember here that as “God IS love” (1 John 4:8, 16) and as “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24), so the Spirit that IS the True man IS also Love….IS also agape. When this idea IS coupled with Jesus’ own words on the heart, that the heart IS the center of a man, either spiritually or carnally depending on his focus in Life, we can then see how that this agape that IS the Spirit and IS of the Spirit must be extending outward; this IS the intent of Paul’s words. Jesus’ words on the heart ARE NOT ambiguous as He tells us such things as “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34), “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21) and “this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart” (Matthew 13:15).

Again it IS in this sense that we can Truly understand the Truth of “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself“; it IS ONLY in this view of the flow of agape from the Spirit and through the heart as one’s expression that these words take Life and cease being but a trite platitude. The same IS True of the Golden Rule which has NOT ONLY become such but which IS also demeaned by the ideas of reciprocity that too many attach to it. In the Master’s words above and in the Apostle Luke’s version saying “as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31) there IS NO hint of reciprocity; there IS ONLY agape which Emmet Fox expounds for us saying: I PRACTICE, the Golden Rule of Jesus instead of merely admiring it. He said, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” The important point about the Golden Rule is that I am to practice it whether the other fellow does so or not**.

To these words from the Master we must add those ideas which ARE foreign to the carnal mind: 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). It IS in this context that we should see the idea that men should “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again” (Luke 6:30) and understand this as a Universal Rule of Truth which the Master repeats while clarifying both the universality and the the idea that as “God IS love” and as “God is a Spirit“, so the Spirit that IS the True man IS also Love that must be expressed; Jesus says again: “love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).

It IS in this Light that the Apostle Paul shows us the importance of Love as he defines it for us in terms that ARE NOT carnal, as the Master’s ideas ARE NOT carnal, yet both ARE seen ONLY in terms of the common understanding of Love to which they apply the idea that “Love is patient, love is kind“. And while it is this idea that IS attached to Love by the doctrines of men, it IS seldom understood or practiced even in a carnal way against the commandment that “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself“. We should note here that the Greek word that IS rendered as merciful, oiktirmon, IS used ONLY here and in the Apostle James Epistle where, speaking of the Lord, he says “the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11).

The root word oiktiro IS used ONLY one time by Paul who repeats the words of the Lord to Moses saying “I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Romans 9:15). We should note here that the meaning of both oiktirmon and oiktiro ARE in terms of compassion as IS the meaning of the Greek word polysplagchnos which IS rendered as “very pitiful” in James. Our point here IS that the dual ideas of oiktirmon and polysplagchnos have quite similar meanings and if we can see that the idea of merciful IS used as an explanatory of compassionate for lack of a better rendering, we can then perhaps understand why the Lord’s words ARE recorded by Matthew as “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

We must NOT confuse the words of Jehovah through Moses with the reality of God of whom the Apostle Peter tells us that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). These ideas ARE contrary to each other and in this we should try to see that Moses pronouncement IS in the context of Moses desire to see God as he says to the Lord “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18). Our point here IS that these Greek words ARE seldom used and poorly defined and this should be evident as we compare the ideas of Perfect and merciful. In Perfect we have the reality of the Godhead and combining this with the Truth that “God is Love” we should be able to see that this Perfection IS the fullness of agape; from here is IS NOT difficult to see that merciful IS the expression of this Perfection….the expression of agape by both God and man.

The problem here IS that 2000 years of doctrine, 2000 years of translating and interpreting the idea behind agape according to those doctrines, have blotted out the True meaning and the True ideas behind the Greek words. The Truth IS however there and it IS a Truth that IS intimately tied to one’s spiritual reality, a Truth that waits for men to untie and untangle those carnal and doctrinal thoughts that have persisted for centuries; regardless of whether one can buy into the ideas that we present here regarding these Greek words, the most basic idea of agape still exists as the most basic Truth of Jesus’ teaching and the amplifying and clarifying words of apostles. This brings us back to Paul’s amplifying and clarifying words on agape which repeat again saying:

covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way“. 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 12:31, 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).

One may deny that Paul IS telling us of the spiritual nothingness that exists for the man who DOES NOT express agape as his Way in Life in this Earth, but his words ARE rather clearly saying just that. And if Paul IS admitting that without such expression of Love that he IS nothing, that he has NO spiritual profit and that his words ARE but noise, how can the doctrinal thinker believe that he can fare any better? Paul IS showing us that NO matter what one may believe to be True regarding one’s own spirituality, NO matter what ‘gifts‘ he may believe he has, NO matter what level of philanthropy he may offer, without Love, without agape, ALL IS for naught. If we could see these ideas in Paul’s words on works, perhaps we could better understand his point in saying “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Can we see the point here? Can we see how that such works that ARE doctrinally spiritual ARE being called out and ARE but another illusion in the Life of the man who DOES NOT Truly Love….the man who DOES NOT Truly express agape. In the last essay we showed a question saying  that the question to be posed here IS whether keeping His words IS Paul’s reference in saying that grace IS “not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9) and here today we should answer that question with a loud NO. What IS the apostle’s reference IS men’s reliance upon the ‘works‘ that ARE DONE in the absence of Love, things DONE without one’s True expression of agape which IS the spiritual equivalent of keeping His words.

We should remember that Paul IS speaking to men who have come to realize the ‘gifts‘ in a time when such abilities were NOT crowded out by the constant clamour of Life in this world, and perhaps a time when men saw themselves above others through their psychic abilities. Other than his promoting of agape over ALL else, we DO NOT KNOW what IS Paul’s motivation in speaking these ideas to the Corinthians; we DO KNOW however what it IS that he IS saying: that whatsoever a man may believe he IS DOING spiritually IS for naught without one’s expression of agape and when we can connect the dots, connect Paul’s words to Jesus’ words, we can see how that such expression IS keeping His words and that in keeping His words comes the KNOWING and in the KNOWING IS the grace

The equivalency of keeping His words and one’s expression of agape IS NOT a generally accepted doctrinal idea and this largely because the whole idea of agape IS NOT understood as the spiritual force of ALL Truth. And while many in the church believe that they KNOW the basic Truths behind what the they presume apostle calls “spiritual gifts“, this despite the idea that the word ‘gifts‘ IS NOT found in the statement “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Corinthians 12:1), most ALL DO NOT connect the idea of such ‘gifts‘ with the Truth of how to achieve them. In every occurance of the term “spiritual gifts” the word “gifts” IS added by the translators; the actual Greek word used IS pneumatikos which IS defined by Strong’s as: from G4151; non-carnal, i.e. (humanly) ethereal (as opposed to gross), or (dæmoniacally) a spirit (concretely), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate, religious:—spiritual 9a.

Thayer’s offers us largely the same ideas albeit in a longer version; they DO however add another idea, that of: belonging to a spirit 9 thereby linking this to the root word pneuma which IS the G4151 cited by Strong’s. Pneuma IS generally rendered as Spirit and as spirit but IS also used to render “Holy Ghost” from the single word pneuma. When we compare this to the way that “Holy Spirit” IS rendered from two words, hagios, holy and pneuma, Spirit, we should be able to see how that the doctrines of men have influenced the translators and interpreters of the New Testament more clearly. Our point here IS in the way that Paul uses pneumatikos; that he IS referencing ALL that IS belonging to a spirit  and here we must assume that the such IS Spirit as this IS classically defined which IS in terms of wind.

Jesus paints a picture of the Spirit in His dissertation to Nicodemus where we read that “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). In this rendering from the King James Bible both the words wind and Spirit ARE rendered from the single word pneuma and here we should be able to sense the inherent mystery in this idea and thereby the idea of God of whom Jesus tells us that “God is a Spirit“. There IS NO clearer picture of this undefinable idea than in these words from the Master and in this we should try to understand that any revelation and realization of God and of Spirit ARE NOT communicable in words. In this we should see the most basic reasoning for the manifold ideas of God as a personality, or personalities, as this gives men at least a sense of comprehension.

Much the same idea should be applied to another appellation of the Lord….that God IS Love. This too IS a rather undefinable idea that can ONLY be seen in the notions of men. God, being both Spirit and Love, IS Truly beyond the comprehension of the carnal mind and thereby the minds of most every person that has ever lived upon this Earth. Few there ARE that Truly understand and while many more may be able to glimpse the Truth, this IS limited to those who have such revelation and realization of some measure of the Truth, a mesure the comes according to the words of the Master….to those who keep His words. This IS what we should see in our trifecta where Jesus shows us the Way to the Truth and to a Life that can Truly discern that Truth. Repeating our trifecta 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).

Returning to Paul’s words that ARE presumed to mean “spiritual gifts“, we should try to see how that the idea here IS just spiritual and that his words should be understood as the Holman Christian Bible presents them saying “About matters of the spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware“; this idea seems better than the adding of the idea of things as matters need NOT be carnally associated. We should note here that the idea of ‘gifts‘ comes from other parts of the apostles words on the subject of those “gifts” and here we should remember that the word “gifts” IS rendered from the Greek word charisma which Strong’s defines for us as: a (divine) gratuity  9aCharisma IS another noun form of charis which IS linked to charisma as its root word through the verb form charizomai .

Again we must try to see the doctrinal influence in the translating of these word ideas and try to see that charisma (neuter noun) and charis (feminine noun) ARE essentially the same thing which we see under the singular idea of grace. While we see grace as a reward according to the Master’s ONLY use of this word according to Luke, doctrines see ideas of favor, thanks and the idea of it being a ‘free gift‘. As we have discussed in previous essays, the use of charis in Luke’s Gospel IS rendered as thank in our King James version and in terms of credit, commendation, benefit, blessing and praise by others; In our library ONLY Young’s Literal Translation and the Jubilee Bible 2000 render charis as grace. None however relate the idea of charis as this IS used by Jesus to the idea of a reward nor DO they see anything but a ‘free gift‘ in their doctrinal ideas of grace.

When however we link the Master’s words according to Luke to the same thoughts according to Matthew, the reality of grace as a reward can be easily seen. Jesus’ words in Luke ARE rendered as “if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them” (Luke 6:32) and here we can substitute credit, commendation, benefit, blessing and praise for thank or we can see this as grace which IS by far the most frequent rendering of charis. This same idea from Jesus IS given to us by the Apostle Matthew who writes His words as “if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:46). Nearly ALL translations use the rendering of reward for misthos, one renders as credit, perhaps to conform with their own rendering of charis, and another as meed which IS an archaic word meaning: Reward; recompense; that which is bestowed or rendered in consideration of merit 1.

Strong’s defines misthos as: pay for service (literally or figuratively), good or bad:—hire, reward, wages 9a while Thayer’s tells us that misthos means: dues paid for work; wages, hire and then adds: reward: used — of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavors, John 4:36; 1 Corinthians 9:18; — of divine recompense 9. Connecting this ALL according to Jesus words we should see that grace IS one’s reward or one’s misthos….his divine recompense, and that here there IS a strong correlation to charisma when this IS seen in terms of a (divine) gratuity.

Through ALL of this we should be able to see that the idea of ‘gifts‘ as this IS rendered from charisma should be seen in the same way as we see grace….as ALL that comes from God. We should see as well that this charisma IS the very things that Paul speaks of in our selection above: prophecy, wisdom (to understand all mysteries), knowledge, faith. We should note here that Paul IS NOT saying anything more than these ARE among the various forms of grace and that these ARE NOT competing ideas in the Life of men who would have them. We should understand as well that there ARE also carnal and psychic forms of these same ideas that ARE NOT under the banner of grace and it IS these that we should read into the apostle’s continuing ideas that tell us that without one’s expression of agape there IS NO grace….there IS ONLY the carnal and psychic mind of man.

We should note as well that in the carnal and psychic forms of these ‘powers’, if we can use this word here, IS the ability of anyone who claims them but who DOES NOT at the same time have agape as his expression to the world. To prophesy then without agape IS to be as Paul tells us that he himself would be saying “I am nothing” and here we should understand this as being nothing spiritually. We should try to see here that those movements within the church yet today that seek to teach men these ‘powers’ without first understanding and teaching the Truth of agape, ARE in Truth teaching men those same ideas that they loathe and call evil….psychic and ‘occult’ powers.

The dividing line IS ever agape. And the key IS ever understanding the Truth of agape which Paul shows us through the Greek words makrothumeo and chresteuomai which define for us the reality of this sense of Love in accordance with the Great Commandment and the Golden Rule. In the defining idea of makrothumeo which we have been exploring we should try to see how that the idea of long-spirited IS itself a form of grace, of charis or of charisma. Whether we see this as a reward that comes as one strives to understand and express agape, as a divine recompense naturally resulting from toils and endeavors or as the grace of revelation and realization matters NOT as ALL these show us the same exchange which comes in our striving to keep His words and to Love. Here again we should remember that Paul also tells us that these ideals that we ARE to strive toward ARE the same thing; we read again:

“Owe no man any thing, but agapao one another: for he that agapao 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 agape thy neighbour as thyself. Agape worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore agape 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 dual Truths that “God IS love” (1 John 4:8, 16) and “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24) should show us that to be of a long spirit as Thayer’s defines makrothumeo IS to extend this spiritual force from one’s Spirit into and through one’s Life here in this world as was the Way of the Master….the ONLY one born as Paul tells us saying “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). It IS this Truth that we should relate to Jesus’ own words that tell us “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12). But we CAN NOT understand these words through the ideas of doctrines that define believing in their nebulous way for we KNOW that this IS NOT so….simply believing DOES NOT release such Power. We should instead see this through Vincent’s words that reveal the deeper Truth to this idea of “He that believeth on me” which is from pisteuo eis, to believe into; Vincent tells us that to pisteuo eis IS: to accept and adopt His precepts and example as binding upon the life 4.

So we end our current ideas on makrothumeo as the defining idea of agape which shows us that this IS to extend the Truth of God, the Truth of the Spirit, which IS agape through one’s Life on this Earth as his expression and eventually his singular expression. This leaves us then with our last word and one that IS much easier to solve in Paul’s phrase “agape makrothumeo chresteuomai“. Here the defining idea from Strong’s IS: to show oneself useful  and if we extend this into the context it IS easy to see that the intent IS simply that this agape which IS makrothumeo IS to be expressed. The root word here IS chrestos and there ARE a variety of unrelated renderings for this word; it IS used as easy, kind, better and in terms of goodness. Vincent shows us that: The word means originally, good, serviceable 4 and if we can take away the idea that “agape makrothumeo” IS our service, perhaps we can see the deeper Truth. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines serviceable as: That does service; that promotes happiness, interest, advantage or any good; useful; beneficial; advantageous 1.

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

 

Quote of the Day:

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
  • 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
  • 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on blueletterbible.org
  • ** From The Fifteen Points by Emmet Fox; © 1932 HarperCollins Publishers Inc
 

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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