Monthly Archives: June 2018

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1611

ON LOVE; PART MCCL

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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 a comparison of the words of the Apostle Paul on Love with the words of the Apostle James on Wisdom. If we can see the similarity in these ideas, we can then begin to understand the most intimate relationship between these two spiritual Powers and perhaps see that these CAN NOT be separated. We should understand here that both of these have carnal and spiritual aspects and we should try to see that these aspects ARE NOT Truly related. There IS NO True relationship between carnal Love in most ALL of its forms and the True agape which flows through and from the Inner Man….the Soul and Christ Within. Carnal Love IS emotionally based in the most common defining ideas as: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend; sexual passion or desire. To these we should add that Love IS understood to be: a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart; (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like); a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour; sexual intercourse; copulation; a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid; affectionate concern for the well-being of others; strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything; the object or thing so liked .

These ideas define Love as this IS understood by most and the closest idea to the Truth of agape IS that such Love IS an affectionate concern for the well-being of others but this fails as well because it DOES NOT define others and includes the emotionally based idea of affection. In our opening words of every essay we ask and answer the question of WHAT THEN IS LOVE?. We answer this however with the defining ideas of Charity from the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary which we modify slightly to show the idea of Love in place of Charity. It IS this definition of Charity perhaps that led the King James Translators to render agape as charity in Paul’s sayings that closed our last essay, words that for us define the Truth of agape and which are difficult to render into single English word ideas. In Webster’s 1828 definition of Charity we find the higher and more virtuous ideas of benevolence and good will as well as that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good . 

While these ideas must per force be expressed in this carnal world, they ARE, as the higher and more virtuous ideas, expressions that find their source in the Soul and in the heeding by the personality of the prompting of the Soul in this area of agape. We should note here that there IS NO emotion involved in benevolence and good will although these may seem as such based in the zeal with which they may be expressed by men yet primarily focused in this world. While the defining ideas for Charity represent the value of agape to men, yet deeper ideas ARE found in Paul’s words that tell us that “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” (1 Corinthians 13:4:8). These ideas however ARE also converted into the more common ideas of Love….perhaps with a bit of Charity as benevolence and good will.

We have discussed in some detail the deeper ideas that ARE found in the Greek words which ARE rendered here and we paid much attention to the first two defining ideas from Paul’s words, ideas that ARE seen in terms of patience and kindness in most ALL translations. These first words ARE rendered from the Greek words “agape makrothumeo chresteuomai” which ideas ARE explained in some depth in In the Words of Jesus, beginning in Part 1577, followed by a deeper look at some of those Greek words which follow. Among these words IS zeloo which IS rendered into “agape envieth not” and if we can apply the same ideas of emulation that we discussed in the last post, perhaps we can see the deeper link to our current discussion of the relationship between Love and Wisdom….between agape and sophia.

Before we move back to this however we should again look at the first idea which defines agape. In “agape makrothumeo chresteuomai” we have NOT ONLY the defining idea of agape but also the defining idea of God and this because “God is agape” (1 John 4:8, 16). These being the same should allow us to see that to express Love IS to express the very Nature of the Godhead and this IS the very point of makrothumeo when seen as defined by Strong’s who tells us that this IS: to be long-spirited 9a. Thayer’s gives us a similar idea saying that makrothumeo means: to be of a long spirit 9. Can we see here that the Spirt that IS God and IS Love reaches into the created universe which IS held together by the very the Power that IS agape, the Power that holds ALL things in a singular expression of His Life? This singular expression of His Life IS chresteuomai.

This Greek word chresteuomai, while rendered in terms of kindness, has a deeper meaning of goodness and Vincent tells us, speaking of the kindred word chrestos, that: The word means originally, good, serviceable. In the essays referenced above we traced this idea of serviceable to its older definitions and, through this and the usage of chrestos in the New Testament, we should be able to rather clearly see the idea that chresteuomai IS the expression of agape by the Godhead and the intended expression by man. Simply put then the reality of  “agape makrothumeo chresteuomai” can be understood as the expression by God and man of the Spirt which IS Love as that singular expression of Truth by which ALL things ARE One….encompassed and suffused by what we humbly call God. This IS God Transcendent and God Immanent.

It IS in the reality of this Oneness that we find the True meaning of agape from the perspective of the Godhead. There IS NONE other aspect of Love that can act on the scale of the Universe save this idea of Oneness and it IS the reflection of this that IS the intended outcome for humankind. Beyond the vanity, beyond the illusion and the glamour, there IS naught but agape and the Oneness that this represents in what the Christian refers to as the Heavenlies. It IS this same Oneness that IS reflected for us in the Master’s teaching where we ARE taught to look past the self, to “take no thought” (Matthew 6:25) if you will, and to follow His precepts  that include the Great Commandments and the Golden Rule. That this idea of Oneness IS summarily dismissed by the doctrinal world IS unfortunate and this state of men’s doctrinal view IS governed by the very ideas that it IS intended to defeat: vanity and the “bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:20, 21) which this illusion and glamour represent.

We should understand here as well that most ALL of the world’s religions teach the same idea of looking past the self, looking past the desires of and for the self, as the Way to what we call in the Western World, discipleship. If we were to study these world wide ideas, we would likely find, at least in part, that the motivation of the Christian religions own glamour IS based in their inability to accept this freedom which the Apostle Peter frames for us as “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). This IS the same freedom that the Apostle Paul shows us in regard to men’s “bondage of corruption” and the same freedom that we get from the Master’s words that ARE the first part of our trifecta with we repeat here again saying:

  • 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).

These ARE the Master’s words that tell us that we should keep His words and how that His words and those of the Father ARE the same. Behind these we should see Jesus’ teaching on Love, on agape, and understand this as the Way, par excellence, to True discipleship and to True freedom from this “bondage of corruption” which men see ONLY as Life here in this world….a Life not to be overcome but ONLY to be used according to one’s own sense of doctrine. That the Master DOES NOT tell us that it IS Love that seals our freedom, the apostles DO and this we find in Paul’s words saying that “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14) and in our selection from Romans which we repeat again saying:

“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).

This then brings us back to James whose words on Love are similarly forceful; the apostle tells us that:

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:8-12).

While there IS naught in either saying that deflects one’s responsibility for keeping the law as an aspect of one’s True intent to follow the Lord, the doctrines of men have founded positions that DO make this so. In the various doctrinal positions on salvation and atonement there IS an underlying conflict within the church which can be easily heard in sermons and in the words of those ‘teachers’ whose sermons and words find their way onto radio and television. Too many of these contradict the words of other teachers, pastors and priests while upholding their own ‘view’ of the Truth; many flatly tell the hearer that other’s teachings ARE flatly wrong and that to believe as they believe IS a lie. ALL forget the Master’s most clear words in favor of their chosen doctrinal positions as they rely upon selected words and phrases to build their case; few there ARE that take in the whole body of the New Testament teachings of the Master and His apostles.

While the greatest schism IS between the Catholic and the Protestant visions of Truth, this IS NOT the end as within each IS this contradiction of others within one’s own ‘party’. In this idea we should try to see the reality of eritheia as the factious behavior of men which James tells us IS contrary to Wisdom and which IS wisdom that “descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:15).  We should remember here that such ideas ARE NOT necessarily evil but ARE rather the way of men in this world; the way of men, regardless of religion and beliefs, who ARE yet trapped in the vanity, in the illusion and the glamour, of Life in this world. And it IS this sense of illusion and glamour that IS the KEY to understanding the plight of men and here we should especially see those whose nurturing, indoctrination and experience have made them to believe that the views of their particular denomination and sect ARE the singular Truth.

It IS in the constant contradictions within the Christian religions, which DO include some that the mainstream refer to as sects such as the Jehovah’s Witness and the Mormon churches, that serves to prove our point which IS that NONE have the Truth and NONE have the Wisdom. At the same time we must admit that our own grasp on the Truth IS NOT nearly full but, since it IS built upon the singular teaching of our Master, Jesus the Christ, it IS per force closer to the singular Truth that IS God. Whatsoever we add regarding ancillary ideas and views of the complexity of Life, both spiritual and carnal, ARE perhaps the product of our own glamour and our own illusions and we should remember here that revelation and realization of the Truth comes to those who DO keep His words….a point that we have NOT yet reached but toward which we strive

In the Christian zeal, to use a popular rendering of the Greek word zelos, to follow their own doctrines that ARE based in the words of the Apostle Paul or, better, in their various interpretations of those words, the words of the Master are largely ignored as ARE the words of those other apostle’s that CAN NOT be reinterpreted into the various doctrinal terms. Most evident IS James’ most clear words that say “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). Encapsulated in these words IS the Truth of deception and the reality of the extra burden of illusion and glamour that IS the affliction, the plight of men who believe that the views of their particular religion, denomination or sect ARE the singular Truth.

To be sure ALL men suffer through the vanity into which ALL ARE born; ALL ARE “made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same” (Romans 8:20) which IS Life in this world….both religious and secular. Just what IS this sense of vanity IS ONLY definable in spiritual terms and perhaps the best understanding IS found in Vincent’s comments on Paul’s use of the Greek word mataiotes; this IS rendered as vanity by some and as frustration, futility, and failure by others along with such ideas as “every living thing was put under the power of change” and that the “creation was condemned to lose its purpose” by still others. Vincent tells us of the apostle’s use of mataiotes here that: the reference is to a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4 which idea takes into account the spiritual aspect of man being born into this Life of vanity in this world.

Being born as a Soul into a Life in this words automatically shows us this reality of vanity: as an infant and then as one being nurtured and indoctrinated into the ways of this world and the customs, social and religious, of the nurturer, one IS perforce made to be separate from God, and pursuing false ends. Can we see the spiritual point here which IS obnubilated by the doctrinal ideas of original sin that ARE based in the doctrinal assertions of the ‘fall of man’. The ONLY way to properly understand this idea of mataiotes IS to see this from the view of the Spirit that IS the True man. Whether we can understand how that this Spirit IS manifest, first as the Soul and then as the Life of the man in the world, or NOT, the reality IS found in the way that human Life begins in this world as “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

We should try to see here that this idea that “God formed man of the dust of the ground” IS a testament to the animal Life of the human body and that this formation IS NOT a magical endeavor but IS the product of that same type of evolution that the Christian both denies and derides. There IS then a point in time when this animal human body IS developed enough to support the Life of the spiritual man, the Soul, which IS symbolically then “breathed into his nostrils” as “the breath of life“. It IS in this way that “man became a living soul” and we should understand here two things; first that such a brief outline of ‘creation’ as IS the first chapters of Genesis, was never intended to become the ‘scientific’ idea of the origins of Life but rather a synoptic outline of the role of God in the process. An outline that could be accepted and understood in the mental and emotional state of men 3500 years ago as Moses writes this and longer perhaps as a verbal tradition.

The second thing that we should try to see and to understand IS that the idea of the Soul, the idea of “the breath of life” as the motivating principal of human Life, IS NOT hidden in scripture and while the Christian idea that the Soul IS the personality seems rampant in many denominations and sects, the reality IS much deeper. The personality IS a developed part of the human animal form which IS evident in other animals as an individual trait defining the uniqueness among them. In humanity, with the more able brain and nervous system, this personality IS the mind and the emotions, attributes which ARE the function of men on every strata of human existence from the still tribal subcultures to the most advanced thinkers, and every stratum in between.

The Apostle John tells us about the unction which IS translated from the Greek word chrisma which IS later rendered as anointing in the same chapter. The apostle IS speaking to men as men when he tells them that “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things” and while doctrines paint this idea as a ‘magical’ event that occurs in the Life of the man who IS doctrinally “born again” there IS NO direct scriptural reference to such ideas. This same link IS applied by doctrines to such ideas as “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) and to Paul’s words saying that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7). In this view such ideas as “the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (1 John 2:20, 27) ARE doctrinally applied ONLY to the Christian as the man who IS “born again” without ever seeing that this IS contrary to Jesus own words that ARE the third part of our trifecta above.

While many doctrines teach that Jesus comes to live in a person’s Life when he IS “born again” and that this happens when one ‘accepts’ Jesus as his Lord and Savior, the greater Truth IS found in the Master’s words that require NO manipulation. Many stretch this idea to include the Father and the Holy Ghost while some teach that the Holy Ghost IS ONLY given to those who make some doctrinal acceptance and confession of the Master as Lord, and this regardless of what changes may have been wrought in one’s Life here in this world. Still others teach that while one’s affirmation and confession of Jesus affords one access to heaven upon the death of the body, that they must live in accordance with their doctrinal rules to gain access to the ‘promises’ so called of the Old and the New Testament. And still others have formed some combination of these ideas with some compounded by such ideas as the ‘perseverance of the saints’ or that a men once saved IS always saved.

These ideas, from the affirmations and confession needed to be “born again” to the attachment of being “born again” to these affirmations and confessions ARE extracted through the doctrinal use of unrelated and out of context sayings from the apostles and NO where in the Master’s words can such ideas be found. What can be found however IS the link between keeping His words as we read in His saying “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” and being “born again“. This link IS NOT from unrelated and out of context sayings however as these both have that same common denominator which IS one’s entry into the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells Nicodemus that “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

The Greek word eido that IS rendered as see here IS a word with much complexity. Strong’s tells us that this means to know and to see 9a depending upon the usage while Thayer’s applies the defining idea of to experience 9 to John’s use of the word here. This same word IS rendered in terms of KNOWING in other parts of this same chapter and, if we could see the idea of KNOWING here, that “Except a man be born again, he cannot see know the kingdom of God” the greater reality can be understood; a reality that the Master shows us as he repeats this idea using different terms as He respond to Nicodemus question. We read: “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:4-5).

Here the Master uses the idea of entry, the same as we find in Jesus words from our trifecta, and our point here IS simply that through the common denominator of this entry we can see the sameness of these ideas and equate keeping His words with being “born again” as both have the same result. This same dynamic CAN NOT be applied to the doctrinal construct of being “born again” except when one takes the context of Paul’s words into account. Much here can be disputed as the apostle conflates his words with those of Moses from Deuteronomy before speaking of the confessions and affirmations which, like the idea of calling upon the Name of the Lord, ARE diluted into a carnal mix that requires little or NO action on the part of the man. While Moses IS specific to keeping His words saying that “the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it” (Deuteronomy 30:14), the Apostle shows us this same idea in terms of faith.

It IS this word faith from the Greek pistis that causes some of the biggest theological problems as the whole idea IS left with that nebulous meaning of faith as applied to it by doctrines rather than the deeper meaning of KNOWING which the Master applies to pistis; a KNOWING that comes, according to the trifecta, in keeping His words. If we can see Paul’s words in terms of KNOWING, we could then see the deeper idea that he presents saying “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:8).

For us the whole doctrinal idea of salvation, based in Paul’s words from his Epistle to the Romans, IS based in that wisdom that James shows us and which we discuss above and in the last essay. At the heart of the doctrinal interpretation of the apostle’s saying that “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10) IS the reality of zelos and eritheia. Zelos from the perspective of emulation where the use of this doctrinal idea gives the ‘believer’ a sense of superiority that IS incumbent in his sense of salvation and eritheia from the position of factions and intrigue that such interpretation creates.

In factions we have that created division between the believer and the man who DOES NOT see the Truth in such doctrinal assertions as well as between the believer and those with NO True opportunity to see things as they DO. The idea of intrigue brings forth an even deeper view of wisdom as we read in the 1828 Webster’s definition which tells us that intrigue means: To form a plot or scheme, usually complicated, and intended to effect some purpose by secret artifices 1. This need NOT be a conscious plot or scheme but merely a means to an end….a means to one’s established superiority over others. While most ALL religions set themselves apart from others, the doctrinal Christian religions make this attitude their driving principal as they see ALL others as ‘condemned’; in this it IS easy to see the reality of zelos and of eritheia and the way that the doctrinal thinker has unknowingly placed himself at the center of James’ words saying “if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work“. (James 3:15-15).

Again, this IS NOT a condemnation of doctrinal Christianity but merely a reflection upon the  ways of men yet trapped in that vanity, that illusion and glamour, that IS Life in this world. Despite the way that these doctrinal thinkers set themselves above what they see as the “natural man” they ARE themselves but natural men, as ARE ALL who have not yet shown True Repentance and an ardent striving toward the Truth through their expression of Love and the True Wisdom that the apostle shows us next. 

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
  • 8 Bible commentaries on BibleStudyTools.com
  • 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
  • 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

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