Monthly Archives: August 2018

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1621

ON LOVE; PART MCCLX

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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 began and ended the last essay with some thoughts about the Master’s admonition that His disciples “be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). This admonition from Jesus to His disciples should serve to show the Christian world the reality of the manner of Life of a man, his conversation to use the King James term, but this has NOT been so. Most ALL of the Christian world relies upon the vagueness of their own doctrinal approach to the Lord; for some this involves prayer and absolution while for others the reliance IS totally upon their ideas of salvation based in the affirmations and confessions that they presume make a man “born again“. For the common man it IS such beliefs which obnubilate the most basic Truth of keeping His words and, in so DOING, turn off the essential Truths of the Great Commandments which even His apostles show us ARE NOT negotiable.

But doctrines have turned a blind eye toward the Truth that tells us and teaches us about the realities of Life and death which IS a part of the lesson that we should have received from the Master who accomplished His saying that “I lay down my life, that I might take it again” (John 10:17). Few see the reality of the story painted for us by the Apostle Luke, the story tells us that “two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs” after the death of the Master. Few understand that these two disciples DO NOT KNOW the Master because His appearance IS different and few understand the significance of that other story where Mary Magdalene, who KNOWS the Master well enough, encounters Him and,  “supposing him to be the gardener“, DOES NOT recognize Him as Jesus.

In these and other instances after His resurrection we should be able to see that He had taken whatsoever form He chose to express Himself to the world…. that He IS NOT bound to the form and the personality of the man Jesus which things ARE but for the use of a Soul in his life in this world. Instead of believing His example and His words on the ability of the man who can Truly “believeth on me“, that for this man “the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12) , the doctrinal approach of men has been to ONLY see Jesus as separate and different from His fellowman and paint a picture that ONLY He can be holy. Part of this doctrinal lack of understanding IS tied to the fact that NONE can DO such “greater works” based upon their myopic and nebulous view of the Truth intended in the Greek words pistis and pisteuo which ARE rendered as faith and believing.

The harsh reality has ever been that one CAN NOT  DO such “greater works” without one’s focus being totally upon the Truth of God, that one must be as focused upon this as were Peter and Paul of whom we read of their “greater works” in the Book of Acts. And this IS our point from the last essay where we read of such ideas as when the Son of man is revealed” and “so shall also the Son of man be in his day” (Luke 17:30, 24): that the reality of Jesus’ words has been steadily turned toward ideas of eschatology because men DO NOT understand the simple dynamic that IS taught by the Master and by ALL of the Holy before Him….that one must keep His words and Love….to IS to keep one’s focus upon the Good, the Beautiful and the True….upon the things of God. And this IS the purpose of our trifecta which should remind us and everyman of these most basic Truths and which show us the Path to the great rewards of KNOWING the Truth, having the Presence of God Truly active in one’s Life in this world and attaining the Kingdom here and now. 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).

To this we should add the further Truth that the Master imparts to His disciples: that they should “Be ye therefore ready also“. Here we should try to understand that the end can come in many ways and that Jesus’ words here ARE in accord with the parables that He IS imparting; in this we should try to see the full idea that “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40). While this may be an indication of the ‘end times’, it IS NOT necessarily so when we look at the reality of the message and the context in which it IS given. What should ever be taken from His words IS that everyman should ever “Be ye therefore ready also“. And what IS this sense of being ready but to have one’s manner of Life, one’s conversation if you will, in accord with the Truth that the Master teaches us. Jesus shows us this readiness in the accompanying parables which we repeat here saying:

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

And the Lord said,Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:35-48).

In the first part of this set of parables we should pay special attention to the idea of watching and here, if we can see this in terms of striving, we can then see that while the fullness of being ready IS the most ardent point, the idea of watching, being aware if we can use that idea here, IS our stepping stone to being ready. The Greek word used here IS gregoreo which Strong’s defines as: to keep awake, i.e. watch (literally or figuratively):—be vigilant, wake, (be) watch(-ful) 9a. This sense of being awake IS NOT merely NOT being asleep but rather remaining fully aware and, of course, ready. While Vincent shows us that gregoreo IS to: Be awake and on guard as he uses the Roman guard as an example, the Master Himself clarifies the idea of readiness saying Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning“; in this there IS NO allowance for being asleep.

We can glean additional meaning for gregoreo from the Master’s words to His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane where He tells them “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me” and then “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:38, 40) as He comes to find them asleep. The issue here IS NOT that they were asleep but rather that they were NOT watching….they were NOT vigilant and watchful. Vine’s offers us this idea according to the use of gregoreo in 1 Thessalonians: the meaning here is that of vigilance and expectancy as contrasted with laxity and indifference 9b  and we should try to see that this IS the intent in most ALL its uses. It IS with these ideas in mind that we can equate this sense of watching to our use of striving which Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines for us as: To make efforts; to use exertions; to endeavor with earnestness; to labor hard; applicable to exertions of body or mind 1.

Gregoreo IS used again by the Master in Matthew’s Gospel where we read His saying to Peter, John and James that they should “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41); here we get a better glimpse of the spiritual idea that the Master IS showing us. In the end, the reality of this parable IS that by full readiness or by striving, watching with vigilance and expectancy, a man IS DOING as his master requires and here we should NOT confuse the ideas of being ready and striving to be ready. We should try to see here that until that time when when the Son of man is revealed“, until His death and resurrection, His disciples ARE NOT ready and we should see as well that at times He DOES not see them as being watchful. We should understand here that their difficulty in seeing the greater Truth over their own nurturing and indoctrination IS NO different than ours today and that as they continually strove, so must we.

While the Master’s words ARE rendered as “the spirit indeed is willing” in Matthew’s Gospel, the same thought IS rendered in Mark’s as “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). This Greek word, prothymos, IS used twice in the Gospels and both times in this same context as we read here. Strong’s defines this word as: forward in spirit 9a while Thayer’s simply repeats the King James renderings of: ready, willing 9. Here we should understand the intent which IS that the Spirit IS ever ready but that this same idea IS NOT always present in the flesh….the body nature with the personality.

The other idea of ready that we find in Jesus’ words IS that effect upon the body; as He says “Be ye therefore ready also“, He IS admonishing them to express that spiritual readiness through their manner of Life in this world. The Greek word used here IS hetoimos of which Strong’s tells us IS: from an old noun ἐτεός eteós (fitness); adjusted, i.e. ready:—prepared, (made) ready(-iness, to our hand) 9a. This idea of ready IS prepared and if we can see this idea as being ready as a man according to the parable, as watching with vigilance and expectancy and set to action, we can perhaps understand the greater point which IS simply that the man whose focus IS upon the things of God must ever be so. NO matter when the Master should return and in whatsoever Way, the disciple IS ever ready and in action while the aspirant, striving to be the same, IS  watching with vigilance and expectancy.

In the context of the parable we DO NOT Truly KNOW what the reference to “the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” means but in the context of the other ideas that we discussed the idea can become clearer. In the Master’s words saying when the Son of man is revealed” and “so shall also the Son of man be in his day” we can perhaps glimpse the eschatological idea of the ‘end times’ in the same way as the idea that “in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” can be seen in these terms; but we should ask what IS the purpose of saying this to His disciples who have yet to grasp even the primary ideas of Jesus’ death and His resurrection. These ARE teaching moments for the Master who IS trying to force the idea of readiness upon His disciples; it IS in this context that their should be watchful and as ready as IS possible because upon His death and His resurrection ALL things will change….they will be on their own.

If we can see that while eschatology may be a factor in these ideas from Jesus which ARE shown us separately in Luke’s Gospel but in a rambling tone ALL together in Matthew’s, much of the emphasis upon this theme takes away from the teaching that the Master IS imparting. Here again we should repeat our notion that the Master IS speaking to His disciples who ARE far more ready than most any that have followed and, if He IS stressing this point with them who ARE focused upon the Truth, how much more important IS this to us whose focus IS NOT nearly so True. And again, while the Christian may believe that merely by being a Christian he IS deemed as ready, the greater Truth IS found in the way that His admonition IS to ALL men and to ALL times….that they should keep His words. And for ALL the emphasis that men of doctrine place upon the words of the Apostle Paul to define their doctrines, they yet ignore such ideas as he presents on keeping His words and on the expression of agape. These ideas ARE tied together in these words to the Romans which end in the idea that men should “awake out of sleep” which IS much the same message as watching and being ready; we read:

“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).

In the second part of the dual parables that Jesus tells His disciple we should note a special lesson to be learned even of His disciples. The Apostle Peter asks about the first part saying “speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?” and we should try to see here that the second parable IS Jesus answer. We of course see that these parables ARE for ALL and perhaps here we can sense that Peter DOES NOT see the first as applicable to him as he sees himself as ready and as watchful; however, as we come to KNOW, Peter IS neither at times as he falls back into a more carnal mode and IS rebuked by the Master. And this IS the mode of thought of most ALL doctrinal thinkers who, believing that they ARE ready and watchful based in their doctrinal view, ARE neither according to this second parable.

The Master tells us that “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath” and here we should try to see who it IS that IS Truly “so doing“; who IS that “faithful and wise steward“. The overriding point here IS in this question IS ONLY answered affirmatively by the man who IS keeping His words. This however IS NOT the understanding of the doctrinal thinker who believes that his doctrines have saved him and who sees that servant who will “say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming” as every other man who DOES NOT see his sense of Truth.

In reality there ARE three types of men shown here; first the man who keeps His words and IS blessed; second the man who sees NO importance in being ready or watchful as his focus IS upon the things of the self and this covers a majority of men, both religious and irreligious; third we have the man who DOES have a glimmer of Truth, who DOES KNOW “his lord’s will“, but the man who “prepared not himself, neither did according to his will” despite His KNOWING. This last IS the man who KNOWS some measure of the Truth of Jesus’ words and willfully trades them for the doctrines of men. While the punishments and rewards in this parable ARE according to the times and the context of a master and his servants, the gist should still come through and we should note here as well that a special allowance IS afforded to them that “that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes” and in this we should see the contrary idea to the doctrinal assertion that ALL must come to Jesus.

In the combination of these parables there ARE three messages; the first of course IS that a man be ready and be watchful in which idea we should see that idea of being awake spiritually. This sense of awakening IS a basic awareness of the Truth, of the Master’s will which IS ever that a man keep His words and Love; while such awareness may NOT immediately lead men to be “doers of the word” (James 2:9), it positions them to strive toward that sense of readiness that IS a manner of Life that IS in accord with His words. The second message IS that there IS reward, NOT reward according to the ideas of men but a reward that IS the flow of True spiritual Power through the revelations and  realizations that come in the Truth, a Truth which in turn comes to the man who will “continue in my word” as the Master frames this.

The third message IS the antithesis of reward which we hesitate to call that punishment which IS shown us in the example of the parable, as the harsh treatment a servant could receive in those days. The reality of such punishment IS spiritual and, according to the three types of men shown in the parable, IS one’s suffering IS in remaining caught in the vanity of Life, the illusion and the glamour in which men DO live. To DO as the Master instructs us IS to live free but to turn away from this IS to remain in one’s own “bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:20, 21). And we should see in the Master’s words that the severity of one’s bondage IS in proportion to a man’s measure of KNOWING; the man who DOES NOT KNOW, the man who KNOWS and DOES NOT care and the man who KNOWS and convinces himself that he IS DOING the Lord’s will through doctrines each find their own particular measure of suffering. If we conflate these ideas with the idea of the ground that Jesus uses in the Parable of the Sower, we can then perhaps see the greater point here.

In the Parable of the Sower we have the Master’s view of the spiritual divisions of men, NOT divisions as we understand them carnally but divisions in the way that the Soul of everyman Truly influences the Life of that man in this world. Here there ARE four divisions while in the dual parables above there ARE but three that ARE apparent; however, if we should consider the blessed as those that Jesus speaks of saying “the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” we can then see the fourth. To be sure, the idea of “that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will” IS keenly related to the thorny ground of which the Master says “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:15, 14).

We should try to see and to understand that the doctrines of men ARE as much the “cares and riches and pleasures of this life” as ARE any of the other carnal pursuits of men that cloud their minds and keep them away from a realization of the Truth. But we should NOT see this in terms of wrongdoing by most although there ARE those who have taken advantage of the mind set of others in a self-aggrandizing way. For most the idea here IS simply the vanity into which one IS born and must live and while many in the church DO count themselves as ‘sinners’, few if any include their own doctrinal approach to the Lord as a part of their sin….they see their doctrinal practices as above the “cares and riches and pleasures of this life“. As much as the carnal ideas found in these words keep men from the Truth, so DOES any idea that clouds that Truth, which clouding IS an inherent part of most ALL of the doctrines of men. Can we see the point here?

There ARE other components in the Parable of the Sower; there ARE those that ARE called the wayside and there we should be able to see that these ARE “they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved“. We should be careful here to understand that it IS NOT ONLY the Christian voice that they may hear, the words of the Lord or of the doctrines of men, but that this hearing includes one’s own prompting of his Soul through conscience, a message that IS ignored in favor of one’s keen focus on the self. Finally there is the stony ground, and here again we should be careful to include one’s own conscience which must ever fight against one’s nurturing and indoctrination; it IS those that lose this fight that ARE “the rock” of which Jesus tells us that these ARE “they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:12, 13).

Our point here in the idea of conscience IS the reality that this human faculty IS the translator of the spiritual to the personality of a man, a faculty that can be either ignored or embraced or misinterpreted according to whatsoever a man may believe in his mind or feel in his emotions. This Parable of the Sower then IS NOT a Christian view ONLY and we should remember that it IS spoken to Jews whose idea of hearing the word IS the law and the commandments of the law and NOT Jesus’ words alone, words which expand and clarify some parts of that law.

Perhaps the KEY point in the Master’s dual parable that we have been discussing IS the final words that show us the way that these parables may effect men in a larger way than the words of the parables show. We should understand that there ARE very few who will fall into the blessings which “that faithful and wise steward” will receive and here we should understand that such blessings ARE the intangible things of God. What DOES it mean that these will be made “ruler over his household“? What IS the spiritual equivalent to this carnal idea that IS painted for us in the parable? Here again we should look to our trifecta to help us to understand the rewards that come in being “that faithful and wise steward“, the man who will keep His words.

While ALL men ARE Truly capable of DOING this, of keeping His words, few have the wherewithal to accomplish this against the constant pull of the world to which his most basic carnal instincts ARE aligned….that sense of self which IS at the heart of the vanity in which ALL men live. This IS of course exasperated by the nurturing and the indoctrination to which he has been exposed and the positive and negative effects of his experience; these factors ALL play an extreme role in promoting the sense of vanity, the illusion and the glamour, which IS the carnal Life of everyman. It IS against this that a man must fight and we should try to see that the reality of success IS directly dependent upon whatsoever he has been ‘given’ as the starting point of his own personality which varies man to man.

For us this starting point IS determined in a large part by the spiritual collateral that each may bring into a Life in this world; upon this rests the Soul’s ability to build a suitable vehicle for his expression in this world. It IS in this that we should see the KEY point to the Master’s dual parable which ends saying “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more“. In the last part of this we should understand that the idea that it IS men who “have committed much” IS a translators assumption as the idea of men IS NOT inherent in the Greek words. Other translations remove the idea of men and frame the Master’s words as “from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked” which leaves this idea in the same relationship between God and man.

There ARE similar sayings in Jesus’ words such as “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Matthew 13:12) but we should see these in a slightly different way. In the former we should see what men ARE given for a starting point and in the latter we should see what they have DONE with that which they were given.

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/
  • 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
  • 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on blueletterbible.org
  • 9b Vine’s Expository Dictionary 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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