Monthly Archives: December 2018

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1643

ON LOVE; PART MCCLXXXII

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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).

In the last essay we discussed the way that the words of the Apostle’s Peter and James have been misunderstood by the church in their varied versions of doctrines and while much of this IS based in the carnal view of the word ideas presented, much more IS based in the desires of men to feel that they ARE saved according to their own fears and the great mystery of death. This IS the effect of the vanity into which ALL men ARE born….NONE are free from the illusion and glamour that comes with the idea of the self in this world and we should try to see here that this IS a most basic part of the Plan of God in the lives of men which can be most clearly seen in the Apostle Paul’s words to the Romans saying:

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because expectation that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body“(Romans 8:20-23).

In the last essay we used these words without our grammatical changes which ARE based in the defining ideas for the Greek words and the commentary by Vincent and while most other translations DO render because as that, few change the idea of hope. The Truer meaning of elpis IS stated as expectation by both Thayer’s and Strong’s yet the rendering IS nearly universal as hope, a word that IS defined in terms of feeling as we read in today’s dictionary which tells us that hope, as a noun, IS: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best; a particular instance of this feeling; grounds for this feeling in a particular instance*. While the point here may seem minor, we should understand that the subject IS God and as such the idea of hope IS misplaced as there IS NO need for God to hope.

Vincent transfers the idea of hope off of God and onto the creation but this makes NO real sense as “him who hath subjected the same” IS clearly the Lord; we should see from Vincent’s attempt to transfer the idea that he has the same problem of putting such idea of hope onto the Lord. In the idea of expectation however we have a rather clear path to the idea that God KNOWS and that He DOES expect the outcome to be that this creation “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God“. While the idea of hope today IS seen more as a wish, Webster’s 1828 dictionary sees different ideas; we read that hope IS: A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety .

While this distinguishes hope from wishing and desiring, they go on to say that hope IS: Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense 1. Can we see the point here? Can we see how that the whole creation IS built toward the end results which IS that it shall be made freefrom the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” and here we should remember that made free IS the Truer rendering of elutheroo which IS rendered as delivered here in Romans and elsewhere in terms of freedom as Jesus shows us 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).

While the doctrinal Christian believes and hopes that he will be delivered from “the bondage of corruption” by the saving grace of the Lord through whatsoever rites and rituals are the way of his denomination or sect, the greater reality IS that “the truth shall make you free“. This IS our point from the last essay where we discussed the words of Peter who tells us of the escape from this same “bondage of corruption“; again, while the doctrinal Christian believes and hopes that he has those “exceeding great and precious promises” by way of his affirmations and confessions according to his doctrine; the greater Truth IS that these come by the action of a man as he escapesthe corruption that is in the world through lust“. Repeating the Apostle Peter’s words we read:

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4).

These ideas from Peter and Paul ARE largely the same in their context regarding the “the corruption that is in the world” and if we can understand that this corruption IS the vanity to which everyman IS subjected by his very birth into this world, we can then come to glimpse the Path that IS in front of us….the path “from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God“. It IS toward this Path that ALL scripture points us but the trek IS difficult and while the doctrinal teachers have maintained that it IS impossible, they yet miss the whole idea of striving. This vanity, this illusion and glamour, this corruption and our bondage to it, ARE furnished by the world and here we should try to understand that the world itself IS these things. The Apostle James tries to show us this in his misunderstood words saying:

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:1-4)

Here James IS equating the idea of lust with the “wars and fightings among you” as well as of the doctrinal idea of prayer where “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts“, with being the “adulterers and adulteresses“. This idea IS missed in the doctrinal teachings which, while they see this idea of adultery as against the one’s singular Love for the Lord as IS the first Great Commandment, they maintain a carnal view of adultery in this context; few have an understanding of what the apostle IS Truly saying. The reality of James’ words has naught to DO with the common idea of adultery but ONLY the relationship between a man’s attraction to the things of the world over the things of God. It IS the desires for such things, the lusts if you will, that make a man “a friend of the world” and the apostle IS showing us here how that such a worldly and carnal view makes one “the enemy of God“.

The idea here should be clear to the man who Truly seeks the Lord and who understands the concepts of the Great Commandments. Much of the problem in understanding this IS founded in the misunderstood ideas of both lust and of sin; lust IS ONLY considered sin through its doctrinal attachment sex and other illicit behaviors which IS the way that the Greek word epithymia IS understood. Strong’s defines this as: a longing (especially for what is forbidden)9a, while Thayer’s tells us that this IS desire for what is forbidden 9 and this specifically in regard to Peter’s words above. The deeper idea of epithymia IS more general and covers ALL of the worldly desires of men and this IS James’ point: if one’s focus IS upon the things of the world and desire for them, it IS NOT upon the things of the Lord.

James however uses a different Greek word which IS translated as lust, hedone, in addition to the verb form of epithymia in our selection above and here we should try to see his intended connection. Strong’s tells us that this word hedone means pleasure saying that this IS: from ἁνδάνω handánō (to please); sensual delight; by implication, desire:—lust, pleasure 9a while Thayer’s says this IS simply pleasure and then desires for pleasure 9. Doctrines however almost universally see this idea as lust and when rendered as pleasures, passions or cravings this IS again understood in terms of sex and other illicit behaviors rather than a more universal idea of whatsoever gives one pleasure. It is in the doctrinal ideas that men see a great part of their understanding of sin and their fixation upon the ideas of sex as perhaps the most prevalent form of sin. In this they take a most necessary part of the human existence and forbid it as sin while ignoring the far ranging reality of hamartia which IS rendered always as sin and understood ONLY in doctrinal terms.

It IS the Apostle James who helps us to understand the far ranging reality of sin and he DOES so in two ways.  While the Master relates the whole idea of sin to Love, to agape, through the Great Commandments and through his many other words on this subject, the importance of agape IS NOT regarded in terms of sin by the doctrinal church. Yes the church may speak on the importance of Love but it DOES NOT relate its failure to sin and this in regard to both Love for the Lord and Love for one’s brother. And while the apostles upon which the church relies for their doctrinal views ARE equally committed to the ideas of True agape, such ideas are given ONLY cursory attention in the doctrines of men. While the ideas of both lust and sin ARE grossly misunderstood the reality of agape IS ever more lost and IS the victim of that misunderstanding.

We should try to see that ALL of the desires of men that ARE worldly ARE contrary to the first of the Great Commandments. Here we should understand that it IS “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” that one must Love God, leaving NO space for entertaining such desires, which IS True for the positive and the negative desires of men. Can we see here that anything that IS contrary to this Great Commandment IS sin as IS men’s failure to “love thy neighbour as thyself“. It IS this point that James makes for us in most clear terms that ARE NOT generally understood nor accepted by the doctrinal thinker.

James shows us a reality of agape that IS missed by men who simply DO NOT understand how to “love thy neighbour as thyself” and this IS by relating agape to the reality of the Loving quality that IS God….that “there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11). James 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” (James 2:8-10) and in this we should see both the far ranging reality of hamartia and a defining reality for agape. James also gives us another reality for the idea of sin that takes this away from ONLY the grievous thoughts and actions of men as he tells us “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

It IS in the vanity, the illusion and the glamour, that men have come to see sin, desire and Love in the personal ways that they DO, ways that give apparent ease to their lives against the perceived hardships of understanding the Truth of these words. In sin we should see ALL that IS contrary to the Great Commandments but this IS a hard pill to swallow for most ALL men who believe that it IS this Life ONLY that paves one’s way to heaven. If we could see that this Life IS but a step in our eternal journey as a Soul rather than our existence as this particular personality and understand that the personality IS but an extension of the vanity compounded by one’s nurturing, indoctrination and carnal experience, a different approach to Life can be possible.

It IS the Soul that IS “made subject to vanity” as he lives through a personality that effectively IS that vanity; it IS the personality that IS that perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends as Vincent defines mataiotes which IS rendered as vanity. While this IS a difficult idea to fully grasp, we should try to see that it IS the personality that IS separated from the True self, the Soul, the God and Christ Within; it IS from this True man that the personality IS separated as the personality pursues the false and carnal Life of a man in this world. And what ARE these false ends but the desires, “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16), that most ALL men follow to the grave.

The True separation from God IS everyman’s separation from a realization of the Truth that he IS the Soul, the Christ and God Within, while the perishable and decaying condition IS the product of “the corruption that is in the world through lust“….the corruption by which men ARE bound to their worldly and carnal existence. Jesus tells us that “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24) and if we can see this in terms of our separation from God and the opposing forces that James shows us, we can then better understand His Truth….that such IS an impossibility. This however DOES NOT prevent men from trying and here we should see the religious man who has a doctrinal belief in his own salvation.

Jesus showing us that it IS impossible to “serve God and mammon” but this must NOT be seen in terms of money, in terms of riches and treasures, ONLY but should be understood in the same way as IS the idea of lust. We should see the things of the world as mammon and our focus upon these as lust. In terms of impossibility the doctrinal church has nearly universally declared that ALL of the efforts by man to keep the commandments ARE fruitless, that to DO so IS NOT possible. A KEY idea IS missed however and that IS that one CAN NOT keep His words and at the same time live a life in pursuit of worldly comfort and gain. Everyman must choose and when the choice IS God a man will strive toward that goal….ALL else IS folly. It IS in striving that progress IS made and it IS in striving that the reward of True grace begins to flow.

From the perspective of trying to “serve God and mammon“, an effort the Jesus tells us IS NOT possible through His simple statement that “Ye cannot serve God and mammon“, we should see the impossibility shown men by doctrines. However, rather than see this idea in the doctrinal terms of impossibility which have led into the misapplication of the ideas of faith and grace and the doctrinal precept that these ARE the ONLY way to salvation, would it NOT be better to see Life through the words of the Master. If perhaps we could look at the doctrinal ideas of salvation against the simplicity of the choices between whom one serves, the self in this world or God, Jesus’ words could take a firmer root.

It IS unfortunate that for many who would choose to serve the Lord the road IS muddied by the doctrinal ideas that make the Christian believe that he already IS DOING so. This IS based in the volume of teaching that tells them that it IS the doctrinal approach that IS True and places ALL other approaches, including the Master’s own teaching on keeping His words, into the category of heresy which by its very definition supports ONLY the orthodox or accepted doctrine* which they themselves have defined. We should try to see here how that much of the differences between denominations and sects ARE themselves heretical and that most ALL ARE heresy against the True doctrines of Jesus upon which ALL Christian religion should be based.

Jesus gives us an idea of the True Christian as He explains the Parable of the Sower to His disciples; He relates His words to a way of Life that they should ALL be able to understand, farming. Here we will again ONLY look at the two types of ground that ARE applicable to our subject, the thorny ground and what Jesus calls for us the “good ground” as it IS among these that the Christians of the world find themselves. While most ALL find themselves as the thorny ground they DO at the same time see themselves as the “good ground” and this IS based in the same muddied road of doctrines. Jesus tells us:

these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” (Mark 4:18-20).

The idea of the thorny ground IS rather constant in the gospels but there ARE some differences in the way that the writers approach the nature of the “good ground“. While Mark says that the “good groundhears and receives the word, Matthew tells us that “he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:23) and Luke frames this as “on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). In the combination of these three we have the man that IS the “good groundreceiving the word, understanding the word and keeping the word and we should try to see that these three ideas ARE based in the view of the writer and NOT Jesus’ saying three different things. 

The idea of receive as this IS rendered in Mark’s Gospel comes from the Greek word paradechomai which IS rendered by others as accept it and embrace it and while both of these ideas give more strength than receiving it, the Thayer’s definition more aptly applies to Mark’s thought. Thayer’s says that paradechomai IS: to receive, take up, take upon oneself 9 and it IS this last part that shows us the apostle’s full intent.

Matthew uses the idea of understanding but we should try to see here that this IS NOT merely carnal understanding but rather an understanding of the more spiritual meanings. The Greek word suniemi IS often used to show the lack of understanding by those who hear the Master’s words and the words of the law; we see this in Jesus repeating of the words of the prophet saying “By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive” (Matthew 13:14). Luke uses this idea in regard to His disciples as Jesus tells them of what will happen; here Luke observes that “they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken” (Luke 18:34). We should try to see that this idea of understanding from the Greek word suniemi IS akin to the realizations that come to the man whose focus IS upon the things of God.

Luke, in his version of the Master’s explanation of the parable uses the idea of keeping the word and here we need NO further clarification. While we can see that these three can be synonymous we should also look at them from Vincent’s perspective which we read as: The three evangelists give three characteristics of the good hearer. Matthew, he understandeth the word; Mark, he receiveth it; Luke, he keepeth it 4. In Vincent’s view these three ARE together as the characteristics of the good hearer but since this would require some level of coordination between the writers, seeing the ideas as being synonymous IS better suited; we should try to see these differences as each man’s perspective of the same words from the Master.

This dynamic plays out several times in the gospels and if we could see that each writer IS reflecting upon Jesus’ words according to his own personality filter, we can then perhaps understand that divine thoughts from one’s Soul, thoughts from the Christ and the God Within, ARE expressed according to each individual’s personality which IS ever active in the Life of everyman. At the point of focus upon the things of God the personality becomes informed by the Soul where heretofore it was informed by one’s own equipment (mental and emotional), plus one’s nurturing, indoctrination and experiences in Life.

We see this again with Matthew and Luke’s versions of the Master’s words from the Sermon on the Mount as well as in the ideas presented by Jesus regarding one’s singular focus upon Him as the Christ. In the latter Matthew writes about the ways which Jesus presents for a man to be “worthy of me” while Luke focuses upon the reality of True discipleship. From Matthew we read “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” (Matthew 13:37-38).

Luke writes about the same basic idea from the Master but sees His words differently and in the combination of these we should see the synonymous relationship of True discipleship and being worthy of Him. Luke writes “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple“. Luke then adds two parabolic ideas regarding the cost of this discipleship before concluding with Jesus’ words saying “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27, 33).

We should note here that the idea of hate from the Greek word miseo IS NOT that idea of hate that IS commonly understood by men. The reality of this hate IS found in Matthew’s rendition of Jesus’ words….that one should Love ALL worldly persons and things LESS than they Love the Lord. This idea along with the forsaking of ALL worldly attachments IS one that IS at the heart of the Great Commandment where we read that “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” (Mark 12:30). Can we see the point here? Can we understand that to be the True disciple AND to be worthy of Him requires that one keep His words and here those words ARE clearly the words of God given to the Jews 1500 years before.

This brings us back again to the way that a man must choose between “God and mammon“, between the totality of things the of this world as expressed in Jesus words from both Matthew and Luke, and the things of God. In this a man must stake his allegiance to one or the other in accord with Jesus’ saying that “Ye cannot serve God and mammon“, an idea that IS amplified and clarified by James who tells us “know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God“.

It IS the vanity, the illusion and the glamour of Life in this world, that take men’s perspective away from these ideas and it IS the doctrines of men that support one’s worldly perspective despite the clarity of the words offered by the Master and His apostles. It IS the desire of men to live their lives as men according to the ways of the world rather than to see the greater Truth in the words of the Master. It IS this desire that IS by far the farthest reaching idea of lust that can encumber a man’s Soul and prevent that True self from wresting control of his Life in this world away from his attachments to ALL things worldly.

A great part of this attachment IS founded in one’s nurturing, indoctrination and worldly experience; for many this IS ALL that they Truly KNOW. We should understand here that religion, as it IS focused yet today, IS a part of this attachment to the world and while it may provide comfort for many, it DOES at the same time greatly encumber the Soul’s ability to put the Truth into the personality of a man. As long as men choose to live according to the ways of the world, ways that include one’s religious thoughts and attitudes, they ARE NOT choosing God over mammon but rather mammon over God. We close today with our trifecta of spiritual reality which embraces the Truth of our journey as Souls and espouses the Way to revelation and realization of the Truth, His Kingdom and His True Presence in one’s Life; Jesus tells us:

    • 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

Quote of the Day:

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts

    • 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
    • *  Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

 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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