ON LOVE; PART MCCXC
GoodWill IS Love in Action
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).
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.
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).
After continuing our discussion on the idea of ‘miracles’ as Jesus presents this to us, we used the balance of our time in the last essay to review the ideas that we ARE presenting on the better use of the Greek words that ARE the Apostle Paul’s list of “the fruit of the Spirit“. While we centered our discussion on our view of the reality of makrothymia, we should understand that our emphasis was on the relationship between this and the other ideas in the list, and the Truth of agape which IS the first word of the list. In the understanding that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16) we should be able to see the primacy of agape of which Vincent tells us that: Love, in this passage, is that fruit of the Spirit which dominates all the others 4, in his commentary on Paul’s list from Galatians saying “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22, 23). The singular point that we ARE making IS that “the fruit of the Spirit” IS the flow of Truth from the Soul, the unction by which “ye know all things“, into the heart of the man who will focus upon the things of God. This fruit IS NOT the doctrinal ideas into which one has been indoctrinated but rather the Truth of Paul’s words and the amplifying and clarifying words of the Master who re-frames ALL in terms of agape. This flow of Truth and Love IS accomplished through that fruit that IS makrothymia , a word that IS little understood and IS rendered in terms of gentleness and kindness because of this lack of understanding. While we ARE NOT Greek scholars, we DO have the way of identifying the meanings of words as they ARE presented to us by Greek Scholars against our view that it IS Jesus’ words of the New Testament that Truly matter. Here again we should see that makrothymia has a singular meaning based in the verb form of this word makrothymeō where we have the idea of to be long-spirited 9a, according to Strong’s and to be of a long spirit 9 according to Thayer’s. It IS these ideas that we use for our understanding of the deeper meaning of these words. Vincent helps us here as he examines the verb form which IS used by the Apostle James saying of makrothymeō that: From μακρός , long, and θυμός , soul or spirit, but with the sense of strong passion, stronger even than ὀργή , anger, as is maintained by Schmidt (“Synonymik”), who describes θυμός as a tumultuous welling up of the whole spirit; a mighty emotion which seizes and moves the whole inner man 4.
These comments ARE from James’ saying “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain” (James 5:7), a verse that we have used in our blog to define the very nature of patience as an active mode where the husbandman DOES NOT idly wait but IS working his field to bring about the better harvest. The point here in these forms of makrothymeō then IS NOT waiting and patience as these ARE understood but rather an active work by the Soul which, if we can understand this as “the coming of the Lord“, can perhaps show a glimpse of the way that the Soul must influence the heart and mind for the expression of “the fruit of the Spirit” in the Life of the man whose focus IS upon the things of God. We should remember here that the objective of ALL spiritual Truth IS that it should become the expression of a man and while doctrines interpret the ideas behind makrothymia according to their doctrinal leanings, the deeper reality can be seen through the right defining ideas for these words. Perhaps in a carnal view the ideas of patience and longsuffering can suffice but in the spiritual view these ARE wholly inadequate in showing the apostles’ intent. We should try to see and to understand that the perspective of the writers IS spiritual; James implores his reader to leave off of ALL carnal thinking and allow the Light of the Soul to guide one’s Life; Paul’s idea IS similar as he contrasts “the fruit of the Spirit” with “the works of the flesh“; Paul shows us the nature of the man who can bring this fruit to bear in his expression to the world. The Christian idea that ‘Jesus’ comes to live in the ‘believer’ IS a similar idea but through the diluted ideas of men’s doctrines this IS become both an ineffective and a questionable point. This IS ineffective because it IS NOT matched with the expression of “the fruit of the Spirit” which IS the expression of Jesus, of Christ and of God. In this we should be able to see the state of ALL men; ALL have reality of “Christ in you, the hope of glory“, everyman has that “unction from the Holy One” by which “ye know all things“; this however goes unrealized by the man whose focus IS yet on the self and the things of the self in this world. Doctrines may point to the way that these things ARE phrased by the Master and His apostles to claim that they have these in their lives ONLY as ‘believers’ but this point IS moot in the lives of men whose expression IS NOT that of the Lord. We should remember here that we ARE speaking of a mystery, what Paul calls “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints” (Colossians 1:26, 27) and understand that the idea of the saint carries the force of keeping His words over the diluted and nebulous ideas of doctrines.
The Greek word hagios IS defined by Strong’s as: from ἅγος hágos (an awful thing) (compare G53, G2282); sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated):—(most) holy (one, thing), saint 9a. In the common understanding of much of the Protestant portion of the church this word has lost ALL of its meaning except for the final Strong’s word, saint. On the other hand, much of the Catholic and Orthodox parts of the church DO see the saint as a person of special renown according to the doctrinal tenets of the particular denomination; these assign sainthood to such special persons who ARE considered as being in accord with the above definition but this IS always DONE posthumously. The True idea of the saint as pictured in Paul’s words to the Colossians IS NOT a picture of the dead but of those alive who ARE in accord with the defining ideas. While the Protestants see the idea of being alive in sainthood, they miss the deeper ideas of sacred and holy. The Apostle Peter tells us “as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16) and it IS in this ‘God-like’ attitude that the True saint should be seen. The idea of the saint should NOT be applied to the average Joe who follows some doctrinal approach to the Lord. The Orthodox and the Catholic seemingly attempt to qualify the saint according to the ideas of holy and sacred but use the idea as a badge, an award if you will, that IS offered posthumously according to some pre-established doctrinal ideas which may NOT always be in accord with the Way of the Lord. For us the reality of sainthood IS NOT an award, NOR IS it to be used in the diluted way that it IS used by some doctrinal teachings, the idea of sainthood IS a Truly personal one which one DOES NOT claim; the idea of sainthood IS one that must be expressed “in all manner of conversation” which idea encompasses ALL behaviors….ALL manner of Life. This expression of the saint IS one’s expression of the fullness of “the fruit of the Spirit” and this IS Paul’s point: that the mystery of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” IS revealed to the saint in the “the wisdom that is from above“; and this according to the ideas of our trifecta which we repeat here 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).
It IS in these words that we find the revelation and the realization of the mystery, NOT in carnal and doctrinal terms but in the flow of Wisdom into the Life of the man who will “continue in my word“. It IS this man who can have such realization of the mystery that IS “Christ in you, the hope of glory” and this because it IS in the flow of Truth that a man in this world can come to see the reality of the Way that Jesus describes for us saying “we will come unto him, and make our abode with him“. Can we see this? And can we understand that the presentation of these ideas keeps secret “the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations” from those who will NOT DO the necessary work which James presents to us saying “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). We should try to see that the whole of this idea of revelation and realization IS a rather automatic thing, a process if you will; as one strives to seek the Truth he IS exposed to that Truth and this can happen for the religious and the irreligious although along different lines. We DO NOT use the idea of irreligious here in a derogatory fashion but rather to show the man who IS NOT interested in the versions of Truth from the religious perspective as supplied through the doctrines of men. We speak here of both the religious and the irreligious who DO hear the prompting of their own Soul, their own God and Christ Within, over the clamor of daily living; this IS their motivation to the Good, the Beautiful and the True. There IS NO real need to see such perceptions in religious terms and, as we have discussed in previous essays, it IS likely easier for the irreligious to accept the Truth than the religious man whose indoctrination has led him down doctrinal paths. Truth IS Truth, there IS but One and while it IS embodied in Paul’s list of “the fruit of the Spirit“, there IS NO need for these ideas to be seen ONLY in a religious perspective. Agape as in the Master’s words that “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ” IS a universal concept and while the First Great Commandment, “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” specifically mentions “the Lord thy God“, one can offer obeisance to God as the Supreme Being even as an atheist. Here we ARE reminded of the Theosophical defining idea of the Godhead that tells us that God IS:
“One Boundless Immutable Principle; one Absolute Reality which, antecedes all manifested conditioned Being. It is beyond the range and reach of any human thought or expression“***
This purely spiritual concept IS beyond religion; it IS seen as heretical in the doctrinal view of most ALL of the church. This concept IS however a True depiction of Jesus’ view of the Father which He presented to us in terms that could be understood by the still barbarous and superstitious man of 2000 years ago. There IS another idea that we have used over the course of our writing; this, from Hindu Scripture, IS a similar view of God which can become the view of the irreligious and should perhaps be the view of the religious as well. We read this reflection of obeisance from Sh’vet Upanishad, II.17 saying:
To the God Who is in the Fire and Who is in the waters;
To the God Who has suffused Himself through all the world;
To the God Who is in summer plants and in the lords of the forest;
To that God be adoration, adoration.
While such concepts ARE frowned upon by the doctrinal thinker who sees other religions in their doctrinal forms ONLY, there ARE likely few clear thinkers that could deny the Truth of either of these most profound statements about our God. And, to be clear, the doctrinal thinker DOES NOT see how that his doctrinal approach to the Lord IS the same shadow of the Truth as ARE the doctrines of other religions.
Our point here IS that such ideas as these can be understood and approached by the irreligious as they frame God in such Universal terms. It IS in their obeisance to such concepts; their reverence or their attitude of deference or homage * as this idea IS defined, that they can ‘serve’ the Lord according to the Great Commandment; this ‘service’ IS agape and its view IS the totality of His creation especially in extending their reverence or their attitude of deference or homage to ALL. This IS also the True objective of Christian Love, that such an attitude of obeisance should be the Love that flows in “the fruit of the Spirit” and here we should try to see that regardless of one’s doctrinal leanings, or lack of such, the idea of this fruit IS the same. It has ever been the relationship between a man and his neighbor, between a man and ALL others, that IS the defining idea of being a saint, being a disciple and having full access to those “exceeding great and precious promises” by which we can become “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). It IS the partaker, the man to whom the Master says “we will come unto him, and make our abode with him“, that can move the mountain, uproot the sycamine tree and plant it in the sea and have the capacity to DO those “greater works” that the Master tells us that ARE the purview of “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them” as we read in our trifecta of spiritual reality. We should understand that while these ideas ARE found in the fullness of pistis, the fullness of KNOWING the Truth and the realization of the mysteries, that the Way IS ever found in striving. It IS in striving to keep His words, in our seeking, our knocking and our asking that this fullness comes to a man by measure under Jesus declaration that “with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:7, 2). We should note here that this idea of asking, from the Greek aiteo, has a more complex meaning than mere words; Strong’s tells us that the word IS: of uncertain derivation; to ask (in genitive case):—ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require 9a. If we can see this word in terms of craving and desiring the Truth, the idea can be much clearer; in such asking, seeking and knocking we have the desire for the Truth and the active pursuit of that Truth. This IS the Way of striving that we should understand in His words saying “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).
The doctrines of men however believe that they have found a shortcut to this fullness and this despite James’ caution that men should “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves“. In James’ words we have the singular reality that for 2000 years has gone unheeded as men have taken what they have declared as their shortcut to salvation based in misinterpreted and misapplied words from the Apostle Paul. But NOT ALL have fallen into this form of deception as there IS a whole other side of the religious formulas of men, one that IS NOT based in the adjusted philosophies of the Reformation but IS rather based in the pomp and the ceremonies of the early church and a reliance on sacraments and a vast hierarchy of ecclesiastical authorities. We should remember here that each of these divisions of Christianity ARE themselves split into other groups with much of this split based in political differences rather than spiritual. ALL however have replaced the Truth of Jesus’ words with their own doctrinal approach to the Lord, an approach that IS defined by men and ofttimes agreed to by committee. While most have formulated a ‘biblical’ reasoning for their individual doctrinal bent, reasoning that includes such ideas as the new covenant versus the old and the idea that it IS NOT possible to keep His words which, according to some, ARE purposefully difficult. The point here IS simply that ALL the doctrinal machinations around the singular Truth of the Master’s words are but the reasoning of men seeking some future eternal state of bliss. We should try to see here that when Jesus presented a seemingly difficult way to ‘salvation‘, the result was that “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him“; here we should pay special attention to the Apostle Peter’s realization of the Truth as He answers Jesus’ question “Will ye also go away?” saying “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:66, 67, 68-69). There IS great obscurity in Jesus words to these Jews as He tells them about His relationship to the Father and then compares Himself to the manna that the Jews enjoyed in the desert 1500 years before, a subject that follows upon Jesus’ saying to them that “Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled“. It IS likely His saying that “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” that becomes the tipping point for those Jews and which has fostered that idea of communion with Him through the rituals of the church as Jesus restates this idea at the ‘last supper’. The reality of His words IS built upon His saying that “I am that bread of life” and “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:26, 53, 48, 51).
The Truth here IS lost in the rituals of communion which ARE but a pale shadow of the Master’s intent, an intent that IS obscured by the very nature of His language. If we could see that He IS here guarding the mystery from those whose interest IS ONLY in His miracles and here especially that miracle of the loaves. The reality of Jesus’ words here IS NOT found in the common ideas engendered by His words, ideas of communion through the eating and drinking rituals of the church. His flesh represents His Truth and His blood represents His Life and the intent IS that one should consume both which idea IS tantamount to keeping His words. In the prologue to John’s Gospel we read of Jesus that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) and if we can see these ideas of consuming His flesh and His blood according to this Truth, we can than see the deeper messages that He IS offering to those who can realize what it IS that He Truly saying. Here again we have the deception that men inflict upon themselves as they DO NOT Truly see the idea that the Way, the Truth and the Life IS in our realization of the Truth that IS the Greek word agape and then to express this according to His words and the clarifying and amplifying words of His apostles. Again, such realization can come to everyman regardless of their religious persuasion; the Good, the Beautiful and the True ARE the very nature of the Soul, the Inner Man, and the saint IS that man who can express this fully in agape. If the church in its many forms of denominations and sects would attend to His words of Truth rather than their most carnal claims to the ONLY Way and their doctrinal interpretations of that way, there would be far less acrimony and a greater appreciation of the Truth by those who have chosen to shun the doctrines of men. Perhaps when away from the doctrinal pronouncements of religion and with a focus upon the Truth of the Master’s words, even much of the atheistic community could see the Light which IS dampened by the acrimonious views of the churches. There ARE likely few who would deny the most basic Truth of One World, One Humanity and One God, when the idea of God IS seen through the sayings above rather that the myopic attitudes of the doctrinal thinker.
If we could see that “the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints” IS the mystery of the True nature of man as a spiritual being born into this vanity, this world of illusion and glamour, from which he must escape, the whole idea of religion takes on a very different perspective. In this understanding there IS NO need to be ‘saved‘ except in the idea that to remain in one’s vanity with NO progress IS to waste one’s time here in this Earth. We should try to see that there IS ever some manner of progress to be found in one’s incursion as a Soul into a Life in this world. However, such small progress as experience may offer IS NOT the objective; the True objective IS found in striving, in asking as we discuss above, in seeking and in knocking, ALL of which bring a man ever closer to KNOWING the Way. In Jesus words that one should “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” there IS NO hint of religion; there IS ONLY His admonition to strive toward the Truth where the difficulty IS simply that those who “will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” ARE those who have chosen NOT to follow the Path of Truth. If we can see here that those who have chosen NOT to follow the Path of Truth but have at the same time chosen to follow their doctrinal approach ARE failing to “Strive to enter in at the strait gate“, we can perhaps better see James’ idea of deception which IS the hallmark of those who DO NOT keep His words, the hallmark of those who substitute their doctrinal ideas of salvation and atonement for the Truth of His words. We should remember that there ARE those in the doctrinal church that DO teach the greater Truth of keeping His words and the commandments but most DO so against the backdrop of their ideas on ‘salvation‘ and atonement and in this the reality of motivation to be “doers of the word” IS stifled. Too many see the idea of keeping His words as ‘works‘ which they find contrary to Paul’s words into which they have intentionally placed their sense of Truth.
It IS in one’s striving that True success comes and this IS likely True in most every human endeavor. The Greek word agōnizomai which IS rendered here as strive IS also rendered as fight and “labor fervently” in its other appearances in the King James Bible. Other translations render the word as “do your best“, “make every effort“, struggle, “try hard” and other such ideas; the Weymouth New Testament gives us “Strain every nerve to force your way in“. In these ideas we should see the Master’s intent in telling us to “agōnizomai to enter in at the strait gate” and if we can see in this word the totality of the renderings above we can then better understand how that many “will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” because they DO NOT strive, they DO NOT “make every effort” nor “do your best“. And these ideas ARE NOT tied ONLY to the Greek word, the English word strive IS defined as: to exert oneself vigorously; try hard; to make strenuous efforts toward any goal; to contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete; to struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance; to rival; vie *. In these ideas we should clearly see the True work of salvation from a human perspective and understand that the doctrinal ideas against ‘works‘ ARE against such striving and therefore against the words of the Master. In at least one respect there IS a Truth to our being against ‘works‘ and that IS in regard to Paul’s words on the “works of the flesh” which ARE those carnal ideas that ARE contrary to our current topic of “the fruit of the Spirit“. But doctrines apply Paul’s idea of ‘works‘ in a much broader way which includes a man’s striving toward the Truth and toward righteousness. Paul’s references to “the works of the law” ARE references intended to show what the Jews’ attitudes had become as their striving was NOT in regard to the “strait gate” but was so inclusive of doctrinal precepts that it had become the wide gate and the broad way. We see these ideas in Matthew’s version of the Master’s words on the “strait gate” where we read “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). It IS the “wide gate” that IS covered by the ancillary parts of the law which became the Jews’ main doctrinal focus supplanting the greater Truths of the Great Commandments and the Ten Commandments; the Jews held such things as the sabbath, circumcision, sacrifice and their observance of ‘holy’ days in greater regard than they DID Love. It IS against this that Jesus says such things as “go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13) and His later comment that “if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless” (Matthew 12:7).
In these ideas as well as in His list of woes against the ways of the Jews’ leaders we find the Master’s condemnation of their treatment of the law, a treatment which focused upon the meaningless ideas of self governance rather than the True spiritual emphasis of Love, mercy and Truth. The whole of Jesus’ list of woes can be summed up perhaps in the very first which says “woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13). This lesson IS NOT yet Truly learned by the Jew nor was it heeded by the Christian religions which have replaced His Truths with doctrinal leanings that promise eternal Life while nary a one Truly understands just what this means. This brings us back to Peter’s response to the Master saying “thou hast the words of eternal life“, an idea that we should see IS ALL His words. It IS in His words that True salvation exists and NOT in the doctrinal ideas that see one’s desire to express “the fruit of the Spirit” as an unnecessary work which should be replaced by the nebulous doctrinal ideas of faith and believing. Remember Jesus’ saying that “by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 1 Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1828 and 1913 from https://1828.mshaffer.com/
- 2 New Testament Greek Lexicon on BibleStudyTools.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
- * Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- ** A Treatise on Cosmic Fire by Alice A Bailey © 1951 by Lucis Trust
Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire, Writer and Philosopher