ON LOVE; PART MCCXCIII
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).
In the last essay we discussed some ideas regarding the New Age and the Cosmic impulse of Love that has been effecting the Earth and changing the the hearts of many. Much of this change IS found in the psyche of each new generation of men but it IS much more complex than this; while new generations ARE born under whatsoever Cosmic influence there IS at any time, they ARE still subjected to that same vanity which IS exacerbated by the nurturing and indoctrination that everyman receives. And here IS a KEY word….receives. It IS what a man will receive in his psyche, his heart in more spiritual terms, that will determine his acceptance or denial of the impact of these Cosmic impulses and much of this acceptance largely depends on one’s ability to fend off the effects of his own sense of vanity, his own sense of illusion and glamour which ARE, as we say above, exacerbated by the nurturing and indoctrination that everyman receives. Being born into the vanity of Life in this world IS the affliction of everyman; NONE ARE free from this. The Apostle Paul tells us that “the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same” (Romans 8:20) and we should understand here that the idea of “by reason of him ” refers to God and NOT any agency related to Satan. Paul’s words here ARE related by most doctrinal thinkers to the ‘fall of man’ and to its cause in Adam’s sin; Vincent shows us this saying that this him IS: God, not Adam nor Satan. Paul does not use the grammatical form which would express the direct agency of God, by Him who hath subjected, but that which makes God’s will the occasion rather than the worker – on account of Him. Adam’s sin and not God’s will was the direct and special cause of the subjection to vanity. The supreme will of God is thus removed “to a wider distance from corruption and vanity” (Alford) 4. While Vincent holds to the doctrinal idea of Adam’s sin as the cause for the ‘fall of man’, there ARE others that take this idea yet further claiming that it IS Satan that has subjected the world to this vanity which Vincent aptly defines for us as: a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4. We can see the Satanic influence that some hold as the cause in this from John Gill who explains this him as: Though they were willingly vain, yet they were not willingly made subject to vanity; they willingly went into idolatrous and other evil practices, but the devil made them subject, or slaves unto them; he led them captive at his will, and powerfully worked in them, by divine permission, so that they became vassals to him, and to their lusts; for he seems to be designed, “by him who hath subjected the same”, and not Adam, by whom sin entered into the world 8.
There IS NO clarity in Paul’s words here but there IS a picture drawn of a creation of men who come into Life in a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends; which IS the condition of ALL men whose focus IS NOT upon the things of God but rather upon the self and the things of the self. This condition can be seen as the antithesis of the Truth of agape as ALL men’s motivations ARE directed to toward the self; it IS this motivation that moves men continually to be pursuing false ends. If we could see the ideas of Adam, which simply means man, and Eve and their most simple sin of eating from the forbidden tree as the fabricated story that could be understood by the man in those days, we can then likely begin to understand the written motivation from the Godhead to NOT eat from that tree. This IS framed for us in explanatory words which first give us the name of the tree as “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2: 9) and then shows us the words of the Lord saying “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22). While the idea of the ‘fall of man’, based in Adam’s eating of the forbidden fruit, IS taken literally, the greater reality IS that the man, Adam, and the woman, Eve, were destined to taste the fruit which IS the very meaning of Life here in the vanity of this world. It IS from this vanity that everyman must escape and we should try to see that this escape IS the expectation of the Godhead as we read in Paul’s continuing words; we read the full idea saying “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” (Romans 8:20-21). As we have done occasionally we explain our changes to the King James presentation saying first that the Greek word elpis that IS rendered as hope IS defined by Strong’s as: (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation 9a, and by Thayer’s 9 in similar terms. Second, we look to lexicon and to Vincent where we find that the primary rendering of hoti IS that which IS based in Strong’s and Thayer’s defining ideas on this Greek word. Vincent goes further as he addresses verse 21 saying that: The best texts transfer these words from the preceding verse, and construe with was made subject, rendering ὅτι that instead of because 4. We should also note that the Greek word eleutheroo which IS rendered as delivered IS better rendered as “made free” which IS the way that this IS rendered in Jesus’ words from our trifecta 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 idea of whose expectation IS referenced here IS a matter of additional debate, the reality DOES NOT Truly matter if we can look at this ALL from the perspective of the Soul, the Christ and God Within. It IS the Soul that IS the creation, it IS the Soul that IS “made subject to vanity” and it IS the Soul that has an expectation of being “made free“; we should try to see that this freedom can come through the Souls expression of Truth and Love through his form, and that it will eventually come at the demise of the form. It IS the Soul that IS in a: a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4. Buried in the words of the Apostle Peter IS a vision of how that one can be “made free from the bondage of corruption“; we read this as “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 1:4). It IS here that we find that the way to be “made free” IS to escape from the vanity which holds us in bondage. While our interpreted ideas from the apostles may seem a far cry from the literal ideas garnered from the Genesis story, the reality IS that they ARE telling us the same thing when the words from Genesis ARE understood in their entire context and without a sense of time or order. The very idea that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27) refers to the physical body as “the image of God” only adds fodder to the illogical ideas of doctrines what we discussed in the last essay. And while the doctrinal thinker has developed many theories on this short of saying that God IS a man, NONE ARE biblical which IS a doctrinal measuring tool used against those ideas that DO NOT play into any specific doctrine. We should briefly note that the order of biblical creation begins with the creatures of the sea and the birds of the air and then proceeds to the animals of the field and to that version of man, of adam, that IS “in the image of God“. Freed from order and from time and understanding that these ideas ARE intended for the barbarous and superstitious man of Moses time, and earlier perhaps by oral tradition, we should try to see how that this creation of man “in the image of God” must perforce be spiritual; this IS based in Jesus’ own words saying “God is
a Spirit” (John 4:24). Can we understand this? And can we add to this that “God is true (truth)” (John 3:33) and that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16) and understand that it IS by these concepts that we can Truly KNOW God? Can we see here that the physical man can be NONE of these until he can be among the “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust“?
In understanding the man created “in the image of God” as the spiritual man, the Soul, we can then better understand the next idea that IS presented to the archaic reader of Genesis. It IS after this seven days of creation that we find the final part of the human puzzle as we read that “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). Here we have the Soul combined with the form and the origination of that vanity by which the Soul comes into his perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4. It IS this union itself that IS the eating of the forbidden fruit, it IS this union itself by which man comes “to know good and evil“. In the obscurity of the idea of the creation of the woman we should see the separation of this union by which “man became a living soul” and the original creation of the spiritual man where we read that “male and female created he them” and perhaps it IS through this that we can understand the even greater obscurity of such ideas as we read in the continuing story:
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:1-5).
The ideas in these passages create a split between the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” and infer that there IS a real difference, especially from a spiritual perspective. There IS also a sense of confusion as the writer speaks of “sons of God“, a unique idea that implies godliness, and the “wickedness of man“. There IS NO logical nor even fathomable explanation for these idea in the commentaries and these verses ARE seldom spoken of even in regard to the ensuing story of Noah where ONLY the idea of the “wickedness of man” IS used. We could try to see here a link to the Genesis story of creation which takes a break for the actions of Adam and Eve and Cain and Able and then the genealogy of these original characters but our view of this would be just that, our view. If we could try to see here that there ARE Souls, “sons of God” living through the bodies, the animal bodies if you will, who ARE dwelling in the vanity of Life in this world and who ARE attracted to the ‘animal bodies’ of the female of the species, perhaps we could begin to grasp the True origins of humanity in this world and understand that the animal form IS just that until it IS ‘endued‘ with a Soul as we can glimpse in the former idea that God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul“. In the end we should try to see that the whole idea of this part of the Book of Genesis IS but a story that IS a condensed form of the Truth of creation and a lesson regarding the idea of One God which was never intended to be taken literally by any other than those whom Moses addressed 3500 years ago and perhaps their ancestors. But the story IS taken literally, especially by the Christian world, where it lays a foundation for the doctrinal approach that persists yet today. This doctrinal approach so relies upon the ‘blood’ of Jesus as the atonement for sin that it looks past the ancient lesson of the Genesis story where man, the animal creature that IS the “formed man of the dust of the ground” IS endued with a Soul which IS the True conscious Life. It is this consciousness that IS “in the image of God” and this ONLY in regard to the manifestation of the whole creation….manifest by the One Spirit, the “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“***. Because most ALL doctrinal approaches DO NOT see this reality of God which IS Truly beyond the range and reach of any human thought or expression, they instead substitute their ideas of a personal Godhead and speak of Him as He were a man; this follows the lead of the ideas presented in Genesis but again we should understand to whom these ideas were written so many centuries ago.
It IS this one Absolute Reality that IS manifest as ALL things; and of primary importance, from our infinitesimal perspective, IS the manifestation of the Soul which IS ever within the Godhead and which becomes the conscious Life of the man in this world. And think NOT that there IS NOT some form of Soul in every living thing; Souls that ARE in the same process of evolution as the Soul that can command a human form. Here we should note Jesus words saying “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of” (Luke 9:55) and the Apostle John’s words saying “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). In the human view of humanity we see ONLY the form with its mind and emotions as the man. We CAN NOT yet separate this from the consciousness that IS the Soul, a consciousness that has touched the reality of Life in form by attaining the “knowledge of good and evil” through the vanity to which everyman IS subjected, a vanity that IS the illusions and the glamour of men. And this IS the lesson of Genesis which IS re-framed for us by Paul in more spiritual terms that should have broken down the literal ideas still held by the doctrinal thinker 2000 years later. We should try to see here how that the steady steam of Cosmic impulses over these many centuries has changed the views of men about themselves and about their existence in this world; spawning countless philosophies, these impulses have seen the advancement of the human psyche from functioning in nearly pure emotion to nearly pure thought. We should understand here however that these two sides of the same coin have NOT will NOT ever be free from each other. There IS a spiritual view of the right combination of thought and emotion and this ideal blending can be found in the expression by a man of the fullness of “the fruit of the Spirit“. This ideal blending can best be seen when we can leave behind the carnal interpretations of the apostle’s words and see into the deeper spiritual concepts that move a man into that “glorious liberty of the children of God” as he escapes from his own “bondage of corruption“.
Refreshing our list of “the fruit of the Spirit” we repeat in part some of what we have previously summarized saying that in the Lives of the apostles we have written evidence of the flow of this fruit and it IS this that should be our guide to that “glorious liberty of the children of God” rather than the machinations of men who interpret their words to their own benefit. In the recorded lives of each of these we have “the fruit of the Spirit” founded in agape, and expressed through the reaching out of the spiritual man through the Life of the man in this world in makrothymia. This fruit IS the essence of chara, of grace, in the expression of the holy and the saint who ARE ever in a state of eirene which flows from the Inner Man, the Christ Within, according to Jesus’ words saying “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). This sense of peace allows the holy and the saint to stand as Stephen and as Paul in the midst adversaries; they stand ready to “resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39) as they understand that “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:63). It IS in this sense of grace and peace, of chara and eirene, that we should see and understand chrestotes which Strong’s and Vincent show us as usefulness9a and profitableness 9a; it IS in the flow of fruit into the Life of the man in this world that makes him useful and his Life profitable and these ideas should never be seen carnally. One’s usefulness IS in his service and one’s profitableness IS in his ability to express “the fruit of the Spirit” in ways that can be seen as Truth by any who ARE seeking such Truth. It IS in this expression of Truth that we find agathosune which IS that sense of Good of which Jesus tells us that “there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18); here we should understand that this expression of the Soul, this expression of the Christ Within, IS, in its fullness, the expression of that Good that IS God. To have such fruits as these IS to KNOW God and it IS this idea that Paul gives us in his list of “the fruit of the Spirit” as pistis. The Apostle John ties this idea of KNOWING back to Paul’s beginning fruit, agape; John tells us that “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). In this idea of pistis, we should see a culmination of the apostle’s ideas that begin in one’s expression of Love and the meaning of that expression in one’s realization that he “knoweth God“. To these ideas IS appended the idea of meekness from the Greek word proates. This sense of meekness IS NOT at ALL what IS understood by the doctrinal thinker nor IS it what IS presumed in common usage. The best view of this idea of being meek IS found in Jesus words from the Sermon on the Mount which teach us the very essence of the idea that “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing“; that it IS the spiritual view ONLY that Truly counts. Jesus tells us this according to Matthew:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:38-42).
Luke gives us these same ideas with a slightly different emphasis which we read as:
“I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil” (Luke 6:27-35).
From the human perspective, from the perspective of the man who sees himself ONLY as a man in this world, these ideas seem impossible and it IS to the man in this world who perforce leans toward this perspective that Jesus says “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God“. The doctrinal problem here IS that most ALL teach the impossibility, even in the more simple context in which Jesus offers these words as He tells His disciples that “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:27, 24-25). Doctrinal authorities have ever turned these ideas away with some today claiming that the Lord wants ALL men to be rich. The point here in Jesus’ words IS that riches will hinder one’s spiritual progress, keeping one’s focus upon himself and the things of the self rather than upon the things of God. And while some believe the intent here IS that God can make it possible for “they that have riches enter into the kingdom“, the reality IS that God, through the God and Christ Within, can make it possible to “sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me” (Luke 18:22). From the human perspective NONE ARE ready and willing to DO this just as NONE ARE ready and willing to accomplish the Master’s words as we read above from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke; which ideas ARE the epitome of the Great Commandments which we have again at the top of our essay.
While the most ALL Christian doctrine centers around the words of the Apostle Paul, this centering IS largely selective in regard to what men must DO to be ‘saved‘. Whether the selected ideas were chosen by the early church because they were easier to use as doctrine IS difficult to say but one can get that idea from reading the writings of the later church fathers who condemned any approach that was NOT aligned with the previously selected ideas. To be sure, these tenets of doctrines came from the hearts and minds of men; most ARE assembled from unrelated and out of context scriptural ideas and taught as doctrines; and this contrary to the Master’s warning to the Jews saying “in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). It IS this same point that we showed in the last essay from Reverend Barber’s words saying “that is why I’m so concerned, about those that say so much—about what God says so little, while saying so little—about what God says so much“. This IS how the church began and it IS into these doctrinal ideas that men ARE nurtured and indoctrinated and, until some part of this church begins to Truly teach “about what God says so much“, it IS the “the commandments of men” that will rule over the Truer ideas from Paul’s writings which concern the greater Truth. This brings us back again to the “the fruit of the Spirit” and to the words of the apostle that precede this as he says “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14). It IS in the last word from Paul list of “the fruit of the Spirit” that we find the most necessary change to the human psyche, a change that IS disguised by the common interpretation of egkrateia as temperance.
While egkrateia IS rendered as temperance by some we can get a better idea of the doctrinal interpretation from other translations which show us
egkrateia as “self control” and “control over desires” while two, Wycliffe and the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible seem to add words to make their point. The latter gives us “modesty, continency, chastity” while Wycliffe gives us “temperance, continence, chastity“. Most ALL have take these ideas of proates and egkrateia into the sexual realm which hardly shows us a “fruit of the Spirit” as one who has such fruit working in their lives has already overcome this most basic of human proclivities. While temperance itself IS more aligned with gluttony and drunkenness, the other ideas lead us to the ideas of sex as DOES John Gill who tells us that egkrateia goes to: “continence”; and designs both chastity and sobriety 8. Vincent tells us that: The word means self-control, holding in hand the passions and desires. So Xen. Mem. i. 2,1, of Socrates, who was ἐγκρατεστατος most temperate as to sexual pleasures and pleasures of the appetite 4. Can we see the point here? Can we see how that these intended spiritual ideas ARE seen in terms of carnal behaviors, a common doctrinal trait from the beginning. While there IS a use for this word in regard to the carnal behavior of a man, we should try to see that that IS NOT the intent here; this IS an aspect of Love and Truth that IS flowing from the Soul into the psyche of the man who has achieved such an ability to express these fruits. We should remember here Jesus’ words saying “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20) which IS to say that whensoever one has such fruit operating in their lives, it IS apparent in the outward expression. And we should remember here that Paul’s list of “the fruit of the Spirit” IS an ALL inclusive list that begins with agape; ALL of the other ingredients of this fruit ARE included in the ability of a man to express that Truth of agape that flows into his Life. One CAN NOT have the peace but NOT the meekness which comes in the KNOWING that IS pistis; ALL of these work together in Love. We should remember here Vincent’s words saying that: Love, in this passage, is that fruit of the Spirit which dominates all the others 4, which idea IS based in the theme of this whole chapter. It IS Love, agape, that IS the KEY and it IS agape by which ALL “all the law is fulfilled” and here we should understand that this idea of the law DOES include the commandments of the Master of which we read from our trifecta that “the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me“. Repeating the 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).
We should try to see here that the final word in Paul’s list, egkrateia offers the man that spiritual self-control by which the whole of the list of “the fruit of the Spirit” works out in the Life of a man in this world. Egkrateia IS one’s ability to function in the “the glorious liberty of the children of God” and to
“be partakers of the divine nature“. Perhaps in this idea of egkrateia we can see the idea of NO turning back, that once the reality of “the fruit of the Spirit” becomes the realization of a man in this world, this last word shows that his commitment IS sealed. In this we can see the spiritual effect of this word which Strong’s defines as self-control 9a; the spiritual effect of having the rewards of the trifecta which ARE to KNOW the Truth, to have access to the Kingdom of God and to have the realization of the Presence of God in one’s daily living. This IS NOT the doctrinal idea of having ‘Jesus come to live’ in a doctrinally inclined person, this IS the reality of realizing the Presence of God through the Christ Within and having the fruits of this realization working on one’s Life; it IS this reward that Paul calls for us “the fruit of the Spirit“.
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 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
- ** 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