ON LOVE; PART MCCCXXIII
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 posts we tried to show the relationship between the changes in the human condition and the advancement of our planet through the “sweet influences of Pleiades” and the other KNOWN constellations in what we call the zodiac. We should understand that our discussion IS NOT scientific in today’s terms and while much of the common understanding of the zodiac has become a game, most ALL can admit to some sense of Truth regarding the influences of any particular zodiacal sign on their own psyche and this mostly related to their proclivities. The purpose of our discussion IS primarily to show that the ‘advancements’ in the human condition ARE motivated by more that just elapsed time and that the universal changes from age to age ARE rooted in the primary objective of Life in form which Paul shows us as “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” which he follows with the idea that we ARE “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:20-21, 23). We must be careful to separate the carnal ideas associated with the zodiac from the Universal realities that have brought a barbarous and superstitious race of men into this New Age where the motivating principals ARE Love, peace, harmony and the liberation of the mind. We should remember here that ALL such Universal changes ARE gradual and that such changes ARE unwillingly mitigated by the efforts of carnal minded men to hold on to their way of Life….to fight against change. We should be able to see this most clearly in the gospel stories that show us the changes brought to the human family at the beginnings of the last age, the Age of Pisces, by the Christ and how that His objective change from visions of self to visions of Love were all but halted by the religious Jews who were the carnal minded religious leaders of their day. It IS the influences of a New Age that Jesus brought to this Earth, influences that gradually overcame much of the resistance and brought us the sense of Christian doctrine that IS still the religious motivation of many. We should try to see here that these changes and the unwillingness to accept them ARE NOT limited to the Christian world but ARE felt by ALL through generational changes and by the force of colonization that brought the Christian message to most ALL the world. We should try to see as well that this force itself has abated with the incoming of this New Age and the climax of the last of the Great World Wars that brought the need for harmony onto the world stage; some semblance of this harmony prevailed until the forces of opposition were again applied. This then brings us to today, a time where there IS opposition to such changes in a counter point that seeks to maintain the status quo and which can readily be seen on the world stage by ALL who ARE attentive to the daily news. Never before has such point and counter point been as readily seen as they ARE in today’s twenty-four hour news cycle through which we can see the struggles in terms of a world view versus a self view in regard to nations, religions and most ALL other divisions of humanity and, perhaps, this IS most apparent in the worldwide struggles today regarding climate change.
A most basic issue in the constant change that this world and the human family ARE subjected to IS the reality of that vanity which was built into the very fabric of human existence from the beginning. It is this vanity that blinds men to the realities of Life which ARE hidden by its inherent illusion and glamour, realities that can reveal the most basic Truths about human existence; paramount among these Truths is the basic nature of man. So long as men see themselves as their current existence on this Earth, the force of vanity will consume them as they look ONLY to better their own lot here in this world, and this perforce includes bettering the lot of those to whom they are attracted and attached in that thing called Love. This carnal idea of Love, this mental and emotional attachment and attraction to others IS the fulfillment of the self centered Life of everyman but should we come to realize our True nature as spiritual beings, should we be able to look past the our own carnal indoctrination, we can then glimpse the True reality of those words from Genesis saying “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them“. When we can see these words in relation to that Great Truth uttered by the Master, “God is
a Spirit” (John 4:24), we can then begin to realize that our True nature IS NOT this form in this world with its carnal personality but rather as Spirit according to the words of the Lord saying “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:27, 26). There IS much here in these two verses that IS overlooked by the doctrinal church; from the plurality of us which IS seen in terms of the Trinity based ONLY in Christian doctrinal precepts, to the asexual idea of “male and female created he them” which reveals the very nature of God. The church has chosen strictly carnal interpretations of a story intended for the barbarous and superstitious people that lived some 3500 years ago. In our realization that man IS Spirit, a Truth that is openly exposed in the bible but unseen through the vanity of men, can come the necessary impetus to understand the reality of agape away from the carnal interpretations that ARE embraced by most ALL men today. In the undefinable we can find a definition that IS presented to us rather clearly in Genesis. While we DO NOT Truly understand the idea of Spirit, we should be able to glimpse that this very nature of God IS NOT carnal….it IS NOT a body as we understand that idea. To understand God as Spirit takes away the personal attributes that have been built into the doctrines of men and while some of these personal attributes ARE the result of the way that men think in terms of Him as the personal pronoun, God IS neither a man nor IS He male. It is for the convenience of understanding some modicum of just what God IS that such pronouns have ever been used and here we should remember that the original ideas were written for that barbarous and superstitious population of old. Jesus, in His words from the Gospels, shows us the reality of God Immanent which IS another undefinable idea and one that has been hijacked, without understanding, by the doctrinal church and used to describe the ‘new’ nature of the so called “born again” Christian, which terminology has also been coopted to suit doctrinal ideas. Jesus ties this idea of being “born again” to the Kingdom of God which doctrines interpret into their ideas of heaven as they maintain that heaven IS that ‘place’ where ‘believers‘ go after their death here in this Earth. In a rather cryptic saying from the Master to Nicodemus we read Jesus’ words saying “I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3); it IS this idea that the doctrines of men have aligned with Paul’s words on salvation. There IS NO scriptural foundation for their ideas that Paul’s words on affirmation and confession cause a man to be “born again” yet it IS this that has become the rallying cry of a large segment of the church today as men ARE indoctrinated into the idea that to profess Christ, to believe in Him as one’s personal savior, makes one “born again“.
There IS a reality to being “born again” that IS founded in the reality of the Greek words pistis and pisteuo, words that ARE rendered as faith and believing and used in a most nebulous way. It IS ONLY when we can understand pistis and pisteuo as Jesus uses these ideas that we can break through the doctrinal attitudes and see these ideas in terms of KNOWING; this we can see in the various applications of them in regard to the superlative Ways of the Truly “born again” man; his ability to move the mountain and DO such “greater works” as Jesus promises to those who “believeth on me” (John 14:12). We KNOW from 2000 years of history that for a man to believe in or on Jesus in a nebulous doctrinal way DOES NOT afford him the ability to DO “greater works” nor can he move a mountain, or a sycamine tree, and plant it in the sea. Such abilities come ONLY according to the Master’s words saying such things as “if ye have faith, and doubt not” which we should understand in the same way as having “faith as a grain of mustard seed” (Matthew 21:21, 17:20), ideas that ARE far beyond the nebulous doctrinal faith and believing professed today. The various reports regarding this theme vary between gospel writers but we should try to see that to properly understand the embedded idea we must take them ALL together; we must see “faith as a grain of mustard seed“, one’s ability to “have faith, and doubt not” as well as the Apostle Mark’s version that tells us that a man “shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass” (Mark 11:23) as the spiritual state of the man who seeks to DO such “greater works“. And this state IS that KNOWING that comes upon a man through keeping His words; this the Master tells us in the first part 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).
We should understand here that this KNOWING of the Truth IS the singular reality in the Life of a man who IS “born again” and that it IS in this KNOWING, this ability to “not doubt in his heart” through which he “shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass“, that allows for such “greater works“. In the reality of pistis and pisteuo as KNOWING it IS easier to comprehend the reality of the Master’s words, words that ARE NOT taken literally or ARE changed into carnal ideas by the church. Too many see Mark’s words in such a carnal way as they promote ‘positive thinking’ ideas into Jesus’ words using His saying that “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). This has caused yet another division within the church as some parts loudly teach such ideas as ‘name it and claim it’ based in these words from Mark’s Gospel. In this is the false assumption that the Lord will deal with one’s individual worldly needs, be they in regard to finances, health, family betterment and even whimsical requests. They fail to understand such ideas as we find in James’ Epistle regarding the incompatibility between things carnal and things spiritual; James tells us that “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 4:4) and in this idea of friendship we should try to see fondness and perhaps a reliance. Paul also shows us this incompatibility in such ideas as “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” which shows us the same idea on a more personal note. In a missing part from our previous inclusions of Paul’s words from the eighth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans we read “to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). Here we should understand that ALL thoughts and attitudes that ARE concerning the self and the betterment of the self in any way, physical health, financial gains, success of enterprise and the psychic benefit that comes with self promotion or accomplishment to name a few, ARE “carnally minded” and result in a continuation of that spiritual death which IS vanity. Repeating our selection from Paul’s words, including the missing phrase, we read:
“they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 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 8:5:23).
In Paul’s words here there IS a distinctly direct phrase that when properly understood against his total context shows us that to be carnally minded IS to be “in the flesh” and here we must understand that to be so creates a situation where “they that are in the flesh cannot please God“. While the idea of pleasing God IS doctrinally related to faith through the words from the writer of the Book of Hebrews, Paul’s words here should NOT be ignored. In Hebrews we read that “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6) and when we can understand pistis as KNOWING and NOT as those nebulous doctrinal ideas of faith and believing, we can then see the simile presented in the ideas of pistis as KNOWING and the reality of keeping His words which takes one out of the realm of flesh. To this end Paul shows us that we must “mortify the deeds of the body” and he tells us how that this must be DONE “through the Spirit“. When we can understand the precepts of our trifecta in relation to the words of Paul, we can then see the Path to True salvation versus the doctrinally created substitute founded by the churches, a substitute that requires that one die physically and move on into the unknown. It IS this unknown that IS the doctrinal heaven and hell and for a time the purgatory of the Catholics, none of which IS scriptural save for the vague references used to create such theologies. While the trifecta shows us in Jesus’ words the Way to the True Kingdom here and now, His words ARE ignored against the doctrinal ideas created by men. While Jesus tells us the Way to the Truth and to our realization of the True Life, the church has largely ignored His message. In addition to ignoring the Master’s words showing us that the Truth comes to the man who will “continue in my word“, most ALL doctrinal thinkers believe that they have such Truth based ONLY in their nebulous ideas of faith. Many interpret this into having the Holy Spirit active in their Lives and directing their carnal endeavors despite the words from the apostles that show us the incompatibility between the carnal and the spiritual and the ensuing idea that there IS NO thing carnal that comes from the Lord. This IS especially True in instances of prayer where one expects the Lord to act against His own Truth that there IS “no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2: 11). We should remember here that Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit IS “Spirit of truth” which idea we should combine with our Way of KNOWING that Truth. Others substitute the idea that it IS Jesus that comes to live inside a person who believes, a person who has performed such rites or rituals as prescribed by the various doctrines. This IS directly contrary to the Master’s own words that show us that “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” as the Way to have His Presence; here we should note that these ARE Jesus’ words which should represent for us the ONLY Way to have True realization that the Lord IS active in our Life. Finally our trifecta shows us the Way to the “kingdom of heaven” which has been designated by doctrines as the dwelling place of the Lord and the destination of believers according to their various doctrinal approaches. As a place for deceased Souls this idea IS NOT scriptural, nor IS the belief that through one’s performance of rites or rituals, through one’s affirmations and confessions, that one can be “born again” allowing him access to this place when they should die.
This has always been our message as we point out the way that the doctrines of men have overwhelmed the Truth according to the vanity into which ALL ARE cast at birth. While the doctrines of men have continuously used out of context ideas from the bible to support their varied doctrinal views and precepts, they fail at the same time to see real connections of isolated sayings from the Master and His apostles. In Jesus’ words we have His ‘prayer’ to the Father as recorded by John, here we read of Him speaking of the apostles saying “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:16-17). There ARE two things here that ARE significant; first IS that the apostles “are not of the world” and ARE equal to the Master in this respect. What this means however IS unclear to any who view the lives of the apostles as men in this world who ARE ‘granted’ access to the Master who bestows upon them spiritual abilities. The reality here IS intimately tied to Jesus’ other sayings concerning His Presence, as the Christ, in each of them and, logically, their Presence in the Father. He says such things as “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20); speaking of Himself as the vine He says “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4) and as part of His ‘prayer’ He tells us “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21). We should relate His words on His Presence here to His words from our trifecta that show us the Way to that Presence IS for those who “that hath my commandments, and keepeth them“. These apostles, Judas Iscariot included, ARE among those that “that hath my commandments, and keepeth them” and it IS by this that they have His Presence or, better, a realization of His Presence. It IS in this way that we can understand that “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” as their focus IS spiritual and NO longer carnal even as they have NOT yet perfected that focus. In this view we should see that ALL whose focus IS yet on the self and the things of the self ARE yet “of the world“. Second we have the simplicity of Jesus saying of the Father that “thy word is truth” and when we couple this with His saying from our trifecta that tells us that “the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” we should have a more complete idea of the force of Jesus’ words. We should see here that His words and His Presence ARE clearly presented in His words and while the church tries to cubby His words into ‘old covenant’ theology. There IS NO True scriptural basis for this save for some unrelated words from the writer of the Book of Hebrews. While the old covenant IS an evolution of ideas from the beginning to the law given by Moses, the new covenant should be seen in much the same way….as a constant quid pro quo that IS highlighted for us by the word of the Lord through Moses saying “if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1). These words ARE to a nation and NOT to an individual and we can see through history that many of the leaders of that nation failed to lead the people onto the Path of Truth. We should understand here as well that the law as it IS presented in Moses day IS a list of DO’s and DON’Ts that were perhaps better suited for the barbarous and superstitious man in those days whose view of Life was necessarily more carnal. Against this we have the words of the Prophet Jeremiah some one thousand years later and it IS these words that ARE repeated in the Book of Hebrews where we read “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Hebrew 10:16). This IS the new covenant and while we DO NOT KNOW the meaning of “after those days” we DO KNOW the intent of the passage IS to show the Jews that the law must be more than words on tablets or on parchment, they must be words that ARE reflected in the hearts and minds of those who seek to follow the Lord. It IS this same idea that should come out of Paul’s words that seem to condemn the law but which ONLY condemn the rote mentality of the church in those days. A mentality of DO’s and DON’Ts that persists yet today for the Jew who remains stuck in an ancient religion and for the Christian, albeit in a much different way.
Both rely upon the doctrines created by those who had taken authority over the spiritual lives of their followers; for the Jew there IS their mitzvah, their 613 commandments which ARE filtered out of the words of the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses. The rote application of the law against which the apostle writes, an application that IS NO different than the Masters view of the actions of the Jews and the teachings of the Pharisees and the scribes. Jesus rails against the Jews’ most carnal approach to the law, an approach that looks past the realities presented in the Great Commandments as presented by Moses, in favor of the seemingly simpler attempts to live according to the DO’s and the DON’T’s. We see the Master’s displeasure in His list of woes and in such sayings as “go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13) which highlights the Jew’s reliance upon the latter as their sense of self forgiveness rather than the GoodWill through which much of the sacrifice becomes unnecessary. In this saying Jesus shows the Jews the words of their own prophets, words that ARE ignored in the practice of the mitzvah and which ARE soundly rejected by the Jews. That the rituals of sacrifice ARE NO longer in effect has NOT significantly changed the religious Jew’s desire for forgiveness which has been covered by various denominational precepts since the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. As the Christian, the Jew has NOT embraced the concept of Love, of agape, that was an integral part of the Pentateuch and which represents the mercy which Jesus shows us in His words above. The doctrinal approach to the law established by the Jews before the Advent of the Christ IS what Paul rails against and it IS this same approach that IS captured for us in the first of the woes; Jesus 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 23:9). While few in the church would agree, it IS this same idea that IS intended for the Christian world where in place of scribes and Pharisees we have priests and bible teachers, pastors and bible ‘scholars’ who offer the same alternative to ALL that will listen. While the Jews’ problem IS founded in the interpretations of the law into their mitzvah, the Christian problem IS founded in their misinterpretation and misapplication of the words of the Apostle Paul which ARE become the cornerstone of their doctrinal approach to the Lord, an approach that ALL but ignores the teachings of the Master whom they claim as “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
We should try to see here that Jesus’ message IS clear despite the parabolic nature of some of His more revealing ideas and here we should try to understand that the way to reveal these parabolic ideas IS to follow according to those things He clearly says. Paul’s words ARE NO different; most ALL are clearly elucidated messages that ARE missed because of men’s failure to follow that same message, a message which IS at the heart of the full context of Paul’s words. There IS a reality here that IS missed because the church fathers chose to lean their understanding on the aspects of atonement and the way that they saw the blood of Christ ‘washing away’ their sins in accordance with a few misunderstood verses. The rest of doctrine IS based in the desire of men to see their forgiveness in the simplest of terms which they find in the affirmations and the confessions of Paul’s words as well as in the sacramental ideas formulated by men; ideas mostly based in the words of Paul. If Christ IS Truly “the author and finisher of our faith” shouldn’t men be seeing themselves in the words of the Master rather than the words of the apostles? While this should be True it IS NOT as men continue to seek a simpler way that DOES NOT involve True personal commitment to the words of the Master. While the doctrinal thinker takes possession of the ‘rewards‘ and the idea of “free gifts” to himself based ONLY in his affirmations and confessions, they fail to see the result of such grace that IS founded in Jesus’ own words saying “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do“. It IS this man that does “mortify the deeds of the body” which IS the singular Way to Truly live “through the Spirit“.
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire, Writer and Philosopher