ON LOVE; PART MCCCXXVIII
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 headed back to our selection from the words of the Apostle Paul from the eighth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. We ended with some additional ideas on the Universal themes of God Transcendent and God Immanent and while these ideas ARE NOT normal terms in Christian doctrinal vernacular, neither ARE they contrary to the doctrinal thinking of God above and the Holy Spirit or Jesus or God or Christ coming to live in a ‘believer‘ who has been doctrinally “born again“. For us this idea of God within and without His created Universe IS a matter of fact that IS borne out in Judaeo-Christian scripture and, to be sure, the scriptures of most ALL world religions. The Old Testament picture of God IS largely misunderstood by both the Jew and the Christian although there ARE likely many who can glimpse the Truth in the more esoteric segments of each. That the esoteric segments ARE generally seen as heretical IS unfortunate as in their approach there IS much that can be learned by the strict doctrinal thinking Christian ‘believer‘. The Old Testament God in the historical accounts of the Jews IS NOT and CAN NOT be the reality of the Godhead and this mostly because of the defining idea that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Add to this such ideas as God DOES NOT change as the Apostle James confirms saying that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17) and we have a God who has ever been as He IS today and this IS NOT the angry, vengeful and jealous God of which we read in the Jew’s historical accounts. While it IS written that our God has killed or has called for the killing of millions of men, women and children in the ancient effort to populate the ‘promised land’, we should try to see that most ALL of this IS actually the effort of men, Godly and Powerful men, who have interpreted the True Will of God through their own Souls according to the barbarous and superstitious times in which they lived. We should try to see here that such men as Moses and some of the prophets possessed the Power to change the world and this much in the same way as DOES the Master and His apostles of whom we read about their own exhibitions of “power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Much of the Christian world has been taught various theories regarding differences in dispensations but in most ALL of these there IS the need for God to change, for Him to NOT be Love at ALL times, and for Him to exist contrary to what we KNOW as an aspect of His sense ofagape: that “there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11).
It IS under this latter idea, this aspect of agape, that we should see the impossibility of the Godhead Himself seeking to destroy one group of persons in order to benefit another group. It IS however possible to see and to understand the human factor in such Old Testament stories as Moses and the writers that followed him wrote out their versions of Truth based in a twofold desire. First a desire to promote their own position among the people in such ways that would attract men to the religious fold through the ‘strength’ of their God and second to ‘force’ conformance through a social structure that was made a part of the law but which added many edicts regarding the social well-being of the Jews as a nation. If we could see the dietary laws as ‘rules’ put in place to protect the Jew from food-borne illnesses and diseases, we could better understand the role of the unclean animal; here we should remember that cautions in regard to the proper cooking of pork and the consumption of shell fish ARE among the dietary cautions taught to men yet today. If we could see the role of sacrifice as the way to assuage the sins of men, both individual and corporate, we could then see the purpose in the social structure of the Jews who in some ways still carry the basic ideas of ‘atonement‘ in their prayer Life. Try to imagine the scene of sacrifice at the Temple and perhaps we can glimpse the sense of fixation that these ancient Jews had in achieving some sense of ‘forgiveness‘ as they went about their daily lives DOING much the same things for which their sacrifice atoned; perhaps we can also see how that this same idea IS a part of much of Christianity where confession and penance replace the killing of an animal. Other parts of the church have eliminated this Christian practice by their believing that Christ became the one time sacrifice for their sins, past, present and future, based in such sayings as this from the writer of the Book of Hebrews where we read of Jesus that: “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27). Try to imagine the scene of sacrifice portrayed in the First Book of Kings where we read that “Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD” (1 Kings 8:63). Try to imagine the scene from the writings of Romano-Jewish historian Josephus, as reported by John Gill, who writes that: ‘at a passover celebrated in the times of Cestius the Roman governor, at the evening of the passover, in two hours time 256,500 lambs were slain‘ 8. Such things ARE difficult to imagine and even more difficult to understand. We should remember here that the very idea of sacrifice IS decried by the Prophet Isaiah who, speaking as the Lord, says “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats” (Isaiah 1:11). And Jesus Himself cites the Prophet Hosea who says that “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6) as He promotes the Truth of the law, mercy and “the knowledge of God” over the rote following of the barbarous and superstitious rites established for the pseudo-benefit of the people by Moses. Jesus’ own refrain IS in opposition to the ways of the Jews regarding their doctrinal interpretations of the Truth which should have begun and ended with the most basic Truth that the Master shows us in the Great Commandments but instead put emphasis upon the mundane and the carnal; Jesus says to the Jewish leaders “go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” and then that “if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless” (Matthew 9:13, 12:7).
While it IS apparent that the Lord, through the prophets, tried to dispel the Jew’s carnal interpretations of the Truth, it IS as apparent that the Jews were NOT listening to anything that would change the sense of righteousness that they have assigned to themselves under the tenets of their doctrines. They DID NOT see the changing of the times and the diminishment of the age of barbarism and superstition. In Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus he discusses the role of fables which word IS rendered from the Greek word mythos which IS obviously related to the English word myth. Here we should try to understand what portion of the Old Testament, what parts of the unbelievable slaughter of both people and animals, what parts of the incredible aspects of the historical record, ARE meant in Paul’s saying to Timothy “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do“. Paul IS simply saying that ALL excursions away from “godly edifying which is in faith” IS but a diversion from the Truth and he shows us this in regard to both the wranglings of the Jews and of the newly coined Christians. The apostle continues saying that “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully” (1 Timothy 1:4:8). Paul IS painting for us his view of True Christianity in a time when those of whom he speaks ARE mostly Jews and if we can see Pharisees and scribes and other religious leaders of the day in his words, we can see the separation between the Truth and the fables that men have made from a Truth that they could NOT understand. Taking this idea further back in time can give us a picture of the reality of the unbelievable slaughter of both persons and animals as well as the incredible aspects of the historical record as men, religious leaders perhaps, “have turned aside unto vain jangling” by creating a narrative by which they could live, a narrative not at ALL based in the singular Truths of the law which IS “charity out of a pure heart“. Here we should see the greater idea of agape which IS much more universal than the rendered idea of charity. We should see as well that the apostle IS cautioning Timothy against allowing the same to happen going forward into the Christian era but, as history rightly viewed will show, this caution was NOT accepted by those who followed; those who created their own narrative based in the Jewish fables to which ARE added the same “vain jangling” of theologies that look past the Truth that IS agape. In this we see Reverend Barber’s words about “those that say so much—about what God says so little, while saying so little—about what God says so much“**. Can we see the point here? Can we see how that the idea of fables has overcome the Truth which IS scarcely mentioned save for the use of the common idea of Love by men who ARE “understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm“? Vincent comments on this saying that: They know not what they say, nor what kind of things they are of which they speak so confidently 4 and here we should note that this IS continually True throughout the Judaeo-Christian era.
We should try to see here that it IS the doctrines of men that fail and that have ever failed and, again, we should understand that while the Christian will assign the Master’s words to the Jews, they take NO credit in using the same ideas against themselves; The Master says “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:6-7)”. We should understand here that there IS NO sense of evil in the narratives that ARE created as substitutes for a Truth of agape, for the Truthd of mercy and “the knowledge of God“, that men CAN NOT see themselves participating in, there IS ONLY that vanity into which ALL are born. It IS this vanity that brings the illusions and the glamour by which the Jews’ and the Christians’ fables ARE formed and here we should understand that we ARE NOT speaking against scripture but against the embellishments added by men whose interpretations could NOT see the most basic Truth of agape. For the Jews of the Old Testament we have that strong note of glamour as the bible narrative promotes the idea that the Jews ARE a ‘chosen’ people as in Deuteronomy where we read that “thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6). It IS through this idea that the Lord fights the Jews’ battles and it IS through this idea that the complete annihilation of many opponents becomes a function of the Godhead. And it IS through this idea that the Truths that “God is love” and that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34) ARE rendered moot. This IS the pinnacle of glamour as the Jews believe, then and now, that they ARE a chosen and a “special people“, a belief that greatly minimizes the True sovereignty of God who ‘acts’ AS the Master tells us saying “he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). This same glamour has inflicted itself in Christianity and perhaps in ALL world religions; most ALL Christians believe that it IS ONLY through their religion, ONLY through their nebulous ideas of believing in Jesus as one’s Savior, that one can be ‘saved‘ which IS yet another nebulous Christian idea. This of course IS based in an interpretation of a Truth and NOT upon the Truth itself; as the Old Testament words above create a chosen people, so the doctrinal use of the Master’s words seeks to DO the same. For the Christian, Jesus’ words saying that “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6) ARE interpreted into the person of Jesus as the ONLY Way and this also makes moot the very nature of the Godhead which IS Love and that quality of agape that shows us that “there is no respect of persons with God“.
ALL of this IS glamour, that reliance upon what one believes as True and which sets one apart from other groups and we should understand here that this IS a purely carnal phenomenon. While the idea of glamour IS mostly understood in terms of beauty today, the origin of the word IS found in the Middle Ages as grammar. This word had a deeper meaning than the use of words in speaking and writing and, according to Merriam-Webster the idea behind it included learning in general and, in 18th century Scotland, the word was understood as a magic spell or enchantment*. Unfortunately NONE of the spellings of these words IS found in our 1828 Webster’s Dictionary but we do get some hints according to our usage in the reported synonymous ideas from today’s dictionaries which include enchantment, allurement, fascination, attraction, appeal, and invocation. Surely one’s own beliefs ARE an allurement which both fascinates and enchants one’s own assessment of oneself or one’s group or status. It IS such ideas that convince the Jew that he IS God’s chosen people and convince the Christian that ONLY they can be ‘saved‘ and this without any regard for the very nature of the Lord. Today’s dictionary defines glamour as: an exciting and often illusory and romantic attractiveness; especially : alluring or fascinating attraction —often used attributively*. For us though this idea of glamour IS free from the ordinary ideas of romance and goes to attitudes of the self which ARE exciting and often illusory and ARE founded in everyman’s desire to see himself among the right and, in religion, as righteous. Our point here IS that the doctrinal opinions of a religion which become the foundational belief of the believer ARE NOT founded in Truth but ARE founded in the error of vanity in its combined effect of illusion and glamour. Vanity IS a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4 as Vincent tells us and from a spiritual perspective we should easily see, in the idea of pursuing false ends, a clear sense of illusion and in the idea of a perishable and decaying condition we should see the results of that glamour that keeps men away from seeking the Truth. While this idea of vanity IS presented to us by Paul in our selection from Romans, it IS NOT seen as overly important in the view of the doctrinal thinker who sees his words as merely confirming the ‘fall of man’. Inside this idea of mataiotes we should try to see yet another view of the mystery that IS “Christ in you“; in this view we should see the carnal man who has NOT yet a realization of the Truth of Christ, which realization IS one’s freedom from the “bondage of corruption“, which IS the carnal result of that vanity. We should understand here that the apostle’s words ALL string together; from the ideas that begin our selection that show us the view of the man who IS yet carnal as different from the man who IS seeing his own spiritual reality, to the closing idea that shows a glimpse of the purpose for which we live in this Earth, there IS a continuous thread of Truth. Paul’s message here IS clearly that it IS one’s change of focus that IS the reality of spiritual Life, a change that the doctrinal thinker mistakenly believes IS found in his doctrinal approach to the Lord. Repeating our selection 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, Becauseexpectation 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).
Paul DOES NOT mention the ideas of illusion and glamour but they ARE embedded in the idea of mataiotes which IS rendered as vanity by the King James translators but offered in weaker terms by many others who see ideas of futility, “God’s curse“, frustration, uselessness and that the creation was “condemned to lose its purpose“. Contrary to the seemingly universal doctrinal ideas of the ‘fall of man’ however IS the singular idea that ALL of these ideas, from vanity to being “condemned to lose its purpose” ARE attributed in most ALL bible versions to an act of God. Some leave this unclear which allows the assumption that this IS Satan’s DOING but this idea IS ONLY prevalent because it fits the doctrinal conception of the nature of man. Again, this IS a part of the overall mystery which Paul shows us as he closes this epistle saying “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (Romans 16:25-26). The idea of mystery should NOT be understood ONLY in terms of hidden Truths; the idea of mystery should be seen as the inability of the man in this world to see through the illusion and glamour that keeps him grounded in his carnal Life. The revelation of the mysteries IS the reality of the idea of KNOWING God and if we can see how that this KNOWING comes through one’s focus upon the things of God, we can then understand the deeper Truth shown us by Paul as he tells us that such ARE revealed “to his saints” (Colossians 1:26). Again we should try to see that this idea of saint from the Greek word hagios IS NOT intended to be understood as being simply a Christian or a believer as this idea is bandied about by much of the church, this idea of hagios IS reserved for those whose focus IS Truly on the Lord. Hagios, being rendered as both holy and saint, should show us the reality of the man who IS Truly ‘endued’ with the Holy Spirit, the man that IS Truly baptized in the Holy Spirit which IS to be fully immersed in the things of God. We should try to see here that like ALL else that IS spiritual there IS the factor of measure which IS ever proportionate to the measure of focus that one has on the things of God. From the man who IS initially awakened to the reality of Life by some measure of KNOWING the Truth, to the man who IS fully in accord with the precepts of the Great Commandments, we have the measure of realization of the mysteries which flows from one’s own Soul, one’s own measure of the Godhead which IS the Presence of Christ in one’s Life. We should understand that this Presence IS NOT the doctrinal idea of Jesus coming to live in a man based upon some rite or ritual or the affirmations and confessions by which he deems himself “born again“; this Presence IS that unction of which the Apostle John tells us that “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things” (1 John 2:20). We should remember here that this word that IS rendered as unction here IS rendered as an anointing in other places and IS from the same Greek word that IS rendered as Christ throughout the New Testament; we should remember as well that christos, behind its rendering as Christ, shows us the same idea of anointing and offers us a meaning that Jesus IS the anointed, He IS the Christ. This IS ALL part of the mystery that IS revealed to the man whose focus IS True, the man who has a realization of the unction “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). This IS the man who KNOWS the Way to this Presence and when he finds a measure of it pursues it vigorously according to Jesus words that ARE our trifecta which we repeat 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, . 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).
While the doctrinal Christian world believes that they have this Presence through their rites and rituals or their affirmations and confessions by which they deem themselves “born again“, the True way to this Presence IS in the Master’s words, the words of Jesus who the writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us IS “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). We should note that this idea of “author and finisher“IS rendered in terms of “the guide and end“, “faith’s pioneer and perfecter“, “Initiator and Completer“, “the founder and perfecter“, the One “on whom our faith depends from beginning to end“, “the pioneer and perfecter” and other like ideas and that ALL of these DO point us to the same Truth….that it IS in His words that the reality of the Christian faith IS found. Strong’s defines archegos which IS rendered as author as: a chief leader 9a, while Thayer’s shows this word as referring to the idea of furnishing the first cause and as one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example 9. Can we see the point here? Can we see that it IS the Master’s lead that men should follow to True Christianity and if Jesus IS Truly to be the chief leader, that one should follow in His words which we condense into our trifecta of spiritual reality. This trifecta shows us in Jesus’ words the “Way, the Truth and the Life” of which He speaks in John’s Gospel. His words that say that that “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6) ARE a significant Truth that has been hijacked by the doctrinal church from the beginning. While the church sees this saying as pertaining to the physical man Jesus and then extends this to his ‘supernatural’ existence, the greater reality IS found in the simplicity of Thayer’s analysis of the Greek words archegos which tells us that Jesus, as the chief leader who IS furnishing the first cause, has established “the Way, the Truth and the Life” in His words and in the example that He alone has afforded humanity. Doctrines however have accepted the idea that His words ARE NOT possible to perform and have substituted their version of “the Way, the Truth and the Life” along with their various ideas regarding “believing in” Him for the Truth. Ideas that ARE for the most part centered around Paul’s words on confession and affirmation, without understanding the reality of pistis and pisteuo nor the True strength of these words. The doctrines of men have established their nebulous ideas regarding pistis and pisteuo, ideas that ARE reflected in their teachings on faith and believing; teachings that rely upon their equally nebulous ideas of atonement as the Way to ‘salvation‘. From the beginning it has been easier to change the Truth of Jesus’ words into a doctrinal approach that IS based in their interpretations of the words of an apostle and this without understanding that the apostles’ intent in writing has ever been to clarify and amplify the words of the Master. The apostles’ intent was NEVER to create a doctrine that IS ofttimes far removed from Jesus expressions of Truth in His words and in His example. While the church fathers were careful NOT to fall into the same error as DID the Jews whose codification of the law was designed to prevent both the purposeful and inadvertent offences against their interpretation of the Truth, they allowed themselves to operate in the same sense of vision, a sense that prevented any offence by removing the need to follow the law under the guise of atonement by the blood of Christ. This sense of forgiveness of sins IS perhaps the singular idea that holds the thousands of denominations and sects together under the cloak of Christianity and the many interpretations regarding their own doctrinal views stretch so far as to absolve the ‘believer‘ for ALL sins past, present and future.
There ARE undoubtedly some for whom this approach can actually work but we should understand that these ARE those who, by way of their confessions and affirmations, accept the Master as Savior, Teacher, Sympathizer and Judge; these will rest the soul upon Him for present and future salvation and, most importantly, they will accept and adopt His precepts and example as binding upon the life 4 as Vincent defines the reality of “believing in” and “believing on” in terms that ARE NOT so nebulous. It IS these same who will take to heart the words of His apostles and understand the deeper Truths that concern one’s True ‘salvation‘ according to Paul’s words saying “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“. These DO move their focus off of the carnal and the mundane and onto “the things of the Spirit” and these DO find the wherewithal to “mortify the deeds of the body” by which they live in the freedom afforded to those who will “continue in my word” as the Master tells us. While we say that there ARE undoubtedly some who will strive to Truly keep His words, we, at the same time, CAN NOT identify many among those who publicly profess that ‘Christ is Lord’ or those that have taken authority over the spiritual lives of the masses. We DO ALL have a carnal agenda that IS ONLY obliterated in those who Truly accept and adopt His precepts and example as binding upon the life which idea IS tantamount to Paul’s words saying that “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” (Romans 8:13). We should see in these ideas the Apostle Peter’s analysis of the man who IS Truly ‘saved‘; Peter tells us that”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 in being “partakers of the divine nature” that we ARE ‘saved‘ and it IS ONLY when we can understand that this IS for the here and the now that we can Truly say that we have some measure of KNOWING God. While those doctrinal Christians that DO accept and adopt His precepts and example as binding upon the life may yet rely upon their doctrinal approach, they can find their own fullness of freedom simply by listening to the eternal Truths that flow from their own Souls into their hearts; the same Truths that allowed for their desire to ever strive to keep His words.
This returns us to Paul’s words to Titus and Timothy that we began discussing in the last essay, words that decry the doctrinal thinker through such sayings as “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). Here again we should understand that the ideas of being being “abominable, and disobedient” DO NOT pertain ONLY to those carnal ‘sins’ that ARE recognized by the church; these and the idea of being “unto every good work reprobate” pertain also to the realities that ARE exposed by the Great Commandments and the affirmation of these by the apostles in such ideas as “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14) and “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” (James 2:8-9). James’ words ARE intended to expand the understanding of agape into that same sense of equality that Jesus shows us saying that we should “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44-45). We close today with these ideas from Paul’s Epistles to Timothy and Titus, ideas that show us that the fables ARE NOT restricted to the Jews’ doctrinal thinking but ARE for a Christian era that also relies upon the stories of godly invoked mayhem from the Old Testament as literal Truths.
- To Timothy Paul says “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Here we should understand that the doctrines referenced ARE NOT the doctrines of men but the doctrines taught us by the Master, doctrines based in that Universal Love by which “all the law is fulfilled“
- To Titus the apostle says, speaking of ‘Cretians‘ and liars, that Titus should “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Titus 1:3-14). This warning IS seen as ONLY pertaining to the Jews of the times but if we can see that the idea of ‘Cretians‘ which can be traced back to the Greek word krete has a direct meaning of fleshy 2a according to the lexicon, perhaps we can better understand the universality of how these words relate to the formulated “commandments of men, that turn from the truth” and which have turned so many generations away from Jesus’ words and onto the words of those who ARE yet “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 2a New Testament Greek lexicon on blueletterbible.org
- 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition
- 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on blueletterbible.org
- 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
- * The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glamour
- ** See In the Words of Jesus part 1653 for Dr. Barbers complete quote and its history.
Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire, Writer and Philosopher