ON LOVE; PART MCCCXXXV
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).
We ended the last essay with some thoughts on the relationship between the words of the Apostle Paul regarding “the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27) and the words of the Apostle John who tells us that “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things“. We should try to see how that these ideas ARE concerning the same idea of Christ Within which idea the Christian doctrines of men have ‘reserved’ for their own believers and followers. We should try to see as well how that this ‘reservation’ of the “hope of glory” IS based solely in the glamour of the church which in turn IS the effect of the vanity, the illusions that doctrinal thinkers have created for themselves. This vanity which afflicts ALL men has afflicted the church through the glamour with which they continually indoctrinate ‘believers’, a glamour that psychologically lifts them up above the need for Truth and which sets them and their like believers spiritually above the rank remainder of humanity. This IS despite the continuing words of John who tells us that “the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (1 John 2:20, 27). Here again we should remember and try to understand that the same word, chrisma, IS rendered by the King James translators as both unction and anointing and that both of these DO mean the same thing. We should remember also that the root word for chrisma IS chiro which IS also the root word for christos which IS always rendered as the proper name Christ rather than the True defining idea of the anointed. Through this we should be able to glimpse the reality of the mystery in the idea that the same anointing, the same unction, that “abideth in you” abideth also in the Master Jesus with one significant difference that sets Him apart from the rest of the world; this difference IS that “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9) while for the rest of the world this IS ONLY the ‘hope‘ and the expectation that can and will bring us out “from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” as Paul tells us in our selection from his Epistle to the Romans. In the fullness of this “glorious liberty“, a fullness that comes ONLY in keeping His words which enables our escape from our bondage to vanity, we can be as were both Paul and Peter who found their measure of that fullness after the death and resurrection of the Master. This IS the singular but unrealized goal of ALL the world and this regardless of one’s religious affiliation. The unction, the idea of the Christ Within, IS Universal in scope and IS abiding within ALL men and this we should understand according to the reality of God in whom “there is no respect of persons” (Colossians 3:25). For men, the idea that “there is no respect of persons with God” should be a rallying cry which should reflect in their personal relationship with the world. This IS the intent of James defining words on agape where we read that “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9). James shows us that as IS the Lord so should men be and, if we take this idea to the reality of the unction, the Christ Within, we can then most easily see the basis for the Truth of Love expressed as agape.
That the doctrines of men DO NOT see this spiritual reality IS based in the vanity of the church and its teachings and what IS True here in the Christian religion IS True in most other religions as well. ALL suffer from the same illusion and glamour and if we could see Paul’s warning to us in his words to the Colossians, words that reflect upon the idea of “false prophets” which we discussed in recent essays, perhaps we could see the current and past state of Christianity. As the Master warns us to “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15), Paul warns us about believing their words and calls such “another gospel: which is not another” (Galatians 1:6, 7); this idea should show us that while the basic idea of the Christ in His religion IS True, the ancillary ideas doctrinally built around this Truth ARE simply the “commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). In his Epistle to the Colossians Paul discusses this idea from another perspective saying:
“For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:1-8).
The church uses Paul’s arguments in a way that IS contrary to the apostle’s intent as they see the idea of “philosophy and vain deceit” as whatsoever IS contrary to their doctrines. Paul’s point however IS that such philosophy IS whatsoever IS contrary to the Master words which Paul delivered to them. Despite Paul’s cautions here and elsewhere in his epistles, the ‘church’ DID allow men “beguile you with enticing words“, words that show an easier path than the Master’s teachings on discipleship and the deep reality of being His follower. Jesus’ words show the clear distinction between the carnal and the spiritual as He shows us the Way to Truth in the focus of a man on the things of God over the things of the self and the self in this world. In the vanity of Life here in this world being men IS ALL that men Truly KNOW, it IS what they ARE born into and what they ARE nurtured and indoctrinated into. In this vanity we find the reality of “treasures upon earth” which ALL men seek; in this vanity we find the choice of mammon over God and the evil eye over the single eye. In this vanity men see the idea of focus upon the Lord as a religious concept without understanding that the evil eye, the eye whose focus IS upon the self in this world, IS the basis for the idea of sin which they presume to despise. And it IS in this vanity that they fail to understand the spiritual concept of “take no thought for your life” (Matthew 6:19, 24, 22, 23, 25) which idea becomes possible ONLY when one can realize his True nature as the unction, the Christ Within in this world. In his words to the Colossians Paul shows us a another glimpse of the mystery “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” as he writes about “the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge“.
The reality of these treasures IS the reality of what the Master tells us that we should seek after as He tells us to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:18). While much of the church today teaches that such treasures ARE but a psychological offshoot of their “treasures upon earth“, the reality if far from such ideas as we can see in John Gills words regarding such “treasures in heaven“; Mr. Gill tells us to lay up your earthly treasures in heaven; that is, put them into the hands of God in heaven; and this is done, by liberally communicating to the poor 8. Paul teaches that such treasures ARE “of wisdom and knowledge” and NOT carnal favors on Earth which many a Christian believe come from the Lord in response to prayer and a doctrinally Christian attitude. This view fails to address the how and the why that it IS most often the irreligious or the semi-religious person who garners such wealth and this by their focus upon the mundane and the carnal. And, as we have discussed in previous essays, some of the newer Christian denominations, those that teach the so called prosperity gospel, teach ideas that ARE wholly contrary to the teachings of the Master while they find foundation in a few isolated and misapplied sayings along with a heavy reliance upon the fortunes of the Old Testament patriarchs and kings and the misunderstood ideas of the prophets. The True treasures ARE Wisdom and KNOWLEDGE which must NOT be understood in carnal terms but in the spiritual context through which they ARE offered; these treasures ARE a part of the mysteries that ARE ONLY revealed to the man who Truly will “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness“. We should NOT be beguiled here “with enticing words” that teach that such treasures can be carnal. We should understand the reality that “all these things” that
“shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:36) ARE NOT carnal but ARE spiritual and ARE in accord with the preceding ideas that tell us to “take no thought” for those things that the body needs. These spiritual treasures ARE the reality of Peter’s words that tell us of the “exceeding great and precious promises“; these promises ARE far from carnal and ARE an integral part of the mystery by which we can become “partakers of the divine nature“. What can this Truly mean but that we can, as partakers, realize the Truth that Jesus and His apostles realized? What can this Truly mean but that we have some measure of the unction, the Christ Within, active through our lives here in this Earth? What can this mean but our realization of our measure of “the fulness of the Godhead bodily“. Such ideas ARE foreign to church doctrines and likely considered heretical by most. This however IS the reality of the Master’s words saying that men should “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). And there IS a price to pay for this realization of Truth; Jesus shows us this in His words from our trifecta where He tells us of the threefold realizations that come in keeping His words; we read again His words 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 remember here that His words DO include ALL of His pronouncements including His words on Love and the expression of agape to ALL equally; His words DO include His pronouncements on the focus of a man as well as His teaching on True discipleship and the utter reality that “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 18:25). While this Truth IS ignored by most of the church which builds elaborate structures with monies gleaned from parishioners and doctrinal adherents both rich and poor, it IS nonetheless His word. While the church promotes the success of men in the financial world under the idea that the more men have the more that they can give, His pronouncement saying “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” IS still a most basic Truth and an integral part of finding one’s True Path. We should be able to see this clearly in Jesus’ message to the rich young man telling him that “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:23, 21). This IS Jesus instruction to that man on how that he, in his circumstance where he presumes himself otherwise righteous, can “Strive to enter in at the strait gate“. Can we see that this IS this man’s defining moment through Jesus words saying “for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24)? Finally can we see how that Jesus’ words saying that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” defines the rich young mans spiritual future, and ours, through his choice which we read as that “he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions“? He chose his relationship with mammon over his relationship with God. The church has become this rich young man from the beginning and it IS their own predilection for mammon that they teach their ‘flocks’, a predilection into which the ‘civilized’ world IS nurtured and indoctrinated from birth. Of course few in the church would agree here and while many despise the rather new so called prosperity gospel teachings, few there ARE that will actively dispute their teachings which ARE contrary even to the most basic of Christian principles and one of the prime commandments which IS the reality of covetousness. While the Truth IS that men should seek “treasures of wisdom and knowledge“, this idea IS misinterpreted in the teachings of doctrine into carnal ideas and carnal rewards and this afflicts most ALL of the church and while the prosperity teachers flaunt such carnal ideas, ALL are equally guilty of ignoring the words of the Master in favor of the comfort of men.
And we should understand here just what such “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” ARE and how that these ARE intimately tied to men’s expression of agape. There ARE many in the churches that claim to KNOW God yet the fruit of their lives IS NOT an expression of agape but rather an expression of whatsoever doctrinal slant one may have been indoctrinated into. Ofttimes their expression IS decisive and leans toward whatsoever faction that one may align himself with; this IS contrary to the Truth which the Apostle James shows us saying “if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual,f devilish” (James 3:14-15). These ideas of envying and strife ARE but a minor part of the reality of the Greek words zelos and eritheia which should be seen in terms of emulation, rightly understood, and factious division. We have often discussed these words in our blog and briefly here we should see in emulation that competition between persons and groups for superiority and in factious division ALL that serves to divide rather than to unite which IS a hallmark of a True expression of agape. Such attitudes ARE difficult to admit but they ARE among men’s basic hindrances to Truth, to those “treasures of wisdom and knowledge“. It IS toward those who hold such emulation and factious division in the church that should be seen as Paul’s reference in his words to Titus saying “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). It IS one’s exercise of such attitudes emulation and factious division that we can find Paul’s reference to works here and we should understand that such ARE “abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate“. We should understand as well that the entire reference to these “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” IS concerning the idea of KNOWING God and KNOWING one’s True relationship with the Lord; there IS NO other reality to such treasures which ARE those same as spoken of by Peter who calls them “exceeding great and precious promises” and tells us that it IS through these that “ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) which nature IS surely Love. Jesus tells us that it IS “by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20) and this after His analogies regarding the nature of a tree. The point in Jesus words here IS that one can tell the Truth from the lie but we should understand that to DO so requires a clear mind and one that IS NOT bound up by preconceived ideas and by the effects of one’s indoctrination and nurturing. And again, while the Master’s words ARE in regard to the idea of “false prophets” the reality of that word IS NOT the common Judaeo-Christian understanding of the idea of a prophet. In short any and ALL who take spiritual authority over the lives of others IS acting in the role of a prophet, a teacher and a religious leader and it IS these that ofttimes sow their own personal agendas, carnal agendas to be sure, while most ALL others ARE teaching ONLY the doctrines that they have learned and which they hold above the Truth. When we can understand the idea of the prophet as Thayer’s shows us saying that such IS an interpreter or spokesman for God; one through whom God speaks 9, perhaps we can understand that ALL who stand as intermediaries, priests, pastors, etc; can be among such “false prophets“. ALL who profess that God told me this or that as instruction to those people who see them a prophet and as an authoritative spiritual leader. There IS much more to Truly KNOWING God than what we see and hear from men who, while they may believe that they ARE guided by the spirit, that they “walk in the Spirit” as Paul tells us, DO NOT and the evidence of this IS founded in their fruit and in the idea that to walk so IS to “not fulfil the lust of the flesh“. Here we should understand that the list that Paul expounds as the “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, 19) ARE such lusts and ARE more inclusive than the arbitrary views of sin in the church. The reality of such lusts IS NOT ONLY in the actions of a man but also in his attitudes and thoughts as Jesus teaches us and it IS these lusts that we should see in our selection from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans where our instruction IS to “mortify the deeds of the body” if we ARE to Truly find Life. Much of the church relies upon the Master’s words saying “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10) but most wholly misrepresent His intent which IS that to Truly follow the Lord; to Truly “walk in the spirit“, one must realize the Truths of Paul’s words which we repeat here 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. 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).
The entire context of Paul’s words here IS against the idea of carnal living and this IS where our selection begins. The apostle’s clear direction IS in his saying that “they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh” and this IS the reality of Life for most every man in and out of the church. ALL seek to improve their lot and in a variety of ways from the purely carnal ideas of mammon to the psychological ideas through which they strive for betterment and comfort. And it IS comfort that IS afforded by the doctrines of men which mimic Jesus’ words that they perceive tell them to “Fear not: believe only” (Luke 8:50); words that ARE spoken to a specific individual in a specific situation, to one, Jairus, who already believed, KNEW, that the Master would heal his daughter. Whatever wavering there may have been in Jairus’ IS based in the way that his servant came to report the girl’s death. We should try to see here that Jairus, as “a ruler of the synagogue” IS a doctrinally holy man who saw in Jesus the Truth much as DID Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea. We should try to see here that KNOWING some measure of the Truth and being able to recognize that Truth IS a beginning point in the True spiritual Life of a man; it IS this that erodes his reliance on his doctrines and the comfort that they provide in the grand illusion which IS vanity. It is this glimpse of Truth that forms the dividing line between minding “the things of the flesh” and striving “after the Spirit” and “the things of the Spirit” which ARE the things of God. We should understand as well that this sense of KNOWING IS that which comes according to the first part of our trifecta and, to be sure, one can keep His words wholly and fully as a Jew and as “a ruler of the synagogue“; as Nicodemus being a Pharisee; or as Joseph of Arimathaea, being a “a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews” (John 19:38). There IS a stark difference between men such as these and those of whom Paul speaks saying “They profess that they know God“; these ARE among them of which Jesus’ says “in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). Can we see the point here? Can we see that to simply profess to KNOW the Lord IS meaningless except to those who will believe one’s profession as Truth and these ideas ARE as True today as they were in Jesus’ day. It IS this idea of professing to KNOW the Lord that Jesus rails against saying “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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity“. We should note here that these words follow upon the Master’s words on the “false prophet” and His closing statement on this saying “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:21-23, 20). Jesus KNOWS men by their fruits in a complete way which idea we read in such sayings as “Jesus perceived their thoughts“; “he perceived their craftiness” (Luke 5:22, 20:23); and such as John writes saying “Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25). While Jairus’, Nicodemus’ and Joseph’s sense of KNOWING IS likely NOT at Jesus level, we should understand that the same anointing, the same unction, that enabled Jesus can enable every man who IS willing to focus solely upon the Truth and we can see this sense of focus in the bible stories of Peter and Paul and of some of the True prophets that were before them. Peter fought through his carnal proclivities and reached that point of True discipleship which IS apparent in him after the Lord left this world as a man. From the healing of the “man lame from his mother’s womb“….”at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful” (Acts 3:2), to his raising of “a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did” (Acts 9:36), we can see the way that Peter IS too anointed as his unction, his Soul, IS able to express his Power through his Redeemed human form. The spiritual Power that Peter could work in this world IS summarized for us in the Way that “believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one” (Acts 5:14-16). We read of similar things happening through Paul whose first showing of spiritual KNOWING and Power came to him on the road to Damascus. An exhibition of Paul’s KNOWING IS shown us in his words to those with him on the ship as he IS being taken to see Caeser and while this IS presented as that an angel informs him, we should be able to understand that this IS the Power of his own Soul, his unction and Christ Within, that DOES so. We read that he says:
“ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island” (Acts 27:21-26).
Paul’s sense of KNOWING is found in the certainty of his words and the certainty of his saying “that it shall be even as it was told me“. This IS the reality of hearing from the Lord through one’s own Soul and here we should understand again that there IS naught carnal in what the apostle sees as the Truth. Taking this idea further we should try to see that whensoever there IS a carnal result of any kind, religious or irreligious, the thought that one presumes to be from the Lord IS most likely NOT. Again we must apply the reality of Jesus’ words saying “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” which words apply also to the thoughts of the self. Paul IS also able to express the fullness of the Power of his anointing in such ideas as “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them” (Acts 19:11-12). Can we see the depth of pistis here, the Way that such KNOWING IS what produces the ‘miracles‘? It IS this that IS built into the Master’s words on faith and believing in relation to moving the mountain or planting the sycamine tree in the sea. This pistis, this KNOWING, IS based in the Jesus’ teaching on “faith as a grain of mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20) which IS based in the reality that “That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23). It IS this strength of KNOWING that moves the mountain, this certainty without doubt, which IS expressed in Matthew’s Gospel in terms of faith as the Master tells his disciples “If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done” (Matthew 21:21). The spiritual Power unleashed by Peter and Paul IS this same Power that can move the mountain and plant the sycamine tree in the sea; this IS the same Power that comes in that KNOWING which IS the product of keeping His words, the same KNOWING that makes one a True disciple. We close today with some of the Apostle John’s words on KNOWING which, in a spiritual sense, IS Truly KNOWING the Lord both Transcendent and Immanent:
- “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God” (1 John 4:2). Here we should NOT get caught up on the doctrinal ideas regarding confession but rather understand this idea in terms of KNOWING from the perspective of acknowledging the Christ which IS the way that several render this. There IS much more here to discuss in another post.
- “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6). Here the apostle IS making an assertion based in the Truth that he IS citing that “We are of God“. In this he is saying that ONLY those that can accept this Truth and the Truth of Christ incarnate can Truly KNOW God. This IS akin to our own position where we ARE citing the Truth in Jesus’ words but this Truth IS NOT heard by those who ARE yet trapped in their doctrinal views.
- “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”. This follows the previous words from John and IS most explanatory; it IS ONLY the man who can express agape as taught us by the Master that Truly KNOWS God and IS “born of God” or “born again“.
Can we see the idea of KNOWING that IS based in keeping His words?
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 8 Bible commentaries on BibleStudyTools.com
- 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on blueletterbible.org
- 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire, Writer and Philosopher