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IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 1642

ON LOVE; PART MCCLXXXI

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GoodWill IS Love in Action

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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).

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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

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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 a most basic human question: ‘what happens when people die?’. There IS NO real answer for this question from the perspective of the man in this world but we should try to understand that for the man who KNOWS some measure of the Truth there IS a greater clarity of vision. For most ALL men however this IS a mystery and one that IS the object of much religious effort; every world religion has developed some version of the Christians’ heaven and hell and we should try to see here that for many their participation in religion IS to assuage their own fears regarding ‘what happens when people die‘.

Our points in the last post ARE intended to show a different reality to the unfounded ideas of heaven and hell and to show that for the man in this world there IS always a choice that will effect one’s future….his continuing Life, his death, the afterlife, the experience of Oneness with God and his eventual return. Based in our views there IS an intentional progression that takes place, NOT in judgement by God regarding one’s Life but in the ‘working off’ of the accumulated baggage of one’s own Life. As we discussed this progression, this afterlife, IS based upon the personality of the man, a personality that continues in his death based upon the strength of the focus of his Life with the more carnal focus bringing one further away from an ability to dissipate the vanity in which he lived.

We should try to see here that a doctrinal focus that IS NOT in accord with the Truth of the Master’s words IS of little value in this afterlife and that while one may believe himself ‘saved‘ and “born again” according to his doctrines, he IS likely NO closer to that experience of Oneness with God than IS the non believer. ALL IS based upon the degree of focus on the self and the things of the self; it IS this idea of self that fills the personality of most ALL men, it IS this that must be allowed to dissipate. There IS here ‘good news‘ however and this IS that the ideas and the words found in the True Gospel of Jesus the Christ can, when followed with intent, begin the dissipation of illusion and glamour while one IS still in this world. We should see here that beginning a change of focus here will, at a minimum, lessen that carnal afterlife experience and will, at a maximum, enable one to bypass this entirely.

Here we should see that the measure of one’s success in expressing the Truth and the Love that IS God here in this Earth will continue and this because this expression has become the new reality that the personality will carry beyond the grave. The greater the expression the greater the personality’s ability to bypass the arduous process of shedding the self centered results of one’s Earthly existence, results that ARE steeped in the vanity, the illusion and the glamour of Life in this world. In the last post we started to speak on the Apostle Paul’s showing to us both the rationale and the objective of Life here in this world and if we can read into this the idea that Life in this world IS NOT Truly over until the personality dissipates the vanity, we can perhaps better understand the True benefits of the Way. Paul tells us:

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because 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 8:20-23).

The Way IS of course the reality shown us by the Master….in His words and His example. He IS the model for the Life of everyman regardless of any carnal factors; race, creed, religion, politics play NO role in this idea. The Master’s teaching IS universal and likely the most universal that any spiritual teaching has been and it goes far beyond the laws, the rules and the regulating authority of every world religion….it goes to the heart of everyman and his expression of the Truth and of Love. We should KNOW that these ideas ARE synonymous as there IS NO Truth without Love and there IS NO Love without Truth an in the combination of these most powerful concepts with that of Life, which IS the synthesis of them, we have the True reality of Jesus’ words saying I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

We should remember here that these words ARE spoken in the context of His showing His apostles the dynamic relationship between the Father and the Son, that they ARE One. In this we should see that as God IS Truth and Love and Life, so IS the Master and it IS these qualities that ARE Truly “the way, the truth, and the life“. In the vanity of Life however men have chosen to replace these qualities with the person who spoke the words rather than to adopt them; they prefer their idea of believing in Him according to Paul’s misunderstood and misapplied words on confession and affirmation. This IS the easier way than DOING and this runs far afield of the Master’s words that most clearly tell us “the way, the truth, and the life” that results in True salvation from the vanity into which ALL ARE plunged.

We should note here again the ideas given us by Marvin Vincent, a doctrinally oriented Christian by the general tenor of his works but at the same time a man of considerable vision. He defines for us some of the thoughts and ideas from Jesus words and the words of His apostles in most cogent terms that ARE ofttimes contrary to his own doctrines. In the idea of vanity from the Greek word mataiotes, he shows us the universal effect of this on men in this world saying that: the reference is to a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4. This IS the result for ALL men, for ALL Souls that become enmeshed in a Life here in this world and it IS this that Paul shows us in his words above as he tells us that ALL ARE “made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same“.

This vanity IS simply Life in this world where one comes into this existence as a babe without any ability to see that from which he came; this IS then compounded by years of nurturing and indoctrination into the ways of the world and here we should try to see that ONLY those with sufficient spiritual collateral can even glimpse the greater Truth and then decide on that course. We can call this the ‘fall of man’ as much of doctrine DOES but the simpler reality IS found in the idea that this IS the very Plan of God, the plan of “him who hath subjected the same“. Without the inclusion of Satan, the devil or demons, we should be able to understand the dynamics of what IS happening against our picture of the Life of the Soul in form.

Again, it IS the Soul that IS the True man and it IS the Soul that IS “made subject to vanity“, the human form with its attendant personality can perhaps be better understood as the vanity itself as it IS this that IS the perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4. The Soul ever stands ready to assume control of the personality which IS constantly fed by the surrounding environment and the thoughts of self that ARE the crux of carnal Life. In this IS the most real idea of the illusion and the glamour as the personality believes that he IS the essential man and this despite the words of scripture to the contrary. We could say that the Soul has lost its control over the flesh nature but this IS misleading as the Soul has never had such control; from birth to awakening the Soul has been shut out and ALL the words of scripture ARE designed and intended to serve in the awakening of the captive consciousness to the greater Truth.

This too should be the design and the intention of religion but, unfortunately, religion has gone astray; religion has gone the doctrinal route which can be seen as the likely path based in the past, a route that perhaps should have been altered based in the Master’s warnings regarding the doctrinal way of the Jews and his clearly stated ideas on how to see the Truth through a Life lived in accord with His words. We should understand here that there ARE two types of men in the Christian world today and that they ARE markedly different in the sense of what it IS that they will believe, or, better, DO believe. First there ARE those that the Christian would call the unbeliever which IS essentially men who DO NOT believe as they DO; this alone has many variations from those who DO NOT accept Jesus as each denomination sees this acceptance to those who DO NOT accept Him at ALL.

The latter here IS more based in men’s inability to see the reality of Christ from the doctrinal approach of men than an inability to see the True Christ as the Prophet and the Teacher of men whose words ARE undeniably True from the perspective of Right Human Relations. These men have NO doctrinal fortress in which the live; many have been able to see past the pronouncements of the church and concentrate their time and thoughts on their own personal being. The second type of man IS the doctrinal thinker, here there IS an equal range that goes from accepting the doctrinal view to ACCEPTING the doctrinal view and here the latter ARE NOT those whose lives revolve around the rites and rituals of any particular denomination or sect but rather those whose thoughts ARE centered in their own sense of glamour which makes them right and ALL others wrong.

From these descriptions we should be able to see how that the unbeliever IS generally less bound to concrete thoughts and attitudes than IS the ‘believer’ and especially those that zealously follow their doctrinal leaders. It IS the unbeliever who will be most easily swayed by the Truth that comes from Jesus’ words and the words of His apostles that have NOT been manipulated by men to fall into line with some particular doctrinal approach; the problem here IS that these have little or NO exposure to the Truth and perhaps NO desire nor opportunity to hear that Truth save as it comes in the prompting of one’s own Soul to the Good, the Beautiful and the True. The doctrinal thinker on the other hand has his own particular baggage to deal with; from those who merely accept the doctrinal ideas to the zealot. For these the first order must be to begin to break down the doctrinal fortress that has been built and here we should see that the less one has surrounded himself with preconceived ideas, the easier one can escape. The Apostle Peter shows us this idea of escape saying:

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 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 1:2-4).

While the idea of escape here should be clear, few see the idea in the personal terms with which it IS offered; it IS the individual man in this world which must escape and this under the guidance of his own Soul and here we should understand that for this to happen one must have some idea of that greater Truth that comes in living in accord with the words of the Master and His apostles. The nebulous doctrinal views of salvation by grace should show us this same dynamic but for most they DO NOT as they rely upon some ‘magical’ idea that in adhering to doctrinal precepts, the Lord with make their escape. Few realize that the God Within, the Christ Within and the Holy Spirit ARE indeed one’s own Spirit and Soul and that it IS the expression of one’s own spiritual nature that IS one’s expression of the Spirit that IS God.

Add to this the idea that most DO NOT KNOW from what them must escape. The church has ever framed the idea of lust in terms of illicit behaviors and covetousness but the very idea of epithymia IS much broader in scope and covers most ALL of the desires of men. It IS desire that must be understood in ALL of its manifestations and here we should try to see that one’s own doctrinal leanings ARE based in a desire, ofttimes a strong desire, to be saved….a desire for heaven over hell or any other doctrinal ideas which stretch from benefits to the natural man to benefits spiritually. What DO men pray for? These ARE his desires. It IS desire in general that keeps men bound to the carnal Life, to the “corruption that is in the world“. It IS to the man who can put desire aside and think and act in accord with the Truth of His words that can have realization of “all things that pertain unto life and godliness“, things that ARE wholly separate from this world.

Peter’s words begin with the idea of “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God” and here we have yet another idea that IS presumed by the doctrinal thinker; many take this idea to themselves without a proper understanding of just what “the knowledge of God” Truly IS. The apostle uses this idea twice in our selection above; first implying that “Grace and peace” come through such knowledge and then explaining this “Grace and peace” as “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” while repeating that these come through “the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue“. The Greek word here IS epignosis which Strong’s defines as: recognition, i.e. (by implication) full discernment 9a , while Thayer’s tells us that this means precise and correct knowledge; used in the N. T. of the knowledge of things ethical and divine: absolutely  9.

We should try to see that Peter’s point here IS that it IS through “the knowledge of God” that we attain the “exceeding great and precious promises” and, if we follow in his logic, such knowledge comes to the man who can escapethe corruption that is in the world through lust“. On a carnal level one can convince himself that he has escaped and that he DOES have such “knowledge of God” but Peter’s ideas here must be seen spiritually where, according to the definitions, one must have both full discernment and the knowledge of things ethical and divine: absolutely. Can we see the strength of this word? Vincent adds to this that the compound word epignosis IS more literally the knowledge and calls this: The compound expressing full knowledge 4  and here we should see that same strength as well.

Who has such full knowledge? Who has absolute knowledge of things ethical and divine and who has this full discernment? The Apostle John helps us here saying “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God“. As we discussed in a previous essay with a slightly different perspective, John goes on to show us the negative of this idea saying “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Here we should understand the dynamic connection between Love and KNOWING God; from Peter such KNOWING gives one access to the “exceeding great and precious promises” and from John we see that such KNOWING IS NOT possible in the absence of agape as one’s expression in this world of men. John also shows us another link and this between this expression of Love, keeping His words, and KNOWING Him saying “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). We should look at these words through the prism of the Master’s own words and especially those from the third part of our trifecta which we repeat again:

    • 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).

Tying this ALL together we ask again: Who has such full knowledge? Who has absolute knowledge of things ethical and divine and who has this full discernment? The answer, especially in light of the ideas presented by the apostles, IS that there ARE very few and likely have been very few; here we should see the deeper reality of Jesus’ words saying “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24) and understand that it IS ONLY in so striving that one can approach their escape. And as to the idea that there ARE few we should look to the Apostle Matthew’s version of this idea where we read “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

We should try to see that in the combination of these ideas there IS a Truth that says that there ARE few who will Truly escapethe corruption that is in the world through lust“. While it IS common for the doctrinal thinker to put himself into this class of men, those who have escaped, they DO NOT realize the spiritual significance; their escape, if it IS True, IS only in a small view of the carnal level and from the presumed ideas that they attach to epithymia as men’s carnal forms of lust in ideas of sex and illicit behavior The broadness of the idea behind epithymia can be found in Jesus’ words according to the Apostle Mark’s version of the Master’s interpretation of the Parable of the Sower; there we read of the man who IS likened to thorny ground where He says “these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19).

If we could see the full idea here and understand that “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches” ARE the first lusts mentioned to which Jesus adds the idea of “other things entering in“, we can then perhaps have a better idea of what must be escaped. ALL of this IS carnal and ALL of this escape must perforce be DONE by the man in this world who chooses to “Strive to enter in at the strait gate“; it IS in such striving that one can begin to have a glimpse of the Truth and “the knowledge of God“. In compounding the Master’s ideas of “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches” with “the lusts of other things entering in” and understanding lust as ALL carnal desires as His words show us, we can then have some idea of what must be overcome….what must be escaped in order to have access to those “exceeding great and precious promises“.

We should understand here that these “exceeding great and precious promises” ARE NOT in some far distant place or time….they ARE NOT ideas that we find in heaven; these “exceeding great and precious promises” ARE the effect of our escape here and now. These ARE “Grace and peacemultiplied; these ARE “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” and to be sure NONE of this IS intended to feed ANY carnal ideas of self which ARE central to the whole idea of lust. In this “Grace and peacemultiplied one can stand clear and watch the world go by in understanding of the prevalence of vanity in this world; it IS in this understanding that we watch and it IS in this understanding that our ONLY desire becomes to reach out and help our brothers and in this we should remember that this desire, while more virtuous, IS yet desire emanating from the carnal personality.

In the end, in that place where we have overcome ALL carnal instincts, there IS NO longer desire but DOING through KNOWING the Truth and while we CAN NOT yet explain this dynamic, we can say that KNOWING what it IS to DO comes in that Truth that IS revealed to the consciousness and the personality from the Soul, from the unction which IS ever the Christ Within. This IS the greater reality of hearing the voice of God, that “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12) of Elijah, and here we should be careful. There ARE many doctrinal Christians who believe that they hear from the Lord, that the Holy Spirit IS leading them this way or that, or that the Christ Within IS calling them to DO or to go here or there. To be sure some of these ARE hearing the prompting of their own Souls and here we should add that most ALL ARE NOT, they ARE merely hearing the thoughts and ideas of their own personalities’ desires for this or that or to go here or there.

And this IS idea of desire IS one way that the source of one’s thoughts and desires can be measured: if such desires and thoughts ARE related to the self and to the self in this world, they ARE NOT from God but from that self. We should add to this the ideas of doctrines; if the thought or desire IS related in any way to a doctrinal approach to the Lord, then these too ARE from the personality as the Lord has NO interest in this ofttimes divisive approach. A thought and a desire to build the greatest church, spending millions upon millions of dollars IS essentially a thought for the self, for the ego and for the self satisfaction of having DONE so. DO we think that the Lord has an interest in such things? We should be able to understand His perspective on this from Paul’s words saying “God that made the world and all things therein*, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things“(Acts 17:24-25). Can we see the point here?

The Apostle James shows us the reality of KNOWING that one IS hearing from God as he shows us the Truer measure of our thoughts, our ideas and our desires; the apostle tells us:

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But 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, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality,h and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:13-18).

While we have covered James’ words here several times over the course of our writing, we will again discuss how that the very ideas that he IS showing us have been changed and diluted by the translations and interpretations of his words. In the ideas of “bitter envying and strife” we have the greater reality of the divisive nature of the ways of men and here we should understand that the church has always and continues to play a large part in this divisiveness. We begin with the word rendered as bitter, pikros; we can take this idea as it IS offered as bitter includes the acrimonious ideas that James intends to attach to the next word zelos.  While zelos IS rendered as envying here and in terms of jealousy in other places, the idea IS NOT so simple; it IS rendered as emulation in Paul’s list of “the works of the flesh” and Vincent tells us that: Emulation is the better general rendering, which does not necessarily include envy, but may be full of the spirit of self-devotion  4.

Combining these ideas of emulation and bitterness we can get a better understanding of the idea that James IS putting forth: that in men’s sometimes harsh effort to outdo others the whole idea of desire and lust IS revealed. Can we see this in church history and yet today? This IS the point of Jesus words to John and James regarding who IS greatest as well as other sayings that question the desires of men to be first. Jesus words saying “whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister” in its various forms should show us the emphasis of James’ words here. While there ARE cited a ‘good sense’ and a ‘bad sense’ regarding this word emulation, we should try to see that from a spiritual perspective the ‘good sense’, as defined by Webster’s 1828 dictionary: The act of attempting to equal or excel in qualities or actions; rivalry; desire of superiority, attended with effort to attain to it , IS contrary to the general emphasis of Jesus’ teaching.

Here we can see that the addition of the idea of bitterness DOES NOT in itself make this ‘good sense’ into a bad one, it merely emphasizes the zeal with which one tries to accomplish his ends. Vincent tells us that the English word zeal IS derived from this Greek word zelos and in the combination of these ideas we should be able to get the message that James IS imparting to us….that this IS much more broad that jealousy, which IS the most used rendering, or envy can provide. The next word given by James IS rendered as strife and here too we have an inadequate idea of the True intent of eritheia which IS defined by Strong’s as: intrigue, i.e. (by implication) faction 9a while Thayer’s tells us that this means: electioneering or intriguing for office, hence, apparently, in the N. T. “a courting distinction, a desire to put oneself forward, a partisan and factious spirit which does not disdain low arts; partisanship, factiousness”  9.

We should understand that James IS NOT reflecting upon this idea of electioneering but IS rather using this word to show the more general factious and divisive ideas behind this word eritheia. In the end what IS NOT Wisdom should be clearly understood as any thoughts, attitudes or ideas that lead to such division for the satisfaction of the ego of any man ARE NOT “the wisdom that is from above” and this regardless of what the end idea may be. Simply put, the whole idea of “pikros zelos” and  eritheia should show us that so long as the self in involved in an idea, that such IS NOT “the wisdom that is from above” and here we should try to see how elusive this idea of self can be.

We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.

Aspect of  God

Potency

Aspect of Man

In Relation to the Great Invocation

In relation to the Christ

GOD, The Father

Will or Power

Spirit or Life

Center where the Will of God IS KNOWN

Life

Son, The Christ

Love and Wisdom

Soul or Christ Within

Heart of God

Truth

Holy Spirit

Light or Activity

Life Within

Mind of God

Way

Quote of the Day:

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts

  • Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1828 and 1913 from https://1828.mshaffer.com/
  • 2 New Testament Greek Lexicon on BibleStudyTools.com
  • 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition
  • 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
  • 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon 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

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