ON LOVE; PART MCCCII
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 beginning thoughts on the Master’s most obscure saying in our selection from His Sermon on the Mount. While He speaks about the eye, we should understand that He IS NOT referencing the physical organ but IS rather speaking in terms of a spiritual eye which lets into the Life of a man the Light of the Soul if we can say it this way. We cited several ideas on the opposite of this ability to see the spiritual Truths that come in this Light for the man who has such revelations and realizations that come through keeping His words according to His words from our trifecta. This opposite IS of course blindness and we noted that this idea that IS the opposite of sight IS used several times to denote spiritual blindness as well as that blindness which He cures in the gospels. The sense of duality here IS likely because there were NO accurate terms to use in His day and the Greek word tuphlos IS used for both; similarly the Greek word ophthalmos IS used to denote both the physical organ and the spiritual counterpart. We should try to see that in his words that tell us that “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light“, the reference IS to this combined sense of the eye as the entrance of ‘Light’ into the heart of the man in this world, a man who IS the physical appearance of the Soul. To the man who IS awakened, to the man who IS somewhat devoted to the Truth, to the things of God, there IS a measure of this Light of the Soul present in his Life and in his expression. To the ‘unawakened‘ (sic) however there IS yet a blindness to the Truths that come in one’s True focus upon the things of God, the man who strives to Truly keep His words over the dictates of carnal Life and his doctrinal ideas. In this IS the same point that Jesus shows us in speaking about the treasure, mammon and the idea of “take no thought“….focus. Repeating our selection from His Sermon we read:
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matthew 6:19-25).
While there IS much misunderstanding of this whole group of sayings in the doctrinal teachings, this IS especially True in regard to His words about the eye. This misunderstanding IS exacerbated by the common understanding of evil; much as the idea of hate IS taken in the common idea of: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest*, the idea of evil IS equally misplaced. Evil IS defined as morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked and as harmful; injurious in today’s dictionary but the True idea IS much different in Jesus’ use of the Greek word poneros. We should note here that while Strong’s and Thayer’s defining ideas DO include such ideas as to love less in their definition of miseo which IS rendered as hate, their definition of poneros DOES NOT include any ameliorable ideas to lessen a strict understanding as seen as evil. Strong’s tells us that this word means: hurtful, i.e. evil (properly, in effect or influence); figuratively, calamitous; also (passively) ill, i.e. diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, i.e. derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners:—bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked(-ness) 9a; Thayer’s definition IS lengthy and much the same. Our point here IS that this word poneros, through its use by Jesus, DOES NOT need to have such ideas as ARE inflicted upon it by the doctrines of men. First we should try to see and to understand the role of vanity in the doctrinal ideas of sin and evil, ideas that DO NOT see beyond the established moral and social ideas that have defined them for many centuries and which have cause much division among men. In vanity we have the illusion and the glamour that hold ALL men in sin and the evil IS that they DO NOT look to Truly Repent and turn their focus, their attention, to the things of God….NOT the doctrinal idea of God promoted by religions but the singular ideas of Love and Truth. When the Apostle Paul tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) it IS this idea of vanity that we should see; not ALL men ARE sinners as doctrines define them and many doctrinal thinkers go about their lives believing that they ARE free from sin without recognizing the depth which the Apostle James shows us saying “if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:9-10). While it IS a common doctrinal practice to consider oneself a sinner, this practice IS tempered by the attitude of the Pharisee who in his prayer says “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess“; here we should note the way that this IS framed as that this Pharisee “stood and prayed thus with himself” (Luke 18:11-12) . In the combination of these ideas we should easily see James point in the supposedly righteous attitude of the Pharisee. It is this way of the doctrinal man and, to be sure, everyman, that we should try to understand in the deeper meaning of sin and of evil, a meaning that comes clearly in Jesus’ words saying “what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:9-11).
Much like the Apostle James’ use of the idea of the Greek word moichalis which IS rendered as adulteresses, Jesus uses the Greek word poneros which IS rendered as evil. We should understand that neither IS using such words according to the common understanding of the translated ideas but rather as a more general idea directed at everyone. While perhaps everyone IS as James addresses them, NOT ALL ARE to be understood in this sexual idea as he says “Ye adulterers and adulteresses“, but rather in terms of the context of his words. James IS telling us that the “adulterers and adulteresses” ARE those whose focus IS upon the world and the things of the world which ideas ARE easily understood from the full saying that “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). John Gill captures the idea clearly as he says: such men and women are adulterers and adulteresses, who, instead of loving God, whom they ought to love with all their hearts and souls, set their affections upon the world, and the things of it 8. Our point here that while some may see the apostle’s intent here in this passage, the overall idea of adulterer leans most always toward carnal sexual sin wherever it IS used in scripture and while there ARE some places where this IS the proper interpretation, there ARE many where it IS the wrong idea. As we have discussed in our essays regarding Paul’s “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19), the idea of fornication has taken on a similar idea of carnal sexual sin as the general understanding and this despite the way it IS used in both the Old and the New Testaments to show the way of the man who turns from God or, better, the man whose focus remains upon the things of the world. We can see this idea in the story of King Jehoram of whom we read that “he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto” (2 Chronicles 21:11). In the New Testament we can see that the Jews understood this use of the idea as they say to the Master “We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” to which Jesus replies “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God” (John 8:41). Our point here IS that many of the translated words that ARE understood as sexual sins ARE NOT intended to be seen in that fashion and that this misunderstanding has led the church into much of the darkness that envelopes it yet today. We should try to understand here that Jesus IS NOT calling ALL fathers evil according to the common understanding of the word; He IS rather calling them evil according to the idea that their True focus IS NOT upon the Lord and that even in this state of vanity in this world of corruption a father will NOT “give him a serpent” to the son who did “ask a fish“. Similarly, as Jesus speaks of “An evil and adulterous generation“, He IS showing their evil from the perspective of their focus; He IS NOT calling an entire generation evil nor IS He calling them adulterers as these ideas AREcommonly understood.
Taking this notion of misunderstanding and misapplication of ideas back to the Master’s words on the eye we should try to see where His point IS intended to go. It IS the idea of seeing that should be grasped by the reference to the eye in our words above and here we should KNOW that such seeing comes in a variety of different ways. Our lexicon offers us a defining idea that is apart from Thayer’s and from Strong’s; it shows us the deeper meaning here that IS contrary to the doctrinal view of good and evil. Their full definition of ophthalmos which IS presented as their outline of bibilcal usage IS: the eye; metaph. the eyes of the mind, the faculty of knowing. It IS the metaphorical idea that IS the reality of the Master’s words: if one’s KNOWING, if one’s eye of the mind IS singularly focused on the Truth versus if one’s eye IS NOT but IS focused upon the world or dually focused on both. In the former “thy whole body shall be full of light” while in the latter “thy whole body shall be full of darkness“. Can we see how that ALL of the ideas presented by Jesus in His words on treasure, the eye and mammon ARE speaking of the same thing from ONLY slightly different perspectives? Can we see also how that this ALL leads into His greater point of “Take no thought for your life“? The doctrinal view of Jesus words here IS varied and quite different from our presentation; John Gill for example tells us of the single eye that: if thy mind be liberal, generous, and bountiful: for Christ is still upon the same subject of liberality, and against covetousness; and here speaks entirely in the language of the Jews, who could easily understand him 8. On the evil eye Mr. Gill tells us: If thou art of a sordid disposition, of an avaricious temper, if the sin of covetousness prevails over thee 8 which while exemplifying some carnal ideas fails to show us that choice which the Master shows. Jesus IS telling us that the choice IS between the things of God and the things of the self, the things of the world, and it IS in this that we should see the Apostle James’ words as well as the Master’s as He calls them “An evil and adulterous generation” which “seeketh after a sign” (Matthew 12:39); we should note here that in the proper context today’s generations ARE NO different. Again we should understand that the Master IS NOT calling men evil and adulterous according to the common understanding of these words but according to the reality that evil IS ALL things, ALL thoughts and attitudes and ALL actions that ARE NOT in accord with the Truth, with the Love that IS God. Similarly the adulterer IS NOT ONLY the person involved in sexual sin but rather ALL who sin according to the broadest defining ideas for this word; the adulterer IS everyman whose focus IS NOT upon that same Truth and Love according to the Great Commandment that tells us “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“. Can we see the point of the Master’s words here and thereby understand why the doctrines of men have created a different reality?
While ALL the writings of the apostles DO support the Master’s words as they clarify and amplify His teaching, none DO so with the clarity of James who shows us the duality of men and the failure of it. James tells us “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” James 1:5-8). James words here should NOT be taken alone but as a part of the whole idea that begins with his words on temptation; it IS the temptation to continue to serve mammon that IS his theme and not the nebulous doctrinal ideas of faith. The Wisdom that James speaks of here IS “from above“, an idea that he continues with further on in his epistle, and his point IS that one must sincerely focus upon attaining that Wisdom by which he can KNOW the Truth and become a one who IS single minded according to Jesus words saying “No man can serve two masters“. This “wisdom that is from above” (James 3:17) has its own set of criteria through which the apostle shows us the more human ideas behind Jesus’ own words on the source of the Truth. And, when we combine this idea with the Master’s words on attaining the realization of His Presence and His Kingdom, we should be able to understand the reality of the Way according to our trifecta which IS but three points out of many that point us toward it. Repeating the Master’s words again we read:
- “If ye 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).
The simple point here IS that if one desires such Wisdom, such essential Truth, one must Truly seek after it and the place to seek in IS in His words. Not the words of men which ARE their failed doctrinal approach to the Lord but His words of which He says in His prayer “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). There IS but one Truth which has been obscured for centuries by the machinations of men whose doctrines seek to deny the force of His words of which He tells us “the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me“. But doctrines seek to separate and divide His words as they speak of new and old covenants but forget that the basis of every covenant IS a quid pro quo by which the man must DO his part. Doctrines seek to divide His words as though they ARE for the Jews who had the law and NOT for ALL humankind as they define ‘salvation‘ in nebulous ideas which automatically provide His grace to ALL who will simply believe. Here again, as in the ideas of adulterous and evil we have disinformation regarding the Truth of pistis and pisteuo which ARE rendered as faith and believing; this IS further compounded by the doctrinal ideas of grace. If we could see that grace IS ALL that comes from the Lord and understand that NO things of this world ARE Truly from the Lord, much of the doctrinal barrier to Truth could be eliminated. The Master teaches us that “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” and in this we should be able to we should be able to understand that NO part of His grace would be channeled toward men who ARE looking toward mammon. Similarly, in His words on treasure we should be able to understand that NO part of His grace would be channeled toward accumulating such “treasures upon earth“. While much of the church preaches about the success of men in this world, the Master’s words show us much the opposite and while the prosperity gospel leans heavily upon having an abundance of mammon and “treasures upon earth” Jesus teaching IS quite different, even saying of the True disciple that “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). While the church preaches grace in worldly terms, the Master teaches us to focus upon the Good, the Beautiful and the True….to focus upon the things of God which He shows us as those “treasures in heaven“. ALL through the gospels we can find this same message which IS painted for us through sometimes obscure ideas; it IS His new ideas that ARE however the True New Covenant, a Covenant that IS amplified and clarified by His apostles in sometimes equally obscure ideas. The message however IS there in their words which ARE spoken and written according to the way of teaching of which He tells True disciples “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand” (Luke 8:10). There IS however much that IS left for us in plain view, in plain language, and among these volumes IS our trifecta and the rightly interpreted ideas of the Master and His apostles, ideas left in their context and NOT understood solely in their carnal import.
It IS perhaps the desires of men to remain men that obstructs the Path of Truth and it IS these desires that ARE fed by the formulated doctrines of men which look past the Truth as they establish their own path fed by the vanity, the illusion and the glamour of Life here in this world. As we have often cited through Vincent’s words, it IS this vanity which keeps men from the Path but this IS ONLY seen when the idea behind the Greek word mataiotes IS understood as: a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4. While it may seem harsh to call the doctrines of men as those false ends (and there ARE many more), this IS nonetheless True and herein lies the extent of the glamour, the wall of self-righteous authority, which IS wielded by the churches and passed along to ALL believing members as they ARE indoctrinated into the fold. Jesus warns us about such things but the interpretation of His words IS always made to the benefit of the doctrinal ideas and the presumed authority of those who formulated them and teach them. It IS the hold of doctrines that must be broken for the Truth to come forth and for men to come to realize the Truth in His words saying as the Christ that “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). It IS the words of the Master that ARE to be followed and NOT the machinations of men and their misunderstood, misapplied and out of context ideas from the words of the apostles and here especially Paul. The authority of the doctrinal church however DOES NOT see the Way of Truth and Life over their desire to remain as men in this world as they DO NOT see themselves in Jesus’ words of warning to the Pharisees and religious leaders of the time. We should try to see here that while it may be necessary to keep His words in order to benefit from the promises of the trifecta, that this IS NOT the ONLY way to a sense of Truth that comes by measure to ALL who strive, to ALL who seek, ask and knock at the door of their own Souls, their own unction by which “ye know all things” (1 John 2:20).
The Path to Truth IS NOT hidden by anything but the vanity in which we live. It IS our own sense of illusion and of glamour that keeps us bound to this carnal Life which the Apostle Paul calls for us our “bondage of corruption“. We should try to see here that Paul’s words ARE NOT ONLY intended to show the reality of the man whose focus IS upon the things of God but rather to show us the most basic Truth of Life in this world….vanity. While we have discussed the apostles words many times over the course of these essays, the importance of his words in the church remains convoluted as the doctrines of men ascribe a part to the ‘fall of man’ and another to the status of the doctrinal believer. And while one can perhaps see the ‘fall of man’ in the idea of vanity, the greater reality IS a much deeper part of the overall Plan of God. Paul tells us:
“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 8:18-23).
The change of words here from “hope because” to “expectation that” IS based in a combination of Vincent’s commentary and the reality, the doctrinally prescribed reality, that there IS NOT need for the Lord to hope as this idea IS generally understood. While the idea of hope IS ascribed to the subjected by Vincent this idea fails in the understanding that the creature IS the spiritual man who IS created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) who IS Himself Spirit as the Master teaches us (John 4:24). The spiritual man, the Soul if you will, DOES “know all things” and, like the Lord, has NO need to hope. The basis here IS missed in the doctrinal view of Life that DOES NOT recognize that ALL ARE part and parcel of God despite the way that this IS depicted in the writings of the apostles. Paul tells us that there IS “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6); here we should see that it IS God that IS within ALL things and ALL men and it IS this Presence that IS revealed and realized by the man who turns his focus to the things of God. Doctrines reserve the idea that God IS within and apply it ONLY to the doctrinal believer under their various doctrinal assertions but their argument fails when the ideas behind pistis and pisteuo ARE understood as KNOWING rather than the nebulous ways of doctrine. Paul also tells us that “to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:6) and here the idea presented as “all things” shows us the complexity of it ALL. If we compound this with Jesus own words saying such things as “thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee” followed by “I in them, and thou in me” (John 17:21, 23) we can see deeper into Singularity that IS God and perhaps glimpse the meaning of part and parcel by understanding that NO thing IS outside of the Godhead nor can it be. Speaking of God Paul also tells us that “in him we live, and move, and have our being” and here we should KNOW that this IS True on every level of existence. It IS in the illusion of men that these ideas ARE seen from the personal carnal view as that they regard this existence that each man has in this Earth as children of a Father who oversees them; and it IS in their glamour that they have built their religions and the theologies that overwhelm their sense of logic and of science relying instead upon their nebulous ideas of faith and believing. Part and parcel however IS what we ARE and this idea encompasses the entirety of the created universe as well as the unseen realms both below and above our ability to sense. We should look at part and parcel as: An integral or essential piece; that which must be done or accepted as part of something else, as Wiktionary shows us, and in relating this definition to the Godhead we should be able to sense that NO thing can ever be lost but only changed in its nature and its quality. Our modern dictionary tells us that part and parcel IS: an essential or basic element, as in Traveling is part and parcel of Zach’s job. Used since the 15th century as a legal term, with part meaning “a portion” and parcel “something integral with a whole,”*. Our point here IS that to understand, to KNOW God, one must be able to look beyond the limitations of doctrine and embrace what has been called occult and heresy for centuries even while they allow for some elements of the supernatural to be readily accepted by the church.
We close today with a brief personal statement by which we should see the idea presented above. I am NO more a disciple that most who have chosen to focus upon the Lord and I am as conflicted by the duality of Life in this world and in the same way as others. My difference, and what lets me write such things as ARE in these blog posts, IS simply that I recognize my place, I recognize my relation to the Lord and, most of ALL, I recognize the failure of the doctrines of men through the words of the Master. My measure of KNOWING IS beyond the doctrinal view which limits the ability of everyman to Truly see and if the church could but see itself in Jesus’ words to the Jews, to the scribes and the Pharisees, there could come a True awakening in the hearts of men. Those things that were hidden from the view of men in Jesus’ day and in the days before His advent ARE yet hidden from ALL who DO NOT Truly seek, ask and knock; from those whose treasure IS yet in this Life which the Master shows us as “treasures upon earth” and perhaps especially hidden from those who see themselves as ‘saved’ while yet pursuing those treasures in thought, attitude, action and things. Jesus tells His disciples that “it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matthew 13:11) and in this most ALL ARE among the them, most ALL ARE focused upon the mammon and NOT on the Lord who demands that the True disciple forsake mammon and that he “continue in my word“. Here, to be sure, ALL that ARE NOT fully focused upon the Lord ARE focused upon mammon as their thoughts, attitudes and actions promote ONLY their standing here in this Earth, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon“. Men must eventually understand that the goal IS beyond their doctrinal view and that His words that tell us of treasure and of mammon ARE intended to show us the necessary focus, the eye that IS singularly focused upon the things of God, and that it IS in this focus that we can “Take no thought for your life“. We should remember here Jesus’ words saying “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14).
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 2 New Testament Greek Lexicon on BibleStudyTools.com
- 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition
- 8 Bible commentaries on BibleStudyTools.com
- 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
- 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on blueletterbible.org
- * Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire, Writer and Philosopher